Chuck Shute Podcast

Ray West (Spread Eagle, Supafly)

January 22, 2024 Ray West Season 5 Episode 407
Chuck Shute Podcast
Ray West (Spread Eagle, Supafly)
Show Notes Transcript

Ray West is the singer for the bands Spread Eagle and Supafly. He has released two singles with Supafly with a full album coming out on March 8th. We discuss his plan with both bands, the music business, making tours profitable and more!

00:00 - Intro
00:13 - Self-Promotion & Touring Gigs
07:10 - Rehearsing & Stage Show
09:42 - New Project "Supafly"
20:10 - Spread Eagle & Supafly Plans
27:55 - Stress, Anxiety & Travel
35:10 - Meet & Greets & Merch
38:40 - Playing Rockstar Vs. Being Real
43:30 - Evolving, Writing Music & New Music
51:40 - Outro

Spread Eagle band website:
https://spreadeagle.us/

Supafly Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/people/SupaFly-The-Vibe/61551555194641/?mibextid=LQQJ4d

Chuck Shute Linktree:
https://linktr.ee/chuck_shute

Support the show

Thanks for Listening & Shute for the Moon!

Ray West:

In The Now, you, it's all about self promotion. Look, I used to be we all used to be like, Oh, I don't want to just talk about myself that sounds you don't want to be that guy. But then you have you have to do it.

Chuck Shute:

Right. I know, it's so competitive. And it's like, I just made that trailer, which I use your sound bite in there a couple of times. And I felt so douchey doing that. So I'm like, This is so not me. I don't like to, like, show off or brag or, but I was like, I have to like, stand up for myself. I have to show people I am good at interviewing. I have to, like tell myself that to like, Hey, this is something I'm good at. I suck at a lot of things. Don't get me wrong. I'm terrible at most things, but I'm like, I'm, I'm okay. And like podcasts. And I feel like I'm kind of decent. So I need to like but I just have to convince a world of that. No,

Ray West:

this is your jam. I told you. This is your jam. I really feel like I've known you forever. It's trippy. trippy. It's

Chuck Shute:

the same thing for you with the band. I mean, you're trying to it's Yeah, making music is a big part of it, of course. But then it's like convincing the world that the music is good and convincing them to listen to it and convincing people to give it a try.

Ray West:

Yeah, man, getting bodies in the room is really, it's a Herculean task for a band like this, because we're coming out of nowhere at some point, you know, it's like, why should we go see spread eagle? Like why? You know what I mean? We can go see Metallica, we pay$1,000 or whatever, you know what I mean? Why should we go it's pretty typical. It's you grind and grind. You know? We've hit places like twice now and when we go back the second time there's more bodies and there's more energy you know what I mean? It's a lot of work you really gotta go you gotta go as grassroots as you can you got to play places no one else wants to play or heard about sometimes. Yeah, you know, it's a lot of

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, no, I was just gonna say like, What about like using that you know, the strategy that the they used to use and TV I remember like, remember like Thursday night must see TV. And it was like friends and Seinfeld and then they always put like the new show in between those two shows. So like you kind of had to watch it like what if you get on a tour with a with other bands and you know then it's like people are going to they're going to see the other band maybe and then they're going to stick around they're gonna get there early and then see you guys and then they make you make a fan out of them that way. Yeah,

Ray West:

yeah, man. That's that's been that's how that's how it's been working for us. It just went over to Europe. That was like a lot of people have been waiting for us to come over and it's always that getting that new fan that's always that it's always the young kids when we get the kids that blows my mind that's what I like you know when you see those two kids sit in the corner in the nickel mobile font even they just like is what the fuck is Who are you guys you know?

Chuck Shute:

So how does so how did that work? Were you guys because you guys were headlining in Europe but then you just had people that wasn't like free show or something or how do people just show up?

Ray West:

No, I mean you know they do the promo they do the promotion over there we we did what they called a we think we grassroots did there we played some there was some place like the UK called The Patriot I never heard of it before. But they did a lot of great promo there and we have a band called circus oh my god is going to they're going to kill me circles

Chuck Shute:

of power.

Ray West:

No no whatever this awesome band we play with. They had a we chose bands to open they had great followings you know that also were hungry for gigs. So star circus. The Starkers is a great band really, really cool people. And, you know, they made it they made it comfortable for us. And we also let us you know, we they backslide? Are they backline is quite a few times, which is pretty cool. You know, but it's tricky to go somewhere and you think there's going to be nobody in the room. I mean, you got to do soundcheck, there's no one around, you know, then then you're the gate comes, it's about tennis, and you step in shit. It's fucking awesome. You know, it was it was a surprise every night. I'm the kind of person I don't expect anyone to be there. You know, it's terrible.

Chuck Shute:

I mean, like, you know, I'm I bet my buddies in the band of limbo, it's kind of a newer band. And they toured with faster pussycat, and a guy named Jason Charles, who I wasn't familiar with, but now I know who he is. And it's always like a three band package. But even still on like, it's tough. They're playing like the marquee here in Phoenix. It's a big venue. And it was on like a Tuesday and I was like, I hope some people show up and it was a pretty good turnout and so I think the package deals are going to be the best bet I think for bands that are you know, unless you're Metallica or something then you can sell out obviously in arena but I think it's better to team up and like your you guys are doing the Monsters of Rock cruise. Like that's perfect too because people are going to stick around Oh, check them out, you know, and then I think you make fans that way.

Ray West:

Yeah, I think that changes the optics of things if we can do well. If we have good gigs on the Monsters of Rock cruise. I think people will see us in a different light. You know the big ol you know what spread they're actually good. To another guy right race still got his chops, you know? Yeah.

Chuck Shute:

Have you done that one before? Is this the first time you're gonna be doing it?

Ray West:

We've I've never done it. I know Rob has done it with his with his other bands, you know, with Bach, a UFO, whatever I've never done the Monsters of Rock I've ever been on. I've never been on a ship. And I watched YouTube big ships in big ways, way too much. So it fucks with my head, you know? And everybody says it's going to be great. If you don't even feel it move in. You know?

