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NAME:  Brittney Slayes

HOMETOWN: Vancouver, BC, Canada

CONTACT:   http://www.unleashthearchers.com/

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THE METAL PIT:  Welcome Brittney as our Metal Maiden of the Month for September. Where did the band name Unleash the Archers come from?
BRITTNEY SLAYES:  Well, naming the band was actually a three month ordeal driven by the opinions of five very different people. At the end of it we had a word doc about ten pages long with possible names, none of which really grabbed our attention, but some of them ended up becoming song names… Finally someone said Unleash The Archers, and we didn’t hate it, so it stuck. It invokes medieval imagery and a sense of urgency that I love, so I’m happy with it 😉

    THE METAL PIT: Outside of your hometown what has been some of your favourite live shows you have played? Playing Edmonton is always a wicked time, the fans there are amazing and the metal scene is unparalleled in the rest of Canada. We also just played a show in Culiacan, Mexico that was awesome as well, over 200 metalheads packed into a huge bar with minimal air conditioning hahaha; it was phenomenal.

  brittney1THE METAL PIT: In July you released a 3 song EP. Why did the band decide to do this instead of waiting to record a 3rd full length album? A third album is on it’s way, however we were concentrating on our new music video and booking our North American tour so writing was put aside for a bit. The three songs we recorded were just a taste of the new direction we are heading in and we didn’t want to keep fans waiting, so we decided to release the songs as an EP. Also, we really wanted to print on vinyl for the first time, and a 7” record can’t usually hold more that three tracks, so we went for it.

    THE METAL PIT: When can fans expect another full length release from the band? Fall 2013 is the plan, we will begin writing as soon as we get home form tour, and record as we go, so there may be a few sneak-peek singles released before hand. No promises though 😉 We always put these ridiculous deadlines on ourselves and we agreed we weren’t going to do that with this next album. We are going to spend ample time on each song, make it the best it can be, and record it when we’re ready.

      THE METAL PIT: How important is the interaction with the fans? Whether its after shows or through the social networks? Interaction with the fans is one of the best parts of being a musician! Facebook has allowed us to interact with people all over the globe, and keep open lines of communication with anyone who’s willing to listen; being able to contact the fans directly is fantastic. So many musicians are anxious about the way the music business is changing, and it’s true that the constant barrage of social media that needs attention can be a bit overwhelming, but I think such intimate connections with the fans is exciting. Mind you there are some trolls out there that really should have their computers taken away due to their insensitivity and tactlessness, but you must take the bad with the good 😉 As for after the shows, I always work the merch booth, so if anyone wants to come say hi or take a picture or just chat I’m so down with that!

    THE METAL PIT: What made you want to be a vocalist? What singers influenced you? According to my mother, I’ve been singing since daycare, and I joined choir as soon as I was old enough; being a vocalist was just natural, but becoming a vocalist for a metal band was something I didn’t discover I wanted to do until university. My boyfriend was in a metal band, and I loved going to their shows and rocking out, yet I couldn’t help but wish I were up on stage with them. When their band broke up I asked him (Scott) and the guitar player form the band (Brayden) if they wanted to start something a little different, and the rest is history I guess. My main influences are Brucey (Dickinson), Rob Halford, Dio, Matt Barlow, Daniel Hyman, Danzig and Geoff Tate.

  THE METAL PIT: What is the song writing process within the band?brittney2 Usually Brayden will bring some riffs to jam, and we’ll put them all together in a way that flows, then all write the rest of our parts around that. On Demons (Of The AstroWaste) I came up with the vocal lines for ‘The Outlander’ first and the boys wrote around them, and Scott wrote the drum parts for ‘Despair’ first and we wrote around that… But usually Brayden begins the process.

    THE METAL PIT: Did you have any vocal training? I’ve never had any ‘formal’ vocal training per say, but singing in classical choirs all through my life has taught me so much, especially the UVic Chamber Singers; I learned more in my three years with them than all my years combined. Through the chamber singers I gained access to the resources of the UVic School of Music, and collaborated with some very talented musicians. I was also able to take a few courses at the school, and had a couple of individual lessons with some pretty amazing vocal coaches. That’s it though. I’m hoping that one day when I have more time I can take some real lessons; one can always improve!

