RAMMING SPEED (Eng.)
– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the RAMMING SPEED’s camp right now?
JL – You’re catching us at a really good time – the new record came out three weeks ago on Prosthetic and we just got home from an awesome tour with Valient Thorr. Tons of partying and drinking and celebratory riffs!
– You are about to release your sophomore album so, first off, for all those who maybe haven’t heard about you yet; could you please share some history of the band?
JL -The quick version is that we started as a bunch of friends that just wanted to drink beer and play metal out of our Boston practice space. Seven years later we’re still going. We’ve done way more touring then is reasonable, playing in something like 15 different countries including Iceland, Poland, Sweden, Spain, etc. Somewhere along the way we’ve released a couple of 7”s, a split 12” with ANS, and two LPs.
– And how could you describe your sound? As you mix a lot of different influences.
JL -Our band is definitely rooted in thrash metal, that’s how it all started for us, but as much fun as it is to listen to different types of music, it’s even better to PLAY different types of music. In the beginning we had a few blast beats here and there, but we started adding more and more of them, putting in big Iron Maiden guitar harmonies and more of all the metal / punk we like. We’re excited by all the awesome things that have happened with heavy, extreme music over the years and I think you can hear that enthusiasm in the riffs.
– As I said, you will soon be releasing your new album, «Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die». What are your expectations on it? Are you happy with the final result?
JL -Dude, we’re SO happy with the final result! Metal is supposed to be ugly and mean, and I think Kurt Ballou, the engineer on the record, did a fantastic job of capturing that. It doesn’t sound fake or computerized like a lot of modern metal, you can really hear us In the room sweating and struggling. We spent an insane amount of time writing these songs, testing them on tour, practising them over and over and over… in the end, I think this is the perfect album for us to release right now and it feels like a new beginning for the band.
– What are your main musical influences? As along with your Thrash basis you mix elements from Hardcore, NWOBHM or D-Beat for instance.
JL – Specifically speaking, we’ve always listened to a lot of like Anthrax and Nuclear Assault and Testament, but to build on top of that bands like Maiden and Priest definitely inspire lots of the guitar leads and solos. We all love lots of the d-beat bands like Tragedy, From Ashes Rise, Disfear, Wolfbrigade and grind and death metal bands like Nasum, Napalm Death, Misery Index, Suffocation etc… Also, some of us came up in the Boston hardcore scene, so don’t be surprised to hear some of that too creep its way in. I could go on and on obviously… basically, punk rules, metal rules, rock n roll fucking rules.. bang your head.
– In fact in certain moments your sound can remind to different bands, but you manage to sound just like RAMMING SPEED. When you formed the band, was important for you to have your own sound?
JL – Thank you so much, that’s awesome to hear! In the beginning we were just fucking around, we wanted to do some touring, drink beers, hang out with each other, but with every release I think we’ve gotten closer and closer to sounding like our own band. It’s just a natural progression, the more songs you write the better you are at writing songs. That might seem obvious, but everyone in the band would agree that this new record is the one where everything finally clicked. This is the record where it doesn’t sound like “thrash part, grind part, thrash part”, it sounds like NEW music.
– And into the digital era, where people have easy access to a lot of different bands, could you say this is something that can make you stand out more easily?
JL – I think having a unique sound will make your band stand out in ANY era. It’s cool that people can now go on Spotify or Youtube and hear almost any band – hopefully they’ll stumble upon us in that process.
– It seems lyrically you are with each album taking things more seriously, so to speak, and digging deeper into social issues. Unfortunately nowadays there are a lot of things going on in the real life to take inspiration from for angry lyrics but, what are some topics that inspired the lyrics on «Doomed to Destroy…»?
JL – Some of the lyrics are personal; there’s one song that’s about watching your friends take the easy way out and give up on their dreams while you keep struggling. This should sound familiar to anyone in a touring band. For the most part, though, the lyrics on the record are based very much in current events. When writing the songs, we talked a lot about America’s use of drone warfare and how fucking disgusting and morally wrong it is. We talked about how our police forces are militarizing and attacking peaceful protesters, and how big oil companies continue to poison our drinking water just to make a profit.
– Musically I’d dare say you have solidified what you did on your debut album, but songs as «Hollow Giants» really break the rule of relentless speed. How was this tune born?
KB – Playing fast is great, but occasionally I like to hear something slower and crushing. I feel like a slower song lets you soak up everything that’s going on with the music and the lyrics. You really hear that note here and really hear that lyric there. And as far as writing something like that, it gives me a larger number of options with which I can play. Which I’m sure is also true of Jonah on the drums. A song like that opens up pathways that this band has never really explored because we’ve never written a song like that before. Plus, having that one slower track on the album gets it out of our systems so the rest of the record sounds more like an army of cocaine-addled wolves that have been drinking all day, rather than a lone wooly mammoth high on PCP and painkillers.
– You recorded this album with Kurt Ballou, how did everything go? I’ve read the truly helped pushing you to perform at your best so, how responsible is he for the final outcome?
JL – The songs were all completed when we hit the studio, so he didn’t do much to change the music besides giving little bits of constructive criticism. His role, besides the engineering itself, was more to act like quality control. If something sounded weird he told us it sucked and to do it again, and if it sounded pretty good he told us it sucked and to do it again. He forced us to perform at a higher level then we might be used to and we’re way better off for it! The playing is by no means perfect, but, as I said above, I like that it sounds like human beings and he did a great job of using that in our favor.
– And what about the production process? How did it go? It sounds even dirtier than on your first records, which fits perfectly your music.
JL – Kurt was pretty much solely responsible for the awesome, gross sounding guitars/bass and huge thunderous drums. We brought in our normal gear and he helped us figured out how we could use it in conjunction with his amps and pedals to get new, gnarlier tones. We got a sound that isn’t too different from how we sound live, but is way bigger and more aggressive than any of our past recordings.
– All this about «Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
JL -Play it loud!
– This has been your first album after signing with Prosthetic Records, which has a really varied roster. How did you hook up with them? And how is everything going thus far?
JL – Our friends in Holy Grail told the owner that we were going to be getting in touch. I sent them our new record and that started a six month long conversation
that eventually lead to the signing. I think we have fairly realistic expectations about what a label can afford to do in 2013 and so far they’ve met and at times exceeded all our hopes for their involvement. We’ve been doing the DIY thing for so long that I’m just happy to have someone that answers my emails when I have a question or concern, but that’s obviously just the tip of the iceberg. Their staff is great and I think it’s rad that their roster has pretty much every facet of metal represented.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
JL – We’re doing another tour with Valient Thorr in September, joined this time by Lord Dying, and hopefully we’ll be able to find our way back to Europe and maybe even South America and Asia sometime next year. Besides that, drinking cold beers, writing new riffs and trying to stay sane on this insane planet.
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
JL -Listen to bands that rule, hug the people you love, swim naked, drink tequila, stage dive more, book us a show in your town!