Interview with SLATES !

Are you guys huge Replacements fans?
The Replacements are great, we like a lot of bands from that era.

Is your sound consciously influenced by the band or did the comparisons come as a surprise to you?
We're certainly not trying to sound like them, and i'd say we rip off other bands way harder than the replacements. I guess its cool that people have been comparing us to good bands though.

What did Dallas and James have to do with the Pogues set at the end of last year?
James, Lee and I love the Pogues and we play a couple shows a year in a tribute band. Its just a good excuse to play music with 8 of your friends, get sloppy and have a bunch of fun!

How did your show go in Winnipeg during the Folk Festival?
The Winnipeg show was great! We ate well, a bunch of people showed up and we made some new friends. That town has always ruled to play.

Will this tour bring you to Toronto for the first time or have you played here before?
First time with this band, and we're looking forward to it.

Why'd you do a European tour before Canada?
None of us had toured europe before and we had all played canada several times with other bands. We were looking to try something new and we'd heard about cool things happening over there, as far as the way bands are treated, which we're totally true. The tour was definitely worth while.

How was the response, are you guys huge over there now?
We're bigger than we were before we went there. Besides Bosnia, we were received very well!

How difficult was it to book it DIY?
Booking that tour was the most difficult thing i think i'd done with a band. A lot of gut instinct and trust was involved in that process.

How'd the Cuban tour come about?
It was a desire for cultural exchange and wanting to help out some friends down there who were really hurting for musical equipment. The initial idea has turned into quite a movement and id direct any interested parties to for more information about the project.

Does the track "Julieta" sum up your experience down there?
Julieta was more specifically about a show we played in Havana, which was quite different from the rest of our tour; a fever dream about what rock and roll is compared to what's actually going on in the rest of the country. This one club with an over the top backline, considering most of the bands we met couldn't find strings. The band we played with were living in a rock and roll fantasy. Id say the song Sancti Spiritus was more indicative of the tour.

Check out this article... How do you feel about Toronto?
Toronto is a city with a few good bands, where a few of my good friends have chosen to move to. I don't really have positive or negative feelings about it.

Do you there's some truth to Albertans being arrogant/greedy?
Everyone in the country seems to think everyone else stinks for one reason or another. It seems like people should probably just shut up and try to make a conection with someone else. No matter where you go, you will always find some awesome people and some assholes. The ratio doesn't really change.

How do Albertans react to the politically driven side of the band/music?
There are a lot of like-minded people in alberta. We come from a strong, progressive community and they exist all throughout the province. We've received grants to travel around the world and have never been censored, so i don't really think we've got a problem!

If you ever had to choose between the politically driven songs or non-political, which would you continue writing?
Personal is always political.
Typed on a road outside of Timmins, Ont. Thanks for the questions!