RAINBOW DEATH RAY

RAINBOW DEATH RAY makes me think of all the weird children’s shows that I am forced to watch when I babysit. But musically they are way cooler than that. ©2016 Anders Ekdahl

I am a word buff so when I find a band name that excites me I want to know the reason behind the choice. So how did you pick your name?
-We spent ages trying to come up with something! We wanted to capture all sides of our personality, both the fun and the dark. At the same time we wanted to hint at us being all female, but without it being too frilly. Despite all our brainstorming, in the end the name just happened while gazing out a window on a sunny day. A ray of light was coming through, and the thought went something like this. “Ray… Ray… Death Ray? But it needs something to make it more colourful… Colour? Like a rainbow? OMG RAINBOW DEATH RAY!!!”

There are so many genres and sub-genres of metal today that it is hard to keep track of them all. So what was it that made you pick the style of metal you play?
-We wouldn’t really say it was a conscious decision. We knew we wanted to be some kind of metal, because we all have influences in the genre. The rest mostly stemmed from a combination of all our influences, it’s just a part of who we are as a band. We also fell into a more electronic sound because we couldn’t find the right drummer, and when we committed to the backing track, we were able to add in other elements that would have been very difficult otherwise. We saw the potential, so we took it.

What influences you in creating your music? What is/has been the single greatest influence?
-This is a tough one to answer! We have so many influences, from the bands we admire to our own life experiences. We’re also greatly inspired by our fans who enjoy our weird brand of metal, and that keeps us going. All these things combine so that we don’t really have any single greatest influence. At least as far as we can tell!

How important is it to have a message as a band?
-It probably depends on the band, really. Some are really political, while others are much more about entertainment. Both of these are perfectly valid. We’re probably somewhere in the middle. The fact that we’re all female kinda speaks for itself about our desire to see more women in underground music, but on the other hand, we don’t really say many political things. On the entertainment side of things, we like to put on a weird sort of show full of bubbles and mid-performance selfies and our unusual instruments with the keytar and violin. But while that’s quite cheerful and energetic, our lyrics are actually quite dark. So you could probably say our message is “nothing is what it seems”, and we do love playing with hidden meanings! Even our band name is a contradiction, “Rainbow” vs “Death”. It sort of reflects our society, where people judge so quickly without a thought for what’s under the surface of another person’s experiences. But of course, as fun as these messages might be, the music comes first. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be a band.

Is image an important factor to the bands appearance?
-Image is important to a certain extent, our mission is to entertain, and bands are much more interesting when they make an effort to look the part. However, when we do dress up, we each have our own style. We all stay true to ourselves, so how we appear is just who we are. We actually don’t talk much about our image.

How important is it to have an album cover that stands out to grab people’s attention in this day and age?
-People say “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but as humans, we just can’t help it. We’re visual creatures, it’s part of our psychology, and it’s the reason there are a whole professions based around graphic design and advertising. An album cover isn’t exempt from this instinct, and it’s the first experience a person has with the music, before they ever get to listen to anything. Seeing something is instantaneous, whereas music takes time to consume. So you really do need to have something different, that stands out. People are drawn to things that are eye catching, and if an album cover is intriguing enough, people will want to find out more by listening to it.

What kind of respect do you get from your local scene?
-This varies so wildly! We seem to divide people a bit, just because we’re so unusual as a band. There are people who love us, and others who hate everything we do. It’s to be expected. But we generally find that people are quite positive about us. They may initially be puzzled by our performance, but they stick around and give us a lot of support, which is how we were able to crowdfund our EP. And we’ve made so many friends with fans, venues, promoters, and other bands, it’s really cool. We’re also one of the few local bands that regularly puts up posters to promote our gigs, instead of just social media, and that’s turned out to be a big positive. One promoter said to us “if only more bands promoted like you guys, we’d have less venues closing!” We love supporting the local scene, and it’s also a good feeling when the scene supports and appreciates us as well!

How massive is it to get response from places you have never heard of?
-It’s so encouraging! We’re stoked to hear that we’re reaching audiences so far away. When we started out, we never expected anyone outside our city to be aware of us, but it’s actually happening. Super cool!

Is playing live still a great way to get new fans to discover you?
-Yes! Playing live is so important. It’s really very different to just hoping someone will listen to our EP. We’ve played all kinds of gigs, and it gives us exposure to lots of different audiences who might never have known about us otherwise. It also gives us a chance to really connect with the fans, whether they’re seeing us for the first time or come to see us regularly. We always try to talk to everyone once we’ve come off stage, sometimes people want to know more about us, other times we just have a friendly chat. We don’t just want fans to discover us; we also want them to feel welcome.

What does the future have in its womb?
-Well, we’re currently down a guitarist, so the first thing we’re working on is finding a new axe lady. We’ve already started auditions, and there’s a lot of talent out there! On top of that, we’re working on some new songs, and looking at writing some heavier material. Depending on how things go both in the band and our work lives, we’d love to start playing outside Sydney. Maybe Newcastle or Canberra. After that, well, we’ll just have to wait and see!

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