Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rat Wakes Red: Interview with vocalist James Raftery By: Shane Camfield

Rat Wakes Red is a band based in upstate New York and has released 2 EPS and 2 full albums. They have played live shows from NYC to Toronto and opened for Bob Mould.

how do you feel your music has changed since its inception?
The music changes how I change, I guess. It's always a reflection of where I am. Or were. A chronicle of a time. I've changed instruments a few times, too, from acoustic to electric, but the new project is mostly acoustic. Lots of piano, too. It's the first time I've written piano songs. There's also lots and lots of strings, for those that missed them in the last album. 18 songs showing ten years of loss and change, new beginnings, hard births, and, ultimately, hope, I hope.
what influences you?
People, music, sky, sex, nature, food, dreams, art, work, beauty, grit, tears, death, birth, laughter, drink, fire.
if you were forced to cover a song, what would you choose?
You don’t have to force me, but, hey. “Dirty White Boy” by Foreigner.
what bands did you listen to growing up? favorite all time records/ artists?
The very first album I ever owned was "The Partridge Family" album. My mother came home one day with a little red record player and this LP for me. I think she bought them at the drugstore. She was so smart. I loved that album. I was 4. I discovered Kate Bush when I was 16, and to this day consider 'The Dreaming' to be the greatest album ever recorded. After that, I would say 'Nunsexmonkrock' by Nina Hagen is the second. Also: Joni, PJ, Kristin, Tanya, Kim, Kim. If you don’t know their last names, I’m sorry.
what can you share with us about your new record?
Oh, wow, lots of piano, strings, surprises. Little nuggets of hushed, dark nights of the soul. A slow and steady burn. The occasional revelation, I hope. Simple lines to huge harmonies. I can't wait for everyone to hear it.

James Raftery, vocalist for the band Rat Wakes Red (

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