Interview with guitarist Ray Suhy of jazz rockers Suhy, Silvergold & Alvarado

Guitar Ray Suhy

Guitar Ray Suhy

How did the three of you join forces?

I’ve known Rolando through the East of the wall circles for about 6 years or so. He plays in a terrific band with current East Of The Wall drummer, Seth Rheam and ex-EOTW guitarist Kevin Conway. We’ve talked about doing project together for a long and I’m really glad we finally made it happen.

Alex, was a student of mine in a progressive rock class that I taught. I knew he was a monster as soon as I had him go home and learn “Scatterbrain” by Jeff Beck. He came back the next week with it completely nailed down. He also handled “In The Dead Of Night” by U.K. with ease. Alex’s father, Eric, mentioned that Alex really wanted to do some more recordings so when the initial talks happened about doing this record, I knew Alex would be a great fit!

Bassist Rolando Alvarado

Bassist Rolando Alvarado

Do you all have the same musical backgrounds and influences?

Rolando and I are definitely cut from the same cloth. Guys that grew up metal heads but then dove deep into jazz and other styles and then came back to metal and progressive music with these different influences to draw from. Alex definitely loves all things progressive and has studied some of the great drummers and bands of that style. It’s scary that his journey is just beginning now. I was nowhere near that level at 16!!!

Stylistically, this seems light years away from East of the Wall (who are a GREAT band), even though EotW is quite progressive. Is there anything common between the two bands?

Well, I’d say harmonically there is some jazz influence in what EOTW does and there are parts in “Malachite Dream” that are similar to things that were done in EOTW. The 5:00 mark out in “The Fractal Canopy” from “ Redaction Artifacts” comes to mind.

How did you go about writing the songs that are on the album? Were they jams or finished songs?

A lot of the songs started from guitar figures that I made up while I’ve been trying to push my technique for the past year. I had all of these sketches of tunes laying around, mostly just the melodies, and I had to flesh them out by writing intros and solo sections. We only rehearsed/played together twice before going into the studio. When I got to the rehearsal I had lead sheets and demos of the tunes I did at home for them so they could get a sense of what I was going for. On “Temporal Landrons” I sent a demo to Alex and said “match all of my fast stuff on here”….he sure did!! haha

All the tunes came together very quickly when we rehearsed which is a testament to the chemistry that we had from the start.

Alex

Is Alex really only 16? How is he so good at such a young age?

Ha! I don’t know! Let’s figure it out and bottle it! In all seriousness, he works very, very hard and has a laser like focus when he’s trying to digest new material. That combined with his desire to get better and there you have it.

Are there any live plans for the trio? 

Were definitely going to do some shows to celebrate the release of the CD here in the Asbury Park, NJ area and possibly in NYC as well. Playing these songs will be fun live. I’d looking forward to stretching them out and exploring them some more

What’s next? Another East of the Wall album or more of this trio?

Well, I’m no longer with East Of The Wall due to some differences we had about the way the band should move forward. I’m extremely proud of my time with them as well as the record we did together(“Redaction Artifacts”). Those guys are currently writing their next record. I was a fan of the band before I joined and I’m still a fan now so I’m definitely looking forward to what they’ll put out next.

I’m currently playing in Cannabis Corpse and we’re working on our next record now. I’m also finishing up a more metal based instrumental E.P. that should be out around the beginning of the year hopefully.

I’ve already started working on the next release for this project as well. This band allows me to explore and express myself in ways that I can’t with my other projects. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have another record ready to go by next summer….or sooner!

Tessellations

Bandcamp: suhysilvergoldalvarado.bandcamp.com

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About progmanrob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
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