Why Tempe Rockers Truckers on Speed Returns to the Stage This Weekend
This is yet another “pandemic” story interrupted“: Longtime Tempe band Truckers on Speed were about to hit the studio to re-record their debut album, No sense in runningin honor of its 20th anniversary.
“At that time, we were just recording this stuff really quickly and we were like, ‘Oh sure, we’re gonna re-record this when we get a label deal and stuff,'” lead guitarist Chad Hines recalls. “It’s a good album, it’s a fun album, but it certainly wasn’t representative of who we were at the time and certainly what we would end up doing.”
The band were rehearsing and had booked a time to go to STEM Recording in Paradise Valley to work with producer and Dead Hot Workshop alumnus Curtis Grippe.
It was the first week of March 2020.
Since then, plans to re-record the album have been on the shelf, as has the performance – Truckers on Speed haven’t done a live show for about two and a half years.
But that changes tonight, when Hines, vocalist Dave Wolfmeyer, bassist Theron Wall and drummer Steve Doerr headline Last Exit Live in South Phoenix. (Local favorites Sliced Limes and Ghetto Cowgirl also feature.)
Truckers on Speed and Ghetto Cowgirl go way back – the two bands performed on the same night each week at Long Wong’s on Mill Avenue. In fact, after being on hiatus for several years, it was the closure of Long Wong’s in 2004 that brought the band back on stage.
We spoke with Hines about the past, present and future of Truckers on Speed. Quotes have been edited for clarity.
For people who may not know the band, tell us about Truckers.
So Truckers on Speed has been in the valley, the Tempe scene, for a very long time, over 22 years at this point. We were at the end of the golden age of the Tempe scene, the golden age of Long Wong. We were lucky enough to be part of that scene with Gunslingers, Stephen Ashbrook and Ghetto as well, which is why this show is kind of fun.
Why return to the stage now?
We’ve come back to it now because, number one, it’s fun, because we thoroughly enjoy it. Truckers is just a fun band. It’s a great, great band to play in. We’ll keep doing it as long as it’s fun and as long as people come to see it.
Any project of new music or revisit of the No sense in running project?
It’s always something we want to do. With this first show, it’s really kind of our first step back to get things going again. It’s so much fun to do this again. It never feels like how much time has passed.
The catalyst for things like that, acting, certainly leads to that, yes. We would really like to make new music and revisit the anniversary release of the first album. The possibilities are endless with new music and new old music.
Why do you think people still like the Tempe desert rock sound?
It’s a sound that is unique to the desert. The Tempe sound, whether it’s Dead Hot or the Gunslingers or The Piersons, Gin Blossoms, Refreshments, us. Even bands from Tucson like Sand Rubies. There is a desert sound that has a comfortable feel. And there were also a lot of really good songwriters, songwriters in that scene who just wrote some amazing tunes. For people who were part of that scene, those songs, it might sound cliché, but those songs are a backdrop to their lives, they’re a soundtrack to what was going on in those early formative years. So these songs still have a lot of meaning and memories for people.
What can people expect from tonight’s show?
What people can expect at the show is a typical Truckers show – we’ve always been known to be loud, loose and raspy and always fun and that’s definitely going to be it. It’s going to be great to play with Ghetto again. It’s like old friends reuniting. We give everything we have.
Truckers on speed. With lime slices and Ghetto Cowgirl. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m., Saturday June 18. Last live exit, 717 South Central Avenue. Tickets are $10 plus fees.