Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Untitled Interview #218: Starring WRAY

Ok, yes, it's true that I am admittedly predisposed to liking Alabama, football teams, therein, and bands therein. I must say, however, that in the case of Birmingham's WRAY, I'd like them a whole heck of a lot regardless of their home base. 

The trio plays a highly palatable, thoroughly engaging breed of psychgaze. Theirs is both noisy and nervy and fuzzy, but also shimmering and refined and cool as all get out. Currently out on the road touring latest release Hypatia, the band was genteel enough to answer some questions that yours truly wanted answered. So sit back, relax, and get to know WRAY. And if you're in DC (and the streets are clear enough), be sure to catch these lads at the Black Cat on Tuesday night.
     

Fuzzy Logic: How do you do?
David Brown: Well!
David Swatzell: Great!
Blake Wimberly: How do YOU do?

FL: What was the last song you listened to?
DB: Foals on NPR: World CafĂ©. It was on in the car.
DS: “CraneKiss” by Tamaryn.
BW: A sample of one of Tamaryn's songs...

FL: Playing music is:
DB: Enlightening.
DS: Amazing.
BW: Frustratingly rewarding.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?
DB: Slowdive - Souvlaki
DS: Beatles – Rubber Soul
BW: Aerosmith – "Living On The Edge" – I would play the air drums to it and my older brothers would make so much fun of me.

FL: Beatles or Stones?
DB: Stones.
DS: Stones.
BW: Velvet Underground.

FL: What’s your first music memory?
DB: My sister and I would jump from the top of our toy chest during “Jump” by Van Halen – vivid memory for us both.
DS: At 4 years old I had a Fraggle Rock drum set and played them while my dad was playing piano.
BW: I have a good memory of a song playing on the radio in my dad’s car – “Love Shack” by the B-52s.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever):
DB: EVER
A. INXS - Shabooh Shoobah
B. Descendents – Two Things At Once
C. Slowdive – Souvlaki
D. Peter Gabriel – So
E. Fleetwood Mac – Mirage
DS: NOW
A. David Bowie – Lodger
B. David Bowie – Blackstar
C. Tamaryn – CraneKiss
D. Brian Eno - Discreet Music
E. Roxy Music – Avalon
BW: NOW
A. The Field – All Albums
B. Rifts – All Albums, especially early stuff
C. Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness
D. Ashra – New Age Of Earth
E. Lone –Galaxy Garden

FL: Favorite music-related movie?
DB: Grease II.
DS: Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii
BW: Phantom of a Paradise.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?
DB: Full.
DS: Full.
BW: Depends on what it is...

FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
DB: "What time is it?"
DS: Check my email alerts.
BW: It takes awhile to start thinking but its usually the faint remembering of whatever dream I was coming out of.

FL: Little-known WRAY fact?
DB: I started out playing guitar – Two guitars and drums, then moved over to bass.
DS: That David Brown started out on guitar, too, and then moved to bass.
BW: That we were almost named The Burbs from the movie.

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:
DB: Seasick Records / Birmingham, AL – I’ve been to so many great stores.
DS: Seasick – we’ve all been to a lot but they're from here in Bham and we really support local music.
BW: Amazon.com….The Record Exchange in Boise, ID – my boss owns that store...

FL: What was your first show?
DB: First band I was ever in called the Statistics, played a local venue and I was 14 years old.
DS: As a 14 year old playing in a little punk rock venue in town with an old band of mine named Last Flight In.
BW: I was 20 and in a band that played half originals and half covers (Pavement, Oasis, Blur). That was the first (and last) time I took my shirt off on

FL: Your boots were made for:
DB: Me.
DS: Walkin.
BW: Insoles.

FL: Shaken or stirred?
DB: Stirred.
DS: Shaken.
BW: On the rocks.

FL: What’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on, and where to?
DB: 4 hours to Denver.
DS: 9 hours to Paris for a 3 week EU tour.
BW: I missed my initial flight from Seattle back to Birmingham because I was drunk, therefore adding an extra 3-hour layover. 9 total hours of waiting and drinking and travelling.

FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be?
DB: Making some sort of art.
DS: Miserable.
BW: Working on my own music in my closet.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
DB: The original INXS.
DS: Lindsey Buckingham.
BW: 311.

FL: Best song ever written?
DB: "Heroes" - David Bowie.
DS: "Hold Me" - Fleetwood Mac.
BW: "Music for 18 Musicians" - Steve Reich.

WRAY...

As a movie:
DB: The Way Back (Peter Weir Film).
DS: It's a Wonderful Life.
BW: A Rom Com Sci-Fi.

As a drink:
DB: A Saison.
DS: Dark and stormy.
BW: Wray & Nephew.

As a weather event:
DB: Dust storm.
DS: Dark and stormy. Haha.
BW: Nightmare waterfall.

As an obscure vintage LP:
DB: Pink Floyd - Relics
DS: Spirit - The 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus
BW: Still in the plastic wrap in a bargain bin.

As a moment in history:
DB: The moon landing.
DS: When Nirvana came out and made pop metal irrelevant.
BW: When the Missoula Floods caused drastic changes in the Columbia River Gorge of Washington State at the end of the last Ice Age.

As a denomination of currency:
DB: Euro.
DS: Loonie.
BW: 3 dollar bill y'all.

As a place in Washington, DC:
DB: Library of Congress.
DS: Museum of Modern History.
BW: The traffic jam we are sure to be stuck in outside of DC on I-66.

As a video game/character therein:
DB: Metroid's Samus Aran.
DS: Simon from Castlevania.
BW: Top Gear.

As a work of literature:
DB: Lost Horizon (James Hilton).
DS: 1984 (George Orwell).
BW: 2001 - A Space Odyssey (Arthur C Clarke).

As a historical figure:
DB: Harvey Milk.
DS: Abraham Lincoln.
BW: Ray Croc.

As a campaign promise:
DB: "We Care."
DS: "Yes We Can."
BW: "Make America GWRAYT Again."




[posted 1.24.16]

[photo by Wes Frazer]

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