Interview with Gordon and John from Raging Speedhorn at Sonisphere

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Raging Speedhorn 2014

If you have read many of our interviews, you’ll know its not often that we completely lose our cool when we’re talking to a band. Interviewing Raging Speedhorn however, was one of those life affirming moments for our Lisa. She loved the band as a teenager, and was devastated when they split up. Now 6 years later, not only are they back together, but she is about to speak to them. Here is what they had to say…

 

This is Lisa Fox for Rock Sins and I’m with Raging Speedhorn.

JL: I’m John, vocalist for Raging Speedhorn.

GM: Hi I’m Gordon, drummer from Raging Speedhorn.

 

So… welcome the fuck back. 

GM: Thank you lovely.

 

You played your first comeback show last night in Corby, how was it? 

JL: Amazing. It was a great show.

GM: Yes it was awesome. Best way to come back I think.

 

Was it like you’d never been away or was it new and different?

JL: It felt like we’d never been away on stage, it was honestly like I’d jumped into a time machine and went back to 2002. It was crazy.

GM: I think it’s the best the band’s felt in a long time. Everybody’s getting on, which never really happened that much. And yes everyone just seems to be really into it and up for it which is great.

 

So what inspired the band reformation? 

GM: Well, because I go on tour a lot with other bands and stuff, I just get asked about it all the time, just come on, come on, and then it just, got in contact with John this year and I was like, “Come on let’s try it”…

JL: Called me up, we went to the pub, we chatted about it over a pint. I was like yes I’m up for it, so I said, “Let’s do it”.

GM: Then we asked Frank and Frank was really up for it and the other guys were like, let’s do it so, it was really good.

 

Are you excited to be playing at Soni? That’s a heck of a second return show? 

GM: Yes.

JL: Yes it’s like Sonisphere was like one of the festivals we never played and you know like we’ve played like a couple of times at Download and to be able to play Sonisphere as well now that’s another one of the tick list- you know it’s cool.

GM: Because we know Alan Day as well we’ve, obviously he’s putting this, putting it on. We see him every now and then and he’d say, “Ah if you ever get back together like this, I want you to play it”, so when we did, he asked our agent it sort of just happened. We didn’t really have to sort of try to get on it, it just sort of happened which is really good.

 

Your response is quite humble-but actually everyone is like “Oh my god Raging Speedhorn are back this is the best thing ever”.

GM: It’s really weird because we never thought about it… we never thought about it like that because like we got Damnation festival, that was the first thing that got announced…

JL: Damnation festival was more of an accident. I kind of let it out, because we’d all agreed that we weren’t going to say anything to anyone. Then, by mistake, in a Facebook messenger conversation with a friend of mine who promotes Damnation- I was just chatting with him and I was like, “I might have some naughty information for you soon” and he was like “I want it, how much” and I was like right, you know, he was just straight away like, “I want you play Damnation”. He was like, “I know what you’re talking about”!

GM: When it got released it just went insane straightaway.

JL: Yes.

GM: We, yes, we’re just quite happy, you know quite surprised actually.

 

It’s interesting because there’s a lot of bands from that time coming back now. For example, Sikth have come back and they were equally as humble about it as you guys are.

JL: We come from an era where we had to work you know what I mean, like when we first started and Sikth first started, there were like 15, 20 venues in the whole country. We were literally ringing up pubs and going “Can we come and play a show?” “Oh we don’t put shows on.”

GM: Yes we used to have to plead to them.

JL: If we hire in a PA and lights and put on a show and you keep the money from the bar, we keep the money from the door. We promoted and made our own shows, made our own venues and that, you know, that bought life to the music scene. I mean that’s why bands from our era are so humble, they had to work for it.

GM: I mean I don’t think that, I mean I think now bands do have to work for it but I think nowadays because it’s so easy to, when we started there was not really face, there wasn’t Facebook or anything like that so to promote we had to a tour. What I always think is we’re six guys from Corby who never thought we’d ever do anything like this. We did and now we’re, we can come back and do it again and it’s amazing that we’re doing these sort of festivals, it’s great.

JL: Six drunken idiots who want to write heavy music and go out and tour and have fun. That was it, that was our only goal.

GM: Well I think that’s the thing with us though; we all come from a very working class background and if we ever got big-headed or anything our parents would be saying “don’t ever forget where you come from”. You’re alright going up but you will come down, so we’ve always had that thing of never be like that.

JL: I mean don’t get me wrong if we all of sudden out of nowhere went absolutely massive like Metallica size and all end up being millionaires we wouldn’t change. We wouldn’t be any different we’d just be drunker and more stoned. That would be it.

 

So the burning question, you’re doing shows again, what does the reunion mean?

JL: It means we’re having fun. We’re back and we’re having fun, that’s what it means.

 

Are you just taking it day by day at the minute?

