Friday, June 21, 2013

Interview with Ray Holroyd of Revolution Harmony

Hello all! With this post, we bring you one of the most awesome interviews we have ever done. Ray Holroyd of Revolution Harmony answered a few questions for us, about the new single "We Are" as well as some other awesome details involving the project.

So check out the interview below. It is somewhat short and sweet but Ray definitely tells us quite a bit in his answers. Support the cause if you can!

You can find the links to all the information at the bottom of the post, below the interview. If you want to support this great cause, do so! Even if you can't spare some change, share this around and let everyone know about this. You can also stream the song below the interview as well, in case you're wondering what all the buzz is about.


I was reading the information regarding the track and you had said that these artists had a major influence on you. How did they end up doing that?

Oh man where do I start!? I've been a loyal fan of theirs since the '90s, so we're talking about well over a decade of listening to their music! Ihsahn really opened my ears to the use of orchestral instruments in heavy music, Devin opened my mind to the use of melody over extreme riffs, and Serj inspired me by both his unorthodox music and political activism with his own non-profit, Axis of Justice.

When you were composing/writing the track, “We Are”, did you imagine the use of Ihsahn, Serj, and Devin while doing so? They seem to work together pretty well, almost perfectly in my opinion.

Yes, to a certain extent. I tried to compose something that would suit their individual styles while also encouraging them into a never-before-heard common ground. I had to be true to my own style as well though, and needed to create music that I would be proud of. Also, as a music lecturer, I tend to get carried away with complex composition, and I actually ended up ditching my first attempt at the song as it was way too complicated. The second time around I felt I'd written something that would make everyone happy, and thankfully it did, so I'm over the moon as it's a lot of pressure composing for these legends!

The addition of Abbie Johnson is very interesting. Why did you end up adding her to the track?

I'll take your “very interesting” as a compliment, so thank you, haha! There are two beautiful soft sections in the song, with mainly strings and piano playing, and they were just begging for female vocals. So, I started looking around, and when I spoke to my friend Stefan Loh from We Claimed Sentience Once, who also plays guitar on the track, he said that he knew the perfect singer for the job, Abbie Johnson. I loved the idea of featuring a young up-and-coming singer alongside these world-famous stars, so I was very optimistic about the idea. Stefan sent me some of Abbie's demos, and it was just a perfect fit, absolutely perfect, her voice and style are truly unique. I've never really heard anything like it. And now, those sections actually sound like they were written specifically for her, it was meant to be! Also, the concept of featuring an unknown artist is something I will be continuing on every All-Star charity single.

Well, the reason I said the addition of Abbie was interesting was because their were already two vocalists in the track, so adding a third felt like it was taking a risk of some sort. I felt the same as you did, that she was perfect for the part, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her on the track (I can be picky about female vocals). I was also glad to see that she was a somewhat unknown artist in the midst of this supergroup. Is there any sort of hint what we could expect on the next release? Some sort of curveball like this track?

Firstly, thank you for your kind words! Regarding the risk of featuring an unknown singer alongside these world-famous stars. To be honest, everything about Revolution Harmony is a risk, haha, so after hearing Abbie's singing I didn't even think twice about involving her! And yes, I already have the curve ball confirmed for our next All-Star charity single. 

You said you wanted to compose something that was also “your style”, what kind of style would that be exactly?

I love using unusual/non-western scales, counterpoint and odd-time signature grooves, so you'll generally hear those elements in everything I compose, and this single is certainly no exception! 

What ended up getting you into music at a young age? Or better what, what styles got you more interested into pursuing such a career?

My parents had a piano in the house from before I was even born, so as a kid I became more and more fascinated with the beautiful sounds that this magical wood box could produce. By the age of seven I had started formal classical lessons, and it was only about three years later that I discovered non-classical music. I remember exactly where I was standing the first time I heard Cowboys From Hell, and that changed me forever! The marriage of classical composition methods and metal groove/energy definitely formed who I am as a musician. 

What other plans do you have for Revolution Harmony, more so with charities and other similar projects? Do you plan on making more singles and incorporating more musical figures?

Hells yes! In fact I'm currently working on our second All-Star charity single, which will have even more featured artists, with all the proceeds going to a different smaller charity in need of funds. I've already confirmed two artists, and my plan is to release it at Christmas. Then after that, I'll be aiming for three All-Star charity singles each year!

Do you plan on expanding this to something worldwide or in other areas of the world?

Absolutely! The charity we'll be supporting with our second All-Star single will be in a different developing country. The reason I'm choosing the South African charity Buskaid to launch our All-Stars series, is because I was born and raised there. Unlike millions of other South African children though, I had the privilege of studying and playing music, which completely transformed my life, so I promised myself I'd do everything I can to help provide that same opportunity to underprivileged children in the townships. This is what Buskaid does every day, so they're my heroes, and deserve all the support they can get in order to continue their vital work!

Are these other charities going to be music related as well? If so, will be they somewhat different from the Buskaid charity?

The idea behind these All-Star charity singles is to assemble teams of like-minded artists who are all passionate about specific causes, then together create songs and donate all the proceeds to a relevant charity. So with that in mind, the next charity we support will probably be completely different from Buskaid, and I'm actually in the process of researching the possibilities right now.

Can we expect all these tracks to become part of an album once their are enough of them? I’d definitely buy one for sure.

Thank you, and yes that would be great, but I haven't really thought that far yet. Also, it will depend on if all the songs fit together into a cohesive collection. As I have no intention whatsoever of limiting myself to any specific genre, it might end up being the weirdest album ever, haha! On that note though, as I like weird things, it's definitely a possibility, haha!


I hope you all enjoyed this awesome (even though it was short) interview with Ray. As stated above, this is for a good cause and I am glad to be a part of it. Definitely check out the charity. Links will be provided as they become available (streaming the single as well as donation links). I can't wait to hear the next single that Revolution Harmony puts out.


We Are (Streaming Link *Available Soon*)


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