RAGING SPEEDHORN

I remember how RAGING SPEEDHORN was da shit back in the days. How people raved on and on about them. But somehow they never really got off the ground to make it big. Now they are back. My questions were answered by Jim Palmer – guitarist. Anders Ekdahl

You have one of these names that does not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
-To cut a long story short, the bands name came from a tale about a guy who once took loads of speed and then masturbated for hours with obvious consequences. I think it was Dave Bianchi Speedhorns old manager who told the story, maybe Roddy the tech. Either way, that’s where it came from but I think the name has taken on it’s own meaning now. Band names have never really bothered me and don’t seem that important as such. I’m always more interested in the music. It’s just a label at the end of the day.

You have had your ups and downs and yet you still stand tall, What is it that has kept you going?
-Fun! If it isn’t fun or at least a fun element to it you may as well give up. That’s what it’s always been about and always will be. Also if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, how the hell do you expect anyone else to? For a period of time the band wasn’t fun I think, hence the hiatus. When you “stand tall” with your friends surrounding you having the best time anything is possible. That’s the trouble these days, not enough unity amongst people and certainly not enough good old fashioned fun.

What would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound? What influences you today?
-I get asked this a lot and it’s a tough one really. I mean within the band we are all influenced by a massively wide range of bands and genres of music. Certainly the original sound was mostly influenced by bands such as Iron Monkey and Hard to Swallow, simply because they where bands we’d see a lot and hang out with. But I think we are influenced as much by life events and emotions as we are by music. As for now, I could go on forever listing bands we are influenced by. There’s influence in everything and as individuals we are constantly seeking out new music and sources of inspiration.

Your new album features old familiar faces, How come this happened?
-Well basically this all came from the reformation which was only supposed to be a few shows for the fans. When the reformation was discussed, we decided straight away that it had to be the original vocalists 100%. Gordon, (drummer), was the driving force behind getting it all sorted initially so he was obviously going to be behind the kit, although imagining Speedhorn without him doesn’t seem right anyway. After we’d done the initial shows we just decided to keep going as we where having so much fun and the shows kept rolling in. Inevitably when you are around like minded people you end up writing new material wether you want to or not. That’s it really, it just all stemmed from the those original few shows.

Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
-Kind of yeah. I mean we have the most loyal and amazing fans who go far beyond anything you can imagine. I’ve met people at shows who have Speedhorn tattoos, who say our music has got them through tough times in life, who have travelled hundreds of miles just to come and party with us and much more. That’s the great thing though, you can walk out there into the audience after you’ve played and feel like part of one big happy family. It’s a beautiful thing it really is although it’s not so much a “movement” as one big party HA HA!

When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
-To me personally a great album cover is as good as any great work of art. I don’t think that an album cover should be confined to what people expect it to be though. If you do that then it would be a pretty boring old world. Having said that it has to work within the parameters of the music that it stands in front of and has to maybe tie in with the story of the record somehow. I just like good art so if it’s that, I’ll usually dig it. I’m also a sucker for hidden meaning too so if it’s something that can achieve all of the above then you’ve probably got my perfect album cover.

What is your opinion on digital verses physical? I fear that digital is killing music music in the long run because everybody wants all but doesn’t want to pay for it.
-Anything that gets your music out there is a good thing, end of story. If people are playing your music that’s all that matters to me. Yes, illegal sharing etc has reduced the money you can make but the real fans will want the physical copy as well as the digital download regardless. I think in a way it’s a good thing as bands now have to work harder at making content more special, enjoyable, collectable and this has increased the quality of output. But as I said, I’d rather have our music out there being played than slam those who choose to share it illegally or not.

Do you guys notice any difference in gig attendance these days compared to like in the 90s? My gut feel tells me that lesser and lesser are supporting the minor tours today.
-Yes and no. I think when you factor in how worse off we all are these days, (certainly in the UK), how much more expensive it is to put on a gig, how much more content you can get online in your own home instead of going out to a show and generally how much less spare time we all have then you won’t see much difference in attendance. Yes, certainly the minor tours will hit smaller venues but only in the confines of the times in which we live if you get what I mean? I still think there is a massively thriving scene out there and to be honest I get a bit sick of hearing people knock it. Yes it’s harder work to get people to a show these days but if you make it something special then people will come. From our point of view I don’t think we’ve played a show yet that hasn’t been amazing but having said that we would still be having fun and giving it our all if the room was only half full.

When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
-It has to be fun and it has to be a party. If it’s not that then it’s not a Speedhorn show. There is no other way HA HA!

What would you like to see the future bring?
-I’m not the kind of person who likes to look to far into the future as I’ve always had the opinion that if you do that you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Things rarely go the way we plan them and unexpected problems are always lurking around the corner. We are just living for the moment, taking each day as it comes and trying to make it as much fun for everybody as we can. If we do that the future will take care of itself, what will be will be. Good health, happiness and caring for others are the only things I care about. You can only take care of these things if you live in the present, not the future.

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