Chuck Shute:

Those ships are big. Yeah, I feel like it's

Ray West:

Yeah, but for me, I know we're on the water. And I figured out where my life jackets 24/7 a word to bed. You know, apart? Well. I'll make a new stage here like life jacket with like, put some studs on it or something? No, yeah,

Chuck Shute:

I'm not. You can also take the Dramamine if you're if you get seasick.

Ray West:

I'm pretty good about that. I'm pretty good about that. With me. It's just it's new. It's new. It's the unknown. I don't know what I'm getting into everybody have, they told me how cool it is, you know, but because we've never played it before. My brain is just like, I want to have fun and enjoy it. But I know we just got I want to knock that first setup. You know what I mean? I wish I could just be like, yeah, man, it's no big deal, Chuck, I'm gonna go out there. But it's like, I want to nail it, you know, make it so that these gigs count. We've worked really hard, you know, back to going back to Europe real quick. And we did London, that was a great big payoff. Because it was called the Blackheart was packed. It was awesome. Little real place. But it was packed. So I know that we'll have people on the boat. We just have to just be on point. Yeah,

Chuck Shute:

so how, because you have all these shows in January, February, before you hit the Monsters of Rock cruise? So is that kind of the warm up? Or is there a special rehearsal you're going to do for the Monsters of Rock cruise as well.

Ray West:

Now the gigs are the warm up. Okay, do you like to we always do like maybe two rehearsals before we go out. If we had just played like two weeks ago, we probably wouldn't rehearse. But if it's like, you know, like a month off, maybe almost a month, almost like six weeks. So we gotta like get in there and fire up a little bit. Because you gotta get you gotta get kind of like, you want to feel comfortable. You know, I don't want to feel like like a fish out of water. So it only takes a few minutes to start to get you to be in your own skin. But you know what I mean? You got to really like, get in there. Nail it.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, I just had the drummer from David Lee Roth band on. This is me even for that level. I know, you know, David Lee Roth, big rock star, but he said they rehearse for six months for the Vegas shows that ended up being canceled, but I was like, six months? I mean, that seems like a lot, even for any band. I mean, that's like so much rehearsal. I'm really curious. What I wish I could have seen those shows, because that sounds like six months of rehearsal, there must have been a lot of like, stage moves and things and Pyro words and stuff, right?

Ray West:

I would think so. Because a cat like that, you know, he's very experienced are doing a great show. I mean, when you saw the Van Halen shows, they were kind of like, you know, they would move in sync and certain places, and that they were out, they all bounced to the front of the stage. You know what I mean? Yeah, I'd like to work out segways you got to work out all that stuff. I wish we could just get up and wing stuff. But you want to you want to make it count, you know, you want to have cool, you still want to have jams and keep things I like things to feel loose. You know, we don't run tracks. And that's a big part of it, too. That keeps you loose, you know, you're not like, regimented into counting. You know, I'm saying, right,

Chuck Shute:

right. Well, you play now that was short lived those gigs that you did with George Lynch, because everyone talks about how he is like, so loose. And it's just like, he'll get into these jam things for like, a long time and just go off and just generally, I guess is the thing or did you just like leave when he would do that? Because that's like more like just him playing guitar, right?

Ray West:

I think he the students walk to the side of the stage and let the guy do his thing. You know, it's always like, even even in spread, you know, when the guy is we have some sections that are that are long musical sections. It's like Don't just stand out there. You know what I mean? I don't have a guitar in my hand. You know what I mean? So you gotta like plan out where you're going to be. I do like to take a walk. And I like to

Chuck Shute:

when the singer with the singer isn't doing anything. I'm okay with them going backstage getting some water, because it's always awkward when they're just kind of standing there and like clapping or something. I'm like, this is like a little weird, you know? Yeah.

Ray West:

And it's natural. Like, I have this feeling that someone you should stay out there and work a temporary asset. I like to showcase the guys it's what it might do. What I hate is air guitar. Lucky. Yeah, when guys do that always crack me up. It just wasn't for me. But yeah, man. That's funny. You said that. Because I there's three or four times in our set writers walk off because they're, they're in some great, great long musical piece and I don't have to be there. You know, when you come back on you kinda like changes dynamics. Oh, there he is. Again, where's Waldo is right there.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. And that's perfect. So I mean, spread that you got those shows coming up. But tell my audience about because we don't think we talked about this too much last time, but Superfly I've heard the two songs that you've put out. And they're great. It's like this kind of what would you call like a 90s, early 2000s style kind of rock kind of alternative. Industrial.

Ray West:

Yeah, it's you know, yeah, it's got its emotionally intense, it's it's kind of hip with urban groove, you know what I mean? It's got it's dark, it's melodic, it's, it's, it's very natural place for me to sing to. When we first did the spread stuff, my voice is very up and ranging affected. You know, this is very natural singing almost like, how so how submit to the stars is as an album, but the Superfly stuff is, is it's just cool as is convenient. This stuff is like my calling card, you know, it's very personal. And the guys in deco entertainment are helping me to get this stuff out there. So I'm really excited about that I got a great crew around me, you know, it's a great band is great management. It's a lot of talent involved. You know, I'm lucky that I've sat on these songs for a long time. So it's like for me to get this stuff out there to have you hear it, you know, and like it. That's that's huge for me. You know, it, I'll take it as far as it'll go. So, the superclass coming out, it's going to come out March 9, I believe. We're actually doing a record release party down in Fort Lauderdale for it. So because I'm living in Florida now, too, and it is a great music scene down here still, that super flies my jam, you know, it's my jam.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, no, you're right. It's that's a perfect I was gonna say I was gonna make sure I had that it was, even though it's kind of that alternative. It's it's melodic. So I think spread fans will enjoy it, because it sounds more modern. But it's still got that melodic feel, which I think is reminiscent of the 80s rock stuff. Well, that's, that's what I loved about the 80s rock is that it was so melodic and catchy. And this stuff is like that, too. Obviously, the one song I'm your Boogie Man, that's a cover of KC and the Sunshine Band. But it sounds so dramatically different. And then who is that doing the guitar solo on that one? Because that's a killer guitar solo.

Ray West:

That's a that's my my writing partner, Miguel Gonzalez. Miguel.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. Okay. So he's not only the bassist and producer, he's the guitar player, too.

