Meet: We catch up with Dave Hill of Slade with the release of Slade’s singles collection, Cum On Feel The Hitz

Slade are much more than that big Christmas hit and it only takes a quick glance at the track listing of the new release Cum On Feel The Hitz to see just how much more. With a run of 17 consecutive Top 20 singles between 1971 and 1976, no other act of the period experienced such success. Find out more here.

Cum On Feel The Hitz includes all six of their UK Number one singles: “Coz I Luv You”, “Take Me Bak ‘Ome”, “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”, “Cum On Feel The Noize”, “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me”, and of course “Merry Xmas Everybody”.

Pick up a copy of Cum On Feel The Hitz here.

We caught up with Dave Hill to see how life has been and how he feels about the music industry and being in the band that is Slade

Difficult times: how has this crisis affected you? I hope all safe and well? Any message to your fans?

Hi Craig, you are right, difficult times indeed, I’m missing all the thousands of people I play to, but on a good note I’ve been writing songs at home for my solo album I’ve always wanted to do, and most importantly we all have this wonderful release of Slade’s Best Hits and More on BMG so great news for fans, and great news for us.

Four decades in the game is one hell of an achievement. How do you think you guys managed it? What’s the secret of longevity, especially in today’s fast-paced music industry?

Well, I guess there’s no secret it, comes down to keeping it going, which we did together very well, playing live was a great help with keeping us motivated, and releasing songs and making several come backs into the Eighties and of course the Christmas song kept the name alive.

How do you feel when looking back over the years? Do you feel like you have achieved what you set out to do? 

Well as the original four, we certainly did it all including film.  We had great success, we were a great Rock ‘n’ Roll band and worked hard at it.  The main things are passion for music and playing, and I still feel that way now, I haven’t changed a bit, I love our songs and love playing them live to thousands of people all over the world. 

Do you feel a lot of your work as a band was overshadowed by that big Christmas hit? I’m sure success you achieved with that track was more than welcome but do you feel you may have suffered as a band because of it?

No, we haven’t suffered as a band because of the Christmas song, the impact it made and still being still talked about now after all these years across the world.  It’s kept the name SLADE alive for future generations with or without it we have always made great records.  I’m happy with that any day of the week, my Grandkids love the Christmas song 

The music industry has changed a hell of a lot over the years. Are you glad you were in a band back in the seventies and eighties and not starting your career now? To you feel things have changed for the better?

That’s a very good question; we came from a time of great change in the fifties and sixties, the music was great and albums and singles were on vinyl, The records we heard were made by great American and up and coming artists, Beatles, Stones, Tamla Motown, Little Richard, Shadows, Elvis you name it.  Today it’s different there are more distractions to get into, of course there are still lots of good bands and songwriters but bands and artists don’t have the influences we had, all those great artists and their music, Top of the Pops was how you knew what was in the charts, so in short I’m glad I had all of it when I was young, This wouldn’t happen now, there wouldn’t be a band like Slade, you needed the past to make it happen.

With your guitar playing I’ve always liked how you would pop up within a song and add something. Who was your inspiration when it came to guitar playing and your style in particular?

Well I started playing at 13 years of age and I was into Skiffle on Acoustic guitars then Electric guitars came with, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Bill Hayley and the Comets then the Shadows, instrumentals and Hank Marvin was the man I watched, I loved the melody from them, then came Chuck Berry which is where I got my rocking style from the Barre chords, then George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Paul Kossoff were all great, I’ve always had music inside of me my grandfather was a classical pianist, and I have always liked to think have a natural feel to my playing and knowing where to pop up in the songs.  My manager Chas Chandler really liked and encouraged my playing I understood, and to rock and roll and how to move people with my playing and still do 

Going back over the tracks the singles album, has your approach to song writing changed over the years? How did a track develop within the band?

Well of course, the songs that were hits were Holder and Lea so my job was playing my style, feel, and ideas to compliment them, which you can hear on those great records we made.  The songs I write now, and for my solo album, they have many moods and styles, I’m singing them all too which is a first for me I feel I’m the Black Country boy storyteller.

With all the hits over the years. What songs are you looking forward to playing live when you finally get the chance?

I like all of them we play, especially the number ones, we can do nearly do one hour and half hours and I’m still playing the hits not many bands can do that except the Beatles of course. 

With you carrying on the Slade name. Is being in a band still what you love? Do you still get the same feeling?

I have to say playing in Slade is my biggest passion in life, music keeps the bands name alive, the songs are what I do best and I hope very soon I can return to it.  I miss it so much and it gives so much pleasure to people worldwide it’s my purpose and reasons to be in this life.

Are there any bands past or present you would love to have played with or even been part of?

Not really, The Beatles gave me fun and a way to go forward, but Slade is where I should be and am most passionate about that’s who I am.  

I know Noel Gallagher has tipped his hat to Slade but are there any other bands you have seen over the years that you would say Slade had some influence over?

Kiss for one, Twisted Sister, many more in the states, Quiet Riot, of course Oasis I know about, Noel Gallagher did a great quote for my life story NO SLADE NO OASIS, which was great.  UK wise there were many eighties bands influenced by us of course and the New Romantics bands too, I was told Bruce Springsteen came to one of our shows in the States.  I guess when you have a lot of success you have great influence to other bands, music scene and culture.

It’s difficult to talk about future plans, but what does the future look like for yourself and the band?

Well, all our shows across Europe are moved till next year, we are still hopeful we can do some shows in the UK in December, but as you mentioned it’s a difficult time, also my Audio Book of my life story spoken by myself, is out now.  

What music are you digging right now? Any particular artists you would love to see make it?

My tastes are very interesting, old standards in great pop of my youth America songbook of crooners.  I pick up on what’s going on as I read Uncut, Classic Rock, Mojo, and check out whats up and coming, of course nothing really last these days as the need is different by young people. Then of course someone like Adele comes along and reminds us of great singers and great songs in the UK.  I mean years ago, you had to be good and different to make it as there was so much great talent here and abroad, But I loved what we did as a band, loved our image and our clothes, especially mine haha.  It was great songs sung and played well, great manager and producer Chas Chandler, Top of the Pops, Radio 1 with great DJ’S, Live performances by us, we captured the world, we were the right band at a great time in music and most of all we were fun.  Lets hope this wonderful Hits and More release by BMG WILL REMIND PEOPLE OF GROWING UP AT A GREAT TIME IN MUSIC.

More of that please, don’t you think Craig?

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