Seven Gates of Hell with SPEEDWHORE

3. června 2015 v 20:21 | RaznAgul |  seven gates of hell interviews
The aim of the open series of the blogzine´s Seven Gates of Hell interviews is to introduce the bands and their music that struck my metalhead´s heart and soul recently. In seven questions, the gates are open for those who make their music of true metal spirit, pure dedication and of what I understand as underground approach and aesthetics.
Today, the gates open for the German metal madness SPEEDWHORE. They came together in 2006, but started poking out their horns in a more active way just recently. Their two last year´s singles paved the way for their fresh, very well-done debut album "The Future Is Now". The band and their first big notch were the themes of my talking to SPEEDWHORE´s vocalist and guitar player Tim.

I. The Bavarian stampeding bitchy beast SPEEDWHORE rolls on thrashing metal path with traces of genre's traditional musical inclinations, but doesn't limit themselves, by far, to chewing over the classics. They are brave enough to venture into the other nooks of metal music and, thereby, win a very fresh and "modern" sounding. Their thrashing is kicked up by the heavy/speed rhytm galloping, darkened with blackish vocals (sometimes pitched-up to the very top of the vocal chords) and, in the unstoppable flow of harsh riffing, once or twice tinted with synth space harmonies. And above all, everything of their music comes out very natural and spontaneous. Every bit and piece of their debut album "The Future Is Now" is incredibly snatching. The fantastic nature of their music might be also due to the variety of metal backgroud of the band's members. What kind of metal music is the closest to you and to the way SPEEDWHORE would like to sound?
"First of all thanks a lot for this interview, the support and also for your awesome introduction to our band and album! It's absolutely amazing to read such words as it shows that the hard work for that album was totally worth it (and it definitely was hard work as this album is a pure "DIY" product).
We founded SPEEDWHORE nearly 10 years ago (time is running, isn't it?) and all of our past and present band members are into Metal or Hard Rock since their teenage days, which are - in my case - the late 90s, when I began to listen to bands like Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult and Iron Maiden. BÖC still is my personal favorite and I guess my love for sci-fi-themed Rock/Metal comes from that. When speaking about inspirations for the overall concept of SPEEDWHORE's imagery I would like to throw in Voivod as well. I always loved how their music, lyrics and artwork went hand in hand. Nevertheless, when it comes to the pure music of SPEEDWHORE, it's getting difficult as it was written very intuitively with a punkish attitude. I was nearly unable to grab a power chord when I wrote my first songs for the band. We had no plan about music theory or even how to re-enact songs from bands we liked. One of the first things we managed to play was Sodom´s "Outbreak of Evil", so I guess throw in the most primitive bands you can imagine from the early and mid-80s and combine them with the bands mentioned above and you get this little bastard son called "Speedwhore"."

II. Listening to your album for the first time, I thought I was banging to the first song for neverending minutes, but then I realized that I am already on the sixth one. The same with the six tracks of the second part of the recording. What was the reason for glueing each six pieces together in such a way? Did you want to keep the metal avalanche intact, without interrupting and thus power up its killer impact? Or was it just for a practical reason to have the two parts evenly split for a future vinyl/tape release?
"It was already clear before the recording where each song will be placed on the album as all songs more or less build up on one another, lyrically and musically, so I decided, in the middle of the mixing process, that it would have an even better effect when we try to let the songs melt into each other. For that we also rearranged some smaller parts of two or three songs. In other words, we indeed had the intention to have this flow throughout the album. But besides that it wasn't planned to do an outro at all, but when I saw, that, if we split the album into two halves for future vinyl or tape releases, we still had 2 minutes left on side B, so I decided spontaneously to write an outro, now named "Wither on the Vine". So, yes to both questions!"

III. Even though I am quite squeamish about progressive elements in extreme metal, being myself of a very conservative sort, I really like the cosmic space-like synth melodies in "Secret Science" and "Wither On the Vine". They fit the songs and are used just sparsely enough not to defile the music's thrashy roughness. Why did you opt for such unusual arangements? What should they communicate to a listener?
"In terms of Metal I'm pretty conservative, too, but those progressive elements, like the synthesizers I put in the songs you mentioned above, are, if used correctly, absolutely able to fit Metal and also more extreme Metal genres. The "if used correctly" is important here, as you can ruin the whole thing if your synthesizer-sound is too digital, modern or just bad. It took me some time to find a fitting sound for the album and if I hadn't, it wouldn't be on the album now. You can't make any compromises here as synths have to sound analog and ancient as anyhow possible without being a foreign object in the overall sound. But it worked out, so I used it as an element to give the album an even more atmospheric sound."