Ray West:

Yeah, man. He's basically he tracks just about everything. It's like one of those situations where he's like a virtuoso. He asked me, he's a great producer. And he's a great untapped talent. As far as that goes, he should be making millions. But, you know, he's really, really talented. And I'm lucky that he lets me hang out with him a lot. I mean, I'll say something in conversation and the next and if we're just talking about the idea of a track and he'll send me what was in my head, he'll send what was in my head. It's crazy. But man, it's been the easiest writing I've ever had to do. You know, it just everything just flows and it comes on sale. So generic, it just, it's, it feels good. This music feels good. And if I if I told you how excited I was, I would sound like the corniest person in the world but it really is great to get this music out.

Chuck Shute:

So it's this is you and Miguel does he do the drums then to

Ray West:

know we had we had some people we had a drummer track some drums for us. You know, there's also a lot of like, you can program some shit now. You know, the way things work, you know, so I believe his cousin Damian did some tracks for us. We had a few people that came in, but there is a band that's solid. It's a four piece right now. It's our bass drum myself vocal. We might add a guitar. I'm not sure yet.

Chuck Shute:

Who's in the the official band The live in? Yeah.

Ray West:

So Miguel Gonzalez is going to come in his bass. Steve rose, really good friend of mine is going to track is gonna play as is the guitar player in the band. Phil, I forget his last name is going to kill me. i Oh, yes. I'll say, Phil, I'm sorry, man. But the drummer is a great cat. But they're all local down here. Okay. And you know, we put in rehearsals together and we're putting it together while I'm doing all the spread stuff. We're just making me crazy. You know, it's making me crazy. But while spread is touring. What if I'm back during the week, I'll probably just rehearse the middle of the week because I don't want to suck. Yeah.

Chuck Shute:

So you're doing that. So you're kind of juggling it? So yeah, it's coming out. I think I have March 8, you said March 9, but it's a deco entertainment. Explain what this is. This is a part of Warner Brothers are one.

Ray West:

That's a district that's a distributor. Yeah, I wanted, I wanted some guys that had a great rep. And Bruce and Charlie who run deco are just, you know, they believe in the songs. You know, they had, they had a million things they were doing, but for them to take the time to do this, and be part of it and really, like have a say in things and really want to have the same belief in something. So it's not just me anymore. You know, it's, it's, it's a great label. Our manager is a believer, she's also part of our art department. She you know, she's great with with, with creative and you know, she's like part of the band. You know, I can't tell you, man, how it's just special. It's special. I hope that people dig it as much as I do. Because I'll live and die by this record, that's for sure.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, I mean, so if teachers revisited and remastered versions of tracks that are previously recorded, as well as the new composition, so how are you said you've been sitting on some of these songs for a while, how old are some of the songs?

Ray West:

Like 910 years old? Okay. You know, so what we did is that we read, we had sin sitting around. And I was like, I don't want to let these songs go to waste. You know, what do we do? And so, through a friend of ours, one quick story, a friend of mine does licensing for gaming movies, things like that. And he was like, What are you guys doing with those songs? I really love those songs. Have you worked on some more stuff? So me and Miguel were like, Let's remix this stuff. Let's really give this stuff some care. It was a demo, you know. And now it doesn't sound like a demo anymore. You know what I mean? Things are remixed. It's mixed. Nice. Are we saying a lot of stuff? It sounds like a brand new, you know, it's a makeover and all the old songs. So it's a really, they never got a chance to see the light of day. So it's fresh material. That's how I look at it. Yeah,

Chuck Shute:

okay. Gotcha. Is there another artist named Superfly? How does that work? I thought I saw on spot

Ray West:

with that with that name. I'm sure someone's got to be a Superfly. So it's just one of those. It's one of those names, man, because I've always wanted to have that band name. Yeah. And I know, there's like a Superfly in Japan. But it's I looked at me can look it up. But it's, you know,

Chuck Shute:

I was like, no one's tried to sue you yet or anything? No, I

Ray West:

mean, that only happens if it breaks in a big way. You know what I mean? I don't see some kid in in Russia, I think is a Russian Superfly. Two. Okay. We're the American Superfly. How's that? All

Chuck Shute:

right, gotcha. So that's the next single drop. And you said, I think you said that the next one is kind of the big song.

Ray West:

It's big as far as like rock. You know, because we put out hypothermia, which is a bit on the mellower side. But um, which is my favorite piece of music. drowning man has got that big room, I'll send it to you, when I'm done. It's got the big room we're gonna make, we're making videos, we're going to make a video for the song hypothermia. We've actually already made you know, we got the footage, we're just getting it edited and put together and we're going to make a video for drowning man as well. I think in the now man, you know that you got to have a lot of content, you got to make videos. And that's one thing I really haven't done, you know, spread hasn't had a chance to make a video for that album. You know, we did send a speed when we need to make more videos. So for Superfly I'm going to we're going to concentrate on making videos and making content and doing what you and I talked about in the beginning, Shane's the going out there plugin? Yeah,

Chuck Shute:

well, then what would you say about the licensing you're gonna get probably get a license for TV or video games or something? Well,

Ray West:

you know, our friend, our friend, Tony Fortuna was the catalyst for even jumping on these songs again. So I would like to have them as much as I as they could land in a movie or on a gaming platform. You know, that'd be that'd be great. Because nowadays, nowadays, you need you need that you need to have that some sort of like vehicle to carry your tune.

Chuck Shute:

Right? Because then you guys have a song and spread eagle, high horses was on a soundtrack with Debra Winger, the Dangerous Woman or something was it was did you have other songs that were on soundtracks?

Ray West:

I think scratch like a cat was on a TV show. But high horses I remember we remember because I got it. We got a check for that. You know, one day I was at the management's office, where I got a check for him. Like what? Like, cool. I want to do more of that.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. So that again, that's especially nowadays that's got to be one of the most lucrative ways to make money from recordings because obviously, you're not getting a lot from Spotify and album sales anymore.

