Introducing Hazy Ray, By Decree of #Thurogod

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to sheaserrano@gmail.com.

All praise be to #Thurogod.

About two weeks ago, we were out at the opening of the super-impressive Wire Road Studios. As part of the tour, they had three separate bands working on music so you could see exactly what the process looked like.

Following the tour, while trying to eat as many of the free foodstuffs as possible without offending anyone (really a delicate exercise in stealthdom), local rapper #Thurogod approached. The middle of the conversation:

#Thurogod: Did you get to hear Hazy Ray play today? Us: No. #Thurogod: Make sure you check them out. They are incredible.

He smiled, because that's what he does, but there were thunderclouds in his eyes. So we looked them up. And holy crap. They were, in fact, incredible: A wave of horns and funk and amber vocals that make your eyes squint like sunlight does.

Go to SoundCloud right now and listen to the acousticized, heart-bending live version of "I Keep Your Letters." It is downright religious.

Anyway, praises, praises, praises. Interview ahead.

Rocks Off: First, tell everything they need to know about Hazy Ray in exactly six words.

Hazy Ray: Shallow, organic, beat-driven, deep grooves. (Many compare it to whiskey sex.)

RO: This is kind of weird, and maybe totally stupid, but sometimes when you're singing or riffing or whatever, it sounds less like you're saying words and more like you're saying sounds and bleeps and blaps. Is that on purpose? Or are we being totally obnoxious?

HR [laughs]: Your are being less obnoxious than insightful, and honesty is always best. On purpose is less accurate than spontaneously appropriate. All in all, the sound of my words, bleeps, and blaps is me having the time of my life.

RO: You have a song called the "Superman Song." Why? Why not the Spiderman song or the The Incredible Hulk song?

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HR: After she was hurt, the muse for this piece spoke of meeting someone who would pridelessly (like Kent) use all the powers in his possesion to protect her family and her heart. If I new Mike Hayes (Trombone) when I wrote this song, it would surely be called "Spiderman Song" because he is, of course, the the greatest super hero of all time.

RO: Would it be possible to convince you all to do more Radiohead covers? That "High and Dry" cover was lots 'o fun.

HR: Anything for Rocks, Off but only at our show this Saturday. (8:30 p.m., Crescent Moon Wine Bar.)

RO: Oh, in that video, people in the crowd are clearly talking. That's a big pet peeve for a big bunch of the writers here at Rocks Off. How bothersome is that for you?

HR: There is nothing more fun for us than entertaining a crowd. Situations change and we adapt. In this instance, we were in hour three of a four hour performance to a full venue graduation weekend in a college town. We knew what the job was, and we kept them drinking for four hours. Some shows are demonstrations, some shows are shows, and some are flat-out-parties. We love it all.

RO: Let's say that, for reasons that were never explained, one day a man in sunglasses and a leather coat approached you and said, from here to eternity, you will either hear a large group of people talking in the background every time you perform your music or you will hear a a large group of people talking in the background every time you have sex. You have to choose one. Which is it? Why?

HR: Best question ever! And you have a split decision. Saint John (Drums) and I would rather have a large group of people talking while we pleasure our prospective partners. We are entertainers to the end... who may or may not harbor slight exhibitionist tendancies. Mike Hayes is firmly on the other side of the fence, wanting no talking from any parties not involved in the sexual activity. Mitch (Bass) however, doesn't mind having a large talking group of people anywhere in his life.

RO: Anything else you want to make sure gets mentioned, because now is totally the time to do it.

HR: Our debut album, Deep and Shallow, is in the mix down stage of production at Wire Road Studios and will be available in the coming months of 2011. We are playing at Crescent Moon Wine Bar in The Woodlands every month and will return to AvantGarden as soon as we can.

While we are maintaning a week of Texas shows every month, the band has temporarily relocated to New Orleans for entertainment opportunities, as well as educational and inspirational purposes.

See Hazy Ray at www.hazyray.com, and contact them anytime at Hazyray@live.com.

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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