On January 31st someone posted in the Demolisten Facebook group, “these two tracks back to back are some of the best hardcore in months”, referring to “Make Them Watch” and “I Can’t Read” from their recently released album, Statues of God. One of the comments said the band sounded like The Repos, and these two things combined were enough for me to try out the album. Immediately I was hooked.
I spoke with Speed Plans drummer Justin Danylko to learn more about the Pittsburgh-based hardcore band.
What’s the story behind the formation of Speed Plans?
I lived with Maitland the singer and he hated and still doesnt like hardcore but he loves drinking and Jimmy Buffet so he became the singer. Ralph and I have been in bands together since high school. Will was our original bass player and he recorded the demo then went to college.
We got Ralph’s girlfriend’s brother Twisty to play bass but he was being annoying and refused and wanted to play guitar so we got George on bass cuz he also lived with me and Maitland. They are all my best friends. We’ve played out of town 5 or 6 times in 6 years of being a band. None of the punk rockers in town liked us at all and now like 4 of them do.
What are some of your musical influences?
Tried sounding like Brown Sugar at first but that didn’t work. I don’t know, really. I guess we rip off Jerry’s Kids or YDI or any of the '80s bands. They like to do rock 'n' roll solos on the guitar.
Tell us a bit about Statues of God.
Recorded it originally with Jimmy from Dirtbike but the tape warbled for one second on one song so they wanted to scrap the whole thing but I fucking liked it. So our friend Chrisitan who plays in Alamoans and God Plutonium recorded it for us. He’s very patient, has glasses and tattoos.
What’s changed since your previous releases, More Hardcore (2019) and Field of Vision (2020)?
We're getting better at writing songs. That’s what happens when bands don’t break up. It’s fucking stupid when people say hardcore bands shouldn’t last forever. I mean, they shouldn’t last forever, I guess, if you keep writing boring songs. But if you can keep making shit better, then why would you stop?
What's the story behind Kill Everyone Records?
That’s the label Christian and I do together, he does all the smart stuff and I do all the dumb shit. We put out our bands and friends bands tapes and records and that’s probably how it’ll always be. Like having a child, it can be stressful and unrewarding.
Tell us about Iron Lung Records and they came to release the Speed Plans LP?
They are a punk label that put out the Cold Sweat Blinded LP and the Speed Plans record. I messaged a bunch of labels to put it out and he was the one who said he would do it. I think about him every day.
What are some Pittsburgh bands we should check out?
Alamoans, they are maniac murder music with feedback. Twisty plays bass in that band. Kill Everyone is gonna put the seven inch out. Concealed Blade is one everyone knows, the demo is my favorite music ever made. Better than Minor Threat, YDI, Bad Brains, and Void combined.
Gundy is a new band with young men, it’s like mostly feedback and 2 of the songs are fast, they rule.
How did it go selling the gun on your Bandcamp store?
It was easy.
Statues of God is available now digitally via Bandcamp, and Iron Lung Records had the vinyl, but that's sold out for now.
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