Elvis On Speed - Greasy Rawk From Austin, Texas!

By Jens Hellroute

 They say everything is bigger in the Lonestar state, well, the fat riffs of the new awesome rock n’roll combo don’t come any bigger! Raised on beer, barbecues, fast women and southern boogie hardrock, Elvis On Speed unashamedly celebrates virtues of badass 70s rock n’roll, yet they make it sound extremely fresh and vital to modern ears.

The Austin trio was kind enough to send me their brilliant debut album, and guitarist Billy Leger Jr. offered some insightful answers to what the rock beast Elvis On Speed is all about. Other members include bassist Chris Gillis and new drummer Shawn Alvear.

Wormwood Chronicles: Band history, how did EOS came about?

Billy: Me and Chris have been playing music together since we were 13. We grew up in Labelle, Texas, in a cow pasture. My family was in the cattle business. Most bands were playing country music. There wasn't one single Rock and Roll band. We went through a few bands over the years, then decided to move to Austin. We met a guy named E through a friend of ours who said he could drum, so we gave him a shot and decided he was a good match. After eight months of shows we recorded our first album.

WC: Influences? There's obviously a 70s hardrock flavor like AC/DC and southern boogie rock?

Billy: We grew up on Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, Kiss, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top, Rolling Stones, Allman Brothers, James Gang and Thin Lizzy. We definitely listen to a lot of Deep Purple, Cactus, Captain Beyond, Elvis' live stuff (1970-1977), T. REX and Guns & Roses... you know, Rock and Roll.

WC: Your self titled debut album is a self financed released? Any offers from any labels?

Billy: We did this album completely ourselves. It was the most enjoyable thing we have ever done..... and we love it! Took about a month to record. We basically took a house without any furniture in it and turned it into a pretty kick ass Studio. We never had to leave.

WC: Is it hard get jobs playing 'classic rock' in these 'emo' times?

Billy: We haven't had trouble getting gigs at all. We're High Energy. We think when you play your instrument well and are having fun, people see that and want to be a part of it.

WC: The Austin rock scene... many people will probably namedrop Roky Erickson and Butthole Surfers, how does EOS fit in Austin?

Billy: Austin is a great town to live in and play in but we try to put practice and the music before the partying. This usually keeps us from meeting a whole lot of bands.

WC: Are you still looking for a drummer?

Billy: No. We are very happy with our new drummer (Shawn Alvear). He is a perfect fit for us, and has lots of energy. This guy never sleeps, just drums. He's like Animal from the Muppet Show or something.

WC: Who came up with the name Elvis On Speed, it's both stupid and clever, ha ha.

Billy: Well, it's kind of a long story......We had a different name at first and we were handing out these demos to clubs and the first song on the demo was called Elvis On Speed. When we showed up for our first show the marquee said "TONIGHT: ELVIS ON SPEED", we were kinda like, "What the fuck?" The rest is history.

WC: What covers do you play in your set, or is it all originals?

Billy: Usually only two covers a set maximum. We like to constantly change them. Stuff like “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers” by ZZ Top or “Deuce” by Kiss...etc.

WC: Any hobbies besides music? What do you do for a living?

Billy: We all do something to keep us busy when we are not playing although it usually is totally different. I like to BB-Q, Chris watches live shows and Shawn is always working on his sports cars.

WC: Favorite drink, food, and tv-show?

Billy: Chris likes Lone Star, Gumbo and “The Price Is Right.” Shawn likes Schlitz, good Mexican food, and football. I like Jamaican Rum, BB-Q Brisket, and hate TV.

WC: Future plans, recordings, touring etc.?

Billy: Writing songs for a new album in March and plenty of shows.

WC: Anything to add?

Billy: Three tickets to Denmark!!!!

Elvis On Speed's Official Website