When it comes to metal, punk, grindcore, and hardcore distinctions of music, there are many factors about a band that can amplify them to a degree which puts them much more prevalent on the radar of listeners. Even if they fall into one of these categories and blend in with the noise of all other names associated with any of these labels, some bands manage to push the boundaries just enough to be distinct in their own right. That said, SLAAT takes a little from each of those aforementioned genres and pulls absolutely no punches in intensity of sound and style doing so. Today, we welcome to our Weekly Featured Artist series none other than the fresh, crossover, metallic hardcore badasses in SLAAT.

Spawned during COVID lockdown between two dear friends, Lee White and Jeremiah Jordan, in the summer of 2020, SLAAT originated as ideas bounced between a two-piece. It wouldn’t take long for the bands’ ranks to further expand and eventually find their way on stage in December of 2021. The band elaborates on their history and formation below citing ‘psychedelic and cannabis usage’ as perhaps a point of connection for the two founders. This publication in no way means to encourage drug use, kiddos, but sometimes maybe you make cool friends in the midst of it???

Lee White (on guitar/bass and vocals) and Jeremiah Jordan (on percussion) began jamming in the summer of 2020. Under heavy psychedelic and cannabis usage, they soon connected and realized they shared a deep love for music and saw potential for future projects. In December of 2021 they added their friend Stephen Holdesworth on bass and the blueprints for SLAAT were laid. Our first show was at Crayola House, Harrisonburg in February of 2022. We had a lineup change in September 2022, adding Zakk August on bass and Eric Walters on lead guitar leasing to our current line up.

They goes on to talk about what drives the band and makes them inspired to write the music they do:

We have all been playing music since we were children. Music has been a big part of all of our lives and some way or another we all chose to get into the heavier shit. Being in a band is a shared dream and aspiration of ours. We are four dudes making music we want to listen to.

The name and logo seem to even match the straightforwardness and raw punching power of the band’s attitude. With the sort of music SLAAT performs, there isn’t much for the listener to have to think too hard about, as each track fits punishing riff after punishing riff in as quick of a 2 and a half minute or so timeframe, on average, as possible. The instrumentals possess the upfront abrasion of bands like Pig Destroyer, Wormrot, and Gaza, while the vocals will take you back to the ‘80s and ‘90s days of rawness and manic belting of acts like Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I., and Hirax.

(As response to what acts influence the band overall) Short answer: Dying Fetus, Sepultura, Kublai Khan TX, Suicidal Tendencies. Long answer: This list would go on forever as we came to those four bands after much debate. We all listen to different subgenres within metal/punk/hardcore, and we think that’s what attributes to our sound. 3 main influences that we personally bring to the table are; JJ: Pantera, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold. Eric: Meshuggah, Metallica, Korn. Lee: Tool, Gojira, Obituary. Zakk: Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Admiral Angry, Deftones.

And, talking on where the name of the band comes from:

We wanted something that was short and punchy, something that sounds more like a sound effect from a comic book and less of a word or name.

Short and punchy’, again, would certainly fit the description of SLAAT’s music, as well. But even in its minimalist durations, it is difficult to not find yourself lost in the euphoria of blazing riffage and dynamite drum work. Songs like “Skullkrusher”, “Part Drug”, and “I Am Meat” are sure to get any basement, living room, or otherwise venue space absolutely decimated within the first 15 to 30 seconds of their start. Even with the only thing available in their recorded catalogue being a demo, DEMO’22, from November 16th, 2022, fans of noisy, angry, unfiltered metal music coming straight from the heart will be rooting the SLAAT boys on in their journey to wider audiences everywhere.

