Welcome to “6 Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so it has become a permanent fixture here on Indie Minded. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay the same. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.

We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.

Next in the hot seat is Seattle-based indie psych-rock band, Forest Ray. We have not had the privilege of featuring Forest Ray here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. Sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.

For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started. 

We are a rock n’ roll band that likes to revive old sounds. Our style blends elements of psychedelic rock, early rock n’ roll, garage, shoegaze, eastern music, and blues. We record everything with analog equipment like 8 tracks and various tape machines to preserve the nostalgic quality of our music and the music that influenced its creation. 

We started as a two-man recording project as music students and audio engineers in San Luis Obispo and evolved into a 6 person touring rock n’ roll group, now based in Seattle.

As an artist, how do you define success?

Progress – always moving forward and always finding new ways of doing what we love to do. Which is write songs and play rock n’ roll. If even one person connects with a song and it resonates with them and helps them in being human, the way music has always done for me, then I’d consider that the ultimate success. I also feel pretty successful when there is a drunk mosh pit of happy folks tossing beers around and getting rambunctious to our songs – some of our garage punk jams from our first record can have that effect on people, and that’s always fun.

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

Financial struggles are always incredibly prevalent in the music industry, especially for us! Paying for gas and food on tours, paying for amp repairs etc. Beyond that I just take it as it comes and remember that making music is about just that – the making of it, and being happy and loving that process and the grind.

If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?

I think you would have to ask each member respectively. But I could play a track from our upcoming record, Laughing, forever. I wrote it during a rough personal time about some things I was going through and it was kind of a whimsical light-hearted response to some heavy shit and it helped me reassess what was important in my life. But most of our songs are a lot heavier and garagey and I always love playing those as well, this one just has some personal sentimental value to me.

Who do you consider your greatest influences?

Levon Helms (The Band), Mark E. Smith (The Fall), Sky Saxon (The Seeds), Keith Richards, Roky Erickson (13th Floor Elevators)

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

My favorite thing to do outside of playing music is diving and speargun fishing… as random as that sounds. But I only get to indulge in that during my months in the Balkans when I live in Croatia. I also love reading history or textbooks on electronics/music theory and recording other bands. Those are two other favorite hobbies of mine that contribute to my creative mindset.

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Kelly Murphy
Owner, writer, and editor of Indie Minded; Social Media Marketing & Relationship Consulting via Indie Minded Media; Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @IndieMurphy or @IndieMindedMedia