Tag Archive for sullen ray

Sullen Ray’s first foray into Europe: Inspiration and motivation for BLUE minor

Our very own Sullen Ray has just come back to the States from a European tour with Tarah Who?. From logistical considerations and musical inspiration, we had a chance to pick his ear about the whole experience, and we talk about the future of Sullen Ray as well.

His last single was “Dive”, released on the Villaintine’s 2014 compilation. Listen here!

Sullen Ray and Tarah Who? in Europe

I know originally you were planning to just do a U.S. tour. How did you and Tarah Who? decide to go International instead? Whose idea was it?

Yeah, Tarah Who? and I had planned an early spring tour from San Diego to Seattle! But the opportunity for us to go to Europe came up when Tarah was in contact with friends in Paris. Since Tarah is from Paris, she was a huge part in making that happen. She knew the places that were scheduled for us to play and obviously the area, so we jumped on board a plane and went for it!

It was literally all decided within a week. We emailed the venues we were already scheduled to play here in the US, told them what was going on, and all of them were very excited for us, and said, “No problem!”

Have you been to Europe before the tour? If so, have you played shows there before?

I had not ever been to Europe before, I always dreamed of going, so I took the opportunity!

I’m not particular when it comes to guitars! I don’t care if I have to use a pink Hello Kitty guitar. I was always taught that it’s not the guitar, it’s the player!

How did bringing gear and/or organizing to rent or borrow gear work? I know you play with a lot of pedals and own a lot of gear. What were your must-have pieces of equipment that made it across the pond?

I didn’t bring anything equipment-wise. I quickly learned that in Europe all the venues are backlined! It’s not like here in the US. Usually backlined means that you show up and there’s a crappy drumset and amps that look like they’ve been dropped off a 3 story building.

But in Europe it’s all top of the line equipment with choices: Orange amps, Fenders, Ampeg. You basically choose what you want to use. They do this because there is no room what so ever for bands to bring their own gear. Most venues are down in a basement! It’s actually a very “help the musician out” culture, unlike here, where it’s fend for yourself or die!

Pedal-wise Tarah had a basement full of pedals, and we put together a couple of pedal boards for both of us, and I just used any guitar that was available. I’m not particular when it comes to guitars! I don’t care if I have to use a pink Hello Kitty guitar. I was always taught that it’s not the guitar, it’s the player!

I know you played with various musicians from over there rather than bringing your entire U.S. lineup. How did you all prepare to play leading up to the tour? 

I sent the demos of my music over the World Wide Web to the musicians who were going to play for me! They picked it up quickly and basically the first practice was just to hear us all playing together, them knowing the songs was never an issue… They knew it!

But hearing my music with a whole new feel and intent made me really step back and say “that’s what I want!” instead of always feeling like “ok, this is sort of what I’m going for.”

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Sullen Ray news and updates for 2014.

Sullen Ray has been in Europe with Tarah Who?. We miss him terribly, but we’re excited that he has the opportunity to tour across the sea! Any of you European fans out there should check him out. Dates will be at the bottom of the post. And you can check out more details on Sullen Ray’s Facebook.

And for any of you guys who do make it out to a European show date, I have some free stuff for you! How? Take a picture with Sullen Ray — as in, you and Sullen Ray have to be in the same picture — and send it to me via email: june@villainsrecords.com.

The catch is that I can’t tell you what that free stuff will be. Maybe some smooches by mail! Some pins! A CD! Who knows!? The first 5 people to send me a pic gets the free swag.

And even more big news… By the end of spring, we should have a 4-song EP from Sullen Ray called BLUE minor to lead up to the fall release of the full length BLUE. The EP will feature “Dive” — originally released on Villaintine’s 2014, “All Over Again,” “We See Ourselves,” and “This is the End.”

And a music video to go with it!

Listen to “Dive” here:

And finally… extra special tour dates in exciting capslock

Announcing the Villaintine’s Day release and tour

Villaintines Day compilation 2014 coverIt’s that time of year again! Villains and friends are coming together to release the annual Villaintine’s Day compilation on February 14th.

Everything about the record exemplifies the independent, autonomous nature of us villains, from the recording of the songs to the DIY nature of the CD sleeve covers. This year, we’ll have tracks from Sullen Ray, Beta Lion, Katey Sullivan, Privet, and more!

And for the first time ever, we’ll have a Villaintine’s release party – nay, a three-DAY party, starting in San Diego at The Griffin. The party starts on Villaintine’s Day, February 14th.

14th: MUSCLE BEECH, Privet, Sullen Ray, Mariel @ The Griffin (1310 Morena Blvd, San Diego)

15th: ANDREW SAKS, Tarah Who?, Sullen Ray, Mariel @ The Dragon Room (The Golden China, 760 S. Seaward Avenue, Ventura)

16th: TARAH WHO?, Sullen Ray, Mariel @ The Down & Out (501 South Spring Street, Los Angeles)

And check out our site calendar. From there you can copy events to your own Google calendar or export to iCal!