FLY TO THE SUN
Ray has always been a faithful follower of icons of progressive rock music such as Jethro Tull, Yes, Pink Floyd, Queen, and other rock legends who pushed the boundaries into uncharted musical territory when they had a huge impact on his life. Ray assembled this band of world-class musicians to join him, determined to produce music that would positively impact listeners, hoping to help them feel good when "feel-good" songs are urgently needed.
Alan - Hello. First of all, you could introduce yourself. Tell a little about yourself.
Ray - Hello, and thanks for your interest in our new band and album, Fly To The Sun. I am the composer of the music, and vocalist and flute player. I have assembled a band of the finest musicians in the rock world. We produced a record that is unique, highly skill, and with refreshing, positive lyrics. Each song is unique from each other and we cover all music genres.
Alan – How long did you have this project in your head before you decided to do it?
Ray - Well, the project has been in development for 3 years. I wanted to develop it in a very structured way so that each song was of very high quality.
Alan – Teammates. Did you have any idea who would be performing on the album? And did you get a positive response? Or did you approach someone, they refused, so you kept looking?
Ray - Everyone band member I approached to join the band was very enthusiastic about joing, so putting the band together was really quite easy!
Alan – Bandmates, who all contributed to the album? May you also introduce them to readers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia although they are sonorous names.
Ray - On bass is Bill Sheehan, who we regard as one of the best bass players of all time. He also plays in Mr. Big, Winery Dogs, and played in David Lee Roth’s band as well as many others. Jennifer Batten is our lead guitarist and also produced our videos. Jennifer is legendary and played in the bands of Jeff Beck and Michael Jackson, as well as many other great musicians and bands. Andrew Giddings is our keyboardist and one of our producers. Andrew was in Jethro Tull for 16 years and is one of the best keys players in the world. Gregg Bissonette is our drummer and has played with the great bands as ELO, BeeGees, and many others. He is currently also drummer in Ringo Starr’s band and was recently named best drummer in a poll. JJ Sansaverino is another of our guitarists and has been #1 on Billboard. JJ played great material on several of the songs. Rounding out the band are other great players such as Alex Grata (multi-instrumentalist and producer for our backing tracks), Drew Hall on guitar, and Troy Perkins on bass.
Alan - I don't want to touch anyone. But I will write it. Wonderful song Taj Mahal, (unfortunately he's dead) David Bowie would fit me there. So, I hope no one was offended by what I wrote here.
Ray - My voice has been compared to many other singers. I am honored to be compared to such great singers. I use various vocal tones and techniques in my songs to try to make it interesting for the listeners. The Taj Mahal song is referring to the wonderful building in India, not the singer. The Taj Mahal was built in 1560 so it is really magnificent! The song is our tribute to that wonderful edifice.
Alan – You had a huge radio show with the album. Where was it, who was it for, and listening + responses?
Ray - We have done many radio interviews worldwide and the album is getting great attention and radio play around the globe. We are also very popular in India due to the Taj Mahal song. We are being played on over 4000 radio stations, some on regular rotation. Our songs Soaring With Angels, Taj Mahal, and You’re Free As A Bird are getting great attention on radio.
Alan – Will you be traveling with the project? Play concerts? Or will it remain only as a radio project?
Ray - We haven’t decided yet. We will see how the album does and if it is well received, then live performances are certainly always possible if the numbers are there.
Alan – Combining all that with your group would probably be very difficult. Or not?
Ray - Well, with musicians of this high level, it’s all a matter of scheduling for tours because they all have different bands they also play in.
Alan - Fly to the Sun where would you put it? Between art rock, and prog rock? The point is that each song appears to me in a different concept, differently composed.
Ray - I would call it progressive pop, similar as Genesis, Queen, Yes, etc. Each song is different though because we wanted wide ranging appeal so there is something for everyone. We have a couple R&B songs on it as well, but they all have that prog art rock flavor. It’s a very unique album.
Alan – Ray, I have a question just for you. Do you know the Czech and Slovak audiences? How do you think they perceive your work, your playing?
Ray - I think our music will be well received everywhere. Our musicians are the best in the world and they all play wonderful parts on these songs.
Alan – If nothing else – I hope so. I look forward to the next interview. We'll give it time.
Ray - Thank you for your interest. I think once people listen to our songs they will appreciate the beauty, talent, and uniqueness of our songs.