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After a seven year split, Brisbane punk-rockers Speedlab made their triumphant return to music with the release of EP I’ll Mind Tank in 2018.
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Wasting no time, Speedlab are back again less than 12 months later with a new single, new music video and a huge launch show planned for 1st February at Brisbane’s Brightside.
While it’s not uncommon for bands to take a break and then return to the scene some time later, Speedlab’s reunion was definitely unexpected. But since the reunion of what is essentially a brand new band, they’ve exceeded our expectations for new music and elevated themselves to a band to watch in 2019. Their new single, Set Of The Sun, is an exciting addition to their discography and is due for release before the end of the month.
Alongside their latest single, Hysteria is proud to premier a killer animated music video for EP favourite Relapse, animated by Kevin Coetzee. Now don’t let the animation aspect fool you, this video is damn dark and puts a punk spin on a serious issue. While the overall message of the song is pretty obvious—it’s called Relapse, hello—what Speedlab have created in collaboration with Coetzee is a wild ride from start to finish.
The release of both the single and music video is cause for celebration and Speedlab will be putting on one hell of a party at Brisbane’s Brightside on 1st February. As one of the few shows that Speedlab will be performing at this year (more on that later), this is definitely one show you don’t want to miss.
Talking with drummer Alex Flamsteed, we were enlightened with what went on during that seven year hiatus and elated to learn about what Speedlab has in store for fans this year. Whether you’d heard of them pre-2012 or you’re just learning about them now, Speedlab has ensured that what you’re getting now is the best they have ever been.
But what happened during that lengthy break?
“We all sort of went different directions. I joined Guttermouth and moved to the states to tour with them, Dane [Adamo, Vocalist & Guitar] went and did his acoustic show—which is epic he has the most incredible singing voice not just screaming. He worked on that and did a tonne of song writing and Chris [Cox, Vocals & Bass] started this band Hounds, a rock n roll band, and worked a whole bunch on that. Honestly we didn’t even really talk to each in that time.”
As far as where we sit in the music scene in Australia, I don’t really know. I don’t think there’s too much of ‘this’ happening at the moment but that could be a good thing for us.
[ Alex Flamsteed ]
“They were a bit dirty I moved to the states cause that was ultimately the end of the band, but in hindsight it was an epic decision. I got to play hundreds of shows and work my craft as a live drummer, and it worked the same way with the other guys too; they wrote a bunch of different stuff in different genres and I think since coming back together our song writing style has gone to a different level.”
So after a not-so-friendly farewell, and such a long period of time (particularly in the music industry), giving Speedlab a fresh start seems pretty out of the blue. Was this the plan from the beginning? Was Speedlab always destined to make its return?
“We didn’t think so. I thought it was completely done. You know when you’re in a band and you break up it’s sort of like breaking up with two girlfriends at the same time, there’s a whole lot of kinks you’ve got to iron out before you can get back into it. But we were all level-headed people and we were able to sort through our differences and now we’re better mates than ever.”
“The reason I moved back to Australia, I was really missing the opportunity to work on my own music. I needed to hit the reset button and jump home for a bit, and in doing that [the band] kind of reconnected. None of us had played punk rock music really since [we broke up], so we all got over our differences over a few beers and just decided to jump back into it.”
Shortly after their reformation, the Brisbane locals released their EP I’ll Mind Tank sparking interest among the punk, rock and hardcore communities. While there was maybe only a few OG Speedlab fans still around, that didn’t bother them. Their reunion, this EP, the live shows they’ve been a part of, it’s all been to recreate themselves as a band to be recognised and remembered.
But there has been a lot of change in the Australian music industry since Speedlab’s disbandment in 2012, and finding where you sit and visualising where you are heading is imperative to making it, especially with all the incredible talent that’s coming out of Australia.
There was a period where we felt that there was a big divide between heavy music and what mass crowds would be going to see at festivals. Now it’s good to see bands like Violent Soho and Dune Rats at the top of festival line-ups.
[ Alex Flamsteed ]
“As far as where we sit in the music scene in Australia, I don’t really know. I don’t think there’s too much of ‘this’ happening at the moment but that could be a good thing for us. And I think the way music is going in Australia, you’ve got these bands that are ultimately rock n roll, surf punk bands getting super big and I think thats a really positive sign for heavy music in Australia. There was a period where we felt that there was a big divide between heavy music and what mass crowds would be going to see at festivals. Now it’s good to see bands like Violent Soho and Dune Rats at the top of festival line-ups. It gives me hope for heavy music in Australia to see heavier bands at the top of a festival and for bands like us I suppose, that are quite a bit heavier again, it opens up a whole new world for us.”
Not even one month into 2019 and the musical goods are still coming. Speedlab’s new track Set Of The Sun, due to be released very shortly ahead of their launch show, is a standalone single that gives a teasing taster of whats coming in their first full length album, aimed for release before 2019 is over. It’s quick, it’s catchy, it’s head-banging, it’s all the things we love about punk rock music.
“[Our album] is very much like Set Of The Sun, I think the songs just keep getting better though. Everything Dane brings to us is super different every time and I think it’s going to be a really cool album. A lot of times that you put music out you can get nervous, but I honestly don’t feel any nervousness I just want people to listen to it because, and I think I speak on behalf of the guys too, we are genuinely proud of this music.”
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to head over to Speedlab’s launch show, Alex has got some pretty convincing reasons for you to get your ass in gear and buy a ticket.
“We’ve got this incredible cello player called Josh Rivory who is going to play with us so we’ve got live cello (!!!) for a few songs and we’ll have some guest vocalists coming out too. It should be a really cool show and it’s going to be a cool twist having a cello playing live with us. We’re really putting everything into this one show to ‘come back’ I guess. We’ve got a full album that’s written and our focus this year is to record the album, so this will be one of the rare chancers to hear us play this year. Once we put out our album though, we’ll do a whole string of tour dates.”
So with plenty more headed our way this year, Speedlab has made it clear that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Featuring special guests Flangipanis, Pretty Cruel and Dead Yet?, a gifted cello player and surprise vocalists taking the stage, the Speedlab launch show is sure to go off in spectacular punk rock fashion. Tickets are on sale here for the 1st February event at The Brightside.
For more information on Animator-Extraordinaire Kevin Coetzee, click here (http://www.notkevinbacon.com)
FOR FANS OF: Municipal Waste, Outright, Slayer