Interview With ‘Jeremy Ray’ Of ‘InnerSiege’


InnerSiege is an all original, USA based, Euro-Influenced Power Metal Band similar to bands such as Dream Evil, Tad Morose, Kamelot and Iron Maiden, with a similar vocal style of Queensryche. Their debut album Kingdom of Shadows will be released next month via Roxx Records. Recently we announced that InnerSiege is booked for Elements Of Rock [March 2013] in Uster, Switzerland. Below an interview with vocalist Jeremy Ray.

TMR: Hello to you from´The Metal Resource’ Holland, how are things going there in Illinois ?

Winter is coming, it’s beginning to get cold here, but other than that things are going well. We are all pretty busy with many things. We just signed a deal with Roxx Records last week, so we are really busy with getting ready for our album release.

TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please [name and instrument]

Sure : I am Jeremy Ray – Vocals, The other members are, Kevin W. Grose – Guitars, J.L. Prater – Guitars, Ravn Furfjord – Bass and Wade Helm – Drums.

TMR: Describe your family situation.

We are all married, except J.L. Kevin, Wade and Ravn all have kids. J.L. and I do not.

TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘InnersSiege’.

InnerSiege began in 2009. We all came different bands to form InnerSiege. J.L. and Ravn were not founding members of InnerSiege. We had a few member changes that allowed them to come into the band full time and it has been awesome ever since. We have a great chemistry and are all good friends. An interesting fact, Wade and Kevin have been playing music together for 20 years.

TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band ?

None of us are totally “Full Time” musicians. J.L. is a carpenter. Kevin and I are self employed so myself, J.L. And Kevin have more time for music than the others. Wade works at the local University and Ravn works outdoors. Ravn gets to work with big chainsaws and huge wood chippers. He’s more metal than all of us.

TMR: What is your musical background ?

Weve all been into metal since the 80’s. None of us has ever sold out to grunge or modern rock. It’s been metal the whole way. Kevin actually played some classical guitar in the beginning as a young boy, J.L. was accepted at the Berklee College of Music and was playing in cover bands before the age of 12, Wade is a Metal Historian and huge classic metal fan, I ( Jeremy ) sang in a traveling youth chior for 6 years in my teenage years and was trained in singing tenor and Ravn a native Norwegian and is the front man of Frosthardr and has played with Antestor and A Hill to Die Upon.

TMR: Why the name ‘InnerSiege’ ? Is there a story behind it ?

Ahhh… great question. When we decided to choose a band name, we made a HUGE list of over 200 band names to look over. We narrowed the choices down over the course of a month and ended up choosing 5 names we liked. We then took those names and ranked our favorites #1 through #5. InnerSiege was in all of our top 5 choices. The funny thing is, InnerSiege was not any of our #1 choice.

The name InnerSiege was actually one of my ( Jeremy ) band name submissions. I put it together after reading through a Thesaurus and writing words down that sounded metal. Sorry to dissappoint you, but theres no deep, profound epiphany, it was just a name we chose.

TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘InnerSiege’ ? .. how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?

I ( Jeremy ) wrote about 60% of the Music and 90% of the lyrics. The way I write is really simple. I have the Beta Monkey Double Bass Mania drum samples. I pick a tempo I want to write a song in, I listen for a drum beat I like. Open up that drum beat in the computer program Audacity, ( a free download software ) and I begin to write a guitar riff with the drumbeat. I have my Line 6 POD X3 hooked up to my computer so I can then record the guitar riff with the drums and take it to practice and share it with the band. J.L. Is also writing for the band and he uses the exact same process.

As far as lyrics, I stay very tuned into world events, politics, social issues and general life topics we all face. I listen and write down phrases I hear other people say and write them on a note book. Sometimes Ill begin to write the song immediately, sometimes I stick the lyric in a file folder and revisit it later. I try to write relevant songs with a twist or different angle. I want the listener to think about what they are hearing and really digest it.

TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘InnerSiege’ the best ?

We definitely are influenced by European Power Metal. We all love FireWind, Dream Evil, HammerFall, Primal Fear as well as the more symphonic bands like Kamelot and even many Progressive Metal bands. InnerSiege is probably best described as an American stepchild of Euro Power Metal.

TMR: How does ‘InnerSiege’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?

The album theme and the songs really answer that question. “ Kingdom of Shadows” has been called a “concept album” by some. In some aspects it is. The title “ Kingdom of Shadows ” has alot to do with the evil that has infiltrated American and world Politics, Popular Culture and Society. One purpose of the album is to point out these topics and make the listener reconcile for themselves whether the path our world and society is on is good or evil. To us in InnerSiege, it is a no brainer. Our world is on the wrong path and headed for destruction.

TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘InnerSiege’ ?

We most certainly try to communicate a message with our songs. We love a good guitar riff that really grabs you and rocks your face off, but we want the lyrics to really dig deep in your brain and make you think.

TMR: Is there already an highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘InnerSiege’ ?

There have been several. Working with Fredrik Nordstom on the album was really cool. The first moment we recieved our art work from Gustavo Sazes was really cool and the moment we got our first record label offer was cool as well. The most exciting thing was probably the time we received a large check from a fan who wanted to help fund our recording process. That was amazing.

TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]

The worst things have been having to say goodbye to two of our founding members when they were no longer with the band and the 2 years it took to finish recording the album. Those were tough situations to deal with.

TMR: What is your favorite album top 5 of all times ? 

Whew, tough one. I dont think it is possible to narrow down albums. Favorite bands might be easier.

