Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Chris Markwell Interviews SPEEDTRAP

Chris Markwell will be interviewing Finnish Metal Powerhouses - Speedtrap - who recently impressed all of us here at Sludgelord recently with their excellent new album - Powerdose.

Chris originally stated this about the album:

"After this audio feast, the title track muscles its way onto the scene, with a cocky grin and a bullet belt around its waist. ‘Powerdose’ is the new ‘Motorbreath’, people: played twice as fast, twice as aggressive, and with half the guitarists. Seriously, Ville Valavuo is one hell of a speed metal guitarist- nothing less than pedal to the metal is fast enough for this guy. ‘Battle Cry’ is a call to arms for all those who feel the need to mosh: no pretentions, no ulterior motives, this is the music to simply get you up and into that circle pit.

The breakneck musical speed never abates on this album, and ‘Reckless Endangerment’ even warns you in the title. I should have listened… nah! The track rocks and rolls at 100mph, throwing you over bumpy terrain and flying around blind corners with no thoughts about tomorrow. Take it from me, just trust the driver and enjoy the ride. The final sonic face-shredder ‘No Sympathy’ hurtles and sweeps the aural landscape like a road warrior from Mad Max, bassist Markus Hietamies destroying his instrument with Lemmy-like aplomb. When the album reaches its dramatic conclusion, you’ll realize you’ve taken a Powerdose of truly epic proportions, and I’m betting you’ll be wanting a second hit straight away."

Chris it's over to you.....

SL: Hello Speedtrap. How are you and where are you today?

J: Hi! We’re busy as hell with the record release and normal life. I’m at home right now answering interviews like crazy before getting back to work again.

SL: Would you mind telling the Sludgelord a bit about yourselves: how old are you guys, where you’re from?

J: We’re all about in our mid-20’s or younger. We’re originally from Lappeenranta, but now most of us live in Helsinki, except me. I live a bit more north in Joensuu.

SL: How did you guys meet up and become Speedtrap?

J: We formed the band in 2007 because me, Ville (guitar) and Markus (bass) were all in bands that were dying out and wanted to start something new. We already knew each other through the local scene. Me and Markus had already been talking about playing fast heavy metal in the style of Blood Money, Exciter, early Razor and so on for a couple of years, but we hadn’t found a singer. We just thought “fuck it, let’s do this” and I decided to just learn to sing. We still needed a drummer and Miika (drums) lived next door to our rehearsal place, so we asked him to join in.

SL: Where did the band name come from?

J: It’s from a movie called “Speedtrap” that I saw when I was a kid. I don’t remember anything else but thinking that it would be cool name for a band.

SL: Could you tell us a little bit about your local metal scene?

J: Lots of black metal and old-school death metal at the moment I think. Then there’s some more mainstream stuff that I don’t really give two shits about. I don’t follow the metal scene practically at all; I’m more interested in fast hardcore and powerviolence.

SL: What bands inspired you while growing up and what bands inspire you now?

J: The classic stuff, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motörhead and Iron Maiden and later Discharge, Razor, Exciter and Diamond Head. Like I said earlier, right now I listen to fast hardcore mostly, but also death metal. At the moment I’m generally interested in more challengingly constructed and convoluted music. I always admire good songwriting skills in heavy and fast music, regardless of style.

SL: Are you full-time musicians now, or do you still have jobs?

J: We’re not full-time and are not planning to be. Playing professionally in a band is not what I personally aim for. It’s too restrictive and boring. I’ve accepted that my taste in music and my artistic values are too extreme to ever make me a living, and so I enjoy much working in the underground and DIY scenes. Loud, fast and raw noise is my thing, not a career of a “performing entertainer” or whatever you could call it.

SL: For those unfamiliar with the band, how would you describe your sound?

J: Take the first album of Blood Money, play it faster, combine it with some Zeke and NWOBHM and Discharge. Imagine car crashes and mushroom clouds. Should come pretty close.

SL: I reviewed your album ‘Powerdose’ and I have to say it’s such a speed metal bonanza. Have you been surprised with what reviewers have been saying about it?

J: The reviews made me realize how fast the album actually is. There have been complaints that it has too much fast stuff, but I think its part of our identity as band. Putting in more slow stuff could’ve diluted it as a whole. It’s better to do one thing as best as you can than be kinda good in three.

SL: If you had to pick one track from the album that people should definitely listen to, which would it be and why?

J: I think Powerdose really shows you what we are about. It has over-the-top guitars and vocals played as fast we can, but it’s still memorable and catchy. That’s what we are about in the end.

SL: Is there a principle songwriter in the band, or do you all contribute to the process?

J: We make our best songs when we write together, but some songs have come to the rehearsals almost completely done from Ville and sometimes from me. We are very demanding in our songwriting, we always aim for maximum intensity and try squeeze out the most from every riff.

SL: What were the first guitar/bass/drums you owned, and do you still have them now?

J: I’m originally, and still am, a drummer, and my first real drums were a Tama Rockstar set. I sold them to Miika (our drummer) a few years ago and changed to a Pacific drum set which we’ve used to record all our albums.

SL: Do you use a lot of social media/blogging sites to help spread the word about Speedtrap?

J: We have a facebook page and we write to some forums when we feel like it. It’s very convenient and brings us closer to our audience, but it also makes us super busy.

SL: What venues have been your favourite to play?

J: The Underground (?) in Camden, London was awesome. I usually don’t like high stages, but there you didn’t lose the intimacy of the show despite being that much higher than the crowd. I also like Vastavirta in Finland, small venue with a very punk aesthetic.

SL: Where would you guys like to play next?

J: Anywhere outside Finland would be awesome. I’d particularly like to do Japan, I’ve never played there.

SL: Where do you guys see yourselves in 10 years’ time?

J: We’ll be elitist cult-band assholes appearing only in nerdy music festivals and releasing die-hard collectable vinyls, haha! Seriously, I don’t know. I’m not setting goals, Speedtrap is not an enterprise. I hope I’m still healthy and playing music, that’s enough for me.

SL: What bands have you really enjoyed playing live with?

J: We just toured with Rotten Sound and had a ton of fun. It was awesome to combine to such different bands on the same bill.

SL: What do you love and hate about being in a band?

J: Travelling and money-related stuff suck the life out of me, but fast and loud music is such a huge part of what I am that it’s worth it in the end. The most important thing is that music connects all of us freaks together to spend time away from all the other assholes.

SL: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given about the music industry?

J: Best advice? Don’t be a part of it, go DIY!

SL: Finally, do you have any shout-outs you’d like to mention or anything extra to say to your fans?

J: Thanks for all the support and kind words from all of you out there! See you at the shows, come say hello.

Thanks to Speedtrap for talking to Chris. Great fucking band. If you haven't checked them out then you're seriously missing out!!!

You can buy Powerdose here.

As ever show your support to the band. Check em out below.