Ray West:

No, man. No. No, no, the way we're making money is we have to tour and play live. But sell T shirts right so merch, that's it. That's it, you supporting the band that way. But as far as man, if you can, if you can get a song in a movie, that's cake, that's like, you know, used to be it wasn't cool to go commercial. But you know, it's gonna be in commercial man. And now everybody just wants that that moment, you know, whether it's a TV show, whether it's a movie, whether it's whatever, just something that cares, your tune outside of your house. You know, it's it's a new game, as you know, it's like, there's a million ways to do this every day. It's some new millions way to do it every day. So whether it's Superfly I think, what's the what plywood just with the kind of music that it is, and the writing team behind it and the people that are with I just think it has a good chance. It's I think it's good music man. There's so there's so much stuff out there, that just sounds the same. You know what I mean? Music is either like cookie cutter, or Cookie Monster sounding ish, or just sounds like a lot of cats that were in the 80s and 90s are making especially the 80s are just sort of rehashing their sound. You know, you got a lot of older dudes that shouldn't be wearing some of the leather jackets, they do and they should you know, they should evolve a little bit, you know, I'm saying yeah,

Chuck Shute:

so that's because I don't know if you remember the band rocks gang. They're actually from from Florida, but I had the singer Kevin Steele, and like, he's basically disbanded that band and he's doing his other thing now, and he just won't do and I never got to see rocks gang. And he's like, I'm done. I'm never doing another show. He's like, nobody wants to see that. Oh, my God. I'd like to see it. I mean, but yeah, I think you could evolve and still Do the same band, like you could play the old songs, and then evolve and play new stuff. And you don't have to wear the same outfit, or 1989. either.

Ray West:

You got to trust your audience. If your audience is cool, and they're with you, they'll they'll evolve with you. And it looks at use, I use spread eagle as an example. Because so much of the stars sounds nothing like the first record. You know, it's got a lot of the sass and attitude but I'm not singing like that. You know, and it's a more mature style of writing. And it works. It worked for us. We had it worked. It worked. We did it 30 years later, maybe that's what it is, you know, but some cats, they do it one way and that's it. They don't want to ever do that. Again. They just won't touch it. They feel like it's a failure. Maybe I don't know, you know, I mean, would spread. I didn't want to touch it for a long time either. I was like, Man, I did that once like that. I don't know if I can do that again. You know, I don't I don't know if I want to do that again. You know, it's hard

Chuck Shute:

to sing those songs from the 80s like those notes and stuff. Is that tough? Oh, hell

Ray West:

yeah, man. But what I do is I just make bullet points. Like, I think there's stuff in a song that people will be like, Ah, he didn't do it. You know what I mean? And for the longest time, I did not do it. I ever since our little episode will be we talked you know, what happened with with the lynch thing. That was a huge wake up call for me. Because there are people and I learned this in Europe, people that want to hear these songs sung and played a certain way, you know, so I have to do my best to honor that shit. And it means I just got to be the best Ray West I can with what I got. So I reworked my chops. I'm really working hard on like my higher raspy and which had to use for a long time. So you know, and can you

Chuck Shute:

just play it down an octave too? Isn't that what's for some of the songs he's singing? or something?

Ray West:

Yeah, live, everybody tunes down live. Everybody tunes at least a half a step because you just can't be on 11 The whole fucking time you won't survive. You know, unless you're gonna I'm gonna say this. Greta Van Fleet kid. Yeah, guy can sing and he can sing anything. But at some point, you're gonna have to patient this pacing involved. You know, this? I don't. I'm not the same animal I was years ago. You know, but man, when I get on stage, sometimes I feel like this. I'm the same animal I was years ago. You know what I mean? Maybe I'm just fooling myself. But it's been great, man. It's been great relearning the songs, kind of getting my swagger back on the spread eagle stuff, to give me the swagger and the balls to do Superfly. You know, I'm saying so. You know, and, man, like I said, the past year and a half. I busted my ass. I've met like our great friends like you. You know that? Honestly, like what I do. I think I don't think you'd be SME. I feel good. I feel good. Where I'm at, man. I feel if I get the Superfly stuff out. I can do anything. I really feel like that, bro.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. So what is the is there a plan to actually tour with Superfly? Or at least do some live shows locally are?

Ray West:

Yeah, I mean, we're doing we're doing a record release party that so there is a band together. I don't want to have that go to waste. So hopefully we'll be we'll do whatever the music or whatever it takes me this, you know, this rest of this year, is what I'm going to make happen. And whether it's a crazy schedule or not, I'm going to make it happen. I'm going to do whatever I can to make this music happen.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, what are some bands that you think Superfly would be good to package with? Oh,

Ray West:

man. There's so many. I wouldn't mind if it like, solely gave us a call to go out on the road. That'd be crazy. Who Godsmack I love all that. Oh, yeah, I know that. I'd like to I'd like to go with a band like that. You know, I think all those the new school bands that are melodic. We could go out with you know, I think maybe Deftones that'd be a dream come true. Something like that, you know, but I'll play in front of everybody. You know, I'll go towards with Steven Pierce. He's wrapped up when he wants to gig. You know what I mean? I'll, whatever stage I can get to. I don't think I really have a choice. We just I just gotta go where it takes me. I hope that doesn't sound too like. Yeah,

Chuck Shute:

no, but is it so is it you like personally are you going to be reaching out because like, if I was you, or either you or the manager, whoever's job and as I would just like, I would ask like, I would start with Godsmack and then just go down the list until you get somebody that will say yes, that's right,

Ray West:

you shoot for is cast the longest line as you can. And then you bring it back and whatever, whatever you catch, you catch our manager, Adrian, Agent Biondo is a bad motherfucker. Sorry, to curse and so much, but she's got the gift of like, I truly believe that she'll be able to go and find something. You know what I mean? I have so much faith and faith in her and she has great drive. You know, like I said, it's not just me, they can I think I can't I think I can't there's other people around me trying to make this happen. So you know, it takes a village to make a band cool. It takes the right people it takes everybody you know going moving forward together and, and and pushing each other you know, so that's that's I don't know the way I look at this bro. I don't got much time left on this planet. You know, I'm making the most of it. You know what I mean? So I really want to be as groovin ly loud and Superfly as I possibly can with this stuff.

Chuck Shute:

Like how many shows would you want to do in a year? You could at the end and December 31, you could look back and go, Wow, that was a good year, I did, over many shows, Oh,

Ray West:

I'd love to get 100 plus shows. This year, that'd be good. That'd be a good year for me.

