They're both wonderful and tough in their way. Yet they're both really very similar. My advice though to people who write prolifically and constantly, as I did myself, would be to play with everyone always, to have a vast network of friends to play with but not to get tied to a band, it is a different beast, and if you have the singularity to play alone, do it. For myself my music, or the music I wanted to make and play, with ITO for example, needed a band. VIGIL though was written to be playable on a guitar, piano, with a one piece or two or like my launch a 39 piece band :-)..... It was written and designed with that in mind. ITO's music relied upon all the instrumentation and complex arrangements. Solo some of the songs were unplayable.
What was the greatest thing happening to you in your musical career?
That's still to happen :-) but so far the launch of Vigil Friday 13th 2014 on a strawberry full moon in front of a sold out audience with a 9 piece band and 30 piece choir in one of Dublin's best venues was the highlight. And you will be happy to hear it was filmed with some of Ireland's best movie makers and will be released this year on DVD, in fact I just saw the finished DVD for the first time last night, and if I do say so myself, I was blown away....I love it.... Huge thanks to Aidan Mc Carthy and Tris Dalton.
And what was the biggest letdown?
Maybe playing for the head of Sony BMG having been supported on sax by Clarence from the e-street band, when I got so drunk that instead of playing Fall as my manager had expected I just made up a total joke song.... in fairness I was young and naive and let a huge career chance slip for my ideals, I am and was no man's monkey.... I have learned since then, doing what you love, the best you can, is never being a clown.... it is Being. It was the first and last time I ever stood in front of people to perform and didn't honour my songs. I had simply never experienced the reality of soulless corporate before.
So I can safely say it was the worst yet best thing that ever happened to my music.
Wow, what a story! So from then on, what was the weirdest or most remarkable place you ever played a gig?
I have played so so so many gigs it's really hard to imagine, my life has been a gig. The stories I could tell are wild, crazy, amazing and total rock and roll, and I jest you not. But one would be with the
Bedouin in Sinai when I travelled the middle east for two years alone after Uni, sitting, the only White English speaker amongst a tribe, hours and hours from civilisation.... with them clapping to the
glorious stars by a raging fire and singing my song Fall between roars of Allah Allah....
Do you have any upcoming gigs, releases etc your fans should look out for in 2015?
Stay tuned to Johnny Rayge on facebook link.. https://www.facebook.com/johnnyraygemusic?ref=hl.do like my page :-)
As I said the live DVD is coming and probably a fundit campaign to pay for it... one universal truth is all artists desperately need support and I'm no exception.
Ok, and most important: any tour dates planned in Europe?
A few plans in the pipeline, I had a great tour last year in Italy with Blindur and would hope to get out again, the day job which feeds keeps me pinned, but there'll be plenty of festivals and gigs.... stay
tuned to my page.... and lot's of love. x
Thanks so much, Johnny for your time and dedication! Very happy to see and hear more about you in the future ;-)
And for you, my dear readers, please check out Johnny's Facebook page and his videos on YouTube, like this lovely piece: