Ramming Speed's Jonah Livingston is Relieved of New Material!

Thrash grind rock punks Ramming Speed have been pounding the highway hard since 2007. Borrowing heavily from d-beat punk's charging rhythm, NWOBHM's twin guitar harmonies, thrash metal's aggression and grind's blinding speed, we have have released one CD, four records, and two tapes on six different labels. Touring has covered the entire US many times over, along with 14 other countries, including the UK, Iceland, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Poland, Austria and beyond. Now that they have gotten signed to yet another label in their books, Prosthetic Records they are hard at work writing and recording for their new label's debut and have a touring schedule set-up as well. Drummer Jonah Livingston discusses these matters and so much more!

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

Jonah: We started playing basements around 2007 just for fun, quickly self-released our first 7” and decided to hit the road. We've since gone through a couple of line-up changes, put out a number of records, tapes and CD's and played shows in over 14 countries. We operate out of a secured compound in Boston, Ma and our second LP is coming out on Prosthetic records this summer.

2. How would you describe your style?

Jonah: At the very base we're a thrash metal band, but there's layers of NWOBHM, grind, dbeat, hardcore punk... It's like a killer mix tape jammed into each song.

3. What lyrical themes do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Jonah: Some of the bigger themes in this record are distrust, control, negativity, and willful ignorance. When Pete was writing his lyrics we spent a lot of time together talking and reading about America's foreign policy, drone warfare, the erosion of civil liberties, human extermination, depression, and racism... Hopefully kids head bang to the riffs and pound beers and all that, but also go through the process of reading the lyrics and starting dialogue about them.

4. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Jonah: Musically, bands like Napalm Death, Slayer, From Ashes Rise, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest.. On the ethical or day by day side of things we take a ton from the “Our Band Could Be Your Life” DIY scene… Black Flag, Minor Threat and all that.

We're just starting to get help from booking agents and things like that, but we've booked hundreds and hundreds of shows ourselves, done our own design work, changed our oil in parking lots, harassed the press, all that shit. If you don't have one band member stressed out in front of a computer and one band member covered in dirt and grease then you're probably doing it wrong.

5. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Jonah: We played at a burrito shop in Maine under our old band name 6 or 7 years ago and after the gig we got all shitfaced and watched Mr. Show. It was pretty much a done deal that night.

6. What is your opinion on sites posting your guys material and other bands material?

Jonah: If we put our music up on YouTube or Spotify I think posting links to those places is awesome and helpful, but torrenting our records isn't really doing us any favors. It's obviously going to happen, and I DO want kids in poorer, more out of the way countries to have access to our tunes, but I'd prefer people check out the music in a way that helps us and our label. It's going to sound and look SO much better on vinyl then it will on a random bootleg stream or download... I hope people appreciate that and are willing to show their support.

7. How do you guys feel about the classifications in metal? like deathcore, metalcore and other subgenres and how some get a negative rep.

Jonah: We obviously have to describe music somehow, but it's cooler when people talk about what they're actually hearing rather than being lazy and using the closest sub-genre.

8. What is your opinion on the current state of metal?

Jonah: I honestly think it's great. Last year had an insane amount of powerful releases from bands like Pallbearer, Black Breath, Testament, Goatwhore, Early Graves, Converge, Kreator etc. On more of the local level we bands like Speedwolf (CO), Mammoth Grinder (TX), Plague Dogs (PA), Natur (NY), Locusta (OH), No Qualms (FL) - all examples of killer shit going on in basements across the states. That's not even touching the rest of the world.. While we’re on this topic, keep an eye out for Meth Valley, easily my favorite new band in Boston.

9. You guys are now signed with Prosthetic Records what's running through your mind?

Jonah: As excited as I am, more than anything I think I'm relieved! We really hedged our bets, spending literally years writing the songs on our upcoming record (“Doomed to Destroy, Destined to Die”) before dropping a shit load of money on recording, mastering etc.. We've worked with DIY labels many times and I'm proud of everything we did for Tankcrimes, Brutal Panda and the rest, but this was created with the assumption that it would be a game changing record for us. It took so much stress and sweat and energy to create and it's an incredible feeling that the work paid off and a big label took notice. Prosthetic are excited for the release and I'm dying to hit the release date so people can finally hear what we've been working on for so long.

