1. I believe there’s an ice hotel in Sweden, have you ever stayed there?
Jens: Alright, first and foremost, the ice hotel is a building which is literally made up of blocks of ice. Unfortunately I’ve never been there, but I have been to Kiruna. The town where it’s located. One of the most northernmost cities in Sweden, it’s incredible! Shout out to all our friends from there: Elias, Mark, Viktor, Sampe, Walle, everyone!
Anton: There’s also this video from said hotel where the drummer of The Hellacopters plays a solo on a kit made of ice and then proceeds to smash it with a sledgehammer, haha. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0oeHwNF_54&ab_channel=HellacoptersPageBr
2. Care to walk us through the brief history of Swedish punk and hardcore, what were some stand out bands, any specific defining moments that helped shape it?
Jens: Everytime we talk about the history of Swedish hardcore it feels like someone gets upset hah…
In the 80s we had a lot of influential crust, käng and kinda raw d-beat bands like Anti-cimex, Mob-47 and Totalitär. Of course there are a lot more bands but those are the ones that came on the top of my mind. I really like that style of hardcore but I think the 90s had more bands that are a bit more similar to Speedway. Like the scenes in northern Sweden with bands like Refused, Abhinanda, Doughnuts, Final Exit and Shield. Most of these bands are influenced by metal but I think we share a lot of similar values and such. But in all honesty my absolute favorite kind of Swedish HC is the one I grew up in. 2010-ish to present day. Maybe not as influential internationally as back in the day but it means the world to me. Bands to check out if you wanna hear more contemporary Swedish hardcore: Hårda Tider, Neighborhood, The Hammer, Give Today.
3. How were you first exposed to American hardcore, was their one specific band or moment that got you hooked?
Anton: My first interaction with hardcore in general was through skateboarding and the media surrounding it. I had no idea what I was in for when I first heard bands like Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks and 25 ta Life in the Tony Hawk games, or my first time hearing I Against I by the Bad Brains as the soundtrack to Nyjah Huston’s part in Elementality Vol. 1. I was strictly into heavy metal back then, but I remember just loving how fast and menacing it all sounded. For some weird reason I never dug any deeper though, and it would take me many years before I rediscovered some of these bands.
Jens: Lots of American media is huge in Sweden. We were raised with a lot of American movies, music, video games and stuff. I can’t really recall the first American hardcore band I heard but I do remember the first time I heard Gorilla Biscuits. Mind blowing! I guess there is a reason why they still can tour on one LP and one 7” 30 years later.
4. Top three awesome Swedish things that exist in Sweden that you think the world needs to try?
Emil: That’s a real hard one. Number one for me has to be the Swedish nature. We have a history of being outdoors and there is a lot to enjoy here, everything from arctic tundras and mountains to deep forest and a coast line over 3000 kilometers. Come to Sweden, hang out and hit the trails with us!
Another thing we love here in Sweden is the “semla”. It’s a bun with whipped cream and almond paste and it’s a tradition to eat it on a special day in February here, but usually you try to just eat as many as you possibly can when the shops and bakeries have them in store. Highly recommend trying one! And if we are on the topic of eating sweet stuff I also recommend trying Swedish cheesecake. NOT TO BE MIXED UP WITH AMERICAN CHEESECAKE. It’s a pretty plain and simple cake, but you serve it lukewarm with jam and whipped cream. So good!
Lastly, we all know this but go and listen to ABBA. Just do it.
5. What’s next for Speedway?
Jens: Doing a few shows in Sweden including a release show for our new 7”. Then later on catch us on our first European tour this autumn! To be announced very soon!
Anton: There is also an LP in the works, as well as some very brief plans of coming to the states. Fingers crossed for next year, but we’ll see what happens, only time will tell.