Interview: Speech (Arrested Development)
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Speech: I used to love watching the Jacksons on Saturday mornings! I knew then the I wanted to get into music. But it was at 13 years old that my dad’s nightclub taught me the power of music on peoples moods and lives. I became a DJ there, and that was my true beginnings. If I wasn’t a musician I would PROBABLY be a teacher. I love to teach.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Speech: I love taking walks in nature. Watching movies and going out to eat.
How long has your band been around?
Speech:Arrested Development started in 1987.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Speech: I’m based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I think being a mid-westerner made me more open to many styles of music. I wasn’t stuck in East or West coast devotions.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Speech: The name stands for halted growth, which we believe is status of too many of our people and our culture. We used it as a constant reminder of what we’;re fighting against.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Speech: My favorite show ever was performing at the 20,000 seater venue in my hometown, Milwaukee. I grew up watching bands play there and now we’re heading at the same iconic venue. Plus we flew a private jet to the gig, that was a first for us as well.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Speech: I love Red Rocks in Colorado because of the natural surroundings, plus I’m a huge fan of outdoor venues anyway. I love to do Madison Square Garden just because of the historical nature of that venue.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Speech: That’s a great question. I am a huge music fan and love tons of artists but ironically I don’t really have a dream line up. Maybe: the 5th Dimensions, Arrested Development, De La Soul, Bob Marley and Sly Stone. LOL
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Speech: I always tell people to BE THEMSELVES! We want to hear your originality, not a carbon copy of someone else. I’d tell my younger self, to enjoy life, breathe more and take your time musically. No rush.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Speech: Take your time. Enjoy your life.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Speech: Tennessee. I lost my grandmother and brother in the same week and that song was written because it was the last place I saw them both.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Speech: My favorite changes all the time and depending on the audience. Some favs are: People everyday, Inner city and mamas on stage. Our biggest hits are most requested. People Everyday, Revolution, Mr Wendal and Tennessee.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Speech: Living regular life helps me to create and write new music. As a band we do a lot of writing via internet files being passed around. It’s become the most convenient way to create together.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Speech: Love, self-determination and overcoming hardship.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Speech: Definitely, lately we’ve gotten way more mature and able to bounce back very quickly. Communication goes a long way!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re celebrating our 30th year anniversary of our debut album “3 years 5 months and 2 days in the life of… plus the success of our new album “for the FKN love! Which our first single went to #1 in Canada’s hip hop charts! We’re doing a world tour!