Rock n' rollers The Raz will be releasing their self-titled debut full-length album soon enough. In the mean time though, they have gone on to release their first single titled "No One To Blame", which is making quite the buzz as it is believable. Bassist/backing vocalists Dale "Raz" Raszewski discusses this release, the single, and further planning that these guys have in-store!
1. First off, who are you and what role do you play in The Raz?
Dale: I am Dale Raz Raszewski, I'm the Bassist, Background Vocals, and Song Writer.
2. When and how did the band form? Do you think the band's name The Raz describes your music and who you are as a whole?
Dale: I was working at Guitar Center in Columbia SC and while I was working one day I heard this guy playing guitar Like I hadn’t heard in a long time . He was playing all kinds of styles. He blew me away and everybody else that was in the store that day. It was the guitarist in the band Nick Kuma Meehan. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and I said to myself I have to jam with this guy. We talked and found out we like a lot of the same music. Then I had to go help a customer and when I came back he was gone. 3 months or so passed and finally he came back in. I said dude we have to jam! A couple weeks later I went over to Nick’s to jam. We wrote a couple songs that night and we said we needed to start a band. We had a different drummer at first and I was doing lead vocals.
I knew the singer Dave Mcbee for a long time but never played in a band with him. At the time he was living in France and he told me he was coming back to South Carolina. He wasn’t sure when he was coming back but I was sending him the demos we were doing and he said he loved them and wanted to sing for my band when he got back to South Carolina. When he got here we jammed and it was amazing. Then the Drummer quit so we started looking for a drummer. I put a post on my facebook page about looking for a drummer. A friend of mine tagged our drummer Adam Shealy in the post. Adam hit me up. I knew Adam from a while back, he worked for me helping me put up stages in his home town for a festival they have there in Batesburg-Leesville. But I did not know he played drums. He came in and we threw all kinds of different styles and time signatures at him and he played with dynamics. Luckily for us he was the first and only drummer to audition.
Even thou the band has been together since 2016 the 4 of us have only been playing together for maybe 8 months maybe less.
3. You decided to go the self-titled route in terms of titling your upcoming album, why was this so and what do you think about artists and bands taking the same method of approach?
Dale: You are introducing yourself to the world. Here we are and this is our music. I think most bands if not all want their music to be identified with the band’s name on their first album and don’t want anything to get in the way of that. Why would you call it anything else?
4. So tell us about this self-titled album, the lyrical themes behind the tracks and what ideas you wanted to put out there?
Dale: Well we are a diverse group of guys and we write differently lyrically. I tend to write relationship songs but "What’s Real", is a social and personal empowering song. Forget about all the drama and all the stuff that people get fed by the media that they deem is important. But we really need to focus on the things we have control over.
Nick writes about social things that are going on in the world right now. Dave wrote "Black Garden" about a witch that was being shunned buy the town she lived near.
5. What about the album's artwork design, what does it depict and how does it relate to the musics content?
Dale: A female witch doctor or voodoo woman. About the only song on the album that this goes along with is "Black Garden". The artwork was done by a tattoo artist Josh Wiley. Who is a friend of the guitarist Nick and his Wife Sara.
6. Where and when did you record this album and are you satisfied with the results of it?
Dale: In our hometown Columbia SC at The Jamroom recording studio. With my old friend, fellow bassist and Jamroom owner Jay Matheson. We are very pleased with the results . Jay understood what we were going for and I think we got a great representation of what the truly sounds like.
7. The first single "No One To Blame", was made available as a lyrical video, why pick this track in particular and why go with a lyrical video as opposed to a normal video?
Dale: Well it was actually the first video we did other than the live videos we did on a small handheld camera that are on our Facebook and YouTube page. We plan on doing more videos and lyric videos in the near future. The reason we picked this track is everyone that has heard it loves this tune. I feel this is a very strong song. I wrote this song about a dear friend of mine and a amazing guitarist that died way to early due to drugs.
8. Which other tracks will be made into the single spectrum off this album and why?
Dale: I’m not sure yet, I think they are all strong songs in there on right. I am sure we will all get together as a band and discuss which one to do next and I am sure Rockshots will put their 2 cents in on what they want.
9. How did the connection with Rockshots Records take place and what is it that they bring to the table for you?
Dale: Our singer Dave Mcbee is in another Rockshots band "Black Yet Full Of Stars". So he sent Roberto our demo EP and the rest is RAZTORY. Rockshots is more on the promotion and distribution side of things, which is a huge part of what we are doing. We are very pleased with everything they have done for us. Now it us up to us to get out and play and promote this record as much as possible.
10. What else do you have in-store for this year besides music?
Dale: Is there anything else other than Music? LOL. There is going to be a lot going on this year and we are ready take it on headfirst and make this the best year of our lives.