Ladies and Gentlemen, we present Hazy Ray.
A self-described “force to be reckoned with”, the five member collection of undeniable talent creates a smooth sound that takes listeners on a musical journey. The band officially began their journey as Hazy Ray in 2011, and they excitedly proclaim, “The rest will be history.”
Hazy Ray has definitely been doing its part to etch its name in the musical history books with their impressive work. Having performed at numerous venues all over southern America, and in the midst of a nationwide tour; Hazy Ray aspires to blanket the world with their authentic sound. They are committed to providing fans with quality music each performance. Since the beginning of Hazy Ray, the group has evolved its sound into “a unique conglomerate of some of the best values and attributes across many different genres.” And when it comes to a live Hazy Ray performance, you’re definitely in for an amazing experience. The band’s repertoire boasts a host of original songs with a powerful story that will make you feel as if you were a character yourself. They also play some solid oldies that crowds always love. You think Hazy Ray is just another jazz/rock/grunge band? Think again. Better yet, see for yourself. You will definitely get up out of your seat when your hear them covering Backstreet’s “No Diggity”, “Everlong” by Foo Fighters, or Michael Jackson’s classic “Billy Jean”. A Hazy Ray show is a like an intimate gathering with your favorite people. They like to let the audience dictate the mood and the band’s direction saying, “The audience can react in so many ways; we just prefer to be in it with them and make a night of it. The less constraints there are, the easier that it is to do.”
Yet to reach the best part of their journey, already equipped with an impressive body of work, Hazy Ray is on the road to living out their dreams. Not the dreams of fame and fortune; genuine fantasies of impacting the world through music. Hazy Ray simply wants to give the world great music from their unique perspective. We’re here to listen! Check them out as we recently caught up with them to tell us more.
What are the names, ages, hometown, and respective instruments of everyone?
Ryan Noormohamed is a 21 year old from Midland, TX who lives the guitar. Willie McCullen is a 26 year old former naval officer from Waco, TX who eats, sleeps, and plays the drums. Mike Hayes is a 24 year old Trombone player from College Station, TX – he studies music at LSU. Mitch Curtis is 26 and a Bass player in every sense of the word from Akron, OH; He graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in music composition. I (Josh Ray) am 28, a storyteller from Columbia, SC via Houston, TX, and I sing and play guitar.
How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Mike Hayes (Trombone) and I (Josh Ray: Singer/Guitarist) met on stage at The Republic 1836 in College Station, Texas 5 years ago. We were both trying to make ends meet and sitting in with as many bands as we could. The owner had heard good things about my music and asked me to play my tunes during the break. Mike Hayes heard a few notes and just turned around, forgoing his break, just to play along with it. And what he brought was amazing. We decided to keep playing together and stay on the lookout for more musicians. I met Willie McCullen (Drums) 2 years later, Mitch Curtis (Upright Bass) a year after that and with Mitch came Ryan Noormohamed (Guitar) into the fold. The rest will be history.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
Our music definitely becomes more intelligent AND more of a party every show. I suppose that is what I love most about this group. There is no compromise necessary. We have our cake. We eat it too.
Hazy Ray – One Last Time
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes and topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?
(Josh Ray) I want to answer these backwards. The song topics have to change as our lives do, or else they lose their genuine nature; a quality which I prize over all and will not waiver on. The themes range through love, lust, loss, indecision, stress, politics, obsession, joy, struggle, victory, work. . .and anything else that pops into our lives. Life in general will be written about before we are done. As for the songs; I have come up with the basic structures, lyrics, and the melodies for most of the ones we perform. Mitch and I wrote my two favorite songs, ‘Stay and Fight’ and ‘Here We Are’ (also known as ‘My Song), which will be on the second album. Mike has written at least 3 that I know about and it will be nice to have a completely different perspective on life once we start.
What’s the ultimate direction for Hazy Ray? Are you seeking fame and fortune?
We’ve said this from the beginning; internally we’ve gone to great discussion: “The goal is not to be famous or rich. We’re not the kind of individuals who seek to be on magazine covers…. well, except for maybe Mike. The true ultimate direction of this band is to give back.” The members of this band, and our “team”, have all been severely blessed. We love music. It’s that simple. If we can make enough money to live off of playing live music, we will all be elated. We have all been incredibly inspired by sound… if we have the chance to give THAT back… to inspire others the way we have all been touched by music… I couldn’t think of any greater Life Calling.