“More coins please, Daddy,” guitarist Laurie Vincent says to us, wanting another handful of tens for the fluorescent penny pushers. He drops them in, nothing comes out. More change is handed over. We feel weird about being called Daddy.
It’s a random, dishevelled venue, but Rowan’s Arcade in Finsbury Park, London, is the perfect place for a highly energetic band like Slaves with it's retro bowling alley, Mario Kart arcade game and boozy slushies. Only a 15 minute tube ride on the Victoria line from Oxford Circus, it’s a hidden gem that should have shutdown when its ‘80s décor became uncool, but has lasted the test of time and is now a nostalgic neon dream for kids and hipsters.
We decided to let Slaves loose in it and quiz them while they were at it. Here’s what happened…
Isaac: I thought Dick & Dom were funny, but now I’ve got older I’m not so sure.
Laurie: Mickey and Mallory Knox…oh and Zack and Cody in the Suite Life.
Isaac: I worked in the stockroom at Topshop. The people were wicked, but unpacking boxes all day isn’t very fun.
Laurie: Odeon. It was horrible. They sacked me for not selling enough membership cards. Maidstone Odeon, f**k you! Cineworld’s better.
Laurie: Punk is still a thing, the attitude is still a thing. It was a moment in time, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anymore. The name gets in the way of what it was. Things can be referred to as punk now, but it’s about time we did our own thing.
Isaac: It’s all primal, really.
Isaac: We’ve had scotch eggs thrown on stage before.
Laurie: There was a guy in North Wales that kept taking his false teeth out at me and rolling his eyelids back and going “ERGGGGGGH, YOU BROUGHT BACK OI!”
Isaac: We love each other too much to let anyone else in.
Laurie: Having a third member is like saying to your girlfriend, “let’s have a threesome.” And after you do it you’re more jealous because you saw someone with your missus. If we got another member, it’d be that exact thing. If I came to the studio and Isaac had written a song with a new band member, it’d be like your missus betraying you.
Isaac: We’ve been exploring some new musical avenues and spending some time together. He’s a lovely bloke and…yeah…maybe something will come of it.
Laurie: Music is unity, so why would you put any energy in going against another musician?