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The D-Rays Return To Fort Wayne
By John Hubner
Fort Wayne Reader
Unless you've been living in a cave or cave-like construct where the outside world is blocked from all your five senses you should know that the Fort has been killing it with live music lately. Local and out-of-towners alike have been hitting stages across the city and have been leaving scorched earth in their wake. And leave it to Jason Davis to once again put together another great night of music for the Fort. This time his Streetlamps for Spotlights are hooking up with the fabulous D-Rays out of Athens, Ohio and Fort Wayne's own White Trash Blues Revival on August 5th at CS3. This one is going to blow minds and eardrums, so don't miss it.
This isn't the first time D-Rays (which consist of guitarist Erick Coleman, bassist Missy Pence, and drummer Maceo Gabbard) have played Fort Wayne, but it's been nearly two years since they last blasted their mix of surf and punk-infused rock and roll at local ears. I got a hold of the band and asked them a few questions about their music, influences, and what sort of magic crystals are put into the water supply in Athens that turns out so many great bands.
J. Hubner: So tell me about The D-Rays. How did the band come together?
D-Rays: The first lineup of the band formed in December of 2011. We all were working at the same place and really hit it off as friends. At a company party we were hanging out and just kinda looked at each other and said this would be make a real fun band. We started practicing soon after and were playing shows by February of ’12. Maceo joined later that summer after our original drummer moved away. He has been powering us ever since.
J. Hubner: Musically there's a lot going on, stylistically and energy-wise. Where's the inspiration coming from? What artists blow your collective minds?
D-Rays: Our original sound was influenced by a variety of artists ranging from Link Wray to Man or Astroman?, but as a band we get inspired by new music all the time. For instance, our latest batch of songs have little hints of the music we are currently listening to in the van. Bands like Shannon and the Clams, Gazebos, and Yonatan Gat have worked their way deeply into our brains lately and it comes out in our song writing.
J. Hubner: Athens, Ohio seems to be a pretty happening Midwest hub. A real tight artistic community. Is that town as cool as it seems from afar?
D-Rays: Athens is really great, kinda like a mini Austin but without the sucky parts. It’s a small town, less than 50,000 residents when Ohio University is in session and about half that during the summer months. It's straight up beautiful here and the community is very supportive of local artists of all kinds and the local music scene is very tight knit and nurturing. Water Witches are a local favorite for sure, and other acts worth checking out are Hex Net, Weird Science, Slackluster, Nightstalker, style$tar… too many to count actually. There’s a lot of music coming out of this tiny town.
J. Hubner: So let's talk about the upcoming show on August 9th at CS3. Who's involved?
D-Rays: We are really looking forward to this one. It’s been almost two years since we’ve played Ft. Wayne and we miss it! CS3 with White Trash Blues Revival and Streetlamps for Spotlights, it is going to be fun!!
J. Hubner: Last time you were in town there was a record to promote. Is there a new one in the works this time around?
D-Rays: Definitely. We are finishing up writing our next LP, just need to wrap up a couple more tunes then we can start pre-production at a local studio here in town. After that we plan to record once again with Jason at Off The Cuff. He’s done all of our releases thus far and is essentially the 4th D-Ray. We also have some label interest this time around and are super excited about that prospect.
J. Hubner: What other shows are lined up this summer?
D-Rays: We just played the Blackoutfest 20th anniversary show here in Athens and it ruled. An incredible weekend of music with bands like the Makebelieves, Geraldine, Sega Genocide, Bummers, and New Bomb Turks to name a few. Upcoming shows include Space Bar in Columbus with a real cool band called Mobile Home and a pair of dates with our pals Southern Culture on the Skids. Check out www.d-rays.com for details.
J. Hubner: What's the rest of 2016 looking like for the D-Rays?
D-Rays: It’s going to be interesting. Our drummer Maceo broke his leg at a 4th of July party that required surgery, so he’s going to be out of commission for a while. We’ve got a local ace, Aaron Butler, filling in and he's doing a tremendous job getting us through our scheduled dates. While recovering, Maceo will be writing organ and second guitar parts to our songs and will be joining us on those instruments until he is strong enough to get back behind the kit. He’s an excellent all around musician so we are really looking forward to hearing what he comes up with!
Get out to CS3 on August 5th at 9pm and check out the D-Rays, White Trash Blues Revival, and Streetlamps For Spotlights. Keep up with the D-Rays at www.d-rays.com.