By Henry Shorr
Speedo Agreedo has been playing shows in Youngstown since 2016. After years of work, they have put out their first album. The self-titled album “Speedo Agreedo” released Dec. 7, 2022.
Mike Leko, a senior accounting major at Youngstown State University, started the band in 2016 with friend and bassist Mike Wagner. Wagner explained how the band started as Leko’s outlet for music he wrote.
“This is all Mike Leko. Like, he wrote all of this music. This is his baby, you know what I mean? Like, I just got mad love for my boy,” Wagner said. “We’ve played together, had been working on music together, and when he came to me — it was probably 2016 — to say he needed a bass player for his band. I basically picked up the bass when I didn’t play bass before.”
While the band has been playing shows locally since 2016, the current iteration of Speedo Agreedo has been playing together since 2018 when Kenny Orf took over on drums.
Leko said their first album was a project that took years to finish. They started recording before 2018, prior to Orf joining them and have spent the past few years mixing and mastering the record.
“[We started] probably, like, a year and a half into our existence. We had all the songs and then yeah, we started recording then,” Leko said. “It took us about a year and a half … and, you know, the mixing and the mastering probably didn’t take as much time as we took to do it, but it’s done now.”
“Speedo Agreedo” is a 12-song album including songs like “Brother,” “Gone Fishin’,” and “Hot Shot.”
Leko, Wagner and Orf all said they love all of their music but each said they had different favorite songs to play. Leko said he likes playing “Hot Shot” and “Call Me” because they are newer songs and still novel to him.
Orf said he loves to play “Brother” on stage and Wagner said “Creepin” is his favorite.
“I start off [“Creepin”] live with, you know, just a little riffing. And so there’s a lot of powerful stuff that goes on that isn’t on the album,” Wagner said. “My favorite song to listen to is “Hot Shot,” without a doubt. Funnily enough, I had nothing to do with it being the first track released.”
Leko is already thinking about the future of the band and what their next steps are. He said they are already looking toward their next release.
“[We’ll] start working on album number two. Like we got a bunch of songs already, like, in our set that we play that aren’t on the record and then we got some that are still, like, being written and everything and being worked on,” Leko said.
Orf added they are throwing around the idea of their next album being a live album.
As for what lies beyond their next album, Leko said he’s not too concerned with planning so far ahead.
“I don’t know. I mean, like, it’s all very fleeting. Life is very, you know — I’m just happy to be taking it one day [at a time]. I’m not a long-term guy,” Leko said.
Speedo Agreedo’s album is available to be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music. It will play its next show at Westside Bowl with the band Sedona on Jan. 14.