Slaves To Gravity came to life in their native London in 2006 after frontman Tommy Gleeson and bassist Toshi Ogawa refused to let the break-up of their previous band halt their creativity. Ignoring trendy musical styles and conventions for something closer to their hearts, they joined forces with lead guitarist Mark Verney and set about paying homage to the music they loved – Nineties grunge and alternative – with their own sense of style and outpouring of cathartic emotion.
The results were as quick to attract critical acclaim as they were a loyal, vocal fanbase. In 2007 their first two singles, Big Red and Meantime – tributes to a the best rock pub in London and intelligent post-hardcore bruisers Helmet’s seminal 1992 album, respectively – both shot into the Top 5 UK Singles Rock Chart.
Debut album Scatter The Crow followed in 2008, earning rave reviews in the UK rock press and beyond. Recalling greats like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains, with a modern, English twist, Classic Rock enthused that “Every one of the thirteen tracks could be a massive hit” while others lined up to praise its “Big brash rock riffs” (Rock Sound) and “Convincing swagger” (Metal Hammer).
It also bagged the band the prestigious Best British Newcomer prize at the 2008 Kerrang! Awards, with former K! editor Paul Brannigan proclaiming “This band will fly”.
Not resting on their laurels, Slaves spent the following months building momentum by touring relentlessly, with an appearance at Download festival followed by extensive treks the length and breadth of the UK and America. In 2009 their Doll Size EP f followed the success of third single Mr Regulator, backed with new material to satisfy fans hungry for more.
Slaves suffered a setback when drummer Jason Thomopoulos left the band for personal reasons. Rather than become destabilised, the band recruited former Pitchshifter sticksman and This Is Menace co-conspirator Jason Bowld in his place.
All of which has primed the quartet for a hotly anticipated return in 2011, with their new album UNDERWATEROUTERSPACE. Scheduled for release on 18th April, new single ‘Silence Now’ is set to precede it on 11th April.
Tommy describes the new album as “A big step forward in every department, really.” It’s an album that’s seen them grow as artists and as a band. “We pushed ourselves much harder as writers, performers and musicians,” he adds. “We really wanted to raise our game – perhaps before we settled on things, this time we were much harder on ourselves.”
He’s also keen to praise the impact of the album’s heavyweight producer, Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Marilyn Manson, Airbourne). “He encouraged us to have the confidence to go out on a limb creatively,” says Tommy. “We’ve tried things we wouldn’t have had the guts to do before. We’ve managed to take our influences and really build on top of them – we’ve ended up sounding more like the gap in our record collections than the sum total of them.”
Now, they’re looking enthusiastically towards the future.
“Putting Scatter The Crow out through our own label (Gravitas) gave us a really good grounding and helped us build a good grassroots fanbase,” says Tommy, “but there’s only so far you can take rock band doing it that way,” he continues, explaining the band’s decision to sign a deal with SPV at the end of 2010.
“What we’d really like to do with the new album is spread the word a lot further than we were able to completely off our own backs,” he says, clarifying their mission statement. “It’d be great to think we could build this up to the level we all believe it should be at.”
With their rejuvenated line-up, tireless work ethic and unshakeable belief in their new material, you wouldn’t bet against UNDERWATEROUTERSPACE doing just that.
“Every one of the thirteen tracks could be a massive hit!” Classic Rock
“This album demands you immerse yourself in it’s rich textures. Anthem after anthem.” Kerrang
“..a convincing swagger.” Metal Hammer
“Any good? Bloody hell yes!” Total Guitar
“Big, brash rock riffs!” rock sound