Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen

If you’re looking for something new that will get you out of your seat and moving and shakin’, then The CRY! is the band for you! The CRY! is based out of Portland, Oregon, formed in 2011, and are not only true to rock & roll, but knowledgeable about where it came from. The CRY! performed over 100 times last year, including 35 European dates and have shared a stage with Otis Day… Several times!

Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen: We are very happy to have The CRY! as a Featured Band of the Month and are so refreshed with the energy and style of your music. How did The CRY! form?

RAY NELSEN:  It is awesome that you thought of us… We are honored.   Brian, our lead guitar player and I met at a bus stop our senior year in high school.  We became fast friends and started jamming together.  Soon we started writing tunes together with my Pops.   We looked around local bands to find (and steal) the best drummer and bass player available.  The band really formed when we hit the studio for the first time and heard the natural chemistry.  We decided two years ago to add keyboards, and that has been tight.

METAL BABE: Tell me who’s in the band and a little bit about your background/experience.

RAY: I’ve been playing the punk bars in the Northwest since I was in middle school. High DEf(Delinquent Souls video) Brian Crace is my co-founder. He plays lead guitar and covers both lead and backing vox.  This is Brian’s first real band.  I play guitar and sing a lot too.  Joey Prude, veteran of many touring bands, is our drummer.  Corsh, our bass player, is a true rock & roll soul.  He came from Chicago (most notable band: The Van Buren Boys) and joined us when our bass player (Dave Berkham) left the band.  

METAL BABE: You have a variety of influences, ranging from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, which is another reason The CRY! stands out. Being a younger band, how did this come about?

RAY:   Man my pops was 17 in 1977 (How lucky is that?).  He was all about Beach Boys, Stones, Ramones, Pistols, Kinks, Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry… And even Three Dog Night and Dylan.  He engrained the idea that rock & roll is not about “when” a song was popular but rather about the spirit.  I saw 80 year-old Jerry Lee Lewis playing “Great Balls of Fire” on YouTube… The timing was shitty and he couldn’t sing… But the old man rocked.   Now it’s in my blood to be true to rock & roll and knowledgeable about those who came before me.

METAL BABE: That’s really great. What’s your connection with Otis Day? I saw he was in a video that you did for “Shout” (based on the scene from Animal House) and that you and Brian joined him onstage to sing backing vocals in January.

RAY:  Otis my man!  Cool cat.  We recorded “Louie Louie” with Mike Mitchell from The brian948565Kinsmen (Video w/Mike Mitchell) just for fun.  He is getting older and lives in town.  It was fun, and we had no idea that the track would get picked up for the film.  Brian (half sh*tfaced) told the producer that he liked “Shama Lama” and “Shout” better.  They immediate asked us to record a mash-up of both songs.  They liked our track so much that they asked us to do a video at the old Dexter Lake Club with Otis.  We have gotten together with him for a couple other projects because we dig that old dude and he needs a bit of punk blood.  His eyes light up and his manger gets uptight when we show up… Fun.


METAL BABE: That’s awesome! You’ve toured the U.S. extensively, and even kept a road blog at times (which is very cool). Do you have current touring plans lined up?

 RAY:  We do plan to do the States and Europe again either late this year or early next.  Last year we did over 100 dates.  Right now we are balls deep in producing new material.  We have nearly fifty demos I wrote and played on in the can. 

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METAL BABE: Speaking of new material, what is your songwriting process like, and are you collaborating with anyone on the new recording?

RAY:  Honestly, most of the time I sit alone in my home studio and geek-out for a few days. The melody and lyric come pretty fast, but the arrangements take time.  Brian is my go-to guy for killer chops and often adds to the demos.  Once I have demos that I think would work for the CRY! I send them out to boys to prep for rehearsal.  Then we just sit down and figure out individual parts.  I am actually working on two LP’s now.  One is The CRY! and the other will be my first solo effort (Tommy Ray).  No drama, I just write a ton of material and some is not really CRY! material.

METAL BABE: Very cool. It’s great to be able to differentiate the two. What are the ups and downs of working with a record label (SP Records) based out of Tokyo, Japan? How do you think the fans there compare to the fans in the U.S.? And do you plan to play Japan or Europe?

RAY:  Working with small labels anywhere is cool.  Less hassles and people trying to get a Ray buskingpiece of you.  Japan has been a great market for our stuff. SP has sold out several pressing of both our studio LP’s.  We have no plans for Japan, but we packed 35 venues in 36 nights last spring in Europe.  


METAL BABE: As a band, what is your ultimate goal?


RAY:  World domination (seriously) and to bring back rock & roll as a pop genre.
METAL BABE: What would you like to say to your fans?

RAY: Thanks so much for the support!  If you don’t dig the tunes, that’s cool too… But you can just piss off.

For more information on The CRY!:

The Best Unsigned Rock and Roll Bands in America:

*Note, The CRY! is currently seeking a new keyboard player.  Hit them up if you think you have the chops and the heart!