Brittney Slayes of Unleash the Archers to Speak at Upcoming Metal Music Conference

Brittney Slayes

Brittney Hayes (known professionally as Brittney Slayes), a UVic alumna and the lead singer of Victoria-born metal band Unleash the Archers, will be giving a keynote talk on July 10th for UVic’s upcoming conference Boundaries and Ties: The Place of Metal Music in Communities. Her talk is entitled “View from the ‘Apex’: A Metal Musician’s Views on Metal and Community” and will draw on her firsthand experience with local, national, and international metal communities.

A former UVic history major and member of the UVic Chamber Singers, Brittney formed Unleash the Archers in Victoria in 2007 with drummer Scott Buchanan. The band has since moved to Vancouver and amassed an international fan base.

Looking back on her ten-year career with Unleash the Archers, Brittney says, “There’s always going to be those faces in the crowd that you have known since the beginning, and that you know will always be there for you; they were fans, and they’ve become friends. I think that there’s very much this foundation of fans that keep you standing. That will never change. The only thing that happens is that it just grows.”

Reflecting on metal communities generally, she believes that what makes metal special is its inclusiveness: “People are so open-minded. They’re not going to cast judgement and never give you a chance. From what I’ve seen, metalheads are very kind and caring and open-hearted. I just think that the metal community is uplifting, really.”

Unleash the Archers will also be holding a release party for their latest album, Apex, on July 9th with special guests Dead Asylum and Liberatia. The launch will be at the Lucky Bar, a venue with which the band has a strong connection dating from the release of their second album: “It’s like our living room,” Brittney laughs. “Since then, every show that we’ve ever done in Victoria, aside from a couple of all-ages one-offs, has been at Lucky Bar, especially our album release shows. We love the people, we love the location, we love how intimate it is. I really don’t ever see the day when we won’t be able to play there.”

After the release show and Brittney’s conference talk, Unleash the Archers will head out on an international tour, the dates of which are still in the works. But one thing is sure: “It’s just going to be fast and fun and in your face,” Brittney promises. “Like we always are.”

If you are interested in attending the Boundaries and Ties Conference, which begins this Friday, you can register online or on site at the conference itself.