Rhett May and I have crossed paths many times thanks to Skope and I feel it’s not by chance at all but absolutely meant to be. He’s always been 100 % genuine with me and with his music as his new release ‘Creatures of the Night’ is set to be some of his best songwriting to date! Plenty of Sex and Rock ‘N’ Roll but never Drugs is the new slogan. Rhett said it best when he said “Life is too short for meaningless bullshit!” so on that note let’s dive right in to the wonderful world of Rhett May!
J Rae: So we meet again! Our last interview was back in January of 2015, (http://skopemag.com/2015/01/16/rhett-may-back-for-more-in-2015), and I thought things were good for you then but you’re literally taking off in 2016! Let’s start with your hit single, “Violence of Ice”, that continues to get major airplay worldwide but most importantly recently received a Grammy nomination! Wow, that is great news so a BIG congratulations is in order for sure! Did you ever imagine that “Violence of Ice” would catch on like it has and receive major recognition from the likes of Grammy voters?
Yeah…good to speak with you again Jimmy….it’s always a pleasure mate!
“The Violence of Ice”….
The song is a reflection of my anti-drug crusade and I never ever thought it would strike as big a chord as it has. Unfortunately the public perception is that most creative types…artists, musicians…get their inspiration from a drug induced state. This is so incredibly wrong.
Regarding the Grammys….I’m grateful that my song has been considered and presented for a possible award!!
J Rae: Is this your first Grammy nomination and I’d love to know what your exact first thoughts and words were when you heard this news?
Nothing to talk about Jimmy….if it happens it would be wonderful.
Obviously I would be over the moon if I were to ever receive an award…especially a Grammy for “The Violence of Ice”…but it’s not important to my existence and it’s not going to change my thinking or my perception of who I am and what I do.
I am not about awards for my songwriting….I’d even go so far as to say that it’s the joy of being creative that drives me…not the money or the fame.
I’ve become somewhat of a recluse and have given away the ‘pop star’/’rock star’ persona many years ago….my focus is simply writing and creating songs that have a positive message…as well as trying to make music meaningful and fun again…life is too short for meaningless bullshit!
J Rae: Why is “Violence of Ice” so special to you and why do you think listeners have been heavily drawn to the song?
Wow….in my early days of being in the music industry, I was like any other young kid that was inspired by the teen idols of the moment. All I wanted to do was sing and entertain…but the ‘higher’ I got on my singing and entertaining…the more people thought I was on some addictive, mind-altering substance…I could never really understand why musicians of the day took drugs to get ‘high’, when it was the music alone that got me in a constant state of euphoria and excitement.
Anyway…I soon noticed very talented people around me using and abusing substances and falling by the wayside…. although I came through a pretty strict upbringing, I never ever smoked tobacco or drank alcohol….I couldn’t understand the fascination with anything other than music …well … and girls!!
I set my mind very early in my life that I was never going to be dependent on anything that was a danger to my body, my life and those around me.
In discussions with people…and the surge in media concerning the devastation ‘ice’ is causing to families and in the community….I felt that I had to try and get my message across. People relate to music…to lyrics….and as musicians/artists, I feel we have a responsibility and an obligation to use our voice and influence, to help others become aware of the creeping danger that is secretly killing our youth and creating violence in the community and on a global scale.
The biggest problem we have in society is that we have come to accept drug/substance consumption as a norm….
Too many artists past and present have glorified the use of addictive substances as hip….but people are now starting to wake up to the fact that this is not acceptable any longer.
J Rae: I have to ask about your music videos that include many sensual & provocative images of women and so what is the main reason behind this sexy imagery? Is the meaning and purpose purely simple & innocent or maybe more involved & complex than one might think? The inquiring minds and curious Kats want to know Rhett—call me “Curious George” I guess!
Jimmy….Life really is very simple.
We are animals of appetite and sex.
The one constant in life is sex!
What makes the world go round…SEX!!
I’m talking about NATURAL attraction between two human beings.
The imagery in my videos is not pornographic…but simply sensual, colorful, playful and sexy.
Imagery is all about what titillates the senses and makes people go WOW!!
My videos are created to go with the feel of the music and to catch the viewer’s attention to get them interested and keep their attention visually so that they listen to the whole song.
It’s rock and roll baby!!
J Rae: Let’s talk about your brand new album, ‘Creatures of the Night’, that I am very excited about and I know you are as well. You even stated that you feel this is your best work to date! Bold statement considering you’ve had a long & successful music career dating back to the 60s, but I am all ears! Why is ‘Creatures of the Night’ so much better than the rest, in your opinion?
‘Creatures of the Night’ is a continuing evolution of my songwriting.
