Getting Weird – A quick chat with thrashcore merchants RAMMING SPEED!

Home Interviews Getting Weird – A quick chat with thrashcore merchants RAMMING SPEED!
This Article Is Brought To You By : Give Praise Records
Written By: Josh Mosh
Jan 04 2012

band portrait of Ramming Speed by Angela Boatwright

RAMMING SPEED has pretty much been on the road solid since 2005. They have crisscrossed the US several times and even done some foreign policy relations with 14 other countries. During this time they have hit the asphalt with the likes of MUNICPAL WASTE, SAVIOURS, CANNABIS CORPSE and more! With a foundation of d-beat and crust punk they accent it with a nice layer of thrash drawing inspiration from the likes of NUCLEAR ASSAULT, DRI, TERRORIZER, DISRUPT and even TRAGEDY. So crack a cool one or spark up the bong and enjoy a quick read with heavy weights RAMMING SPEED!...

ThrashHead: You've gone through some lineup changes recently. Who is currently in the band?

Ramming Speed: Currently it's Pete, Kallen and I as original dudes and the new guys are Blake from Bones Brigade, Coctopus and Concussion, and Ben who also plays in Thunder Motherfucker

ThrashHead: Touring can be tough...What were some of the reasons behind the roster change?

Ramming Speed: We've lost three guys over the years and It's mostly been due to the financial battering of being on the road. Being in even a semi-full time band you might have to sacrifice pursuit of a college degree, having any real income, attempting a serious relationship etc... on top of that touring can be extremely tough and it's not for everyone. I was really bummed out over losing the last two guys, but now that we have our new line up tour tight and kicking ass I feel so good about the changes! The new blood has helped us push our show to be even more energetic and has added a new dynamic to being on the road. This is the life I chose and It's a pleasure having good dudes headbanging on stage in front of the drum kit. Can't wait to get dudes into the studio!

ThrashHead: You recently inked a deal with Emperor Cabs. Can you elaborate on that?

Ramming Speed: It's nothing super official, they offered us an artist discount on their custom cab's and it was something our dudes couldn't pass up. We're currently touring with an Emporor 4x12 guitar cab along with a 1x15 and 4x10 bass cabs. We'll be getting another guitar cab to finish out the switch over sometime after we get home. The new gear sounds super heavy and fat and it's great having a company like them behind us.

ramming speed live

ThrashHead: Boston has unleashed some amazing hard rock, punk and metal bands on the world (Aerosmith, SSD, FU's, Toxic Narcotic, Shadows Fall, etc)...Why do you think that is?

Ramming Speed: I'm not really sure honestly. Boston has always had a rock and roll scene.. a lot of the "pro" bands form here because of the Berklee College of Music and as far as punk and hardcore it seems like the city has always had a great basement show/DIY scene. With so many college kids and shitty houses, there are always at least 1 or 2 basements you can play. A lot of the punks come from central or western MA, New Hampshire, Vermont... pretty much if you're into loud annoying music and live in the New England area you're going to come to Boston to start your band. On top of that this area was very puritanical for a long time with old money and Christian weirdness that probably led a lot of the early hardcore punk bands to want to push back.

ThrashHead: With so many rad bands over so many years coming out of Beantown is there any support from one scene to the next or does each scene kind of exist separately from each of the others?

Ramming Speed: Most of the different scene's honestly stick to themselves. When there is crossover it usually rules, but a lot of the time bands only like playing with their friends and keeping things insular. Kids that go to clean smell good hardcore shows might not go to dirty hardcore punk shows, and dudes that are into death metal might not support the thrashier bands. T'he only cool thing about it is that you can play four different shows in Boston to four completely different crowds. This year we played an outdoor indie rock fest, punk shows in basements, metal shows in bars etc.. There are some promoters and bands that try and bridge the gaps in the city and when it works it rules.

ThrashHead: There is a hardcore punk /d-beat sorta crust influence to your music but the real driver seems to be the Thrash metal. Considering the various sounds and scenes in Boston where do you feel Ramming Speed fits in?

Ramming Speed: We don't really fit in with any of the scenes exactly, but like I said above it's cool that we can rock with the hardcore kids, punks and metal heads.

