INVERTICRUX'S Ray Discusses Stories, Death, and Music

Extreme mix and match metal band INVERTICRUX has done what every other band has done, gotten signed, written material and released that material. They have played shows as well, repeating that cycle time and time again. As of lately they have released their latest called "M.M.M.P. Malcontant manifestation monitoring PRg" with plans for more mayhem and chaos for the unforeseen future. Frontman vocalist Ray Stevens discusses this release and some in-sight into who and what this band is truly all about.

1. What type of band are you?

Ray: There is no telling what the true purpose of our music is. It exists as a mystery even to us. The simplest answer must be that we wish to present horror to others through musical formats. No matter the metal genre. It could be thrash on one song, doom the next, black & roll after that. Or all the above and more blended throughout one entire song. What ever it takes to get that particular point across.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Ray: Well, for its short existence, it certainly has walked a long twisted road. It began in 2005 as a psychobilly/metal band consisting of my white ass and two Mexicans from Texas U.S. They moved to Massachusetts seeking a new life and to reform their band there. I met them the same day I answered the flier looking for a drummer. Influences were Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P. and The Misfits among others I was in! They knew nobody in the area. They had no choice but to hire me.  No one else answered the fliers. I had no drum set and have never played drums professionally. But I knew I could do it with some faith. We opened for Michael Graves (MISFITS) on our first live show in Lowell, MA made one album with them and they disbanded. The bassist moved back to Texas and I turned the guitarist onto black and dark metal. He took to it naturally and I suggested we reform as a black metal band. We formed VintageFlesh suicidal horror black doom metal. INVERTICRUX would follow after two releases as V.F.

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Ray: All members of INVERTICRUX reside in the gloomy climbs of central New England USA. Though we mainly dwell within the interiors of both Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. I originate from the lowly depths of what once was Southern New England. That being New Jersey. Yes, even New England disowned us and New York City. I hardly blame them. As for local bands that we enjoy, Everything that has heart and feeling. Bands that share our band ethics and sense of metal camaraderie. Way to many to make mention.

4. Why did you want to go from Vintage Flesh to Inverticrux? Have you as a band and the fan base adjusted to the name change? Would you say that this was just a name change or a style change as well?

Ray: The line up change facilitated the name change. The name did not represent the sound very well at all. It began as Vintage Flesh. A name I had unused since the eighties. Flesh to a necrophiliac is like wine, all necro's have a personal preference, as to when they would like to sexually defile the dead flesh. Like what vintage they prefer. As for INVERTICRUX, I wanted to make up a word so there would be no chance of another band with the same name. IT means Inverted Cross but the cross has acted as a CRUX to human civilization, holding back our evolution and development into civil society as is the fault of most religions.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Ray: So very many. Far to many to mention. But Always Alice Cooper above all else.  Not even KISS could ever hope to put on a better show then the originator of theatrical horror rock and metal. To think otherwise would be to fool yourself. If you follow in Alice's shadow, then you can only hope to become as good as King Diamond, W.A.S.P., Marilyn Manson, or Cradle of Filth (to name but a few) as far as theatrical performance is concerned. But never as great as Alice.

6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Ray: The band writes the music with the understanding that we must all draw inspiration from the deepest darkest wells of our subconscious minds. I as the singer write and arrange the lyrics. Our songs tend to center around New England folklore as we seem to be ensconced in a veritable source of haunted folk lore and tales of tragedy in our founding north eastern corner of the United States.

7. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Ray: We prefer to take our own deep stab at creating new and original songs to contribute to the metal gods. I recorded one cover album as a solo project as myself. It is called "Raypissed sings those FIRESIDE CLASSICS!". It can be found on YouTube with all those classic metal covers. We have no real political message other then perhaps, anti religion. but we are more about horror story telling. Much like King Diamond songs. The song writing process? We first step into the studio, hahah... then out of our bodies. Then into a realm that few return from. It is a mind set that we must all engage in unison. The band writes the music with the understanding that we must all draw inspiration from the deepest darkest wells of our subconscious minds. I as the singer write and arrange the lyrics after the music is complete.

8. What can people expect from "M.M.M.P. Malcontant manifestation monitoring PRg", what is the message behind it?

Ray: I don't really care to do a concept album as much as I may enjoy them from artists like King Diamond and Alice Cooper. I prefer an album with a variety of short stories packed with a lot of emotional impact. One story per song. So far this is all we have experimented with. But I would like to do at least one conceptual piece someday. All the albums center around tales of tragedy and torment, terror and turmoil.

9. If you had to pick one song off this release, to show someone to introduce them to your music, which would you pick and why?

Ray: Hmmm, "Malcontent Manifestation" or "Here fades all worldly pleasures" are the most impressive tunes from the new album. Both bearing ten minutes in length. I can't decide!!!!

10. How does it feel to have yet another release under your belts and added to the Inverticrux name?

Ray: I am now 44 years of age. Feels amazing. Considering how many close brush's with death I have experienced. Also when I have seen so many good people around me pass on to the other side. I never take the completion of another new album lightly. That's why we should always admire the oldest bands such as Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, when they are able to offer us something new at this time, I never take that for granted.

11. Have you released any singles or music videos off “M.M.M.P. Malcontant manifestation monitoring PRg”? If so, which were they and why?

Ray: The single is "ON SIX LIMBS", because it was the shortest and catchiest song. Immediately catchy. A dark fun and frenzied track that our drummer coined the title of and wrote the lyrics. Normally I do. It's a song with enormous character.

12. Did you guys have any leftovers from this release that will be used for future releases or have you gone forth and written material for future purposes?

Ray: No, nothing more left over from this session. Only six tracks, but most near ten minutes in length. The sleight is clean and open for anything. W will be an entire new line up once again by the next album with me being the only original member left yet again. It's a rocky road we travel for you. But well worth it. We hope to be a two man band like Dark Throne by the next release. If we are lucky enough to make another. Ya never know in this life.

13. Do you have any plans for touring and playing shows?

Ray: A spectacle of absurdity and dark degradation. Never the same theatrical performance twice. We have many live shows to be seen on YouTube of our original line up. All very amusing. But if we continue on as a two man band that may not be possible. Only time can tell. We assume nothing.

14. What do you guys have planned for the unforeseen future?

Ray: I am not sure. I almost found out late last year when I put a bullet in my head in a suicide attempt that some how I survived. After one month in Boston's general hospital and a bullet lodged in my brain for life. But I think I would have had a horrible after life had I succeeded in killing myself last November on my birth date. So I was given a second chance to complete my life properly and possibly have a better outcome in the worlds beyond. As long as I don't have to relive life in this imperfect world, I do not really care what the after life has waiting for me. Anything is better then the uncertainties and threats of physical pain this world has to offer. This clearly shows me I have more purpose to fulfill in this tragic world. I will continue to create until this cruel world has had enough of my bullshit.

15. Anything else you'd like to add or would want to say?

Ray: Our name is representative of fear incarnate, our name is INVERTICRUX. The forces that be have chosen us among many others in metal to represent the dark forces of the universe through music of a metal nature. For this we are proud and eternally humble. LETS GET INVERTED!!!! Thanks for your interest in INVERTICRUX. We are glad to be within your hallowed halls of metal...remain wicked as HELL!!!

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