The Speedbumps are an award-winning American band with a warm, authentic sound, built on a passion for hollow-bodied instruments, indie-folk influences, and singer-songwriter Erik Urycki’s breathy, commanding vocals and canny phrasing. The band’s roots lie deep in the Rustbelt, where quiet strength and limited embellishment define the culture. The working class towns around Akron, the former rubber capital, from which artists like The Black Keys, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and Joseph Arthur have emerged, have provided the band with an aesthetic that seeks to tease out beauty from the gritty details of everyday life.
The Speedbumps have won IMA and AMA awards and have performed with artists including Andrew Bird, G-Love and OKGO. You can catch them this Friday at MOTR Pub with Jim Casto!
We sat down with Erik Urycki prior to the show!
The Speedbumps have played with some impressive artists. What is a favorite memory of one of the performances?
All of those shows kind of blend together. I remember enjoying playing with Andrew Bird but that might be because I like him as an artist so much. Playing with G-Love was great too. We had to soundcheck after them and they set up the band’s catering in the theater so while we were sound checking, G-Love and his crew were eating dinner. Probably the coolest dinner show we ever played.
What can one expect at a live show?
We really try to make every live show a little different. So you never really know, but the foundation of the band is always the same. Orchestrated strings, dynamics, harmonies. We are chill but in an interesting way I hope. Our influences range from classical music to rock n roll so it ends up being a really eclectic set.
Tell us about your writing process.
Well I write the songs generally. Sometimes Abby Luri co-writes with me, she’s great at writing vocal melodies and seeing the song in a different way. From there we bring it to the band and we really mold the sound together. Its a collective arrangement.
What is next for The Speedbumps?
I know we are going to be on the road for the first half of 2016 and I have started working on the beginnings of what will be a new record. We just have to see how the year plays out but I hope we get the chance to come to Cincy more than once next year. We really always have a great time in that town.