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Slaves to Gravity formed in the summer of 2006.
Based in London, the band includes three members of defunct hard rock band, The Ga Ga's and Mark Verney, formerly of Ariel-X.
The band's self-produced debut album, Scatter The Crow, was released through Gravitas Records - the band’s own label - in 2008.
Music-Zine's Phil Greer met with the band for a chinwag...
MZ: 2008 was an amazing year for you. What did it mean to you to be recognised as Best Newcomer by the Kerrang awards?
T: It was really cool at the time. It was mind blowing really. It was totally unexpected for us as we're so used to being outsiders, we were happy just to be nominated and participate in the night. It felt so weird to be recognised. We just showed up and got wasted, really didn't expect to win.
MZ:: And how about the success of the album?
M: Define success.
T: Yeah, for us it didn't achieve as much as we were hoping it would. It didn't catapult as to the heights we were aiming for off the bat. However we see it as a good platform to launch ourselves.
MZ: Touring with Aiden must've been cool, did you enjoy that tour?
T: It's always good to be on the road irrespective of who the tour is with. It was great to have this general recognition and touring with Aiden was fun, even if the crowds were a little young.
MZ: So what does 2009 hold in store for Slaves to Gravity?
T: We want to finish writing and recording our new album and launch the first album in Europe and maybe America.
M: We want to keep the momentum going and really get in everyone's face.
MZ: So you've begun writing new material, will we be hearing any of that tonight?
T: Yeah this will be the first night we play the new stuff. We're using these few dates to practice before South by Southwest as we haven't played for a while. Theres only so much you can achieve by sitting around. We knew we had to get back on stage and blow the cobwebs away.
MZ: How do the songs get written? Are they a team effort or is it just one of you baring his soul?
T: Well we've never established a set formula. I suppose if i've got an idea i'll just record a demo then play it to the others. It's predominantly me and Mark who write though,.
MZ: Your lyrics seem to come from quite a dark place. Are they drawn from personal experience?
T: I suppose they do come from some personal things, but they're not drawn directly from them. The lyrics are a way of me not having to expose to much of myself. The songs are all open to interpretation, people can find whatever they want, or might be looking for, in our songs.
M: Your like the Wizard of Oz!
MZ: It's hard not to hear Tommy sing and not be reminded of Chris Cornell. Were Soundgarden an influence to you or is it a misrepresentation from me?
T: I'm a big Soundgarden fan. I never used to like my voice, and when you don't like a guitar or amp you just change it but with your voice you get what your given. I was in another band before this called the Ga Ga's and I knew I wanted to be harder. There were a lot of subconscious things with my voice but obviously I never intended to sound like Chris Cornell, however if you think that it's a huge compliment.
MZ: Who were the main influences behind your music?
M: All different influences really. Smashing Pumpkins, Jane's Addiction, Alice in Chains, Guns 'N' Roses, Soundgarden. You know.
T: We're all the similar sort of age and grew up with hard roots. We all like the same bands. The main thing that gets us all off is just to hear a great long lasting song. If you can write a good song and theres great weight to it then thats amazing. Stone Temple Pilots still sound as fresh today as they always have. Thats the main influence on us.
MZ: So you guys are playing South by Southwest in Texas this year, which is really huge. How did that come about?
M: This year we got the 'official' invite.
T: We've played their before but unofficially. We played the K! magazine bit at night. It's great they've been so supportive for us.
MZ: How are you feeling about it?
T: Slightly nervous but not in a bad way. It's good to have a bit of anxiety. We're playing with some shit hot bands and it's just generally great to be playing again.
M: It's going to be wicked going there again, it's really making us raise our game.
MZ: Has the fact that Toshi (the bands bassist who couldn't get a visa in time) won't be there with you caused more pressure for the band?
T: It definitely makes us more aware of the unknown. Thats why we're doing this tour. Hopefully any disasters can be out of the way before we fly out. We've been together as this tight group for so long it's going to be hard without him.
MZ: How long will you be at SXSW for? Are you staying for the whole festival? Are there other bands you want to see?
M: Yeah we'll be staying for about 4 days, like Tommy said we're playing next to some great bands, we want to watch Gallows and the Cancer Bats for sure.
T: It'll be great because we've played SXSW before but don't really have a huge American following so we'll be trying to plug that.
MZ: What's the deal with Gravitas records? Is it your own personal record label?
T: Yeah, we just managed to raise some money, make an album tour it and just do everything in house. We weren't in love with working with other record companies.Rather than wait for someone to offer to help us we thought we'd just go out and do it ourselves.