London powerpop stars THE SPEEDWAYS will be joining us for our Vive Le X-Mess bash on 6th December. Currently playing their first ever dates in the US, and with a new career-spanning compilation in the racks, Vive Le Rock caught up with guitarist Mauro Venegas to find out how their year's been going....

2023 has been epic for the Speedways. You've played everywhere. Any
particular highlights?

It's been a pretty good year, looking back! First time playing France, Portugal, Norway and Belgium. Our best Spanish tour yet. And of course, our first ever shows in the US! But I think we would all agree that the show at the Funtastic Carnival in Spain earlier this month was the best show we've ever played. The atmosphere was just amazing, and the band was well up for it.

And you've just released a mighty fine album too. Did it come together

Well, the idea to re-record a few of our favourites off the first album (which was recorded pretty much solo by Matt before this line-up came together) had been around a while - from there it became an idea to make it a full-length compilation album, partly as the Radio Sounds album is now out of stock and partly due to more people in different countries getting to know us now. Some songs have been freshened up with a remix or remaster. The tracklisting wasn't too difficult, a couple of other songs were thrown into the mix but in the end it was mainly the ones that go over best live.

You have a unique power pop sound. For readers who don't know you, what
sort of bands influence the Speedways?

The Ramones, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Ronettes, Exploding Hearts, Hanoi Rocks, The Replacements, Stiff Records, Bomp! Records.... Obviously we all love a lot of what we would call classic power pop like Cheap Trick, The Cars, Elvis Costello etc, but on the last album we chucked a whole new load of influences in from Thin Lizzy and Blue Oyster Cult to Motown and Prince. Hard rock, soul, postpunk, synthpop, British Invasion, girl groups - between us we cover a lot of bases, taste-wise!

And now you are off to tour America. That must be a dream come true.

Too right! It's quite a big undertaking for a DIY band like ourselves. It'll be interesting to see how the touring scene over there compares with how it goes in Europe! We'll be touring with The Whiffs, who are one of our favourite bands at the moment, so it's a great match-up.

Finally, you are playing Vive Le Rock's Christmas bash. What can we expect??

It'll be a great way to round off the year, and the band has never played Water Rats before. I expect we'll be in festive spirits, haha!

The Speedways' Triple Platinum is out now!


Vive Le X-Mess is on 6th December at The Water Rats, Grays Inn Road, London, also featuring Desperate Measures, The Priscillas and The Electric Shakes.

Tickets on sale here!

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