ThrashHead: I'm sure you have covered this several times but I never understood exactly what happened...Tell me about the kidnapping the band was charged with (charges were later dropped)...

Ramming Speed: Ah man, we have some dumb tour stories, but this one really takes the cake. We had a super long drive up I-5 in California and were all bumming out about a string of shows getting canceled. Our bass player at the time was bored and starting making signs to put in the window, like "Call me!" with his phone number and "This man has no balls" with an arrow pointed towards the driver. None of us realized that he made one that said "I've been kidnapped, call for help" and fell asleep with it in the window. Apparently a cop saw the sign and took it at face value. They set up road blocks and like eight cop cars came tearing in from all directions. They pulled us all from the van, cuffed us and held us at gunpoint while searching the van for a child that didn't exist. We didn't really have any idea what was going on until the Sargent held up the sign that says "This man has no balls" and started screaming "DO YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY" before putting it in an evidence bag. We ended up getting everything worked out, but it took a bunch of time and money. The DA told us to never come back haha. Fucking ridiculous.

another band portrait from the photographic sessions with Angela Boatwright

ThrashHead: Do you think thrash is at risk of burning itself out again like it did in the early 90's?

Ramming Speed: In terms of record sales and commercial success I think the new wave might have already burned itself out... It's funny how quickly it went from "Thrash is back!" to "Thrash is getting old, Again!". I think like with any genre, the freshest and most driven bands will survive trends and keep on doing their thing. As for our band, we started by doing fairly straight forward punky thrash, but over the years have morphed into quite a different beast. We're all widely excited to get our next full length out as it's going to be the first record where we really sound like our own band and not as much a sum of our influences. Instead of a dbeat song into a thrash song into a grind song, it's more playing all of these things at once and seeing what comes out.

ThrashHead: You done some great splits and toured with some kick ass bands. What was your most memorable tour, who was it with? What kind of road madness can you share with our readers?

Ramming Speed: We did great tour a few years ago with our friends in Battlemaster from Richmond. The shows weren't all incredible or anything, but they are easily one of the most underrated metal bands right now and we made some lifelong friends from partying, camping, and shredding our way across the country.

Last year we were very lucky to get invited out with Municipal Waste, which proved to be a learning experience as well as an excuse to drink across Europe. The level that they are on works in much different ways from the DIY scene, so we got to see what it was like hangin' with the big boys. On that tour we met Saviours who are the hardest partying band on the planet and turned out to be great dudes to boot. That led us to the run of shows we just finished doing with them, and again I think we've come out of things with some lifer type buds. Not only are those guys one of the hardest working bands around, but they're riffs and solos are jaw dropping.

As for madness, every tour has its disasters and moments of triumph. A couple of days in Reno we got all weird at our all ages show before heading to a bar where two girls were fist fighting and the bathroom party was raging harder than in the main room. At 2 or 3am we went to the Cal Neva Casino, played Black Jack for an hour or so and on a whim grabbed a hotel room with a couple of the Saviours guys and their roadie Jake for partying till the sun came up.. at some point one of our guitarists got locked out of the room half naked and started screaming until the neighbors came out to check on him. He was standing there waving a knife around completely blacked out haha.. I can't imagine why they didn't call the police!

ThrashHead: Closing comments?

Ramming Speed: It looks like we're going to be recording our new full length in March which is so wildly exciting I can't even explain it. We've been a band for around six years and despite a fair amount of output recording wise, we only have one full length, which at this point is fairly outdated.

The new songs are a natural progression of the stuff we hinted at on the Brainwreck LP, ADNS 7" and ANS split, but they pump everything up with steroids. The guitar harmonies are even shreddier, dbeat parts heavier, rock n roll riffs pushed right to the front and all with the grinding and thrashing we've done for years. We don't have a label currently so we'll be sending it around as soon as the mix is done and we'll see what happens!

Thanks a ton to you and all the Thrash Head staff and thanks to everyone that partied with us on the winter tour! Cheers!

Ramming Speed @ Strange Matter by tacobellistani

Ramming Speed - Tour Update # 3 - Tankcrimes by BlankTV

"Tyranny of Tradition is the only place to go to for articles about Unblackened Yachtcore and Albanian Symphonic Proto-Power Violence." -Mahatma G
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