When I said it was my best work to date, what I meant was my best songwriting…not necessarily my best performed…although a number of people in the ‘know’ have commented on just that…interesting.
I also focus on a number of varying genres on this album…just to showcase that I’m not a ‘stuck in a rut’ writer…..I think that the flavor and color of the songs on ‘Creatures of the Night’ will keep the listener surprised and excited track after track….how often have you started to listen to an album and after three, four, five songs you’ve had enough because they all sound very much the same??
I don’t want this to happen to ‘Creatures of the Night’.
I want people to go “WOW”…”WHAT WAS THAT I JUST LISTENED TO??? “!
J Rae: With 13 tracks on this new record, what songs stand out to you as powerful, Hit singles that will speak to many?
Songs like “Kiss your Mama with that Mouth”, “Space Between Breaths”, “Creatures of the Night” are absolute killers that will have you panting for more!!
The raunchy “Lexxi McCoy”, “Sandy Sweet as Candy” and “Bella My Baby” will have you grabbing for your air guitar and banging your head, wishing for the ‘when the van is rocking don’t come knocking’ days of rock and roll.
A surprise or two such as the Indian-influenced “Elixir of the Gods” with a huge sounding layer of instrumentation and a soaring vocal that can easily take you higher when meditating…and a beautiful rendition of the heart wrenchingly poignant “Symphony of Sorrow”…shows that I can hold a note or two and sing as I write… BEAUTIFULLY!!
The first single off the album, “Latex Lady”, takes you on a fast and sensual trip down the discipline lane…while “Back Seat of my Chevy” is a real in-your-face ‘ball-tearer’.
‘Creatures of the Night’ closes with the jazz influenced “When we make Love”…bringing you gently down to earth and wallowing in an aftermath of…HEY…..SORRY Jimmy…got carried away mate…hehe.
As you can tell…I love them all…OH YEAH…let’s not forget the opening track “Somebody’s Watching You”….a song that bite’s the PAPS on their asses.
J Rae: What can listeners expect to get out of ‘Creatures of the Night’ and how has the response been thus far?
As mentioned it’s certainly been a labor of love for me…and the reaction has been one of an excited “I can’t wait”!
Buy the album on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/creatures-of-the-night/id1144216125) and take a listen…I think that regardless of genre…there is an element of SOMETHING for everyone.
J Rae: I saw that Skope featured a glowing review for ‘Creatures of the Night’ and I have to imagine you’ve been getting a lot of positive press for your new release. What has been the best quote so far describing the true essence of ‘Creatures of the Night’?
“WOW….what have I just heard”??
J Rae: ‘Creatures of the Night’ definitely has a mysterious feel and sound to it and wondering how this title came about and what’s the significance behind it? I’m guessing it’s not about scary monsters and zombies!
I read a whole lot…
I’ve always been fascinated by the supernatural and mysterious….and especially question why we earthlings are arrogant enough to think that we are the only living beings in the entire Universe??
No, it’s not about the monsters and zombies…it’s the subtle mind games we play on ourselves….the perceived fears and the personal doubts that creep through our consciousness and settle themselves into our subconscious.
Think about it…the opening lyric…”Don’t dare look over your shoulder when you’re walking home at night”
The next time you are alone, walking down a dark street or laneway….let this line of lyric pop into your head…I guarantee you’ll feel an ice cold finger run up your spine…hehehe!!
The power of the mind creates imagery that is different in each of us…depending on our personal terrors…but oh so real!!
J Rae: Are there any plans of touring to help further promote your album ‘Fast Cars and Sitars released last year, which I thought at that time was your best effort! (http://skopemag.com/2015/01/16/rhett-may-back-for-more-in-2015). Not to mention your Grammy-nominated song, “Violence of Ice” and your brand new record ‘Creatures of the Night’; so will people get an opportunity to witness all of this great Rhett May material live?
You know that I’ve been offered a number of tours through the US, India, Russia and Europe…..unfortunately I just don’t have the inclination to go back on the road in the near future.
We travelled far and wide for years and years while chasing the ‘rock-star’ dream…and as much as I loved every second of it….I much prefer the simple pleasures of writing, recording and playing when I want to…no schedules and deadlines…it’s heaven…
BUT….I could be tempted and suddenly change my mind…
I’ve even given up on playing locally or anywhere and am generally a recluse from live appearances these days.
I’m absolutely driven to staying away from the limelight on a personal level…I don’t enjoy this side of the industry one little bit.
I’m very, very content in my own skin…passionate about the creative side at this moment in my existence.
However….NEVER SAY NEVER!!
By Jimmy Rae (firstname.lastname@example.org)