Speedrush’s “endless war” debut album is now out so we took the opportunity and had a chat on why this athenian band is so fucking armed and dangerous.
Since this is your first official interview, tell us few things about you! When, how and why Speedrush started?
First things first, we would like to thank you for having us, we feel honoured, we were reading Metal Invader ever since we were teens back when it was still being printed and we’re more than happy to be giving this interview! Speedrush started back in 2005 for the same reason every young metalhead starts, to witness the magic of a Heavy Metal, even more than that of a metal fans standpoint… with inexperience, passion and excitement!
It took you almost 10 years to record something, why?
For many reasons… Difficulty to find devoted members, plenty of difficulties when it came to planned rehearsing, let alone recording something, since we had different schedules in our day to day lives , as well with more “particular” problems, for example a few years back we recorder a big part of the album and the hard disk of the guy that was doing the recording, crashed and that led to have to start all over again etc. If you add the mentality of “not being in a hurry” which we stood by in that equation, you will understand why it took us so long. It’s a pity in a sense, since we could have done many things as a band all this time, but to be honest we didn’t release something that was overhasty, so I wouldn’t say that we have any regrets.
Tell us more about the process of creating your debut. Was the process easy? Where was the recording done, and who did the mixing and mastering?
The recording process wasn’t that easy, because the free time of our members wasn’t well synched, so it took a while! Guitars and bass were recorded at Thanos Athanasopoulos house which was our guitarist at the time, drums and vocals were recorded at the Entasis studios by Nikos Papakostas. Some solos we recorded at Clepsydra by Panagiotis Simopoulos (Misdeal) and that’s where we also did the re-amping, mixing and mastering.
The cover may scream Kreator but it draws your attention immediately and forces you to notice it. How did you manage to collaborate with Philip Lavere and what was the reason behind this decision?
The cover is a part of an album as well, it’s actually one of the most pleasing processes. We were lucky enough to work with Philip, which I consider this to be a great honor for us, this guy has created plenty of the covers that we worshiped as kids… I like that he keeps his typical style, while at the same time he brings new elements to the table that don’t appear in any other works he has done. Generally, it came out very powerful and its sending a message (which is very important). We are overall very pleased with the result and Philip is a very down to earth and cooperative dude.
If we had to label you as something, we would probably have to say you are a traditional band and you belong to the broad retro Thrash/Speed Metal spectrum. Do you agree that that’s how Trash should sound like, old-school ONLY, or not?
We do belong on this genre, obviously, (even though I 1000% prefer the term “traditional” instead of “retro”), that’s the sound we chose to serve subconsciously, because that’s the music we mostly listen to, as fans. I will return the question back to you (even though you’re not going to answer, haha), if not old-school, the what? If you mean Thrash-core or anything modern of that short, most definitely NO, and we fully understand how fiend that sounds, but I haven’t honestly listened to anything of that short that got my attention. There’s always some exceptions though, like “The Haunted” for example, that I thoroughly enjoyed their first two albums, or like “Grip Inc” that kick ass without having that old-school sound all together etc etc.
Who writes the music of your songs and which are your main influences? How much they affect your sound?
Except for “Passive Aggression” that Nick wrote and “Malevolent Torture” that Thanos wrote, the rest album tracks were written by me, with zero guitar knowledge! Less or more, all members contributed to the songs though, regardless of who the main composer was. As you probably have already guessed, our main influences are early era of Kreator, Destruction, Razor, Slayer, Assassin, Deathrow, we generally love German Thrash Metal, and I believe that its quite obvious.
Most lyrics when it comes to releases like this one, stereotypically deal with war, hatred, Satan etc. Which subject your lyrics analyze mostly? Have you ever felt the need to write more personal lyrics or lyrics about politics/ social matters?
Our lyrics deal with various subjects, such as the damage we as a species brought to this planet (for “Into the Abyss” we made a lyric video-check it out), the manipulation by the media, television, internet (“The Truth”, “Passive Aggression”), unjust and belittling behaviors and exploitation, that many disabled people have to deal with (“Freaks of Nature”) and more… We also have songs that the lyrics are about Heavy Metal’s energy (“Speedrush”, “Reprisal Steel”).
You are part of other bands as well, are Speedrush your main priority, or just a project?
Speedrush are most definitely not a project and we are 100% devoted to the band, but almost every member is playing with other bands too (Nightbreed, Noise Disorder, Endless Recovery, Grinding Tank etc), so we’re trying to distribute our time fairly, so that we don’t hold back the other bands that we consider them just as important.
What are your thoughts on the Greek metal scene? Is there anything that you’re not that pleased with and you would like to be changed?
When it comes to music, it’s at its best! Well, at least in the subgenres that I’m interested, I see many great releases these last couple of years! What disappoints me though is that “metalhead” mentality, they will go to see Rotting Christ live for the 20th time (random example, Christ are fucking amazing), or they will only go to a concert of a band that they’re “friends” with. I would like to see more support, as cliché that may sound, buy some CD’s, go to few live shows, say something nice, I’m not saying that we should glorify anything that is Greek, but when it’s a Greek release, let’s give it an additional chance to “speak” to us. Unfortunately, great new bands and albums that worth our time, get ignored.
You recently appeared in the show celebrating “Endless War” release. Do you have any plans for live shows outside Athens, in the future? If yes, where?
Yes, we did the release show for our album with some good friends at March 19, and it went overall pretty great. We also booked our first live show abroad in Malta, November 17, with few bands that are killing it, one of them being the Death Metal legends, Sinister! We also have some other plans on the making for 2017, outside of Athens as well, but for now, no announcements can be made, we’re going to do that soon, down the line!
What does the future hold for Speedrush? Should we be expecting new material soon, or is it too early to even think about that?
Our main priority right now is live shows, we’re going to announce some that we booked, and we’re looking to book some more by the end of the year. You should be expecting new material of course, with a rough estimation I’d say our second album will be released somewhere around 2021! Jokes aside, we’re slowly writing new tracks, but we have plenty of time ahead for that.
That’s all I have for now! Thank you for your time. The closing is yours!
Thank you very much for this interview George but also for Metal Invaders general support! Those of you that are into traditional Speed/Thrash metal, check out our album and we will see you around at a live show and not necessarily ours…Cheers!