With being so young and fresh to the scene, SLAAT have made a name for themselves being put on local shows left and right, as well as making the highlights of an RVA Reddit thread for a July 2022 show they performed under the bridge going over the popular Belle Isle attraction in the city. While the band hasn’t appeared to do much outside of the river city as of yet, they made their out-of-state debut with a show they performed in November 2022 at an underground venue known as The Fort in Baltimore that featured Pink Tacos and The Doomslayer. With so much buzz in the underground growing almost daily, it would come as no surprise that the band has a bright future ahead of them. Talking of the reflection back on that bridge show as well as a ‘now and then’ sort of comparison, the band takes everything in stride as they keep the riff train moving on.

The Under the Bridge show (Highway Havok 1) that was all over r/rva on Reddit was during our inbetween stage. Stephen had to leave for employment and adventure opportunities, leaving the band a two piece. While we were in search of new members, we were asked to play and the rest was history. (The Reddit post on r/rva of the guy reading the book while a metal show is going on behind the other side of the fence was at the original SLAAT house, which got way more upvotes. Also, the band that was playing is now known as Humanitarian Deficit, they kick ass go check them out).

They go on to also mention some of their favorite venues and spaces they’ve played:

Crayola House is always a blast. As far as RVA, we’ve played more DIY shows, backyards, under bridges and in abandoned parking garages. Richmond Music Hall and Another Round Bar and Grill have been our favorite venues so far but we look to play at more bar venues in the future.

Simply put, SLAAT are the real deal. A totally organic, classic tale of four close friends deciding they had something to say and needed to say it loud. So what sets these youngsters apart from the average group of young punks with a garage band? They’re serious; They’re workaholics; They live, breathe, eat, drink, sleep, bleed, and wake for their craft daily.

Why is this so distinct for them? Well sure, lots of bands, if not all the successful ones, share a genuine effort of creating the best product possible while pushing whatever boundaries necessary to get to that level of accomplishment they seek. But for SLAAT, and for any band of their sort, I think what draws me to them is how they plan to move up in the ranks of the genre while not compromising a single thing about who they are or what they do. Again, maybe that is a statement anyone who identifies in any subsect of punk or metal may subscribe with, but the test of time can be a tough one – to see SLAAT push through any obstacle that comes their way and really strive to get the rawest form of human expression possible is exactly what I believe keeps metalheads and punks alike so devoted to good bands within the genres and subgenres. SLAAT impress me in that they stay honest and true to their art; They literally carry the songs along with their personage and how they grow and evolve.

Our practice process starts with us all warming up and making noise individually until we come to a cohesive jam. We then practice whatever upcoming show’s setlist is, work on some new tunes then work on whatever we are struggling with most. Our song writing process consists of one of us bringing an idea to the table, we all jam it out and ponder it for a week, come back and fine tune leading to a semi final song…all of our songs change and evolve as we do.

It’s the little, simple, fun details that, even as violent a presentation as the genre can provide or entail, really warm the hearts of those who witness bands like SLAAT on their comeuppance. The fact that even their songwriting is all exclusively about a group effort and keeping their cohesion and chemistry about them just goes to show this band as a representation of the kind of community, kindness, awareness, and expressive quality we all look for in music, and that underground and DIY communities stand for all across the world. This is exactly what music is and should be about – what it does for you at the end of it all and the influence and impact it has on those who subscribe to it. As actor, comedian, artist, and general forward-thinker Jim Carrey once said at a college graduation speech: ‘The effect you have on others is the greatest currency there is.

We are doing this for fun and we want to get rowdy with people. We don’t care if you like our music, we play what we want to play. New merch dropping soon. We are playing a lot of shows in RVA early 2023, if you haven’t seen us live yet, come check a show!


Lee White – Vocals
Jeremiah Jordan – Drums
Zakk August – Bass
Eric Walters – Guitar

Be sure to keep up with all things SLAAT as they grow and develop via their Instagram, Bandcamp, and YouTube! Don’t let the riff train pass you by! Get wicked with the SLAAT gang!



Easygoing weirdo with a love for life, music, art, culture, outdoors, meeting new people, seeing new places, and trying new things. Oh yeah, and I guess I never shut up about the things I love, too. That’s a quality!

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