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We caught up with Pupil Slicer, the mathcore trio who will be destroying the stage with a headline slot at Tech-Fest 2022. It was a huge pleasure talking with Luke Fabian about their sound, collaborations, future plans and of course, Tech Fest

It’s been just over a year since the release of ‘Mirrors’ which was very well received by old and new fans alike. We know that you love to do what you want and experiment, but how do you decide on the ratio between sticking to the core sound that people have come to love and experimenting when writing?

Very astute observation - you describe the dilemma of the writing process for Slicer LP2 well. The ethos for the next record, has been - ‘more’. If a section is mathcore, make it MORE mathcore, if its is post-metal or rock, make it MORE posty. So, on and so forth; much of muchness.

You refer to ‘old and new’ fans when Mirrors was released, in reality, its more ‘new’ fans, as really only small, if not miniscule pockets of the UK underground would have had a whiff of Pupil Slicer beforehand, but we hope that all the people that responded to the first record can be surprised, yet still engage with in a familiar way to the forthcoming second record.

The latest single ‘Thermal Runaway’ is a beast of a track. Where did the main influence come from with repeating lyrics like “time misfit’ and “don’t steal stars”?

Luke: why thanks very much for the compliment. Cara (of The Armed) was given complete freedom to compose whatever she liked. What you hear on the the track, is pretty much exactly that – with minimal changes from us. Kate took the initial lyrical impetus from Cara and composed out from there. Although a trusting approach to take with collaboration, we were really pleased with the result and thank Cara for her contribution.

You had Cara Drolshagen and Frank Muir join you on this single. How did you meet them and how did you decide to do a track together and have Frank join you on tour?

Well in reverse order, I will start with Frank. I have known Frank for over 10+ years now and am lucky enough to count this fine human as one of my best friends, all these years later. Frank and I met at the University of Portsmouth, where we both studied history and spent most of that time together listening to hardcore and metal, blazing, jamming classic rock and talking all manner of pseudo-intellectual nonsense.

Slicer had discussed bringing in another guitarist to bolster the performance of the band. Moving from being a primarily crust / grind three piece into post-Mirrors release period – we knew that we had to up our game. Frank was a really logical decision considering my close relationship with him, as well as, nay - most importantly, him being one of the most ripping guitarists I know and to boot being a complete Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge fan boy. If the shoes fits……………..

With regard Cara. This was born from Slicer loving the last release of The Armed (Ultrapop), and literally meming into existence getting Cara onto the track. Through some mutual connections we had with The Armed, we reached out and Cara was really into it – much to the surprise of us Slicers. She was amazing to work with, and we had a call in the studio once we had finished all the tracking.

You mentioned in a previous interview that it’s easy going back to the ‘caveman riffs’ but you are always trying to write more interesting chords with a unique voice. What is the process mentally to get into a headspace to create these unique sounds and riffs?

As a band we all want to push each other, and sometimes it is this tension and sense of rivalry which fuels the music. In fact, I am pretty comfortable saying that if I as bassist, can display some more chops than the guitarists, all the better for A) annoying them, and B) inciting them to up their chops.

You’ve mentioned before that you don’t put limits on your influences. What is the latest and most exciting influence for you musically, and where does it come from?

Since Slicer have been playing shows post-pandemic, it has become blindingly obvious to me that I need to improve my vocals and try and move beyond doing (bad) Oi punk vocals. By this token, I have created a list of only the finest Lamb of God bangers from As the Palaces Burn and Ashes of the Wake, as I always loved Randy Blythe’s vocals, and am working on learning these and practice them hard like I would the bass. Hopefully, it pays off, but I cannot promise anything.

What is your one guilty pleasure when it come to the music you listen to that even your mates don’t know about?

These guilty pleasures abound – but Rush. This is no surprise to the band, but I really just cant keep away. I guess on a more obscure level I have got a soft spot for some good ol’ Dungeon Synth, but 100% guilty pleasure would be Power Metal as a whole. Love me some Hammerfall, or on a more local and modern note Battle Born, who have just been signed to the same label as us – Prosthetic Records, check them out………my children of metal.

Let’s talk Tech-Fest! I’m sure you are very excited to finally hit the stage with such a great line-up. What band are you most excited to see play live and why?

As an attendee of Tech Fest a couple of times throughout the years – yes, we are really excited to play the 2nd stage headline set, of course! I am really looking forward to seeing Hirsch Effekt – as their blend of mathcore, prog and post hardcore is undeniable, not to mention their bassist being amazing. The other band would be The Ocean Collective. Because - The Ocean Collective. So, in short looking forward to the Germans at Tech Fest this year.

What can fans expect from Pupil Slicer with this upcoming performance at Tech Fest and what is in the works for the rest of 2022 and beyond?

Slicer will be working hard to being TF the best headline set we can, with a couple of songs from Mirrors that we have not been playing on our recent shows. In 2022, Slicer have so many awesome shows lined up, and will be slaving away on LP2, and hopefully this studio-grind work comes to fruition and people can get their hands (and ears) on new material in 2023.



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