Chuck Shute:

I'm super flat, a super fly and spread eagle or like, total.

Ray West:

If I could do a buck and a buck, I'll do. If I could go out 300 days a year, I would kill me. Look, man, this this thing is like I'm at a point in my life where I don't. Something drives me in the morning to do this stuff. You know, it's so easy to just kick back and do nothing and watch football and call it a day. You know, but you got your podcast, you're, you're out because you're driven to communicate and connect with people. You know, and, and, and so am I. But you know, through this music, you know, and it of all the vehicles I've used with was like, going out for castings for shows or movies or commercials, whatever. This music thing is seems to be a natural thing for me, you know, the easiest way for me to communicate. I just feel like there's there's an audience out there for what I do. And I'm just like, still trying to get in there, claw my way to them so I can get to them all the time. You know, not have to fight so hard. But I'll do we gotta do. I'm excited about this stuff, man. It drives me It keeps me going is this is my purpose, you know? Right.

Chuck Shute:

That's exactly. That's exactly how I feel the podcasts like the same thing. It's like, yeah, I feel like we're getting older. But it's, it's like at the same time, if you have that drive, there's a reason you have that. It's like you feel like that's your purpose. You feel like you want to prove it to people and convince people and grab people that go to the top of the mountain and shout it and try to explain to people, you know, this is what I need to do I need to do this for some reason. Yeah,

Ray West:

man. I mean, look, there's a lot of cats that say they want to do a podcast, but they don't do it. And then if they do it, they don't do it. As well as you do somebody's sometimes just have a gift for this stuff. You know, a lot of guys are couch musicians, they'll talk about being in a band and what that band should do, but they're not out there doing it. You know, it's easy to just sit back on your laptop and make a comment about how things should be but it's you got to be a part of it. So that's how I feel. Yeah, I still want to think I could do that.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, you have to think about why I think that's the biggest thing. Like there's a lot of people that they start a band they think oh, this will be easy and I'm gonna get rich on be a rock star. Same thing on the podcast, I'm just gonna start a podcast off to sit there and talk. And I'm going to be the next Joe Rogan and it's like, it's a lot of work. You got to really love podcasts and your you got to really love music. And you want to you gotta want to put in the time because you feel like it's worth it at the end. And hopefully it sounds like for you and me right now it is to

Ray West:

me it's it's all the details. It's the you know, the the travel the getting on the plane going to security checks, you know, dealing with the stewardess, you know what I mean? Getting off the plane have been no sleep. Eating somewhat healthy. You can you can survive. But you know, this all does all the things that make it so you don't want to do it. But you got to do it. Yeah. So

Chuck Shute:

how to deal with that now because I think before you'd said that the downtime was the killer for you. Because that's what got you to turn to drugs and then that you went down that whole dark path now you're off the drugs. So how do you deal with the downtime?

Ray West:

Oh, man, I just don't have any downtime. I went and I'm always doing something. I'm always doing something now. So I think now like I said, I'm at a place where I can not I deal with the stress better. You know, I deal with the anxiety better. I deal with the rush better, you know, and the whole like, always feeling like you have to be somewhere you know that thing where you can sit still. It's taken me years to shake that man, I'm still I still deal with it. But I just I battle it better than I used to. Do you?

Chuck Shute:

Do you get stressed out when you have to fly on a plane because I just it's not that I feel like I'm afraid to find like I feel like we're gonna crash I just hate going to airports and then having to sit in an airplane and be all crowded and like the stress of going through security and just having like no control drives me nuts. Do you get some of that ever?

Ray West:

Oh my god. Yeah. Listen, here's the whole thing. Airports met number one. Why is every airport bathroom not built with ventilation? Yeah, disgusting. But the idea of like sometimes, you know, thank God for edibles, you know when I fly, but when I'm on a plane it'll hit me once in a while that I'm in a tube strapped in you know, and I'm in the middle chair sometimes and it's not a good place to be not been on a kind of weird but look man that weighs that gets on you. But I learned I'm learning to sleep better on planes. You know what I mean?

Chuck Shute:

So when you do the edibles to Oh

Ray West:

yeah. Oh yeah. I like the indica because they just like a nice date of indica. So and the other thing about flying the cracks me up is when you land the people that jump up right away and have to be in the aisle for 20 minutes. That never stops man. It's like it amazes me every flight it's like full of assholes that have to go out the door right away but they make three minutes I will

Chuck Shute:

be like five in front of you to like those people. Yeah, stand up and I'll be like sitting on like Hey, like it's, it's the next row, this is my rose turn, but the guy behind me will just shove his way through.

Ray West:

sketch a suitcase by your head.

Chuck Shute:

Like, it doesn't matter to me. I'll spend another five minutes on the plane. But yeah, it's just like, at that point. I'm like, it's close enough that I you know, you're almost there. It's whatever, who cares. But that's the first part security. And then just like halfway through, I feel like it's usually about halfway through the planer and I'm like, Oh, I can't I can't sit anymore. I got this is like annoying. Yeah,

Ray West:

there's no place and so you become like a good flyer. You know, you get your leader right playlist, you get your, you know, audiobooks, your playlist. You know, you you get a writing pad for when you get antsy. You know what I mean? I do a lot of writing plans.

Chuck Shute:

It sounds like you guys do more touring in the van. Like even when you flew to Europe, and then you just did you tour in a van from there or train or how did you do it? Once you've got to Europe? It

Ray West:

was planes, trains, and automobiles. All three, all three, all three. If the gig is like within four hours will drive. You know what I mean? So, Scotland, we flew. We had to get up in East Germany. Where you were, we flew, we flew to Edinburgh, but no Eastern wake up six in the morning, catch a plane in Brussels change at Frankfurt. Land in Edinburgh, Scotland. Rent numbers, rent the car drive to the gig. Five Minute soundcheck play. There was a day like that like that that happens, you know, so I don't remember the car. I don't remember the plane. I remember anything that day. Just the traveling was just it was nonstop man. But you get good at it. You know, it's teamwork. Man. One guy does this one guy's in charge of that one guy's in charge of that. You just work on it, you know, on how

Chuck Shute:

do you make a trek like that? profitable. Because I know like even anthrax. They're one of the top four. They are the top four thrash band of all time, they had to cancel the European tour because of the rising cost of gasoline and all that stuff. Like it's hard to make a tour like that profitable.

