EXCLUSIVE: Speedway Sleeper Performs New Single "Industry" to Celebrate Release of Music Video
by Isaac Kuhlman
To celebrate the release of his new single, Ryan Nelson from Speedway Sleeper agreed to record an exclusive performance video for Powered By Rock to coincide with the release of his new single and music video for "Industry."
You will be able to watch the Exclusive Performance right here, and we will add the music video as well to check out!
We chatted with Speedway Sleeper to get the lowdown on the new song.
Powered By Rock: The new song is called "Industry." What's the statement you are trying to convey with the song? Or is it more the impression the song gives you since there are no lyrics driving a deeper meaning?
Speedway Sleeper: The working title of the song was actually "Murder" because the seed of this song was inspired by the John Frusciante song "Murderers". It's also an instrumental with drum machine, synth, and guitar. I used a similar snare/kick pattern and the single sustained chords that are strummed during the "B" section are also reminiscent of "Murderers". After "Industry" became fully fleshed out in structure, the driving repetition of the drums and the bouncy synth bassline of the "A" section started to remind me of an industrial automated assembly line. That's where "Industry" came from.
Powered By Rock: The song has a very retro 80's beat to it with the drums and synths. Some of your other songs have that feel too, but this one seems more blatantly retro. Was that the intention?
Speedway Sleeper:I don't know that it was intentional to make this one any more retro sounding than any other Speedway Sleeper tune. That style is certainly intentional in this project though. I'm a big fan of a lot of 80's music in a very un-ironic way. I've purposely limited myself to the instruments that I use in Speedway Sleeper in order to create a certain vibe for live performance. It's a little dancy, a little dark, and a little retro.
Powered By Rock: Your music does have vocals at times, but this song doesn't. How do you decide when to add vocals to songs or not?
Speedway Sleeper:I think it's a matter of knowing when to stop adding ingredients to the stew. I would say that 80 percent of Speedway Sleeper is actually instrumental. I like to add in lyrics when I feel they fit but even then it's usually a line or two that are repeated and used as a sort of mantra to propel the vibe of the song. I'm essentially out here trying to make modern elevator music that gets stuck in your head all day. I want people to come to a Speedway Sleeper show and leave humming the melodies for weeks. I'm trying to break people's brains with earworms. That's why I try to keep things simple, clean, and hooky.
Powered By Rock: I think the guitar does a great job of replacing vocals in a lot of ways as it almost feels like the guitar itself is singing. Do you feel like between the few instruments you thread together, the guitar becomes the voice of the music in that way?
Speedway Sleeper:Vocals and a guitar definitely occupy a similar musical space.....especially in terms of what your ear grabs onto for melody. I actually do sometimes feel like my guitar playing sounds like a vocalist in terms of phrasing and note choice.
Powered By Rock: Will this song be part of an album or EP later? Is that something you are working towards right now?
Speedway Sleeper:"Industry" will eventually become part of a song collection. I'm not sure what that looks like exactly yet but I'm sure I'll curate some kind of album down the road. Right now I'm exploring the freedom that just releasing singles offers. It's fun to record something in my studio and get it out to people quickly. I want to be prolific and offer people new material on a regular basis. The best way for me to make that happen is with singles at this time.