GM: Yes definitely. I mean, I think that’s what we have to do. I mean, that’s the thing that I think broke this band in a way, especially with the original line up and with Frank; because we had so much pressure put on us because we ended up being Kerrang! darlings, and it was so much pressure on us, I don’t think we could handle it, we were on tour constantly and we just ended up fighting and…

JL: Arguing. Without the fist fights…

GM: I think the only person I never ever argued with or had a fight with was you, that’s because…

JL: But we’ve been mates since we were 12…

GM: Yes. Yes. Yes.

 

When Frank left, he put out that it was because he was going to grow up and get a proper job, was that the truth of it?

JL: He wanted to spend more time with his son and his wife. Yes. But also there were a lot of arguments with him at the time. You know. And when he did say that he wanted to leave, for us, because of the amounts of arguments that happened I mean it was kind of a relief. And then he left and we were going through a lot of stuff as well- like record companies and stuff. We were going through all this because we’d been ripped off for so much money by certain people and it was a tough time for the band. We all got to the point where we were like, are we just going to call it a day. And then we decided no, we were going to carry on and we carried on and we had to go out then, with a new singer and promote and tour an album that our old singer was on.

GM: Yes and it was just…

JL: That was a tough time.

GM: …and the singer, Kev, was just, he just didn’t…

JL: Yes he didn’t sound like Frank, his singing style was different. We got him in because we liked his singing style but his singing style was more of a kind of hard-core punk singing style.

GM: I mean no disrespect to Kev, because he’s still one of our best friends.

JL: We still love him to bits.

GM: But, I mean the last record we did, it suited Kev because he did that and I could never see Frank doing that but, yes I think the thing was, our management pushed us really quickly to do it and Kev was always in the background, he was, he’s been our friend for years.

JL: Kev guested on the first album…

GM: So it was always, it was always a thing that we wanted him but yes, it wasn’t Raging Speedhorn without Frank I don’t think. And it’s no disrespect to Kev.

 

No I think you’re right, I think the fans felt that as well.

GM: Yes they definitely did, definitely. I mean I felt it, everybody felt it I think. But it’s that thing isn’t it, it’s sometimes you need change and sometimes change isn’t the best thing but at the time it is the best thing to do. I mean like now, the first practice we had when we banged into a song and Frank was singing it, I was like that’s Raging Speedhorn, that’s who it is.

JL: The second like we finished that first song we all stopped and just looked at each other like “it’s back”. You know, it was crazy.

GM: Yes, there was no sort of animosity really towards Frank. Everyone has to go through it, you know. I mean to be honest with you I don’t think touring was ever a big issue for me. I loved it, and my girlfriend at the time, who’s now my wife, because she was there basically from when the band started doing well, she never complained about anything about me being away, and she’s good friends with everybody so she’d come out every now and then and it would just never be like an issue. I never really cared about it, I loved touring, I thought it was great and I’d still do it now for a job now. I just think the reason why we stopped in the end is because we’ve seen it, sort of…

JL: Diminishing.

GM: …yes not doing as well as it was and I think we did the best thing because we knocked it on the head right at the right time so now when we’ve come back we can do things like this.

JL: If we’d had kept going and ran the name into the ground, you know we would have had way less opportunities than we have now.

GM: And I think it was just the disrespect in the band at the end as well so I think we did the best thing.

JL: We got to the point where we had been playing together so long that it did kind of feel like we were just going through the motions, you know? Every night. I mean don’t get me wrong we were all putting our heart and soul into it but it did feel like we were going through the motions. Whereas now it feels fresh. That little break, six years has done us the world of good.

 

So what can we expect from the live show?

JL: Carnage.

GM: Carnage.

JL: Mayhem. Mosh pit from hell. There will be face stomping. I think it’s a really weird thing though, because we haven’t been around for a while, we’re not worried about it but it’s like, is anyone actually going to come and see us.

GM: Hopefully so.

JL: Hopefully we have a repeat of Download 2005 where the tent was so full that there was a line this side and a line this side of one people and then at the front two people back and the rest was mosh pit.

GM: And my wife nearly died

JL: Every entrance were mosh pits.

GM: She watched us from the tent, and she got dragged on to the floor…

JL: Yes she got dragged down didn’t she?

GM: My cousin last night, he came up to me and he was like, “Some guy

just smashed me right in the face”, and he was like holding his jaw and I was like amazing. He can handle it but so funny.

 

So whats next for Raging Speedhorn?

JL: We’ve got Damnation coming up.

GM: Damnation and we’ve got an announcement on Monday.

JL: We’re doing a 10 date UK tour in December.

 

Are you doing Belfast as well?

JL: January we’re going to do some shows in Ireland

GM: I think we’re doing Ireland in January, that’s the thing that’s what we’re looking for. Because we wanted to do it together but just because of people, work commitments and stuff we just needed to break it up so we’re going to try and do an Irish tour

JL: So it is coming, we know everyone wants it and we’re giving it. We’re giving it, we’re going to do it.

 

Brilliant, so then are you going to write?

JL: Yes.

GM: Yes I mean I think we’re going to wait a bit, but yes I think we will probably, I don’t know actually.

 

Watch this space?

