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Interview with

Alec Fu & Alex Alice of Slave Republic

The newest signing on German label Accession Records, SLAVE REPUBLIC, is going to release their debut album 'Electric One' next Friday. As we were highly impressed and positively surprised by the record, it was quickly settled we'd do an interview to learn more about the project and the album 'Electric One'.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Was the name of the former band you had as a four-piece also SLAVE REPUBLIC?
Alec: It's interesting you're asking this. Recently we've been asked a lot about the whereabouts of our former band. No, that one was a scholar/student band, having gone through a series of more or less original names. But SLAVE REPUBLIC has always been just been a duo.

RoD: When did you have the first ideas for an album?
Alex: At the age of 19, and back then it was to be called 'Peacemaker'. Unfortunately we were so bad; the studio assistant thought to hear only test signals on the recording and deleted the tape. We had to record everything again, but it wouldn't get better just because of that. Our long-time plan to make a modern New-Wave album just became reality with 'Electric One' and Accession Records.

RoD: How much time did the process of producing the album take and when did you actually start?
Alex: Tough question. When does the production process of an album start? You carry around fragments with you for years and record one or the other melody. In the final stage of production from December 2009 - January 2010 we worked day and night on the album. Finding a good sound and getting to a level we were satisfied with took us years.
Alec: I had some cunning ideas for lyrics while shopping; others I had to literally squeeze out of myself.

RoD: How did the contact to Accession Records come about?
Alec: They still exist out there; modern legends. We've been discovered via MySpace. We were offered a deal by a little European label. Literally in the last minute, Adrian Hates of Accession Records crossed our way. He obviously liked SLAVE REPUBLIC that much, he offered us a deal very quickly. We only had 3 songs on demo level recorded at the time, but Adrian saw the raw diamond in SLAVE REPUBLIC. Of course, we didn't think about it that long afterwards.

RoD: Is the album bound to a specific concept?
Alec: 'Electric One' certainly isn't a classic concept album regarding the lyrics. But when working on the songs we noticed several times we always found to a leitmotif: Liberty! Also musically, there's a golden threat penetrating 'Electric One' without us sketching it all out beforehand: Alternative Pop songs with a length of hardly over 3 minutes.

RoD: What are your sources of inspiration when writing lyrics?
Alec: I generally have a hard time writing lyrics, because we're not only aiming for a certain contextual standard, but also the sound of the words in all kinds of pop music is of high importance. I'm deliberately utilizing specific creative techniques to get important song sections exactly as they need to be.

RoD: You named the album 'Electric One'. Is it just the beginning of a series, or did you just like the name?
Alex: Most of all we liked the ambiguity of the name, but it's actually possible we will pick up the "Electric" topic in another context. You will certainly notice, once it's done.

RoD: Who's that 'Driver' you're talking about in the album's opener anyway?
Alec: That one brings us back again to the topic of liberty. Actually, the motif with 'The Driver' was the fear to let someone else taking over the steering wheel in a figurative sense. But while dealing closer with the topic, I realized there was also something liberating to it, to pass control to someone else for one time, and being able to let yourself fall.

RoD: How did you come across the title of the second song 'Hadron Collider'?
Alex: Firstly, 'Hadron Collider' is nothing metaphorical or unreal. The Large Hadron Collider is the biggest machine ever built by mankind and is located in Geneva underground. It is to replicate the big bang, explaining the fabric of all matter by that. Fascinating!
Alec: By the way, there's a small group of sceptics, claiming there's a small possibility this experiment creates a black hole. Here on earth. That would be very crazy.

RoD: Is the track 'Less of Me' addressed to a special person or was inspired by them?
Alec: That song is going out to all my ex-girlfriends!

RoD: Is that a German word I hear in 'Minimum Regret'? It always sounds like you're saying "Angst". Is that the case and if so, why has the word been used in that context?
Alec: That's absolutely correct! Apparently the German language is capable of expressing certain things very precise. The Americans adapted the word after all.

RoD: How are chances of seeing you live in the near future? Any plans already?
Alex: The next gig will be with SONO on 10th March in Munich. Afterwards we'll be doing shows with DE/VISION, amongst others in Copenhagen, Hamburg and Bochum. The preliminary peak will be our show at Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig around Whitsun. Then people know our CD already and that will be a completely different thing.

RoD: Anything else you'd like to get off your chest?
Alex: Meanwhile, there are a lot of people, somehow working on the SLAVE REPUBLIC project without us knowing them all personally. At this point, we'd like to thank all the busy helpers. Without you, no one would learn about SLAVE REPUBLIC.

RoD: Then that's it. Thanks for taking the time and good luck with your debut.
Alec & Alex: It was fun. Many greetings from Berlin & Düsseldorf.

Just in time before the interview was published, we received information that the producer of the album track 'My Maker', Peter Jem Seifert, has been rewarded for his work with German band ICH + ICH with the Echo Award. Congratulations!


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