Search This Blog

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Speedways - Just Another Regular Summer

Since the digital release of "Just Another Regular Summer" everybody with the ears in the right place knew that the songs  written by Matt Julian were instant classics. Being the old school type, yours truly was convinced since day one that a physical release was also requested. The wait has been long but is now finally rewarded since the Canadian label God's Candy Records put out some beautiful colored vinyls. Needless to say you should purchase multiple copies of it!

1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The Speedways to introduce yourself? What have you been up to since the demise of The Breakdowns? 

The Speedways are a guitar based pop group from England. The debut album 'Just Another Regular Summer' will be released this month on Gods Candy Records (Canada). It will also be available on Ghost Highway (spain) Beluga (sweden) Crocodile (UK) and Get Hip (USA/worldwide)

With zero contacts and zero effort The Speedways have been played on the radio the world over.
Legendary American DJs Rodney Bingenheimer at Sirius FM and Todd-O-Phonic-Todd at WFMU have lent their support to the band. Mike Rogers has spun The Speedways on InterFM in Tokyo & power-pop Legend Paco Pepe of PlasticoElastico in Madrid has played us many times on his show.
Celebrity fans from the world of Rock n Roll include Protex, The Baby Shakes, Nikki Corvette and Teengenerate to name just a few. There has also been national UK magazine coverage in Vive Le Rock as well as further online radio play across Europe. The songs have only been on bandcamp for 6 months and we've only played 2 gigs, so it's done relatively ok.

2) Why choose a "band" name since this record is mostly you?  Did you not want to release the record under the Matt Julian moniker? Who is playing what instrument in the "live" band?

I felt it would work better if I put it out under a band name. That's all. All the songs are connected - the girl with glitter in her hair is represented by the imagery of Diana Dors and Brigitte Bardot, I'm represented by 'The Speedways' ..that way nobody gets hurt, apart from me. The band name is taken from the Morrissey song 'Speedway'

As luck would have it, 3 of my best pals down in London also happen to be 3 of the best musicians I know. They all liked the Speedways songs so it came together really well. Kris is on drums, Mauro on lead guitar & Adrian on bass. We've had 3 rehearsals and 2 gigs up to this point & are already the best band in England.

3) About the full length record "Just Another Regular Summer",  what can you tell about the recording process? 

I played everything apart from the drums. I double tracked my voice and then harmonized on top of that. It took a few months to get the finished album out for people to hear but the actual recording time was only around 3 days. All the rhythm guitars were recorded first take, every bass guitar part was a full first take. All the keys & percussion were done in a couple of hours.
It was as economical as possible in terms of time & money because there wasn't a full band to share the costs around. I recorded at my mate Tony's studio in Nottingham. He's a lovely chap & we'd usually sit around drinking coffee for the first 2 hours & talk about The Beatles before we actually did any work.

4) Do you consider it should be foolish not to use the nowadays recording technology or do you only work with analog machines in analog studios?

The album was recorded digitally. Fully modern on a laptop and everything. I love the idea of recording to analog but it wouldn't have been practical with what I was doing on this album. I couldn't afford it for a start.

5) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today?

I went through 3 teenage music stages - early teens would be Pop/Chart music + whatever I liked in my parents collection, mid teens was the Heavy Metal phase, late teens was when I started to get into some punk & that kinda thing. The one constant from early to late teens was & still is Rock n Roll from 1955 to 65. My favorite band as a teenager probably changed every couple of years, but pound for pound I'd have to say The Ramones. Three bands that still influence my songs today would be The Ramones, The Smiths and The Ronettes.

6) What are your favorite topics to write about or the topics that come "easily" when you write a new song?

I write songs about disappointment & love. They both come very easily. I actually have very strong political & social views but they don't ever inspire me when I pick up my guitar. In another life I reckon I was a Brill Building song writer with Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin and Carole King etc.. I just feel that love songs are timeless & universal. The Ramones wrote fantastic love songs lest we forget.

7) The Speedways is described as a power pop band. Do you agree with this label? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?  

I think it's a convenient term of reference & it's probably just about right. The Paul Collins Beat, The Nerves, The Shivvers, Teenage Fanclub, Squeeze, The Exploding Hearts, Phil Seymour, Elvis Costello etc.. were all a big influence on what I was trying to do with The Speedways. I don't have a problem with being called Power Pop at all! ..but I think there's a melancholy & pessimism to The Speedways that makes it a little bit different to a lot of power pop maybe.

 8) Do you have a new video on youtube  featuring a track from the newly released LP?? 

Yes, yes I do! Here's 'Tonight You'll Find Love'

I'm very fond of this video. Those kids had a ball filming it.

9) What can concert goers expect at a The Speedways gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs? Will you play some Breakdowns tunes or is this totally out of the question?

They can expect to have a dance & to have a melody stuck in their head as they walk home later that evening with their faith in love still devout. We've already played 'Back Of My Hand' by The Jags and we've also done 'They Don't Know' by Kirsty MacColl, which is one of my favorite ever songs. It'll only be Speedways stuff + one cover per-show! That's the deal!

10) Are there any bands in the UK today you consider yourself close to?

Lucy and The Rats work to the same premise as me that your records should be well crafted & 'radio friendly' ..and then when you get on stage you can turn it up - which is what The Ramones did too of course. That's not an exact science & doesn't apply to all bands, it's just what I like personally.
My other favorite bands in the UK right now are The Cavemen, Thee Dagger Debs and TV Crime - who are all outstanding.

11) 1 album - 1 gig - The End. Is that for real or are you reconsidering this statement now that the record is out?

Well yeah, I made that statement to add extra mystery to the band! ..but I've tweaked it a little bit since. The Speedways have some pretty cool stuff lined up for 2019 and there are also 2 more gigs to play later this year. I also wanna put out a 7" single or EP.  A companion piece for the album.
After that, I'm not sure.

12) Anything you wanna add?

Yeah! Please buy the record when it comes out! and if you've already bought it on bandcamp or pre-ordered the LP or been to one of the gigs - you're a star, Thank-you!

Up the Brigitte Bardot Punks!



No comments: