I'd like to talk about a solo project of yours that's come to light which I think is incredible the amount of work and remarkable detail that's being produced by both you composing all the drums, percussion, vocals, guitars I really dig the new sounds which carries the classic rock style and flair, strong vocals and Desolate Angel on lead guitars and she can play one heck of a mean guitar she rocks.
Q.: Where did you meet Desolate Angel and how long have you been working together?
A: Well here we are, and here we go! I first met Justine at a gig in Wolverhampton, near Birmingham in the UK. My old mate Pete Boot was playing there with his band "Boot 66". I remember seeing Justine as she went up for a jam with Pete and his band. She played some Budgie songs but had some problems with her sound which was unfortunate. I knew she could play well enough, there was no doubting that, I guess the old nerves and feed back was a bit of a problem, but nevertheless I was impressed. I grabbed a chat with her after wards and gave her my home phone number offering to help her play those budgie songs as Budgie did when I was in the band.
At the end of the night I faced a walk to Pete's house, which was about a mile away - a nice prospect I hasten to add! Well then came the rain, so cars were needed. I jumped into some guys beaten up old Jag and we drove round to Pete's house, only just making it before the downpour! Justine pulled up in a nice smart Mercedes I remember thinking to myself that's a nice motor! So off we go into Pete and Nancy's house, I got a few pints down my neck and the party was officially well on its way!! A bloody good time was had by all! Justine went off home and me and my wife went off to bed. Now what you want to know is did Little old Ray get to go for a ride in that little Mercedes !! About four weeks later and you'll never guess who called Justine! She asked me if I remembered her I said; "who, who" she said; "do you have an owl!" I replied; "no but I can give you five or ten minutes." so there you go that's how I met Justine!
Regarding working together - I cant remember exactly how long it's been now, but Justine came to my house and that was good fun, we had a good jam. I then asked her if she would like to do a gig with "Six Ton Budgie"? she was up for it so we did a couple of gigs. Now do you want to ask me another question? OK on your own head be it!
Q.: How long have you been working on this project and when will Ray Philips Solo Album be released?
A: I will try to behave myself now! I rebuilt my studio about three years ago and needed some little project to get the feel of the new studio so at this point I decided to put a few problems right on the previous "Six Ton Budgie." albums/Unplucked and Ornithology. In all honesty I didn't expect to spend so much time on this but I found myself putting bass parts right, and adding extra guitars plus adding more vocals - it went on and on. I got lost inside the whole thing, so excited by it all and I must say pleased with myself. It's important for me to say right now I'm not a bassist/guitarist/keyboardist I'm a drummer - that's my job. The thought came to me and I realized I could do a solo album. But on pondering this thought I said to my self it must be about the songs! You can't brag on your guitar/bass or singing talent! cos I don't feel I have the right, and in any case I just ain't that good at those things, those who know me will tell you I have never praised my music talents up - in fact its always been the opposite. One day I was thinking to myself I need to find someone to play lead guitar on this solo album and I knew I would have my work cut out. It was about that time I had some contact from Justine Forrest who was in Los Angeles at the time. I simply asked her if she would like to do some lead playing on my solo album. I knew this would bring those normal every day problems and that's was OK. She came to our home some time later and we spent some time recording. I remember she was playing along to one of my songs and I got quite excited about it, that's always a good sign for me. Anyway, as time went by I realized she could play much bigger part in all this than I first thought. So, here we are and I have to say it's going really really well.
Q.: Having the pleasure of listening to your song tracks on your MySpace page it's tough to pick a favorite all these songs create the imagery and addictive quality sound that stays with you. Can you tell us about your collection of songs and their themes?
A: You really have made my day Tina, the reason for this is - lets take the song 'Southern' which my son Justin wrote. Now as I told you I don't and never have bragged on my talent, but my son well that's different - he is fab - what a talent.! Me and my wife Carol came home one day from shopping and Justin was on my drums playing to Metallica. It was great drumming so I went into the room and asked about a particular beat. He played it for me and I said well done son that's right. I went out and told Carol he just shown me a great beat. Some two years later aged seventeen he went to live near to Manchester. Two years later he returned home, not as a drummer but as a guitarist. A few weeks after that he was on tour with 'Six Ton Budgie'. Anyway, back to 'Southern'. I was sorting out the drumming and could see Justin was a bit pissed off. I asked; "What's the problem son?" and he told me he didn't like the drumming. Now I'm pissed off! He showed me something and I can tell you it was better than my playing. There's lots of thought and soul searching that goes into our song writing. 'Sea of Ayr' is about the sea off the east of Scotland. I found myself feeling somewhat sad when writing this peace of music. So trust me Tina if you find yourself with sad or happy emotions when listening to Six Ton Budgie you are in the same place as my son and me. With regards to my solo album, I think you will have the same thoughts.