  THE METAL PIT: When not being a Metal singer what do you do for fun or to get away from it all? I love movies, reading and video games, in that order 😉 If I could spend every night in a movie theatre watching the latest release then I would. I’m mostly a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, as my library would clearly show. Movies I can be flexible on, as long as it’s entertaining I’ll watch it. As for video games, my faves so far are COD, Bioshock and Dead Space. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time for the old Xbox recently, which sucks, but I’ll get back online soon 😉

  brittney4THE METAL PIT: Your band made a very ambitious video for your song General of the Dark Army, which was very impressive. How was it making that video and do you have any new videos in the works? Thanks! That video was a huge undertaking for us, and our director Richard Olak; for three months straight we lived and breathed the General. Trying to create a high calibre music video was well beyond our means, but we did our best with the resources that were available to us. We created a campaign on IndieGoGo and the response from fans was astounding; we never would have been able to complete the video without their support. It took three days to film and when all was said and done we were so overwhelmingly happy with the result… The problem will now be trying to top that 😉 But yes, another video is on the way, hopefully before the end of 2012; we’ve got a few different ideas floating around on how to make this one just as unique as the first two…

  THE METAL PIT: Tell us about the rest of the band and what they bring to the band? The boys are great; we’ve got a new lineup that really works. Everyone is so motivated and driven by the same goals, hate to sound cliché but the sky really is the limit Hell, the universe. We have such a good time on stage together, and our writing styles have really begun to mesh. We are all really excited to write this next album together. Brayden provides this sort of concrete foundation that helps define our sound, Grant adds a little flare, Brad always has these ideas for little hooks, and Scott keeps us grounded. I think they all wish my lyrics would be a little less geeky, but that’s just the way I am!

  brittney3THE METAL PIT: It seems ever since Angela Gossow joined Arch Enemy that the success of that band really opened the door for females in METAL bands and not just the bands like the Nightwish type bands that you can really wail like the boys. What are your thoughts of females in Metal today? I hate to say it but the scene is so saturated it’s hard to tell what to think. Some stuff I like, some stuff is just getting played out. Show me a singer that actually has talent and isn’t just up there to be a pretty face and I’m down to listen. Actually I’m a part of a Facebook community called Eve’s Apple that is run entirely by female metal vocalists and we talk about this stuff all the time. The girls are all so great and I love chatting it up with them, it’s really an amazing thing to be a part of when competition in the female fronted metal genres always seems to be so encouraged! The comparisons and the negativity that surrounds it all is extremely frustrating… I’m just going to keep doing my own thing and let all the others do theirs.

  THE METAL PIT: What are some of the best things about touring and playing live shows? The best part about touring is seeing all of the different cities and experiencing their metal scenes. A different bar every night, a different crowd, a different show. The variation keeps it exciting! Sticking around in your own hometown and playing the same old venues would make me go crazy. Playing live is the reason why I do this! There is nothing better than seeing the fans at the front of the stage singing along with songs you wrote, the feeling is pure ecstasy. And the adrenalin rush you get being up there! Just remarkable

    THE METAL PIT: What is the worst things about touring? The endless hours driving in the van! This last tour I put so many movies on my laptop, and season four of Fringe, so I’m ok for distractions 😉 I do also get a lot of reading in, which is nice; lately I’ve been so darn busy at home I just can’t find the time anymore! So I guess the van isn’t too bad hahahaha…

    THE METAL PIT: How do you feel the Metal scene is in Canada? Totally rad! The cities are ridiculously far apart, and the scenes vary in every city, but in general the fans are awesome, the shows are well attended and the support is never ending! Seriously, Canadians are just outstanding people, so hospitable and kind, we live in the best country in the world

  THE METAL PIT: Any plans to take the band to Europe?brittney5 One can dream! Yes, we would love to get over to Europe, but being independent makes it hard to book tours over there. We are working on it though, hopefully by this time next year we’ll be well on our way!

    THE METAL PIT: Previous Metal Maidens of the Month in THE METAL PIT have been Angela Gossow, Alisa White-Gluz of THE AGONIST, and Jill Janus from HUNTRESS. So what does it mean to be chosen as this months Metal Maiden of the Month? I am truly and completely honoured to be featured as Metal Maiden of the Month, to think that anyone actually wants to hear what I have to say is very flattering 😉 As I said before I love connecting with the fans, I want them to know who I am as a person, and hopefully it will help them also connect with the music we play. That’s really what it’s all about in the end: The Metal!!! (must be read in a wailing falcetto 😉

  THE METAL PIT: What would one expect from a live Unleash The Archers show? Fist-pumping, high-kicking, face-melting good times! 😉 Hahaha no seriously, we just try to make sure the fans have as much fun as we do, so singing along and throwing up the horns is always encouraged!

  BrittneyMetalPit     THE METAL PIT:  Thank you Brittney for doing this interview and we at THE METAL PIT wish you and the band great success. Thank you for having me! We appreciate the support \m/     

           

***Photos used by permission of Brittney Slayes