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I’ve long considered myself a worshipper of heavy metal and nothing I’ve heard this year embodies that as much as Speedtrap‘s Straight Shooter! After reviewing their latest master piece, I was fortunate enough to catch up with vocalist Jori for an interview. On behalf of myself and the entire Echoes and Dust team I would like to thank Jori and Speedtrap for taking the time to answer some questions. If you’re reading this and you haven’t heard Straight Shooter, come back when you’ve listened to the album or do both at the same time.
(((o))): Let’s talk name, you guys are a speed metal band, and I hate making assumptions so I have to ask where does the name Speedtrap originate from?
Jori: I saw a movie with that exact name when I was a kid and it stuck with me. I knew it would make an awesome name for a speed metal band and when we were putting the band together I immediately suggested it.
(((o))): You guys recently dropped a new album and I was lucky enough to do the review, would you guys mind going into some of the recording details regarding the record and what the theme is behind Straight Shooter, if any?
Jori: It’s fully analogue recording with a lot of live-in-studio takes. Vocals and guitar solos were obviously done afterwards. We used two different studios this time and changed our guitar amps from Marshalls to Oranges. I think the record sounds much better than Powerdose.
(((o))): I’ve been listening to you guys quite some time and I will definitely say I am the biggest self-proclaimed Speedtrap fan from Africa, what other parts of the globe have you had reaction from with regards to the new release and some of the previous releases?
Jori: Finland, Scandinavia, Germany, France, Spain, South-America, Japan… all over the world pretty much. There were all kinds of maniacs contacting us already in the Raw Deal days.
(((o))): From a soundscape point of view, I’ve heard a definite evolution in soundscape from the first EP up until now, is that something you guys were pushing for or is it just part of a natural progression?
Jori: Both. We’ve always strived to make better songs with better arrangements. This time though we could actually compose and arrange the songs for two guitars, so we could do all the crazy double-lead stuff we could come up with. We used more time on the vocals in the studio, experimenting with different styles and arrangements until we found the right one for each song. The recording session was very organic and reflects how we make music.
(((o))): Tour wise, with a new record, do you guys have any big tour plans in the works for later this year?
Jori: This year we’ve toured more than ever, concentrating on Europe. We just came back from the tour with Amulet, consisting UK, France and Spain. We’ll do a couple of more shows in Finland this year and then we’ll start planning the next year.
(((o))): What’s been the general consensus out there about Straight Shooter? I’ve read some incredible reviews and rightly so. Would you guys consider it a successful release?
Jori: It’s definitely been a successful release. The response and sales have been good and had a lot better media coverage than the last time. Most importantly, our fans say the new songs kick ass. Can’t complain.
(((o))): In terms of other countries, seeing as the Germans love their traditional styles of heavy metal, I would guess you guys get a lot of love down there?
Jori: Yeah, it’s a real rock star treatment every time. Autographs, people collecting stuff and knowing every lyric to every song. It’s great to see such enthusiasm. It also feels good to see familiar faces year after year.
(((o))): Are there any special edition details with regards to the new record from a format release point of view in the works with Svart Records?
Jori: Nah, just the usual. Different coloured vinyls and a CD, that’s it.
(((o))): Seeing as I have a lot of cassettes and I still often buy cassettes, just because they’re easy to ship, would guys consider ever releasing on that format again?
Jori: Sure, it’s a great format. We’ve done it once, but never saw our cut of the deal though. If the guy responsible is reading this, please pull your thumb out of your ass, it’s been there for about eight years already.
(((o))): Having members in different bands, especially touring bands, how does one juggle that?
Jori: What can I say, we are well organized, efficient and we know each other very well. It’s been like this for almost ten years already, so we know from experience to take the time to plan our shit well ahead. Also when we get together, we get a lot of things done. We used to have practice days with one band playing a few hours and writing a few songs, then changing the guys and doing it again with another band after a lunch break.
(((o))): Is there anything you would like to add?
Jori: Thanks for the interview! Also cheers to everyone who bought the album or came to see us on tour.