New British band Raygun has recently visited the Philippines to conclude their Asian tour and to perform for the Manila crowd. In a press conference held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel held last October 19, Raygun members—Ray Gun on vocals, songwriter The Adj on guitars, Ben Lyonsmyth on bass, and Sam Embery on drums—revealed how much they loved the support of Filipinos.
In a round-table interview with some members of the press, singer Ray Gun pointed out, "I think it's been better here than it has been anywhere, really. The whole of Asia has been great. The whole way people have been really receptive. And people kept saying, 'Why don't you stay longer? Why don't you play more gigs?" he narrated contentedly. The other band members were also quick to share their experiences with performing live in the Philippines.
During their October 18 performance at SM North Edsa The Block, the band shared how they were overwhelmed by the number of people in the event, and by the amount of support given to them by Filipino fans.
"How many people there, like 300 people or something?" Ray Gun asked his bandmates. "It's quite a lot," replied drummer Sam Embery. "We weren't necessarily expecting so many people to turn up. It's quite overwhelming, really. We've got a little signing afterwards. We got to meet some people. It's just great."
The band also shared that while in the Philippines, they tried the local delicacy sisig, a Pinoy delicacy made from chopped parts of a pig's head. "We didn't realize what it was," explained Ray Gun, as all of his bandmates chuckled at the memory. "It's great, though [and] it's good with beer, isn't it?"
FUN IN MUSIC. Raygun describes their music as "theatrical pop" because onstage "it's all in the kind of over-the-top performance," explained singer Ray Gun. He told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) jokingly, "We definitely wouldn't stand there and play guitars, and stare at our toes."
The band also shared that aside from making music together, they all love to make each other laugh. "We have a common interest in humor. We like to make each other laugh, always doing silly things. I think we have a lot of in-jokes, as well," said their vocalist.
The band recently did a cover of Shakira's "She Wolf" and Madonna's new single "Celebration," which they posted on their MySpace account. Do they usually do covers of popular songs?
"We don't really, but we like to hang out in our basement and play covers now and then just to unwind sometimes," revealed Ray Gun. "It's cool to take current music and just give it our own little spice. So now and then we'd record a cover song for a laugh, and just put it on the internet. But there will probably be more, as well, at some point," he laughed. Ray Gun added that they choose the songs they cover because they don't want everybody to think that they are a "strange covers act."
As for doing covers of popular songs, the vocalist added, "[It's] better to take something that is completely unrelated to what we do, and make it our own. That's how you learn about music."
MUSICAL INFLUENCES. In the same interview, Raygun enumerated a number of bands that have been a huge influence on their music. "There's a strong foundation of bands based in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s that we're really into," replied Ray Gun to the question posed by PEP. "So we kind of base our music around the sounds of David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and Motown stuff, as well." He also listed Talking Heads, Roxy, and Queen as the band's musical influences from the '70s.
"And when I'm playing and writing, I'm genuinely not trying to sound anything like those people," added The Adj, Raygun's resident songwriter, noting how his music just sometimes ends up sounding similar to the music of such bands.
"All music is related anyway," continued Ray Gun. "Every artist from the '60s was influenced by Elvis Presley. It all kind of filters through, doesn't it? I think we've chosen probably the best artists of that time. Just good quality, isn't it?"
"It's never, 'We are gonna be like this, 'Were gonna take that element', it just what comes naturally, because we grew up on those records," he justified. "All our parents have those records. When you were kids, you must have gone through your parents' record collection, don't you?"
FILIPINO RECEPTION. Granted that all of the band members loved their stay in the Philippines, when can Filipino fans expect them next?
Ray Gun answered, "We will play more gigs as soon as people know about the
album, buy the album, and want us to come back, we'll be here."
CLICK HERE to join the online promo.