After Alt Rock band Slaves fired their lead singer, Jonny Craig, due to his ongoing issues with addiction, the band enlisted The Voice season 7 runner-up, Matt McAndrew to take his place on tour. The group was so pleased with Matt’s work, that they recently announced the singer would become their permanent frontman.
Slaves, and their new frontman, Matt McAndrew have just released their new single, “Heavier,” written by band members Jimmy Alexander, Matt McAndrew, Zack Baker, Colin Vieira, Weston Richmond & Filipe Sanchez, is the first single from the Slaves upcoming fourth album, which the band is currently writing.
“To me, ‘Heavier’ is about being trapped in a thought loop of worry, paranoia, and ultimately shame,” Matt said about the song. “I have a hard time letting my demons go and when they start affecting relationships, I really feel down on myself. It’s like a physical weight.”
Matt explains why he joined a band at this point in his musical career, “I never thought I’d be in another band. After all, being solo offers complete artistic control and freedom. It’s only now that I’ve realized how lonely I’ve been by myself. Working with such a tight knit group is a blast, and meeting other bands that show such love for each other makes me feel accepted in a way that I haven’t experienced before.”
On Facebook Matt wrote: “Officially signed to SBG with @slavesofficial. ???? Should I get another check mark tattoo? Extremely grateful to the guys and @xshandanx for having me on the team. If you know me, you know how much this opportunity means to me. Here’s to playing around the world with my friends! Can’t wait for you to hear this record.” When Mark signed with Republic Records after The Voice, he tattooed a checkmark on his arm. His coach Adam Levine and The Voice cameras were present.
Slaves drummer Zack Baker said: “Our new single came together so quickly. We all collaborate extremely well with each other and we feel that is represented in this new track. The song itself has a dark lyrical vibe encompassing everything Slaves has been about since our debut.
“Having Matt around has been a great time; he meshed well with us from the first day we met him. His extensive song writing background as well as his all-around musical knowledge have been a huge asset in the studio. I know we’re all excited for this new chapter of Slaves.”
The band was at the airport waiting to take off for their European tour. When lead singer, Craig, didn’t show up, they had less than an hour to find a substitute. From AltPress
Just as the band were getting settled to depart to Europe, they were faced by Craig relapsing and not boarding their upcoming flight.
It was a race against time, and they were already running on empty. They panickingly punched in a slew of phone numbers by their flight terminal, desperately searching for a substitute vocalist.
“We got left at the airport with probably about an hour until before our flight departed, so we were calling pretty much anybody that could sing at all,” bassist Colin Vieira says, laughing.
In between the dwindling minutes of constant texting and calling, they took Escape The Fate guitarist Kevin Gruft’s suggestion and dialed McAndrew. With minutes to departure, the band finally found their new vocalist just in time.
“The check-in desk had five extra minutes for us,” Vieira recalls. “Matt was on the phone with us, and they were like, ‘Hey guys, did you find a singer yet? We have to close down now.’ And that was literally when Matt said yes.”
“I never heard of the band,” McAndrew says. “I never heard of Jonny Craig. I had like two or three days from the time I got offered the gig to perform with them. I never met any of the guys. I met them about an hour before we did our first show in Manchester. All I can say is I was just super-nervous, and my biggest fear was that I said yes to these guys I’ve never met. It was by far the most daunting thing I’ve ever done—way scarier than doing The Voice on TV.”
It’s incredible that Matt pulled off a short-notice gig so well, that the band asked him to join afterward. Congratulations on that.
The “Heavier” music video depicts a couple whose relationship is strained to the breaking point due to addiction. Watch it below