Nearly three years after our last installment, I find myself once again having to dust off the segment “The Lost Tapes Interviews” because I thought for sure that my conversation with UNLEASH THE ARCHERS frontwoman Brittney Slayes was forever lost. Well I am happy to report that the recording from last fall has been unearthed, so now I can share with you, my chat with Brittney. Check it:
Amps: You have a new record coming out. Are you hard at work on that or are you relaxing?
Brittney: Oh no, hard at work. Our new album is called Apex and it will be out June 2 on Napalm Records. It’s another full on concept album. This one has a protagonist that we call ‘The Immortal’ being forced to serve the antagonist, a.k.a. ‘The Matriarch’ as she embarks down a very dark path to achieve immortality. We don’t like to write the same record over and over again and we are very happy with the progression of our sound on Apex. Plus we had to move to a different jam spot that we can now get into whenever we want.
Amps: How often do you all practice and jam?
Brittney: Usually if we’ve got something to get ready for we’re in there four days a week. I use the click tracks and demos that the boys make, so I do most of my writing in my apartment or on my commute to work. For some reason driving is really good for figuring out melodies and lyrics. But Scott (Buchanan, drums) who needs his kit, has been there every night for at least two hours lately.
Amps: And you’ve had a member change on bass, correct?
Brittney: Yes, Nikko Whitworth joined us around May of 2016. We had a few festivals to play, so those were the warm-ups to get him used to playing with us. He’s incredible! He’s definitely the best musician in the band. He’s stunning, he plays so fast and so well, and he picks everything up so quickly. We can be playing a riff that Andrew (Kingsley, guitar) is teaching Grant (Truesdell, guitar), or Grant is teaching Andrew, and he’s got it down by the end of the jam. And he’s writing crazy little flourishes! So we’re really stoked to have him on board and call him a member of the UTA family.
Amps: What are the tour plans for 2017?
Brittney: Well we’re hoping the album is out in time for us to do a U.S. run in 2017. We did the West one year, and last year the East, so it would be nice to fit it all in this time. But, we’re definitely hitting the U.S. and Eastern Canada. What sucks is that our touring will depend on how much time we can get off from our day jobs. We do still need those unfortunately.
Amps: Last time you and I spoke we kind of bonded over FX’S The Strain. And we were in agreement that the kid they brought in for the second season was such a whiny little dick, wasn’t he?
Brittney: (Laughing) yes we did! And yeah, that was one of the reasons I kind of lost interest. I was hoping they’d kill him off but they never did, which was unfortunate. Didn’t they market test this? I don’t think that a group of say, 100 people thought he was a good casting choice. I had such high hopes for that show after a near perfect first season with plenty of blood, guts, and gore. Now it’s an annoying kid.
Amps: You watching anything cool on Netflix now?
Brittney: We got Apple TV so I’ve been watching Orphan Black and Game of Thrones, of course. I’m still hooked on The Walking Dead, too. Wayward Pines, the first season was rad, dude!
Amps: So, being in a band with your boyfriend, Scott. You haven’t killed each other yet, so that’s good, right?
Brittney: (Laughing) yeah, absolutely! I don’t think I could do this without him, really. He helps keep me sane on the road, and if the label’s pushing on things. I get super hot-headed and I get emotional really fast, and he’s like, “Well, no, come on, think about it. Let’s work this through.” And we just work really well together. We started this band together, so I really don’t know what I’d do without him.
Amps: So you’re the one ready to hurl a T.V. out a window and he’s the one saying, “Ah-ah-ah…probably shouldn’t do that.” right?
Brittney: Absolutely, it’s always that way, especially on the road (laughs).
Amps: With everything that’s happened for you over the past year or so, how are you feeling as a band? Happy, or hungry for more, or what?
Brittney: Hungry for more always. I know that we have so far to go even though we’ve come so far. This path is neverending. I am super-happy with what we’ve accomplished so far, but we have a long way to go. I just take it one day at a time and try not to obsess on the future. Every band wants to take over the world, right? So we’re just working on that (laughs).
Amps: What advice would you give to some kids in a garage right now?
Brittney: Don’t ever think that it happens overnight, because it doesn’t. It’s something that you’re always gonna be working at. Take your time and do it right the first time. Don’t ever rush anything and DON’T cut corners. Every extra penny I’ve made for a decade has gone back into this band and I don’t regret that for a second. Too many bands half-ass their first demo and that’s why they’re still in the garage. Do your best and get it right the first time.
Amps: What do you want to say to all the UNLEASH THE ARCHERS fans in the world?
Brittney: Thank you for all your support. I know it’s so freakin’ cliche but we wouldn’t be here without you. Everything we do is for our fans. Sometimes when you feel like throwing in the towel it’s them who I think of and they are the ones that keep me going and drive me forward every day. So, thank you.
UNLEASH THE ARCHERS are hell-bent on world domination in 2017 and beyond. Something tells me that this is very much within their grasp. Because they are young, hungry, and driven. Be sure to pick up Apex on June 2 and catch them on tour in a city near you!