Speedkiller is a great old school sounding speed metal band and we got hold of band member Yan N Nielsen who answered our questions.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Cheers! I was born in a city called Goiania, in the middle of Brazil and with 6 years old my family moved to a smaller city, called Três Corações, in Minas Gerais, Brazil, the same state from Sarcofago, Sepultura, Mutilator, etc.
What sort of kid were you growing up? Did you have many friends?
Yes, I had many friends and grew up playing in the streets, playing soccer and skating. Also, when I was 8, I went to the US the first time, so I learned a bit about football. Go Saints!
Were you always into music or did that come later on?
Always. My uncle is a big fan of RHCP, Nirvana, Metallica and the Brazilian band Raimundos, so I've been a huge fan of music since I was 4 or 5. Later I started on metal.
How did you come to discover metal music and then later on underground metal music? What were some early bands you heard and did you get into them right away?
Like I said, I always listened to rock music, so it's not a big step to get into metal. When I was 13, I had a teacher that was a big fan of hard rock and hair metal and he showed me a lot of bands. While I was listening to this kind of music, my friend and lead Speedkiller's guitarist was into Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. After a couple years, we started to listen to thrash metal with the American Big Four and NWOBHM classics. Also German speed metal. Then, Death and black metal.
What made you pick up an instrument and why that particular one? Was the idea at that time to hopefully join or start up a band soon after? What are some of your favorite guitar players?
When I bought my first guitar I just wanted to play Megadeth's songs. My favorite guitar players are Dave Mustaine, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dave Murray and Eddie Clarke.
I know you also sing in the band. What event or events ended up making that decision and who are some of your favorite singers?
We had no choice. There's not any other metalhead where we live ha ha. My favorite singers are Bruce Dickinson and Jeff Scott Soto. Within extreme metal vocals, Carnivore from Cruel Force and Sargeant Salsten from Deathhammer.
I know your 18 years old as we have previously chatted on Facebook. Were you in any bands before Speedkiller?
No. I rehearsed a couple times with other guys but after Speedkiller's beginning.
Have you managed to see any underground metal shows in your short time on this earth? If so who, and how was that experience?
Yes a bunch of underground shows and a few mainstream. Underground just Brazilian bands. Mainstream includes Slayer, Iron Maiden and Anthrax.
Did the coming of Speedkiller come together? How did the 3 of you find each other?
We've been friends since childhood.
Has there been any line-up changes prior to the line-up that there is currently?
Yes, another friend of mine used to play bass but he had to leave the band so we invited Evilspirit for the place.
Tell me about the early practices of the band? Did you start to write originals right away? How long would you say a song takes to come together?
We used to play Iron Maiden and Motorhead songs just for fun, but when things got serious, I made our first song, Nightspell, in 2 or 3 days. Now that we're more interested in making good compositions, solos and stuff, usually I show the other guys a guide guitar and we work on the track until the day that it will be recorded.
I have seen any info on-line about a demo being released prior to debut release. Has there been any demo releases and if so tell me about them?
No, we don't released demos. Just 2 single tracks on YouTube, Nightspell and Midnight Vampire. These versions suck.
I saw some posting about HellProd Productions on your Facebook Page. Did you release anything with them?
They released our EP Midnight Vampire on tape and CD.
How did you end up getting a record deal with the label Edged Circle Productions, who are based in Norway. Did they hear some of your music and they reached out to you? How long did it take to have a deal come together?
They sent us some messages telling about their interest in releasing our music. So we quickly accepted and they pressed our EP on vinyl.
For your debut release, which is called “Midnight Vampire”. How long were you in the studio for recording it? How smooth did things go? Are you overall pretty happy how things went?
We had some conflicts with the guys from the only studio in our city. So we had to record it at home. Total DIY. I learned the basics from Reaper and we recorded within 1 week. The drums were recorded in Portugal. There's a lot of things I would change if it was recorded today, but I'm satisfied with how it sounded.
For someone who has never heard the band, how would you describe what the band sounds like?
A mix between black and thrash metal, with a little death and speed metal. On our next releases, speed metal will be more notable.
Has the band had a chance to play live at all and if so how were those shows for you?
We only played once. We're a bit nervous but everything went fine and people liked it. We hope to play more after the pandemic.
How is the Brazil scene these days as it has brought the underground many wonderful bands over the years and do you have some favorite bands from your country?
It's pretty fine in big cities. In small cities it sucks. My favorite Brazilian bands are Flagelador, Murdeath, Sepultura (until Schizophrenia) and now Evilcult.
What are some of your personal favorite bands that you like to listen to?
Well, a lot. The bands I most listened to ever probably are Deathhammer, Cruel Force, Murdeath, Bathory and Iron Maiden. Also Motorhead.
How do you as a band and the label plan on getting the word out about your release which dropped in late January of 2021?
We have a split/EP already done. Recorded, mixed and mastered. Soon we'll show the world one single taken from it.
If I was a label and you had to do a mini EP of 5 cover tunes, what would they be and why?
Venom - Bloodlust
Murdeath - Presságio do Mal
Flagelador - Anjo Exterminador
Cruel Force - Under the Sign of the Moon
Deathhammer - Deathrashing Sacrifice
Running Wild - Chains and Leather
We already recorded one of them ha ha. Soon we will let you know.
How do you get your fill of underground metal so to speak? Are there record stores that even sell underground metal these days? Are you near any underground metalheads besides the 3 of you of course?
In my city there aren't even regular record stores. Here, besides the Speedkiller members, there's 5-10 metalheads.
Tell me about the Brazil underground metal scene these days. Are there any good bands worth checking out?
Yes, a lot. Evilcult, Krushhammer, Álcool, Murdeath, Schizogoat and a new band from a friend called Matador. They haven't released anything yet but I heard a couple songs and it's killer.
How did you come up with the name Speedkiller and who designed the album cover and logo?
Speedkiller came from a Colombian band called Revenge, they have a song with this name. Jean from Murdeath made the cover art and Wilson from Poison Beer made the logo.
What merchandise do you have for sale?
Currently we have the last T-shirts and a few CDs.
Please plug any websites/social media sites you have.
@speedkiller666 on Instagram. Speedkiller on Facebook.
Yan, horns up for doing this chat, any last words to wrap it up?
Thank you for the opportunity of answering this! Also, my bad for any English error, I'm a bit drunk right now ha ha.
Interview by Chris Forbes