The Speed Of Sound, an underground quartet in their fourth decade of existence, released a double single on Big Stir Records on the 4th June 2021. The band, formed of John Armstrong (Songwriting/Guitars/Vocals), Ann-Marie Crowley (Vocals/Guitars), Kevin Roache (Bass) & John Broadhurst (Drums), are unleashing two tracks which display their love for Science-Fiction and the ability to diversify with a Gothic piece of music that displays a more tender side to them than their fans may be used to. With the release of their new track The Fountain caught up with the band, who spoke with us about their new music and missed venues.
TF: You have a new double single out, what has the reception been like to Replicant/The Melancholy Rose?
Reception has been good thank you; all very positive. People seem to like that the two songs are very different form each other.
TF: How would you sum them up in one sentence?
Replicant is about the way people become absorbed into corporate entities and follow scripts unthinkingly; its as though they’ve been programmed as cyborgs, it has a very bouncing, decidedly un-robotic groove. Whereas The Melancholy Rose is far more relaxed and very much about sound and feel, creating the sense of an open, shimmering summer while the lyric says don’t be afraid to stand alone and do your own thing.
TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year?
We have an album out in the autumn called Museum Of Tomorrow; it is at the vinyl pressing plant now and the test pressing sound superb. There will be a very limited coloured vinyl run as well as the black, all they vinyl is ‘deluxe’ with a stack of extras with it. There’ll be a CD version too and of course the digital option as well. It has thirteen tracks and frankly any of them could have been singles, but they’re all fresh, new and album only – particularly with digital it seems wrong to load an album up with singles to get people to buy the same stuff twice. We don’t want to do that and it has the organic feel of a proper album rather than just a collection of songs. Hopefully it should give us plenty to do in the tail of the year!
TF: How did you all come to meet and form The Speed Of Sound?
A bit like the Magnificent Seven we joined one by one; the band started way back in 1989 (the album will be out on the 32nd anniversary of the first release). Its natural for line-ups to change over that length of time, I’d been playing with Kevin off and on since the early 1990’s and he stepped in on bass a long time ago, we knew Ann-Marie from another band we had gigged with and she joined us six years ago. After our previous drummer left we spent a year looking for the right replacement, carrying one with various stand-ins we knew and eventually John arrived, he’s the perfect fit and has been with us since 2018. The newest aspect is my son Henry adding the previously absent element of keyboards and he started doing that in ‘19.
TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?
We had a residency at the Kings Arms in Salford and played A LOT of gigs there so that began to feel like home, I do like the unusual venues we’ve played at (Art Gallery, Library, Museum, inside a 19th century novelist’s house…) and it would be good to add some more of those to the list, plus playing outside the UK is addictive… However, the ‘current situation out there’ does make things rather ‘fluid’ at the moment, so we’re not making any gig plans for 2021. I know people who’ve already had to move their upcoming dates four or five times (so far) and it seems we’re all better off waiting for it to settle down and then see which venues are still there. Hopefully we’ll know what we’re looking at when we get into 2022 and can get some proper plans drawn up.