JL: Yes.

GM: Yes. There’s a lot of talk about it so…

JL: Yes.

GM: We just need to sit, we need to sit down and…

JL: We have been talking about it, we just, you know, we haven’t all officially agreed yet… but yes we have talked about it, it’s something we’re considering.

GM: Yes it’s in the motions but we’ve just got to, I think really, I think it’s, when we start, if we do start writing a riff or whatever, it probably…

JL: I think though now with, sorry to sound really fucking cliché, but we’ve matured enough as musicians that if we write a riff and we’re not all amazed by it it’s not going to get used.

GM: And I think now as well, because now Jim’s in the band because of Gareth couldn’t do it, obviously he’s from a band called Charger and they’re super stompy riffs so I can see riffs, if we do it, the riffs will be amazing but it’s just making sure every, what I want to do is just try this new tour thing first and if we all still get on after them 10 dates then we’ll see.

JL: If we get on after these festivals.

GM: To be fair like the last practices and stuff has been amazing.

JL: Our last few practices have been; go to the practice room, run

through the set, so like 45 50 minutes, and then go to the pub for three-and-a half hours and then come back and practice for half-an-hour and then go to the pub again. That’s how we’ve been practising. It’s bad because we’re not actually practising but we’re bonding as a band again.

GM: That’s the thing, I think that’s the most important thing at the minute, just us all getting to know each other again, we’ll be friends again.

 

What have you guys got going on outside of Raging Speedhorn?

JL: I’m in a band called The Death of Us with Jay and Dave who are in the Speedhorn line up. Quite new, we haven’t really done a lot, played about 10-15 shows but we’re starting to get some songs for an EP and then maybe an album. It’s kind of Speedhorny but you know it’s a bit more melodic and kind of epic, big riffs and stuff. I’m hoping that people are going to start getting into that and enjoying that. I’ve just left Extreme Noise Terror, I was doing that. Frank’s in another band called Beast.

GM: I’m in a band with a couple of guys from Funeral For a Friend now but it’s just like a little thing, I’m on tour quite a lot, that’s my job really- touring manage bands, so I’m quite happy doing that.

 

But none of you have become accountants or anything like that?

GM: No. Frank’s in loads of bands.

JL: Yes, and Frank’s a mechanic.

GM: Yes just all of us have got our own thing going on as well, outside the band, which I think is quite good as well.

JL: I DJ as well.

GM: Well Frank’s got his own practice rooms and stuff as well. Jay, he’s a supply teacher.

JL: Music institution.

GM: Jim, he fixes guitars and builds guitars, so we’re all still musically in it.

JL: We’re all busy we’ve all got our fingers in musical pies.

 

That’s good because when Frank left we were envisioning that he was going to go off and work in an office somewhere.

JL: He hasn’t got the brain for that.

GM: I don’t know that’s the weird thing though; Frank’s the probably the most rock and roll out of all of us.

JL: Yes.

GM: It’s insane. I don’t know where he gets his energy, well I do know where he gets his energy from.

JL: Yes.

GM: No, but he’s insane.

 

So on that note, tell me, what is your biggest rock sin?

JL: Rock sin?

GM: You can say one because I’m not saying anything because mine are terrible.

JL: His are actually terrible.

GM: Mine’s a proper rock sins.

 

Oh is it really, it’s not a nice cup of tea?

JL: He got a cock in the mouth in America.

GM: I’ve had it all.

JL:  Yes.

GM: Tables out of windows.

JL: Yes. We’ve done everything. We were idiots back in the day. We done some crazy shit. I don’t drink Ouzo anymore because I’ve drank it twice. The first time we stayed at our accountant’s house down in Convent Garden and I decided to piss through his neighbour’s letterbox, along with Gaz. So me and Gaz both pissed through his neighbour’s letterbox. The second time I drank Ouzo, and never again, I was on my way back from a show in Dublin, just about to get on the ferry I’m pissed out of my mind, decided to dive, face first, down the stairs of the bus…

 

I thought you was going to say off the ferry!

JL: …no, no face first off the stairs of the bus…

GM: It wouldn’t surprise me…

JL: …flipped, landed on my ass, slapped the door handle, fling the door open and screamed at ferry security, “I am the IRA”. Didn’t go down too well. Kind of had a machine gun to my head in about five seconds and our tour manager was having to explain that I was so drunk I could barely even stand up, never mind concentrate on what I was saying, so they let us go.

 

That is some Rock Sin!

JL: Oops.

 

Guys, it’s been lovely chatting to you.

GM: Yes thank you.

 

And please, please, please get back in the studio, record some stuff and can’t wait to see you on tour!

You can check out our review of Raging Speedhorn’s secret set in the VIP area on the Saturday of Sonisphere Knebworth 2014 by clicking on this link. A review of their full public performance will be part of our Sunday Sonisphere Knebworth 2014 review, which will be online in the next few days so keep your eyes peeled! You can also follow the band on Facebook at www.facebook.com/raging-speedhorn.

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