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John Slater (Rise to Addiction)

Interview with John Slater from Rise to Addiction
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 08 October 2007, 6:09 PM

RISE TO ADDICTION is a band that managed to amaze me from the very first second of A New Shade Of Black For The Soul. I really wanted to have an interview with one of these guys and since I had the chance I asked Mr. John Slater (guitarist) several questions. We had a nice talk about the Metal scene and… Dave Mustaine's opinion on the band!

Hello guys. Congratulations on your album! It rocked my socks off! Tell me some things about your band. How did you decide to form RISE TO ADDICTION?

Hi there. Steve and myself occasionally talked about starting a new project together whilst on tour together. Whilst writing the music for BLAZE’s last album, Blood And Belief, at Steve’s home we also wrote a couple of songs for this unnamed project. They became Falling As One and Everlasting Wave.

The band originally featured three of BLAZE’s members if I am not mistaken. How did that happen?

It was actually four members! Jeff Singer left BLAZE followed by Rob but we always kept in touch and still hooked up for drinking sessions. There was always a strong chemistry between us so I never really considered working with anyone else. Unfortunately for us though Jeff was working with PARADISE LOST and is now their permanent drummer and Rob was training to become a pilot so it was always known their time was limited.

In 2005, you signed a contract with Madman Records to release your debut album, something that finally didn’t happen. Why was that?

It was never an intention for Madman to release our full-length album - in fact; it wasn’t our intention that they release our E.P. as we hadn’t really decided what we wanted to do with it. More than anything the E.P. was a promotional tool. Madman heard the CD via someone from the pressing plant and out of the blue I received a phone call offering us quite a prestigious deal to say were a brand new band with no gigs under our belts or any exposure whatsoever.

Your music is a mix of some different stuff, but still you manage to retain the originality of Heavy Metal. How did you manage to do that?

That’s quite a flattering statement I must say. I suppose it is what came out of the melting pot. We are all influenced by a variety of different music other than Rock/Metal or whatever you choose to call it and I think you will find that most rock fans are too. So we just went with the flow. Some of our songs are instant and others have a little more depth. One reviewer complimented us stating that one or two of our songs could sit on an ALICE IN CHAINS album yet another mentioned METALLICA. Being compared to bands like TOOL, ALTER BRIDGE, SOUNDGARDEN and ANTHRAX even, proves that what we’re NOT doing is following any trends. Those bands couldn’t be any more different to each other. We are writing music that we genuinely love to play and listen to and people are finding it refreshing. It doesn’t get better than that.

 How was the experience of working with a guy like Andy Sneap? I think you are 100% satisfied with the result!

We have worked with Andy so many times now which has resulted in becoming good friends. He always achieves great results but don’t take my word for it. Ask Dave Mustaine. In fact, when he saw us perform at Bloodstock in 2005 he called Steve asking when we intend to record the album.

How would you describe your music?

There are so many genres and sub genres that it all becomes a blur. Personally, I like to stick to the traditional titles like Thrash, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Grunge, Prog, Gothic and Punk. So I’d probably place us somewhere in between good ol’ Classic Rock and Metal. So far we have been compared to ALICE IN CHAINS, METALLICA, MACHINE HEAD, SOUNDGARDEN, TOOL and even ARMORED SAINT by one reviewer!

Classic Heavy Metal is definitely in your influences list, but which other bands have influenced your music? I think PANTERA rings a bell…

OK, I’ve added that one to the list now. The bands we are all influenced by are not necessarily shared equally throughout the band though if you were to construct a Metal/Rock family tree then I am positive we would all cross branches at various points. Some of the bands I have already listed are in there.  

How did you manage to sign with Mausoleum Records? Are you satisfied with your collaboration so far?

Absolutely. We had a few deals on the table to begin with but Mausoleum Records made perfect sense to us. Their experience along with their commitment matched what we had planned.

What are the comments you have from both the press and the fans?

We’ve been overwhelmed by the feedback we’ve received over the past couple of months. The press has certainly been on our side in most cases and has also landed a couple of ’Album Of The Month’ features. The fans have also been very kind to us. We have received tons of letters from all over the world asking us to go over and play their hometowns or countries. It’s incredibly rewarding.

 Are you planning any tours right now?

Right now, we are writing material for the new album and rehearsing for the festivals we have lined up but we would like to get out again before the end of the year so yes, we’re working on that too.

I suppose you all have your daily jobs. How do you make a living?

Well we try to make a living out of our music but yes, we do have other strings to our bows. For example, I produce videos, which I have done almost as long as playing the guitar.

What advice would you give to young kids that want to form a band and play some Heavy Metal stuff?

Don’t hesitate too much. Stay focused, be committed and have fun! That’s why we do it. It’s hard work trying to succeed but that’s part of the challenge. Just don’t give up. I can guarantee that everyone who has recorded an album and plays live has struggled and sacrificed many things which goes to show how powerful music is.

What is your opinion on the current state of the Metal scene?

The same as it was in the 70’s and 80’s I think. There were a lot of incredible bands rubbing shoulders with a lot of shit bands jumping on the same wagon. I think it dipped a bit during the 90’s but the best stuff seems to have re-surfaced along with a lot of the original creators. I think we’re in good times right now.

When will you release your second album? Do you have anything ready so far?

We started working seriously on the new album straight after coming off the ’Trouble’ tour last month. We don’t have songs completely wrapped up yet but I would say we have half the album under way. Looking into release dates for the second album is a little early right now but I would say we’ll be ready to record in the new year.

Thanx for your time guys and good luck! Some Heavy Metal words for Metal Temple’s readers…

Thanks to everyone out there who have supported us by coming to the shows and buying the album. Keep checking the website for updates and I hope we see you sooner than you think!


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