Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Okay Death Ray

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Okay Death RayWhen I first came across these guys I was immediately intrigued by their name. That, and their MySpace image. Yes, to all of you out there that think MySpace is dead, I still use it. As do all bands I come across on a daily basis. So I took a look at their images, gave their music a listen to, and introduced myself. We hit it off on Facebook as well and eventually made our way to email. From there we scheduled an interview and here we are today. These guys have a lot of talent and a drive that will take them as far as they want to go. That, and they are just super nice guys. I have met a lot of people in this business but the boys that make up this rock band are some of the nicer ones I have come across. That alone will take these guys far. Sit back and get to know the guys in Okay Death Ray.

Where did you guys come up with the name Okay Death Ray?

Joey, our previous drummer, came up with a list of names, and this one stuck out the most.  So we ran with it.  Pretty simple story.

How long have you been performing?

We’ve been performing as a band for over a year and a half now.

Who writes all your lyrics?

Stephen, the guitarist and vocalist, writes all of our lyrics.

Where do you get inspiration for a new track?

Inspiration comes in different forms.  We like to use the overall idea of life and how you should enjoy each day as it comes.  Don’t get set into routine, and take each minute by minute.  But then again, we have two fun songs that were inspired by 80’s cartoons, specifically the Thundercats and Transformers.

I hear you guys “melt faces” when you perform live. Is that true?

We do in fact “melt faces”.  People have had to send us their medical bill after their face was melted away.  It wasn’t a pretty sight, but rock and roll ain’t pretty.

Where are you guys originally from?

We are from the southside of Indianapolis, and even went to the same high school together, so we’ve known each other for a good period of time now.

Is that Jack Black I hear there at the start of Po Folks?

Yes that is Jack Black at the start.  We named the EP, Face Melter, and remembered that Jack Black said something about melting faces, so it only made sense to use it.  Hopefully he doesn’t hear it, and try to make us pay him for it or something.

So Tom is one of your friends on MySpace. Are you actually friends with him?

We are friends with Tom on there, but never hear from him.  We need to fix that.  Maybe he can get us a record deal with MySpace Records?

Speaking of MySpace, what are your thoughts on the tool?

MySpace is great in that the music player lets you get the music right away.  We like that aspect of it, and it’s a great social media tool to use to interact with people right away.  MySpace is a better social media tool to use for bands.

As a matter of fact, what are your thoughts on social media as a whole?

There are many great advantages to social media.  It’s easier to be seen and heard thanks to social media.  Ten years ago, bands had a hard time spreading their word on the Internet except for a website, but now there’s MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube, so you have so many ways to show what you can do.  People have your band right there, and can interact with you right away.

Any tattoos in the band?

(Stephen) I have all the tattoos.  I have music notes on my upper right arm region, and I have the Alkaline Trio logo on my left arm above my elbow. I would love to get some more, but haven’t decided what yet.

What is the biggest crowd you have ever played for?

We’ve had decent crowds at Birdy’s Bar & Grill.  We would love to expand on that number, and hopefully will soon.

The smallest?

We’ve played to about ten-twenty people in Stephen’s basement. Nothing beats a fun basement show, though.

Do you guys have a favorite venue?

Wherever we can play a show is our favorite venue.

So I am in love with that little green guy you have there. Where did he come from?

He came from a logo submission through Facebook status update.  We put the word out that we were interested in people drawing us a logo, and just found that one that we really like.

What can someone expect seeing you guys live?

Face melting, musical impregnation, possible nudity, our parents, and oh yeah… good music?

What is the best show you have ever been to?

(Stephen) Foo Fighters a couple of years ago was awesome.  They bring some much energy to their songs, and you can tell they are having a great time playing them.

(Dan) Foo Fighters concert of 2000 because I caught the drumstick of Dave Grohl after he was pounding away on the drums for a cover song.

(Tim) The first time I saw Bad Religion on the Process of Belief tour because they are my favorite band.

Are you a bitter old man? Just asking!

(Stephen) I’m not bitter, and wrote that song as an upbeat tune to make sure you get out and enjoy your days.  Don’t live with regrets, don’t get in routines, don’t just live for living.  But make something out of it, and get out there.  You don’t want to be that bitter old man.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

(Dan) Dave Grohl, Jimmy Eat World, and Dr. Pepper.

(Tim) The Clash, Pearl Jam, Ramones… and Justin Bieber. “He’s the most talented musician of our time.”

(Stephen) Bomb the Music Industry!, the Clash, the Get Up Kids, Foo Fighters, and any band that does it for the right reasons… playing music to make music.

I can’t place your genre. Explain it… in one word.


You guys sound like you have a lot of fun on stage. How do you stay motivated?

Lots of caffeine, mom jokes, music, and just knowing we want to rock out.

What is your first memory of the guitar?

(Dan)  When I was seven years old, there was an acoustic guitar in the basement, and I used to strum each string to make a song.

(Tim) My dad playing Puff the Magic Dragon on guitar.

(Stephen) I remember taking guitar lessons, and learning Brain Stew.

What are you drinking on stage?

Lots of water and free beer.

Do you prefer the Indiana summers or the Indiana winters?


If you could live anywhere else in the world where would you go?

(Stephen) The sunny side of the street.

(Dan) St. Petersburg, Florida.

(Tim) Hawaii.

Where can I get some Okay Death Ray merchandise?

It’s still in the works.

Any word on a full-length disc anytime soon?

That’s in the pipeline.  Talking to Rick Rubin and Butch Vig to see what they are offering.

What would I find if I looked on your iPod right now?

(Dan) I am too good for iPods.

(Tim) A bunch of good music.

(Stephen)  I have all kinds of stuff from Against Me to .38 Special.

Listening to your music makes me want to drink a beer. What is your favorite beer?

(Dan) My favorite is Blue Moon.

(Tim) I love the Oaken Barrel Alabaster Wheat

(Stephen) I don’t drink.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?

(Stephen)  I don’t have a five year plan, and just believe in the moment.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is said and done?

That having a death ray is definitely acceptable and you could say okay.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

Thanks for giving us the time to showcase our band, and hope to catch you at a show.  We look forward to melting your face.