| Band: The Raygun Girls|
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
The Raygun Girls is a guitar-driven, head-banging group from New York influenced by Killing Joke, Ministry, Type O Negative and 69 Eyes. The sound has been described as Type O Negative gone Industrial, with AC/DC on guitars.
In early 2000, Geoff and, founder and former member, Jamie were members of a Heavy Metal band, Desvio. As recording technology became more accessible on the computer, Geoff and Jamie decided to try and remix one of DesvioÕs songs, ÒPrecious.Ó The sound and experience was so incredible that they decided to write more songs in that style. The Raygun Girls was born.The Raygun Girls Website The Raygun Girl- Accelerate MP3
1)What the name of your band and Who the current members?
The Raygun Girls.
Geoff: guitars, vocals
George: bass, backing vocals
2)How did you become connected to make music?
I've always been attracted to the guitar. I have a picture taken of me when I was 1 with a guitar on my lap. It was when I started to listen to the Ramones, in High School, that I realized I didn't have to have the fast moving fingers and play speed solos. It was when I discovered Soundgarden that I learned about Dropped-D tuning, and have never looked back. It was when I heard the Sisters of Mercy, Killing Joke and Ministry that I knew the kind of Rock 'n' Roll I wanted to make.
3)What are your musical influences?
Killing Joke, Ramones, Rammstein, Sisters of Mercy, Clutch, Lords of Acid, AC/DC, The Cult, Motorhead, Ministry.
4)What is your live show like?
We may only be three people up there, without a drummer, but it's a damn energetic show. We pound out a powerful mix of emotion, energy and slamming music.
5)Tell us about your own unique style of music?
Because of my strong influences from the Gothic, Industrial, Punk and Metal scenes, the music is a true blend of all of them. Each song we write is different, but there's the unifying sound of my guitar playing. I play guitar as a bass player would... And our bass player plays like a rhythm guitarist... So you have a great crunching sound which is balanced by the keyboards and female vocals.
6)What serparates your band from all the other bands out there?
Our songs. They're catchy, and easy to groove too, but they're not boring or the same as everything else out there. Sure, I can say who we've been compared too, but our comparisons run the gamut. We've been compared to A Perfect Circle, Rob Zombie, Sisters of Mercy, 69 Eyes, Rob Zombie, Lacuna Coil, Type O Negative.
7)How do you go about writing songs?
We have a full length album out, which was written before the live band was put together. The album was written with a former partner/member, Jamie Lendino. He would lay down a beat on his computer, I would jam out a few riffs, and we would cut and paste. Then he would add keys, I would add vocals. We would give the songs to our former female vocalist, and she would figure out what parts she should sing. Now, I write the music/lyrics and bring it to George and Maya for input- on song structure, notes, feel, lyrics. And then we get a song.
8)Pick one of your latest song and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?
"Can't Die Now"
Written quickly after a tough spot when it seemed the group was about to break up a couple of months ago.
Meaning: pretty straight forward. I can't die now. If the band breaks up, I can't do it on my own... And I can't NOT make music. We've started performing it live, but George has brought up some ideas on how to change it some. We all think the chorus is amazing, and not in the song enough, so we have to figure out a way to add it to the end of the song, without losing the momentum of the gigantic end section. It hasn't been recorded yet, but when we do, I see the challenge being balancing out the rising string volume with the guitars and the vocals, so that it doesn't sound like mud.
9)What is your latest news with the band?
We've got some great shows coming up. We've been added to AFB Promotions' 2005 roster.
10)Where do you hope to be in 5 year with your band?
Touring, and making enough money to be able to live off of the music.
11) How are people currently reacting to your music?
We get a great response everywhere we play. We're tight with great music. We always get people we don't know coming up to us as we're packing our equipment to compliment the music. And they always wonder if I've got an effect on my vocals... Nope... Just me.
12) What would be the top 3 reasons for listening to you music?
1) It's got great beats.
2) Each song offers a different experience.
3) Got great vocals with understandable lyrics that you can sing along to.
13) What is your best experience as a band?
7/19 at a Battle of the Bands. We had an enormous stage, and gave it our all. It was the best show we've performed yet.
14) What is your worst experience as a band?
Because we don't have a drummer, we have our drums and keys on an IPOD, which we've got backed up with a CD player... Just in case. We started a Wreck Room (NJ) show with the IPOD. We're almost done, getting a great response, and the Ipod crashes... And I had forgotten to set up the CD player. So George, who's in charge of stopping the songs when they're done and forwarding to the next one, had to go off the stage into our equipment and find the CD player.
15)What is most important to you in your band?
Having fun while making great music that moves people.
16) Do you have a personal favorite song?
My favorite to play is "I'm Cursed," which, incidentally, is the only song we have that wasn't written by me. George wrote that song when he and I were in a heavy metal band. "I'm Cursed" is a great moching tune (I know the goth's don't mosh... But I do... Sorry). It has a great build up with strings that I added for the Raygun Girls version.
17) What was the hardest song to write and why?
One that I'm writing now. Because I feel I've run out of words... Which really isn't true, I just have to warm up. But I'm writing it for Maya's voice. Trying to put words into someone else's mouth is tough.
18) What do you think of the current gothic/ EBM/ Industrial/ noise/ synthpop etc scence today?
It's too complicated! I remember when Industrial meant Ministry, and Gothic meant Siouxsie and the Banshees... What happened? When did all of these differences occur? I need a little bit of guitar in my music... Which one of the reasons why I don't like much of the stuff out tehre now... Not to mention that people in "the scene" are so close minded- You have guitar in your music? I won't listen...
What kind of thinking is that?
19) What music do you current listen to?
Monster Magnet, Clutch, In Flames... And the last Killing Joke album doesn't leave my CD player. I know... Those are all considered metal groups. Yeah, well, I haven't heard anything good out there in the other scenes lately- although there are some local bands that have some good stuff- Carfax Abbey, Broken, Bella Morte, kHz, Tapping the Vein.
21) How do you keep change your music from album to album or plan to change it?
The music will probably get heavier... Which could mean a whole bunch of things. But it'll still have that gothic sound around it, cause it's in my blood... I can't get it out.
22) What kind of recording environment do you have?
Me and my computer... When we recorded "Mars Eclipsing" it was Jamie and his computer.
23)How long did you spend on your latest effort?
"Burning" and "I'm Cursed" were recorded at the end of June, beginning of July. We found out that Touro College needed bands to record for their Engineering program. So, we got 10 hours of free recording. So, that's how much time was spent on those recordings.
24 What is the hardest thing about being in a band for this genre?
Being considered part of this genre. Are we metal? Hard Rock? Gothic Rock?... So, I'll just call it Alternative Hard Rock.
25) Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of you band, now is your turn to talk about anything you want about your band, ideas, or life in the band.
Raygun Girls rock. And we want your support. We're also looking for a synth player and drummer. Synth player would have to come first, or else the drummer's gonna be locked into a click track (which is fine if you can do it).
"Mars Eclipsing" has been called "...a 'must have' addition to your CD collection," by Backstage Pass. You can buy yourself a copy at http://www.savagevibes.com/store
You can hear some music off of the album at http://www.raygungirls.com as well as clips from our newest recordings. Head over to the site, listen to the music, and let us know what you think in our guestbook!
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