Ray West:

Yeah, man. A lot of that has to do with Robbie. You know, Robbie's really good at coordinating. So.

Chuck Shute:

I mean, how do you guys have any tricks? Like, do you just all share, like one hotel room and just scram in, like, you know, two people per bed and do a couple of double beds or something?

Ray West:

We have we've we've been doing Airbnbs Oh, okay. Which which changes everything, then everybody can get a room be out of each other's face. It's pretty cool. You know, you learn to look for bargain basement deals, you know, in in six months in advance. You know what I mean? It's, it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work. I had no idea what Rob does for spread eagle as far as coordinating and being the liaison with a lot of stuff. Oh, he

Chuck Shute:

does all that. He's

Ray West:

a he's a big part of it. Robbie is a big part of that. If it wasn't for Rob is a reason spread eagle goes, okay. You don't I mean, that's, that's interesting.

Chuck Shute:

I used to be a guidance counselor. I did. That was my day job for a long time. And, and always, for some reason, they put us in charge of the schedules for kids. And, and then like, I remember whether the counselors like it's like a big puzzle. I'm like, This is not fun. I hate this shit. And the tour manager sounds like a similar kind of nightmare, where you're trying to juggle and figure out how this goes here and you're gonna go there. I mean, just I do not envy him for doing that.

Ray West:

Yeah, so you know, someone has to someone has to be dad and coordinate. And then as we've been doing as graduates, as we graduated into this, everybody takes a part in helping more you know, to me now Ricky does a lot of stuff you know, it goes everybody does their part, but it's relentless. You gotta really have a lot of intestinal fortitude to do this stuff, man. You got to really want to be out there. Yeah,

Chuck Shute:

well, that's amazing that and then rah both you and Rob. Both want to do and then you found this young guitar kid and And Rob's brother Rick is the drummer now. So right cousin

Ray West:

Yeah, cousin because it was because Johnny, you know, we did this audition thing for guitar players and Jami he Jami has a very heavy Italian accent, you know, but he's, he's, he's Italian, in the sense. He's just really reserved and cool. You know, he's just style without having to be like affected about it. You know what I mean? Like he dresses the way he does. He just has a swagger that he does without having to be that. Like, nothing is done as an effective thing. He's just Jami cool, reserved, easy to deal with. And the reason we work is because we all know each other pretty well now, so we're easy. We travel well, we know when someone's going to be pissed off. We know when to lay off. You know what I mean? Honestly, like, I like to bust everybody's balls all the time. But that's my that's because I'm an asshole. So you learn how the the politics of being in a band. You know, like ours, you just learned to get along, man, and we look out for each other. That's that's rare in the band. I really care about these dudes, too. We're like, we all just look out for each other. But then you learn to travel well, you learn to travel on a budget. You know, we're not out They're drinking champagne. You know, we're out there like just hustling getting to the gate, all the managers get to the gig.

Chuck Shute:

It doesn't help to, to do the meet and greet stuff. So I'm assuming that you that that part's free, where you come out and take pictures and sign stuff and everything, because that helps promote the band. If they take a selfie with you, then they post it on their social media, they're advertising your band for free.

Ray West:

If anybody takes the time to come up to you, and be gracious about the thing that you do and connect with you on that pocket, you're going to be you can't step on, you know, that's part of it. It's and that's a big part of it. Now men all meet and greets with us are free. I think making people pay to meet you and say hello is ridiculous.

Chuck Shute:

Unless your kiss, I mean, and then I feel like you almost have to charge if you're that level. Like otherwise, it's just gonna, there's gonna be do you be doing you're gonna be do the meet and greet longer than the show.

Ray West:

But that's a corporate machine. That's a whole different level of the game. You know, that's like, you know, they would just get these guys that look like these guys, and we're good. You know what I mean? We're good. It's it's Kiss, Kiss Kiss became something bigger. Now I hear they're going to do some sort of, like, some hologram thing or something. Yeah, I don't know, man. It's like, see, I'm glad we're talking about this. Because when I was a kid, kiss was my my end all be all kiss was it? You know, I saw them on the kiss Live Tour. You know, ace, Jean Paul, I saw that. And that was good enough for me. Like years later, I didn't go to sleep when they took off their makeup and all that stuff. I was happy that I saw him in their prime. But unlike that, you know, I'm like the original guy. I don't want to see the tribute. I rather see the band. You know, people say that about us, too. But, uh, it's kiss man. You know, of course, jeans all about making money because he tells you that. So that's it's honest. You know? That's great. You know, hey, how you doing? Oh, I can't say hello to you to talk to that guy. You're paying? That's weird. That's weird for me.

Chuck Shute:

Right? Yeah, that would be because there are bands that that are, you know, at a similar level of spread eagle. And they'll they'll charge for meet and greets. I mean, I know it's tough to just be an abandoned train it like I said, trying to make a profitable tour. So sometimes you got to do some of that kind of stuff, too. I don't know, I've never been in a band. But it's like bands got to get creative. I think merch too is the, if you can't sell a record or CD, like sell something cool. That sells the CD. Like I saw this thing today, it was so cool. I don't know if you're like a horror movie fan. But it was all the Halloween movies on like DVD or Blu ray or something. And it was the case was like the house from Halloween, it was the coolest thing. I don't know if it was for sale, or was this like a custom thing. But shit like that is like, is what's going to sell stuff like because if you're a diehard fan, you guys have spread ego, like every band has at least, you know, a certain core of hardcore fans that are gonna buy anything you put out. And if you put out a bunch of cool shit, I mean, that can help make the year so that your band can continue to tour.

