Dayton, Ohio rock and rollers Manray formed in early 2014 and are already making considerable waves in a city and scene known for musical innovation. The band already released a self-titled record, which they recorded a month after forming with Shaun O’Shaughnessy at FM Studios in Dayton and have their sights set on a new album, touring and a trip to SXSW.
Ghettoblaster caught up with guitarist/vocalist Joseph Beach recently to discuss the band’s recent past, interband chemistry, hometown, and promising future. This is what he said.
How would you describe Manray to those who’ve not had the pleasure of hearing you?
We’re a three-piece that plays genuine rock and roll music and we like to keep it fun.
Are there any strong musical or literary influences that have shaped the music you make?
The book “Holes” and the “School of Rock” soundtrack are a couple of our biggest collective influences, but we also like Captain Beefheart.
You guys have been together as Manray for a relatively short time, but have already released an album and played several well-attended events. Was it difficult to hit the ground running this aggressively? What have people’s reactions been like?
We’ve been playing in Dayton in other bands prior to the birth of the Manray child, so we had already developed some connections to make doing things like playing shows and recording the album a little easier. We also had a plan when we all got together initially, and we’ve managed to stick to that plan pretty well. We feel like Dayton has accepted us in the scene and such, and it feels good.
You and Alec (Snead) have been playing together in each other’s projects for quite a while. What is it about your styles that complement each other and breed creative chemistry?
We’re both open-minded when it comes to music, and we both appreciate really good music. Our influences are similar but different. We were also pretty much the only people at Oakwood (when we were there) that did a lot of home studio recording, so we ended up working together on a lot of things, though we were never officially in the same band. We kind of figured out a lot of things about songwriting and recording together, and it’s an ongoing process.
What was the experience of recording at FM Records like? Where there any major pitfalls or bumps during this process or did it come together pretty quickly and smoothly?
The environment there is really relaxed as well as versatile. We also had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it, so that definitely helped.
Who engineered the record and what did you do to help you shape the sound of the album?
Shaun O’Shaughnessy is the engineer at FM, and he knew what we were going for, so working with him was pretty easy. Alec and I have previous recording experience, including with Shaun, and I think that helped us ask the right questions to sort of expedite the process.
Are there any predominant themes or ideas that tie the record together?
Not really, we just wanted it be rockin’.
Have you begun writing new material?
Oh yeah. We’ve got like a whole new album written, but we’re gonna court it for a while before we make a move.
Will this be your first year performing in the Dayton Music Fest? Have you attended in the past, and if so, do you have any strong memories of the event?
This is the first time Manray has played “The Fest,” but I’ve played it with The Holy Smokes, and Alec’s played it with Amnesia. We’ve never had a bad time at DMF, that’s for sure.
Will you be doing regional touring in support of the record?
We’ve got a couple ideas brewing, but more than likely it would be to promote the new record. So figure like, Spring/Summer 2015.
(Listen to Manray here: https://daytonmanray.bandcamp.com/. Catch the band live at the 10th anniversary of the Dayton Music Fest, October 4. They perform at Oregon Express at 9 pm.)