I had never heard of Speedtrap before, but once I heard their music I knew an interview was in order so here is an email I sent off to band member Jori and here is what he said to my questions:
Tell me about the early days of the band and how it came to form. Did any of the band members come from other bands?
We knew each other from a few years back through the local music scene. I was recording some songs for Pyrotoxic (the band Ville and Markus used to play in) and it came up that all of us would like to play something closer to early 80’s speed metal. I’d played drums in several bands like Nailgunner, Irritate and Death toll 80k, but I became the singer in Speedtrap because there was no-one else. Miika lived next door to the studio, I called him to join in to play drums and so we had a band. Not long after that all of our former metal bands were pretty much dead from lack of inspiration or something else, which left a lot of room for Speedtrap.
How did you come up with the band name and were any other bands name considered?
It’s from the movie with the same name. I’d seen it as a kid and it had stuck. I suggested it to the other guys and they immediately agreed. Nothing else was even considered.
In 2008 you released a demo called "Heavy Metal Raid”. Looking back are you still happy with the way it came out and how was it as a band going into the studio for the 1st time?
Hell no, it’s fucking awful to listen today, haha! I couldn’t sing at all and we don’t sound as powerful as now. We didn’t "go to a studio”, we had an eight-track recorder at our rehearsal place and we asked a friend to use it for us. I think we only paid him some gas money. We just blasted everything together in a hurry and didn’t really worry about it at that point. It was fun though.
What did you do to promote it and at the time did you get to play many live shows and was it all originals or did you mix a cover tune or 2 in the set?
We sold the demo to friends and handed it out at shows and festivals. We did a few shows, can’t remember how many, and we played covers from Tank, Sarcofagus and Motörhead.
Now in 2009 you released "Raw Deal” which was an Ep. Was this something you released on your own or did a label release it? How was response to it as well as the demo?
It was the same recording as the demo, but we added two songs as a bonus from the same session. It was released as a 12” by High Roller and as a CD by Thunderknights. It was received better than we could have ever expected. We were in the right place at the right time.
In 2010 you released a split, with another band called Death With A Dagger. How did you find them or did they find you?
They were our friends and still are. The split was our mutual idea.
Now at this point did you begin to send your music out to labels in the hopes of being signed?
No, we didn’t ever really do that. We had experience in working with the underground and already had some contacts, so we only got in touch with a few selected labels and friends.
Now 3 years later you just released your first full length called, "Powerdose”, which I absolutely love. How did you end up on Svart Records? Did they find you or did you find them?
They got hold of a rehearsal recording we’d done and got in touch with us. We were already familiar with them and their earlier releases.
Now when you went in to record this, were all the songs pretty much ready to go?
Yes, many of the songs are very old. A couple of them were finished in the studio though. It had been so hard to arrange rehearsals that hadn’t even played all of the songs together as a band. It was kind of scary to record them since we went with only blind instinct, but it paid off.
Now, your 3 prior releases are they still available and if they are not, will they ever see the light of day as a cd perhaps?
They should be. The Death with a Dagger split is now released as bonus tracks to Raw Deal.
At what point did you think you found the "Speedtrap” sound and for those who have never heard your music, what would you describe the band as?
I think it really came together on the split album. At that point we really found our combination of speed metal, hardcore punk and rock. We became bolder with our songs and stopped caring too much of genre borders. Most of our songs are still pretty fast, but we can mix it up with very rocking material and it doesn’t sound unnatural.
Do you hope to do any type of touring and how would you rate yourselves as a live band?
There will definitely be touring at some point, now we are just doing one-offs. We are very aggressive and to the point live. I guess our stage look and presence is closer to punk and rock bands than heavy metal bands. We don’t want to give an impression of forced stage antics.
How has the response been to your album?
Very very good. Generally everyone has been stoked about it. It makes us very happy.
Tell me a bit about each band member?
Everyone of us is a music addict of some sort. Ville and Markus collect all kinds of guitar-driven music, although Ville might be a bit more into punk and hardcore while Markus listens to more classic rock and metal. Miika has delved deep into electronic music. I’m into brutal death metal and hardcore. All of us love bands like Manowar, Blood Money, Zeke, Diamond Head and Jaguar to name a few.
What do you guys like to do when you are not doing band related stuff and around how many hours in a given week is spent doing music related work?
Miika is a movie and video game collector and Ville keeps buying records until they stack as high as Washington Monument. Me and Markus lift weights.
Do you ever think that you may get to pay the US one day?
Why not, shouldn’t be but a matter of time.
How is the metal scene over in Finland and do they have any of the big fests over there that I see flyers for all the time?
It’s very strong, both the underground and the more mainstream stuff. Jalometalli is by far the best festival with the most interesting bands.
Please plug any websites and merchandise you have for sale.
You can check our Facebook page for stuff on sale. We’re also launching our own webstore soon.
Any last words to wrap this up?
Thanks for the interview! For everyone reading this, check out our album, it’ll clean your clock. Stay fast and loud!
Questions by Chris Forbes
Answers by Jori Sara-aho (voc.)