Q.: What inspires or motivated you to write these timeless lyrics?
A: On my solo album there is one song called, 'Just another love song'. When I wrote the music it was a happy thing - there was some sort of problem with my son and an old girlfriend. I sat and thought what it must be like for some people when a relationship falls apart and every time they turn on the radio its another bloody love song! .So I wrote the lyrics along those lines. If the wind is in the right direction I could write a song about you and this situation!! I remember listening to the daughter of Diana Washington and she said that her mothers songs were about her life, and for the most part its the same for me also and the same for my son.
Q.: Will your new solo Album be recorded with a live sound or digital through the computer?
A: I currently use a twenty-four track digital recorder plus three analog disks - a 16, 24 and 32 track. There are no computers - everything is recorded live.
Q.: Is there anyone helping with the mixing and mastering of your new project?
A: Everything is done by me - its very time consuming, requiring lots of time, effort and most of all patience.
Q.: Will you be producing any music videos from your song tracks?
A: At present all time and energy is going into the live recordings, so no plans for videos as yet.
Q.: Can you tell us about a novel your writing which features lots of tales from your years on the road with Budgie (1967-1973) such as the featured highlights of this book?
A: I have always thought of writing a book for a few years now. I have so much to tell. It's as a result of working with 'Justine' the project has now finally become a reality. I will give an in depth account of all my memories through my own eyes. We had lots of good times and some not so good times, but I'm proud to have been part it all and I look back with pride.
Q.: I never heard of Budgie before so I got curious and Googled the band and discovered their music which I thought is awesome are there still vinyl copies of their Albums for sale?
A: I loved those big old albums they were just brilliant! Sadly I don't think you can obtain them on vinyl anymore! or maybe you can!
Q.: I hear Budgie made it through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with other well known famous Artist can you elaborate on this?
A: Am I in there T? Well, I go to the top of my stairs!
Q.: Can you tell us about the limited edition A Birds Eye View Part 1 on CD and The Limited Edition Live Tredegar Footage are there still copies left fans can buy?
A: The Birds eye view Cd was my first step to doing my solo album. If people are interested in getting hold of a copy of the Birds Eye View album they can contact me via the Myspace site or at email@example.com. For convenience it?s also possible to make payments via Paypal. At present I'm sorting out stuff for the Tredegar DVD. It's another project we have on the go, there is so much to do right now. The Tredegar DVD is going to include a live gig, along with some never before seen footage plus we are also putting together an exclusive documentary/interview for the DVD. It's going to be a very special release and a great bit of footage for both collectors and fans.
Q.: Has Cyberspace been helping build your fan base or would you rather be touring?
A: Well I must say as a result of the Internet and with the help my old mate Paul, things have been going well. Then when Justine came on board things just went from strength to strength. As for 2009 well what can I say, there are so many problems for people around the world and I try to think of ways to get my music out there, i.e. keep the price down. I realize it don't mean doddle squat, but it makes me feel I'm doing my bit and if we could all do that it just might help. Of course I'd love to take the show on the road but lets see where it all goes "never say never"!
Q.: What is your focus for career objectives and goals for 2009?
A: Aside everything else I intend to work as hard as I can with my music.
Q.: Before we wrap up our interview do you have any shout outs to fans or friends?
A: What would I like to shout out to my American cousins in the good old USA? Thank God for you people, thank god for Obama, God bless you Tina Wilson.
I can say thank you to Metallica as well cant I? By the way Do Metallica still have some guy into analyze their heads and problems. It was something like that, I seem to remember seeing it on TV - god bless there little Cotton socks! THAT'S IT FROM RAY PHILLIPS OF SS BUDGIE AND CAPTAIN JAMES T KIRK OF THE SS ENTERPRISE GOD BLESS AMERICA (now buy my Cd). PEACE TO ONE AND ALL!
Thank you Ray, for this interview.
Journalist Tina Wilson