All Murder Photography by Rebel Photo
Accomplices: Killa Kassie, Aaron Saye, DisMal Cyanide, Kandy Strychinine, Diana linares, Bessie and Julian Cordova and Angel.
Tell me about the formation of Speedwolf
Reed: Speedwolf started in 2008, when Richie and I started practicing together, after our other bands broke up.
What were the other bands?
Reed: I was in D.D.C. and Richie was in Havok
I killed DDC! You're actually already dead!
Reed: (Laughs) yeah.
Richie: We wanted to start jamming old school Metal and have fun in a drama free band. Jake, Kris and I were in a band in high school, so I called them up and all was complete and musically, we had great chemistry!
What constitutes as "drama?"
Reed: Selfishness, rock star attitudes, egos...
Richie: Band fighting, controlling leaders, managers making decisions - the typical band drama you hear of. We wanted to stay away from that, have fun with friends and play Metal that we liked.
But success brings those things. How can they be avoided? Speedwolf is becoming more and more popular.
Richie: Sometimes they're inevitable, but I'd like to think I've stayed grounded and true to myself and my beliefs. Just because we've become more popular, doesn't mean we have to change why we started playing music and wanted to be in a band. I love music, not for chicks and not for fame. Yes it would be great to make music for a living, but It would be better to have fun and to continue making music that we love for ourselves. I was and still am a music fan. I remember being the ultimate fan boy and bands being dicks to me. I never want to be like that with fans. I respect all our fans and never want them to feel cheated or disrespected. One foot in the gutter, one fist in the gold.
Band members grow apart.
Richie: It's hard to keep four individuals thinking the same way for years, but I think we're all level-headed enough to communicate, remain friends with a smart outlook and keep our outlook and purpose.
How did the band decide the style of Metal you play?
Richie: We all love old school Heavy Metal, Thrash, NWOBHM, so it was an easy choice what to write and how to play.
Reed: We wanted to do something different and more traditional. (We wanted to) focus on classic Metal that was timeless.
What bands from that era made the biggest impact on you?
Richie: Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Venom, Metallica, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Tank, AC/DC, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Diamond Head, Van Halen and tons of Thrash stuff. I could go on and on. Anthrax, Vio-lence, Megadeth, Carnivore, Exodus, Pantera.
Reed: Bands from the early 80's. Thrash made the biggest impact, but I would say Venom, Bathory, Motorhead...
I heard Lemmy is bisexual
Reed: He's not.
How do you know?
Reed: How do you?
Because when I saw them on the Ogasmatron tour, I was standing right next to this hot, biker, bodybuilder guy. I was checking him out all night. When Motorhead came on, one of the first things Lemmy said was "nice body!" to this dude. I thought it was odd he would notice him, instead of all the girls.
Reed: Psh. Don't believe it!
If you want to be considered a Metal God one day, you should be bisexual...and let me suck your dick, Reed.
Do you think Speedwolf has a niche that is otherwise not being filled by other Metal bands?
Reed: I feel like we're a group of younger guys playing in an older style of Metal, which isn't common amongst anyone in our generation.
Richie: We're not trying to break new ground or anything, but we're also not trying to follow any trends, either. We're fast, with tons of energy and aggression, no filler. Just straight head banging riffs and pummeling drums!
Speaking of trends, were you afraid that your style of Metal wouldn't be accepted in this day and age of Metalcore?
Reed: No, we didn't really care what new age Metal fans thought. We simply wanted to make music the way the old Metal greats did.
How did your relationship with your label happen?
Reed: Our relationship with Hells Headbangers started after years of me ordering their records (laughs). I became friends with them and suggested they check out the band I had..
What kind of difference did it make being on this label?
Richie: It's made a lot of difference getting our music and album out to the masses and international exposure.
Do you think Ride With Death represents Speedwolf well?
Richie: I think it represents us well! It's a little more polished sounding than we sound live, but we're figuring out how to record better as we go, that's where we all are a little out of our comfort zone, but I know the songs are great, the energy is there and I'm super proud of that record!
Reed: It was a long time coming getting that whole album together. I'm happy with the way it turned out and definitely hope to continue with the guy that recorded it for us. It sounds live, simple, and not over-produced; perfect!
Reed, you have an amazing scream on "I Am The Demon ." How did that go down?
Reed: I recorded it after the album was done at our friend's house. We did it in his basement, standing in the middle of the living room (laughs)
How did you do it? It was spectacular.
Reed: I don't know, practice...and big lungs (laughs).
Over the years, you've really seemed to develop a great, Metal rasp..
Reed: That's come from practice too...and cigarettes.
Do you worry that smoking will make your semen taste bitter?
Reed: I worry about it every minute of every day.
Gay men seem to love you. Have you ever received a blowjob from a guy, while you were drunk or semi-passed out?
Reed: Goddammit, Maris! You've asked me that question too many times. I'm straight as an arrow! (laughs)
When will Speedwolf record another album?
Richie: We are working on it now. We have 8 to 10 songs pretty much ready to go. We are trying to find the right place to record 'em with the right engineer to record it, but it's all in the works, now.
You've been on some really cool tours. Tell me about some of them.
Richie: The last tour we did was awesome. Getting to play Maryland Deathfest XI and Chaos in Taos was amazing. Touring with Rotten Sound and Abigail from Japan was killer! Also, we toured with Municipal Waste, Napalm Death and Exhumed and that was mind blowing. We also did a west coast run with Witchaven. We love those guys!!
What kind of lessons have you learned about Rock and Roll, from touring?
Reed: We've learned a ton from all the heavy touring. Managing finances just to stay afloat is the hardest part. So far, so good though.Richie: Well, I work in the industry, here at home. I work at three concert venues, so I knew pretty well what to do as a band, a person and performer. Touring with the national acts and well known bands is definitely more business orientated, with day sheets, tour managers, call times, schedules, but I've learned some stuff good from touring and people on the road.
What's your number one thing you would stress as important to a band touring on their own the first time?
Reed: Expect to lose a lot of money, and don't give up.Richie: You got to do it for the love of music, cause all the shows aren't going to be packed. In fact, some of them might suck, but your hard work will pay off, if you do it for the love of music!