Ray West:

Well, that's, that's, that's your army, you know, that people wearing the shirts are the ones that spread the word about you, you know, they're still excited to come out and be part of this whole live thing and be they're part of the band, when you put it when you get the shirt, you're part of the whole thing, you're part of the whole tribe of it, you know, you belong, like this is this is my band. You know, I've said this before, people have to take ownership of the band, it's their band, you know, and that's why it works. And on that level, you know, so but the bands that are on on our level that do meet and greets, and they're not really selling much product, it's just silly. They're just playing Rockstar. You know, those days are done, man, the Rockstar days are done. Right? The same game is in so we, we we get out here and we push ourselves on social media because we need to, you know, get people to come see the band, or just be eyes on the band. This Hey, look at me, you know what I mean? The day the Rockstar shits over man, this is like about being real. You know, because it's honest out there. You know, and they can tell if you're faking. And some people can't anymore. They don't care if you're fake and so you run tracks. But the audience that that I connect with is over the whole Rock Star Trek. They just want to have a good time and be in something and be involved in something really cool. Yeah.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. Well, that's, that goes back to like, you know, kiss like they definitely run tracks. That is a corporate thing. But some people like that to some people like the fantasy it was like I was talking to somebody I can't remember who it was. And they were saying how, you know, some of this is like they're pulling the curtain back too much on some of how this how the sausage is made, you know, like, oh, yeah, some bands have been using tracks and like people didn't know the difference and they were going to a show and they're being entertained. So I mean, I see it from both sides. Like I know Eddie trunk is like really like hardcore, like fan should not use tracks. They should play the real songs and yadda yadda But, I mean, I just want to have a good time. I want to see a good show, but when it's obvious And when it's just like, I mean, supposedly, I don't even know if this is real, but like, you've got like, you know, they're saying like Nikki six is not even playing the bass, like he's just mining it. I mean, to me, that just seems silly. It's like, he can still play the bass. I mean, I get some of the singers, they can't hit the notes or whatever. So maybe they need some help with some auto tune or something like that. Or, you know, if you there's a keyboard on a song and you don't have a keyboard player, then yeah, that makes sense. If you're just gonna go out there and lip sync and mime your instruments, I don't even understand the point of that goes

Ray West:

back to what we said. It's about honesty. You know, if you're there to fool people, you're there for the wrong reason. And it's gonna bite you in the ass. You know it really well. You know, you know, yeah.

Chuck Shute:

Because also, how do you even enjoy that then how do you enjoy being on stage? Because for me, it's like, if you really are want to make a good career of being a musician, like, you have to love music and love playing music, and like you said, if you're just gonna go out there and like, play rock star, I mean, sure, I could do that. I mean, should get a sermon, I can fake it. Everybody

Ray West:

is playing rock star, because everybody's in a tribute band. Now, you know, our generation loves their music so much. They'll go and listen to someone else play the catalog alone or listen to the catalog. And it's live. Yeah, it's it's theater. You know, what? Are those

Chuck Shute:

tribute bands that sound better than the originals? I'll be honest. Yeah. And you can see them and you're like, five feet away, instead of like, in the nosebleeds and paying hundreds of dollars,

Ray West:

as long as they understand that, that didn't write the material. Sure. You know what I mean, there is that line, but yeah, I have a lot of my friends are in really cool, great tribute bands. So I give them the respect because they're very talented. You know, I still just, you know, my thing in life is I'm going to play, I want to connect on my own with my own voice. That's always been my thing. You know, it's a big problem. For me, it's caused problems. And it's done great things for me.

Chuck Shute:

Why it's caused problems,

Ray West:

man, because I think that the struggle of it, I think, to get your voice heard, is really a very Mount Everest kind of climb. You know, especially if you've left the business, like I did, you know, we have we had everything handed to us, you know, then everything got taken away. And you have to work that much harder to get back in everybody's good graces again. You know, but I think I think now we're going about this the right way. I feel like, I feel like we're super honest. I think it's sincere. You know, and again, why should people go see my bands? I think it's just a good time. I think my vibe as a human being is very positive. You know, I can be a total negative prick sometimes. But I think in general, I'm a good personal and I give that out. You know, and I think when people connect with that, it creates a larger, larger thing, you know, a larger version of that. We all sort of enjoy that.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, no, absolutely. That

Ray West:

was so serious, right? It was too serious.

Chuck Shute:

No, that's beautiful. I love it. I mean, that's, that's the passion. And that's the reason to do it for yourself. And I mean, even if it's a small audience, or whatever, like to start out with, if you're having a good time, and the audience is having a good time. Who cares? I mean, you're doing it, you're having a good time, and we're all and you're spreading that joy. Like that's, that's you're doing the right thing.

Ray West:

That's it, man, it's funny how people can just take it for granted. You know, a lot of bands there. Like I said, even writing, why would you write something? I guess you a lot of guys are collecting checks with labels. You know, I've heard some tunes this past year that were just crap, some of the stuff that I'm hearing, you know, it's like, no one's no one's evolving. You know, it's just like, ah, you know, volunteers has a million bands, they all sound the same. You know what I mean? But, uh, yeah, I'm all about the writing, then, you know, is, try to write the best song you can don't just leave it on the table, because oh, that sounds kind of sounds I hate when fans, that sounds like something. Thank you 72 from so and so. You know, to try to try to try to change it or try to, you know, try to evolve, man, I hope I'm making sense. Just try to evolve, right? If you're gonna write a song, put everything into it. Put don't leave anything, put everything into it, you know?

Chuck Shute:

Oh, absolutely. I mean, there's definitely there is that going around, there's always been music that even in the 80s and 90s, it felt like there were songs that just felt like people were just going through the motions. Like, I think back then like, because you'd have an album and you'd have your couple hits. And then the rest, they call it filler, right? I mean, that was, let's get a song to fill the album. So we can have a forum. And then a lot of times there's pressure from the record company to put out the full album in a certain time period. So it's like, almost like you rushed. And now it's like, I think the advantage is you don't have that you people can take as long as they want. Because there's a lot more freedom with making a record.

Ray West:

You hit the word right there. It's freedom. That's what it's all about. You know, this is what we do. It's about freedom. This this music gives us a sense of freedom. You know, that's what we had when we were kids when we listen to this music, you know, and I don't mess with that. I take it really serious, you know, so I'm in this for real, you know, I just love to do it, man, even though it's sometimes it's really painful. You know, I don't think we're where we want to yet, that's why Superfly is so important to me. Because I feel like that's just me in a box. You know, that's as natural as I can be. And that's as close to the bone as I've ever gotten. You know, so I really want to just make it work.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, that's awesome. So, but also, is there going to be a new spread eagle album? Because I think last time you were on, you said, you guys are working on it, and you're thinking maybe first quarter of 2024, that it would be out?

