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With a reputation for raucous, chaotic and energetic live shows Leeds Festival is the perfect fit for punk-rock duo Slaves. They play the NME stage, Sunday 30 Aug.

How does it feel to go from playing venues on the toilet circuit to playing the likes of Leeds Festival?
It feels good. We spent a lot of years on the toilet circuit and I feel like we built ourselves up to this point. It’s an honour to be playing much bigger stages and it doesn’t get much better than Leeds Festival.

Why have you chosen to remain a duo rather than forming a full band?
I feel like we are a full band. It’s preconceptions like needing more than two people to make a band that lead to us not wanting to expand. Nobody should have to stick to the rules.

What would you say defines your particular sound? And who are your biggest influences?
Isaac’s voice and my riffs are the Slaves sound. Mike Skinner and James Murphy are two massive influences on both of us. I also love Tim Armstrong, Jamie T, Joe Strummer. I have a lot of influences.

How has being signed to Virgin Records impinged on your self-sufficient mentality?
Let’s focus on the positives. Negativity is all too easy to get drawn into. Virgin EMI have allowed us to make the record we wanted and helped us promote and get it into the top 10 album charts – something we couldn’t have done alone. It’s a blessing to be where we are and a dream come true. Every walk of life has its drawbacks but it’s the positives that keep us doing what we do.

How important is image to you and what is it you don’t like about American scruffiness?
Image is important to us. Wear what you feel comfortable in. Style makes you feel good. I don’t think we’ve ever said we don’t like American scruffiness. Levi 501s are the greatest jean of all time and they’re American.

What do you see in the future for Slaves?
Music, fun, shows, laughs.

Anna Freeman

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