Jeremy : Kamelot, Dream Evil, Within Temptation, Sacred Warrior, Stryper, Queensryche
Kevin : Angra, FireWind, Yngwie Malmsteen, Thomas Blug, Queensryche
Wade : Kiss, Iron Maiden, Stryper, Saxon, Hammerfall
J.L. : Dream Theater, Everygrey, Symphony X, Freak Kitchen, Megadeath
Ravn : Motorhead, Darkthrone, Seigmen, Immortal, AC/DC, Alice Cooper, Khold, MegaDeath

TMR: What makes you laugh?

We make each other laugh alot. We are always doing funny stuff in practice. We like physical comedy, slapstick comedy and prop comedy. We’ll start off the practice being goofy and it never stops. Practices are a really good time for us.

TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?

We use Facebook and Reverb Nation and hang flyers at music stores when we do local shows. We play local shows to keep our chops up and keep the music juices flowing, but we are really trying to focus on getting onto a US or European tour with someone like Kamelot or Dream Evil. We have always had a global focus adn that is where we put our sights.

TMR: How do you prepare for a show? 

We all take a very serious approach to a show. I ( Jeremy ) personally do about 30 to 45 minutes of vocal warmups, stretches and exercises before every show. Ravn, J.L. and Kevin will do hand stretches and other personal warmups to get their fingers warm. Wade has his own routine he does. I am not sure exactly what. He always has his drumset to worry about so I’m usually off doing my own thing while he’s getting his drums ready.

TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically ? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.

InnerSiege works hard on all aspects of the show. We want every person who comes to one of our performances to walk away feeling as if they have seen an “Arena Quality” show. We want everyone to feel they got more than their money’s worth. We know that you must create a personal experience for the concert goer. When you make it personal for them, they become a fan instantly and if they dont become a fan by the end of the night, they will walk away admitting that we gave them a great show.

We add as much movement and theatrics as we can. During each song we are all moving around and making contact with the crowd. Ravn and I do alot of hair whips and windmills. Ha Ha.

TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?

We havent played with very many well known bands yet. We are pretty early in our carreer since our debut album is just now coming out .

TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? 

The dumbest so far has been if we wanted any crack cocaine or crystal meth. The second dumbest was when we were asked if the gear we were setting up for our show was ours. Uhhh… yes. Its our gear. Ha ha

TMR: Do you have a life philosophy / favorite quote ? 

Sure. The only thing we deserve in life is death. We are worthy of nothing. Everything else is a blessing. Second, No matter how good you are, there’s always someone better. Lastly, Look to the bands that are in a position you want to be in … and do what they do.

TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? 

A few of us InnerSiege guys attend ProgPower USA festival in Atlanta, Georgis USA every year. Its the only place we can see twelve to fourteen of our favorite Euro Power Metal and Progressive Metal bands. It’s a fantastic festival.

TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?

Hardcore or “Screamo” metal is really popular in our area. There are so many really good musicians here. It’s a shame to me they are playing similar music. There are some Progressive and Electronic / Industrial type bands emerging but there is only a couple. InnerSiege is the only band of our kind here and we are getting really good feedback because we are the only Power Metal band. People are tired of being screamed at. Ha ha

TMR: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?

I can only speak of our experiences and that is, most bands are trying to record their own albums, recording, mixing and mastering their album themselves. That is hurting the recording studios in our area and its REALLY hurting the bands. They think they are recording a good album, but the majority of the recording quality is junk. It makes the band look amature and bad.

Secondly, the record deal offers are not what they used to be. With all of the illegal downloading going on, there’s more opportunity for a lable to lose money than make it. the whole industry has changed from what it used to be.

TMR: What can you tell us about your upcoming debut album ‘Kingdom of Shadows’
[such as the recording proces, the songs, label, release date, who did the artwork ?]

We just signed to Roxx Records this past week. The album will be distibuted through Century Media Distribution world wide and available on itunes, CDBaby and The album will be for sale on those sites December 11th.

We recorded the album with a really talented local engineer, Colt Cappurrune with Dark River Studios. He’s a metal guy at heart so he knows metal and did a good job for us.

We had the album mixed and mastered with Fredrik Nordstrom of Studio Fredman. He is also the guitar player for Dream Evil and we just LOVE the Dream Evil album mix. We knew we had to have that sound. So we hired him.

The Kingdom of Shadows album art work was done by Gustavo Sazes of He does the artwork for many of the Euro Power metal bands across the world.

Fans can expect some groove oriented guitar riffs as well as some crushing guitar riffage. We have some guest female vocals that really adds a neat effect to some of the songs and last but not least, the production quality will surprise many people. The album sounds really good.

TMR: What are your plans for the near future ? [European Tour maybe]

We had plans to go on a two week European tour but the details didnt work out for us at this time. We are currently scheduled to be in Switzerland for the Elements of Rock festival in March. We are looking forward to a European Tour and have every intention on playing Europe more than just once.

TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Look to the bands that are in a position you want to be in … and do what they do. We look to Kamelot, FireWind and Dream Evil and we strive to be their equal. We arent there yet, but we are noticably different than every band we play with and those bands DO notice our professionalism.

TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘InnerSiege’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]

Thank you very much. We appreciate your interest in InnerSiege. One thing I’d like to say is, check us out. Buy our album and give us a chance. We think there is just enough good stuff in Kingdom of Shadows for everyone.

Band members:
Jeremy Ray – Vocals
Kevin Grose – Guitars
J.L. Prater – Guitars
Wade Helm – Drums
Ravn – Bass

Weblinks: Facebook / Reverbnation / Twitter


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