Jacob Slater, frontman of powerful new indie-rock band Wunderhorse, has form. A few years ago, as the vocalist in garage rock band The Dead Pretties, Slater was briefly the talk of the London indie scene, his band releasing just a handful of singles but garnering a massive cult following over the course of a few months. That band burnt out and called it a day before true fame hit.
Slater’s return as Wunderhorse has been helped no little by Dublin legends Fontaines DC, who have been bringing the laid back, Cornwall-based surfer dude and his band around with them on their sell out tours. As Wunderhorse, Slater is still building a series of guitar-heavy but emotionally-led tracks, in between a life which he spends heavily on his other passion, riding waves.
In fact, when we catch up with him, he’s sat in a cafe in Cornwall, as his own home is a surf hang out without a reliable internet connection. “There’s crossover between surf culture and music,” he says. “A lot of people down here play music, either professionally or for fun. I guess both are considered more left field pursuits, so it makes sense.”
As for those early days with Dead Pretties: “I was playing music for very different reasons, Slater explains. “It was all about making it big, going as crazy on stage as possible, big songs. By the time I turned 20 I was quite burnt out, to be honest. As well as the punky kind of stuff I’d always listened to softer stuff, too. More varied classics. When that band finished, I wanted my next band to be more varied, not to make me feel so trapped in a style.”