«All my albums are like movies to me.»
Interview with Ray Materick
By Robert Pally

Most people get more quiet with age. Not the Canadian singer songwriter Ray Materick, who put out his first album in 1972. «Melting pot», his album under the name Ray Materick and the Rumbledaddies is full of raw garage rock with naked observations about the world .

EC: Did your Parents encourage you to make music?

Ray Materick: I was encouraged to play the trumpet but I was a kid and didn't like the effort it took . At that time my older brother was playing guitar and listening to Elvis....I started to do the same.

EC: How much was it accept in your family to listen to your early favorites like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry or Hank Williams?

Ray Materick: All this kind of music was listened to in my brothers and my bedroom on his "stereo" circa 1954...

EC: When did you pick up the guitar?

Ray Materick: I don't remember exactly ...I started when I was about 8 but it was too difficult so I didn’t try again till I was 15 or so ...It was then I realized how it could help me meet girls and there was something new around called «rock bands» ...I realized I had a lot of talent in this direction and it provided an option outside of the real world to me.

EC: What was the first song you could play?

Ray Materick: «House Of The Rising Sun».

EC: When did you form your first band and how was it called?

Ray Materick: I was lead singer in a six piece cover band from Brantford (Ontario Canada) called «The Chevron Sextet». This would be mid to late sixties.

EC: What kind of music did you play?

Ray Materick: R&B mostly ...whatever was on the radio...Rolling Stones, Animals, British and American Hits.

EC: Did you ever put out any records with your R&B band in the sixites. If yes, what songs?

Ray Materick: We never made any actual studio recordings...

EC: What was the biggest success you had with this band?

Ray Materick: Every gig was special back then...we were a high school dance kind of rock band doing cover songs and having a great time dressing in bellbottoms and large collared shirts !

EC: What made you change to folk music?

Ray Materick: That was the thing in the 70's. I guess a girlfriend broke my heart way back then and I wrote a song about it. So, for me it was a cosmic case of having a song forced out of me at the exact time it became important to be a songwriter. I really felt like a natural thing. I learned years and years later that astrologically I am in fact a natural...being a Leo from the house of creativity.

EC: In the mid sixties was a big folk movement in New York. Didn't that have an impact on Canada and you?

Ray Materick: Yes, I started to listen to Bob Dylan .

EC: What triggered the decision that you became a solo artist?

Ray Materick: It was an interesting and less complicated approach to making music. The singer/songwriter was just becoming the cool thing I had a knack for this and it was a natural progression for me to focus on my own music.

EC: What war the best moment you remember from your time in the 70ties as a folk singer?

Ray Materick: My first performance at Massey Hall in Toronto where I got my first real encore from 3000 fans...applause that seemed to go on for a long long time....very rewarding.

EC: Looking back which of your albums do you like best and why?

Ray Materick: «Sidestreets» (1972) my first album. Unaffected, passionate, lyrics out the ying yang and very impressive as I listen to it these days. It covers a lot of ground musically. Great players! Nobody else I hear now (other than myself) has the same turn of phrase and committed no bullshit edge as this album.

EC: What made you stop recording albums?

Ray Materick: On one level I had run out of ideas and opportunities. On another level it was time as an artist to live life, observe and learn...regain the optimistic spirituality that had been pushed aside and get some meaning into the art.

EC: What did you do between 1981 till the early 90ties, the time you didn't release any albums?

Ray Materick: I had a beautiful actress girlfriend and we traveled around for awhile after my initial withdrawal from social circumstances....and having regained my pre road health. After that I worked in a number of factories for a number of years. Lately I've been producing a lot of local singer/songwriters as well as building up a catalogue of recorded songs on my website.

EC: What made you work on a new album?

Ray Materick: Just as the ideas and sprit had faded away, over a period of time, for many reasons they returned stronger, clearer, more mature...time to record ...and that is so much fun I began doing a lot of it...

EC: Most people get more quiet with age. Your album under the name Ray Materick and the Rumbledaddies sounds harder and rawer than your early folk albums. How come?

Ray Materick: A reflection of the writers observations of the world around him. And I have the same strength of spirit and physicality...so «Melting Pot»...called for this dark and gritty treatment...I have softer more introspective work. All my albums are like movies to me. Some are romantic , some are hard and raw, some are smack down the middle. I don't edit my writing and I can do the whole scale from Blues to Country to Rock.to Folk to Gospel. All with the same proficiency.

EC: A lot of bitterness comes out of the music and lyrics. Is «Melting pot» also a kind of a musical revenge on something.

Ray Materick: Just a tough album with naked observations about the world around us. The only «bitterness» stems from Man's inhumanity to everything he can get it's hands on.

EC: You are talking about «Man's inhumanity». What is your contribution to make the world a better place?

Ray Materick: I'm a vegetarian. My philosophy is to work hard and not hurt anyone. My songs reflect the human condition and it's many twists and turns. I can articulate and present a story with a moral inside an envelope of melody and vocal styling that can put the listener in a like state of mind. I use this platform for positivism and enjoyment.

EC: Can you give some information about your latest CD as Ray Materick, the 2 CD compilation "Life and times"?

Ray Materick: If this album was a golf drive it would be right down the middle of the fairway of the music I make. Passionately and professionally recorded. 12 songs from now, 12 songs from my days on Asylum Records in the '70's. The 70's band (featuring Daniel Lanois) has just reformed to record a new version of «Feelin' Kinda Lucky Tonight» from disc 2 of «Life and Times». It will be a bonus track added to the package upon it's release as a single this spring ! I like the package and the songs a lot. It's an excellent well put together example of my writing and singing, although I'm continually growing and changing and recording new material.

EC: Can you give some information about your label King.Kong Records. Com (www.kingkongrecords.com)?

Ray Materick: King Kong Records.Com was put together by Dan Quinlan and myself to be a home for all my albums both recent and past (A total of 12 so far on my website). Also, a number of singer songwriters from Hamilton here moved me enough to record and design a package for them. Both for our label but also to give them a professional forum for their work.....