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Night Slaves: "There Are A Lot of Trails We Have Not Gone Down, Yet"

Buffalo underground statesmen David Kane and John Toohill's throbbing, multi-pronged mutated assault Night Slaves returned today with their latest tape Acceleration Prose, four new dystopian songs that push the boundaries of synth-punk orthodoxy into a sonic wasteland. We caught up with the duo to discuss how they linked up, their ever-evolving sonic experiment, and the recordings behind the new tape.

Photo by Lindsay Tripp

How exactly did you two come together and decide to start making music together under the name Night Slaves? 

David Kane: The planets just lined up for us to make that happen. I think we both had a good feeling that we could make some magic happen.

John Toohill: I already knew a lot of David's music history but one night I saw him performing a solo set and said, "why don’t you let me take a swing at ruining some songs with you?" A few weeks later I got the call.

Was there a concept or vision in mind behind this project? If so, how has it been different to the other projects you've been involved in à la Science Man and Trek with Quintronic? 

DK: A blurry vision maybe. Mostly, we just jumped into that fire and good things began to happen. Neither of us were interested in trying to sound like something we had already done. I don't think anyone would mistake Night Slaves for TwQ, Celibates etc... or Science Man, Hamiltones etc...

JT: David basically said it. The only discussion was to team up and do something we had not done separately. I walked into his basement the first time with no clue what was about to happen. Though that goes for most times I enter the Kane household.

Photo by Lindsay Tripp

How exactly has the ongoing sonic experiment of Night Slaves progressed over the last few years to where it is now with its latest release Acceleration Prose?

DK: Every release has its own identity based on choice of instrumentation, length of songs or what might possibly be driving us at that given moment.

JT: I think some bands worry about their branding or "career" And that's probably smart, but we just kind of follow whatever mood strikes us. If you're lucky, we actually record and release it.

Talk to me about how these new recordings for your latest tape Acceleration Prose. How did they came together and when/where were they recorded?

DK: For this release, our intention was in your face, grungy, drony, for the dance floor numbers. So that's what we did, along with one sonic nightmare because we didn't want to lose any footing in that category, you know, summoning demons is what we do best. The music for this one was recorded on my dining room table to a Boss BR1600 or Zoom R8. The size of the table determines the amount of gear it can contain, and that's good because it forces me to get more creative with less gear.

JT: From the first note he played me in these sessions, I knew exactly what to do.

Photo by Lindsay Tripp

My personal favorite song is the electro-punk assault of  "Eliminator." What was the idea or inspiration behind this one?

JT: I heard the music and started thinking about various dystopian future/police state movies like RoboCop, Hardware, Existenz, Blade Runner, Judge Dredd, Running Man, and how their absurdity feels less and less inconceivable in our reality by the day. All the systems our society has in place to protect us have become so blatantly corrupted to the point of it almost being celebrated. The insane, terrifying, hopelessness of it all seems to only inspire more brutality. I fantasized about my own vision of this and how you almost can't make a dystopian sci-fi movie anymore because we're just living in it. This would be the song from the preview where Don LaFontaine says over the top "The Eliminator. Because the hunger of the web can't be coerced."

What else has been happening in the lab for you two? Also can fans expect any Night Slaves shows down the line? 

DK: We always have more songs in the bag, and who knows where the next one will take us. There are a lot of trails we have not gone down, yet...

JT: I look forward to whatever David surprises me with next.

Acceleration Prose is out now on Swimming Faith Records.


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