IV. If the future is now, does it mean to you that there is no future in terms of plans, dreams and prospects for humanity?
"There is, for us..., but not for those poor people in our album´s lyrics. The album, of course, is pure over-the-top science fiction, with it's overall theme about alternative or parallel universes and their containing different courses of history, respectively the question, what would have been if the Nazis won the World War II and had the technological possiblities we have now or in the future. I wrote all those lyrics before I knew about Philip K. Dick's novel "The Man in the High Castle" which deals with more or less the same topic. I can recommend that one! To be honest about the lyrical theme of "The Future Is Now", I tried to write a coherent story, but soon found out that it was impossible for me to put the whole story-idea in one album. So I wouldn't consider it as an outright concept album. Maybe next time..., how about "Operation: Spacecrime"?
To come back to the topic... I think if there were parallel universes, although I don't think there are, I guess we don't live in the worst one, but surely also not in the best. Even though my lyrics speak otherwise, I personally think that there are prospects for humanity. There won't be some hippie utopia for sure, at least I hope so, to be honest, but (future) technology surely holds the key to bring humanity one big step forward - not only to make our lives more comfortable but also in terms of social progress. So there surely is a possiblity for a "better" humanity, but will we get old enough to witness all that, if such a thing should happen? I guess not. So, no hope for the currently living, at least when thinking in larger terms. But who knows?"

V. I gobble up some of your lyrics' metaphors. The desperate and hopless wording of the verse "Blood soaked skies, an eternal night, the planet yells in massive fright, evil has taken, taken its toll, we are chosen, chosen to die ...facing the pit" in "The Call" and the imaginative "Symphony of chaos, eternal hell awaits, unification brings a bloody mess..." in "Destiny". These are very strong and mind-inspiring lines to me! Do you believe that extreme metal should be committed to the serious civilization themes? A metalhead's mundane life, individual spiritual insights or just pure metal clichés, what is your stance to these widely prolific themes?
"Thanks, really appreciate that! The lyrics on our album are pretty gloomy, sometimes obscure and I surely wrote them in such a way, because I tried to have a symbiosis between music and lyrics. I guess the album wouldn't be as good if I had written satanic or sword and sorcery lyrics to the music. So, personally I would say that not every lyrical theme fits to a band´s sound, but I wouldn't think in genre-terms here. All those themes you mentioned above have their justification in the whole metal and rock genre, also the extremer ones. It's a good thing that even the extreme genres in metal are able to cover many themes, but as I wrote it should fit with the band´s sound and imagery. Tankard with lyrics about deep individual spiritual insights? I mean, they can write about that if they want to, but not before they empty a crate of beer, please! But what do I know? The first SPEEDWHORE´s song we wrote in 2006 is called "Alcoholic Force", the title says it all..., no gloomy science-fiction here. We haven't recorded it, yet, but it surely will see the light of day somewhen, maybe as a single or for a download, but I guess not on a full-length."

VI. How did you come across Witches Brew label? One of my favourite one in the metal underground, I must say...
"We are very happy to have landed on that label! Cheryl did a great job with the release! Big thanks to her! I guess the first contact was made when Basti, our guitarist, met Cheryl on some festival. We were searching for a label at that time, so Basti just sent her the mp3s of our album and the timing was perfect, Cheryl liked our album a lot and they had a free spot in their roster. So here we are!"

VII. Do you plan to set out on some touring in order to support your debut?
"Sadly, there are no gigs concretely planned at the moment as we weren't able to rehearse for a half year as our drummer lives in another city and additionally had to work on weekends for the last months. Another problem is that we don't have too many direct connections to other bands in Germany and Europe, nor to clubs here in Munich. When you want to be the local support act for a band like f.e. Sodom you need to have connections to the clubs and we don't have that. But nevertheless there will be gigs in the future for sure! And we are also already working on new songs! And if anybody wants us to play anywhere in the world, we will be there for beer and fuel costs! is our mail-adress!"

Thanks a lot for your time and answers! The future might be now, but anyway, I wish SPEEDWHORE killer metal days ahead!!
"Thank you for the chance to talk a bit about the band and the album!! We really appreciate that. I really liked your questions!" Cheers, Tim / SPEEDWHORE


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