10. Do you remember what you were doing or where you were when you heard the news?

Jonah: It's really not an overnight thing, as much fun as it is to think that some guy comes to your show, buys a few drinks and signs you on the spot, this process has taken months to complete and involved probably 50 emails between lawyers, label dudes and us.

11. What do you think these guys can bring to the table for Ramming Speed?

Jonah: Prosthetic offers a huge amount of experience breaking bands and pushing them onto bigger things. We might not have a ton in common with every one of their bands musically, but if you look how far they pushed Lamb of God, Gojira, The Acacia Strain, Skeletonwitch and so on, it’s incredibly impressive. Also, running the business end of this band (booking tours, doing web work, pressing records etc) is basically a part time job for me and this is the first time that I'll have a team of people helping out... for that I'm insanely grateful!

12. Your Prosthetic Records debut release “Doomed To Destroy, Destined To Die,” is going to be released soon. How does it feel?

Jonah: Feels fucking rad as shit.

13. The album was recorded at Godcity Studios with Kurt Ballou and mastered at AudioSiege with Brad Boatwright, what was it like working with these guys and the vibe at the studio itself?

Jonah: Kurt is a really strong leader and does his job with an authority that I really respect. He can be super harsh about your playing if he hears something that can be done better and while it isn't for everyone, I much prefer being pushed hard to perform then work with someone that is nervous about stepping in.

We would joke around obviously, but this was definitely something we had all been immensely preparing for, so partying was put on hold and everyone really stepped up with their best playing. We worked incredibly hard to get to the point of recording at Godcity and while it was definitely stressful, I think it was massively productive. It was probably the most sober week this band has ever had, but now he's kind of fucked because we don't want to record with anyone else, haha.

Brad lives on the west coast so we couldn't deal with him in person, but he was extremely easy to deal with with via email and we were blown away with how powerful his master sounds. It's safe to say he's now part of our crew!

14. This spring early summer you will be doing shows with Goatwhore along with 3 Inches of Blood and Revocation, what is one thing you would like to accomplish the most, what would that be and why?!

Jonah: Just getting the tour offer is an accomplishment for us, once we hit the road that's Ramming Speed's happy place. Touring is what we do best and I'm confident that we're going to have a blast playing to their crowd. Hopefully those kids keep an eye out for the full length when it drops this summer.

15. What have you done to prepare yourselves for the tour?

Jonah: We're currently working on a set list and figuring out what old songs need to be dusted off. Mostly though we have to do the “work” end of things like ordering merch, booking off days, and getting a van all set.

16. Is there any song that when you play it live on stage makes your adrenaline levels kick in and make you want to go hyper?

Jonah: Anthems of Despair off the new record is absolutely of my favorites to play live, it's got a wildly catchy guitar harmony with double bass at the end that sounds like David Lee Roth driving a Ferrari full of Piña Colada flying down the highway.

17. When it comes to performing each and every night does the time stand still or does it fly by when performing?

Jonah: At a great show the set flies by, but if you run into gear issues that's when things start to drag and you realize you're standing in front of a crowd of people.

18. When it comes to a tour what part of the tour do you think your body is already tired and worn out?

Jonah: I'm not sure I understand the question.

19. What has been the most biggest and smallest venue you have performed at?

Jonah: We played a couple of fests in Europe (Obscene Extreme and Fluff Fest) that had thousands of people in attendance. For regular gigs we played with Municipal Waste and Saviours in London and there had to have been around 800 people there by the end of the night. We've also played living rooms, coffee shops, bomb shelters, squats... pretty much every weird and tiny venue you can imagine.

20. When it comes to touring what do you have to bring with you on the road?

Jonah: There are the essentials like a sleeping bag, pillow, toothbrush, iPod and all of that. To keep things interesting I usually bring a briefcase full of Thrashers, Decibels, MRR's, fireworks and pints of whiskey, rum, tequila, vodka, and gin.

21. How many band t-shirts, hoodies, beanies, baseball caps, etc. are in your personal collection?

Jonah: I have no idea.

22. Out of all of the members in the band, who would win in a headbanging contest?

Jonah: Pete, definitely.

23. What is your favorite headbanging form to use whether it'd be during a performance or in the comfort of your own home?

Jonah: The ol' One-Legged King Pigeon.

24. Which of you guys has the longest hair?

Jonah: That would be the king of headbanging, Petey Za Za!

25. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Jonah: Older, more grizzled versions of us today. Eh eh?? Thanks for hitting us up and see you on the road! P.S. Seriously.... METH VALLEY!

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