The sinister sounds of The Moon Rays return with a brand new horror themed release this year! I recently had the privilege to chat with The Moon Rays founder Scott Menching.
Please describe The Moon Rays sound/style?
The Moon-Ray’s style has always been a combination of surf and jazz like some of mancini’s stuff in the early 60’s, only a little more sinister sounding.
How did the Moon Rays get their start (when did you guys crawl from the crypt)?
In the mid 90’s when the “cocktail craze” was on Greg , Terry and myself were in a band called the Atomic Martini’s. We recorded the theme from Creature Features in 1999 and it got such good response the studio we recorded at asked us to do an album. Most of the songs on Thrills and Chills (our first recording) were songs we performed live as the Martini’s. That was the beginning. Out of the few originals on the album, one got picked up for a film called Dr. Horrors Erotic House of Idiots by Paul Scrabo. That led to a second album, The Ghouls Go West, two songs off that were used in films and the first album won best surf based album of the year in the JPF Indie awards in Ca. Over ten years we recorded a total of four albums for that studio.
“Something Wicked” is the first release in six years – please tell us a bit about the project.
I wasn’t going to do another MR’s album, I thought the band had run it’s course but I started receiving some interesting emails from places like Japan and Europe saying they had heard some of our songs and were wondering when we were going to record again. We never did an album really geared to the Halloween crowd, it was always mixed with other stuff, so we talked about it and started writing again. It was about that time we met Gerry Cote from Rough Draft Studios and he wanted to back the album, so how could we say no!
(Yes, that’s Archibald Ashdown and his Twitchlings from Legends: A Haunting at Old Town on the cover!)
What drove the decision for the style of music?
A lot of it had to do with the lineup of musicians. Most of the MR’s were fans of swing and jazz as much as rock, oldies and pop. We’re all chilrden of the 60’s and have a love for the Monster boom that happened then. We all built the Aurora models, read Famous Monsters, and of course watched Creature features and Shock Theater religiously.
What’s next for the Moon Rays?
I’m not sure quite yet but I’ve always wanted to re-create a 1930’s Radio Show like Lights Out or Inner Sanctum. I think it would be fun to write music for that and have the band do the script!
A sample of one the songs from the new album can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uFAyWfB-9g