Q&A with Lonny Ray Q. What was your first guitar? A. My first guitar was a little Harmony acoustic. I loved that guitar. I remember having a discussion with American Airlines about me taking my guitar on the plane from Los Angeles. I won that battle only to have it run over by my girlfriend about four hours later. Long story but sad. I still have the pieces of that guitar.
Q. How long has the current band line up been together? A. My current band has been together since 1995 Q . How did you get to meet each other? A. I met the guys through various years of playing and listening to them in other bands. I thought they were and still do the cream of the crop. Q. Artist discography. A. I have written and performed on Copper Ridge. From The Beginning, Lonny Ray Memory of Years, and my new album coming out, Party In the Bayou Q. What music did you listen to while growing up? A. I listened to many artists including, Led Zepelin, Robyn Trower, Garth Brooks, Ready For The World, Bob Segar. Wow, A whole lot of artist that influenced me.
Q. Are you self-taught or did you have lessons? A. I have never taken a lesson in my life, but I have had some great players through the years teach me a thing or two. For the most part, I am self-taught. Q. Did you always want to be in a band when you were growing up? A. This has and always will be my first love. Playing music is my life as far as I can remember, so yes. Q. What is your current equipment? A. I currently play with an Ovation acoustic, Fender electric and Fender Acoustic. D’addario Strings, Peavey amps, Shure in ear monitors, Yamaha boards and floor wedges and Shure SM 58 microphones. Q. If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list? A. I guess, I would love to have the new Gibson guitar I played on in Nashville. That would be the ultimate. A nice Taylor Guitar would be great and unlimited D’Addario Strings. I guess I am simple. I don’t want much. Q. Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio? A. No the studio equipment is much different and more precise recording equipment. I still do use my Ovation though. I love my guitar.
Q. How long have you played your instrument? A. I have been playing for a long time, I can’t really say how long, but it has been a long time. Somojo Magazine | 1
Q. Would you mind introducing yourselves and telling us what instruments you play? A. My name is Lonny Ray. I am a country boy through and through. Since the age of three, I have been involved in music in some sort or another. I learned to play the piano at an early age and picked up the guitar when I was fourteen. I love to sing which is my first love.
Q. Do you record at a purpose built studio or do you record at home with portable digital equipment? A. Currently we are recording at Silver Dragon Productions studio in Marine City Michigan. www. sdpstudio.com If anyone is looking for a great studio, this is it. Q. Any new recordings planned? A. I am working on the new Album now called Party in the Bayou, which is due out in June. It has some great songs on it. Party In The Bayou is the title track and it is followed up by a great song from Dawna Bradford and Ed Bentley, Sometimes Things Change, along with the self penned song So Long, It’s So Hard To Ever Say Goodbye, Roll Me Away and many more. Q. When’s the new album released, how long has it taken? A. The New Album will be released sometime in June. I have been working on this album for about a year and a half. This album I am hoping will be the break through for me. Q. Do you have any favourite tracks on your new album? A. My favorite has to be Party in the Bayou and I really love the softer side of Sometimes Things Change. I guess it depends on the mood I am in at the time. Q. Who are the main song writers for the band? A. So far, I have written most of the songs. There are some great songwriters on the album in Dawna Bradford, Ed Bentley, Jeff Taylor, Jason McCrory, and I still am looking for some more songs. I’d like to do one from Kerry Kurt Phillips, if he will let me do one of his. Q. Do you write songs only about personal experiences? A. I write songs when I get an idea. They are not necessarily about personal experiences but they can be. Memory of Years was personal for me. Q. Do you find song writing easy or difficult? A. It can be both. Sometimes they just flow and some times you get stuck. It’s another one of 2 | Somojo Magazine
those mood things for me. I have written a song in five minutes and I have taken days to write. Q. Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs? A. I would love to write a song with Jerry Foster. He is a great songwriter. There are so many great songwriters out there though. If there is anyone looking to write with me, look me up. Q. Who are your favourite song writers? A. I would have to say Kerry Kurt Phillips for sure, along with Brad Paisley, Lionel Ritchie and Stevie Wonder. Q. Which countries have you gigged in? A. I have pretty much been in the Untied States but I did a show in the Grand Cayman Islands and a show in the Bahamas. Q. Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour? A. I would love to do a tour in the United Kingdom and Japan. Q. Who would you like to tour with? A. Toby Keith and Brad Paisley Q. How do you promote your music and get your music to new fans? A. I use the net to promote my music and word of mouth usually. Q. Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’? A. I do have all the latest web sites that are out there. Q. Do you think the internet overall is a good or bad thing for new artists? A. I think that since the invention of the Internet, it has made a somewhat equal playing field for new artist to emerge that would otherwise go unheard. I for one am glad not only for my own music, but it helped me discover so much more great music that is out there that I can listen to.
Q. Would you sign with a major record company? A. No. I say that only because, there are so many great independent labels out there that can cater to the artist they have on their rosters. The big guys are too swamped to give everyone attention. That is not a bad thing for the major labels, it is just reality. It would cost them too much to give everyone on their roster the attention they deserve. Q. How did you come up with name? A. I was born with it. Q. What would call your style of music? A. I am a country boy, so Country. It does however have a little Garth along with maybe Lonestar feel to it. I am evolving everyday but it still is country. Q. WhatÂ do you listen to when chilling out? A. I listen to a lot of independents. I like Los Lonely Boys, Jason Lee Thomason, Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, Heidi Raye, Amanda Nagurney and Lindsey Hager. There are so many great indies out there. You really just have to get on the net and explore. Q. Have you ever entered any ‘battle of the bands’ competitions? A. No. I don’t believe in them and I don’t think they should exist. They are just a way to pit band against band. The reality is, these battles are for the venue to make money and get free entertainment. These bands are all good that I have seen in battles. They should be paid for their time equally.
Anyone that tells you they don’t is fooling themselves. I usually just try to relax and take some deep breaths, but when the first note hits, it’s time to lose the nervousness. I have to put a show on and that is what I come to do. Q. What are your day jobs if you have one? A. Music along with a lot of promoting Q. Has your music been used on any film soundtracks? A. Go On was supposed to be on an independent movie but it never came out. I think they had budget issues. Q. Is it something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along? A. I would definitely love to hear my music on film. I have a lot of songs and love the chance to work with the movie industry. Thanks Lonny, can’t wait to hear the new album. Final Q. Is there anything you’d like to add? A. I hope that everyone still enjoys my album Lonny Ray Memory of Years. You can still pick that one up at www.cdbaby.com/lonnyray The new album is coming out in June so be sure to look for it. Party in the Bayou I hope rocks you all out in a countryfried way. You can always drop me a line at www.lonnyray.com I try as much as I can to answer everyone. It may not be right away but I get to it. If you are looking to become a great artist, you already are just for trying. Keep reaching for the stars and someday you will be holding one.
Q. Where can you see yourselves in ten years? A. I see myself playing on some stage, somewhere and hoping that the audience still loves the music. Q. What’s your best/worst experience at a gig? A. I have always had good experiences with gigs. I have broke a string or two in my day but for the most part, they have always been good. Q. Do you get nervous before a gig- how do you calm down? A. I get tremendously nervous before a show. Somojo Magazine | 3