Ray West:

Yeah, what happened was, we got so into booking the live show, that it took over everything, and we didn't really take any live recording gear, you know, where we went, though, now we have a laptop, we have no excuse. But since we've been home, we've been writing, you know, so I think before when I spoke to we had a couple of songs in the can, now there's, we're close to having a full out, there's a lot of material there, you know, it's just a matter of just buckling down for maybe two months, and just nailing it. You know, so once we've been a season run of shows, we'll get in there and make that stuff happen to you know, in of course, while that's happening, I'm still writing Superfly music, so I'm going to be writing all the time. That's great.

Chuck Shute:

That's awesome. Awesome, or to the Superfly on March 8, or ninth or whenever that comes out and then maybe at some point, a new spread eagle, maybe not first quarter, maybe second quarter of 2020

Ray West:

just like getting all that corporate term second quarter. And I'm telling you man, the way we're writing whether it's because you know I've grown up a little bit and the style that I like and where we went with somebody to the stars I think we're going to get even heavier and you know, more aggressive if you will, because spreads a good band like that.

Chuck Shute:

Really so give me the comparison band that would you would want to sound like

Ray West:

oh man sound like I don't know man.

Chuck Shute:

Like it's like a skid row like gone from Skid Row debut to slave to the grind like that level or even heavy Yeah,

Ray West:

like maybe a little we're able to go as heavy as we want you know when we were when we did our debut back in the day you know we were we played like Black Panther in LA you know, we you know, it's like I feel like we can go anywhere. I would like to go as heavy as possible if that makes any sense. Yeah, you know, whatever heavy is without being goo goo Wilkie you know and just keep it real I don't think spreads gonna be like tool or anything like that. You know?

Chuck Shute:

What about like the sleazy I like that's what I liked about those kinds of bands is like kind of the sleazy bluesy kind of swinging like dirty vibe you know, rather than because I felt like the subway or at least some of the songs on somebody the stars were it was almost like progressive.

Ray West:

Yeah, we're trying to find seek because spread only did the DPU open to the public and then years later we're doing subway, we're still finding our, our identity and writing. We can

Chuck Shute:

have a different guitar player and a drummer too. So that makes things to write. Yeah.

Ray West:

And Jami because of Jami style. We're going to we're writing we're going to make that happen with him to I think Jami has the ability to be really aggressively heavy and melodic. You know, I love to I love purple circle. I love Deftones I love Slipknot, you know, I love Lamb of God, you know, but I also love shot day and I like the Funk You know, and I still love I love Motley Crue. You know, I love all of it, you know, but spreads still exploring, which is which? Which is our right you know, that's, I think that's good. A real true craft writing. You're always trying to go further. So let's see if we can on that. Yeah, I couldn't, I couldn't tell you where it is because it might change day to day, you know, so it's

Chuck Shute:

gonna be cool to see you guys do like a package with bands, similar bands of that era or whatever, like newer bands to theirs. I mean, that's like what I like about the faster pussycat tour was like, you had the Jason Charles gotten you out of limbo. It was a cool package. Like it was three rock bands are all rock, but they're different eras different sounds. And it was cool. Yeah,

Ray West:

man, look. I love faster place again. You know,

Chuck Shute:

you guys and

Ray West:

I think we've talked it too. I mean, Danny had a chat we were in, in the UK in 2017. So we got to do some shows together, man. So you know, once we're on the boat, we meet everybody. I'm going to be like, Hey, listen, I'm going to be that guy. You know? Why don't we do something? You know? I will not be not talking about that. You know? Because I think it's a great idea that will be for spread it's great. Go at faster pussycat, even rat whatever, you know, get on somebody stadium tour. You know, I don't care if we're playing in the afternoon but i The more people the better man. I think we do better in front of a large we're we're a large room band. You know, I think we I think we stretch you know that we're we're not calling it in I think spreads a little bit different the energy than most bands, you see.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah, that's cool. Well, I it's gonna be awesome. I think You're coming to Arizona. I missed you last time, but I shouldn't be around when you come for this show. So hopefully I'll catch you for that show in February. I think it is. Oh, shoot

Ray West:

you text. All right. Maybe I'm here, man. What do you do? It

Chuck Shute:

sounds good. Anything else you want to promote? Oh,

Ray West:

that's it. You did all a man. You know, that's. I'm just, I'm excited. It's a good year, man. It's starting up in February. I got spread and Superfly I'm just happy man. You know, I'm happy to be you know, both barrels, man. I got to to the price of one, bro. Yeah. And when we spoke like a year and a half ago, I was like, What the fuck am I doing? You know what I mean? That's like, what did I just do? I gotta go fix that. You know? So it didn't really, it stays here. It did not affect me. You know, I was like, man, what did I do? You know, I was not ready to do something. So now I gotta be lunch thing or whatever. Yes. It's like, it's like, man, it's like, I know, I'm good. You know, I know that. I'm good. And for a second, I was like, Well shit with the puck. I need to fix this. You know, buckle up, man. And you can

Chuck Shute:

use that as a fuel your furnace to motivate yourself.

Ray West:

But it's always been like that. It's always been well, who the fuck is right? You know, I'm not some tall blonde dude. You know, I'm the little puck and wild crazy, dude. You know what I mean? It's like, I wasn't supposed to happen, but I did. You know, so I'm gonna I'm gonna make my voice heard man. Well, while you're fucking another. I'm gonna get my voice heard. I love

Chuck Shute:

it. Well, I look forward to seeing what you do and 2024 and we'll talk later. Love you, brother. You're awesome. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the full podcast episode. Please help support our guests by following them on social media and purchasing their products whether it be a book, album, film, or other thing. And if you have a few extra dollars, please consider donating it to their favorite charity. If you want to support the show, you can like share and comment on this episode on social media and YouTube. And if you want to go the extra mile, you can give us a rating and review on Spotify, Apple podcasts or Google podcasts. Finally, make sure you're subscribed to the Show on YouTube for the video versions and other exclusive content. We appreciate your support. Have a great rest of your day and shoot for the moon.