Editor’s Note: Ray Suhy, guitarist of Six Feet Under and Cannabis Corpse, released a sonic injection of an instrumental EP entitled “Fulmination”. Honestly, Ray Suhy is one of the few metal guitarists that I’ve heard that can truly inject the emotions in his playing. Ray does an amazing job at infusing technicality with the emotions. For “Fulmination” Ray recruited 19 year old drumming virtuoso Victor Montanaro to help create Ray’s vision for the EP “Fulmination”, which you can check out our review of “Fulmination” here. Without further delay, here is our conversation with Ray Suhy, guitarist of Six Feet Under and Cannabis Corpse.
M.T.C.: What is the most intense part that you found playing in this record “Fulmination”?
Ray: There were a few tricky parts on the EP. “Cerulean” is pretty difficult because of the string skipping and big intervals. The end of that song has some descending economy picked lines that took me a few tries to get right. The solos in the title track are pretty technically demanding as well. I actually cut a lot of the flashy, more technical parts out of the record because they weren’t really adding to the songs besides a “hey look what I can do” element. I wanted the technical aspects to increase the intensity of the songs rather than just to be there for the sake of being there.
M.T.C.: What dynamics did Victor bring in his drumming to this piece of music?
Ray: Victor is a little more into progressive metal and music with shifting time signatures than I am. My demos featured programmed beats that were a little more straight ahead with the snare on two and four as much as possible. Vic’s tendency is to break up the riffs into shorter phrases in 2, 3, 5 and 6 whereas I might conceive of the riff as a longer phrase with the overall feeling of 4/4. Vic’s parts added even more urgency to the material and made certain sections really explode. The end of “Cess Pool” comes to mind. He really helps the song to build and climax. Vic was the perfect drummer for this project and I believe he finished all his parts for the record in under 4 hours! That’s with little to editing as well! He really killed it!
M.T.C.: What advice do you have for guitar players?
Ray: I’d say just to work hard and pursue whatever technique or theoretical concept you working on at the moment with complete determination. Listen to styles of music outside of your comfort zone and try to pick things up from every guitar player you hear. Also, the thing I’d recommend the most is to try and learn everything you like the sound of. It could be anything from a guitar riff, a vocal melody or even a cool saxophone solo you might hear. Your ears are attracted to those sounds for a reason. Learn them and analyze them so the principals of those musical ideas can become part of your creative vocabulary.
M.T.C.: Tell me about the creative process behind a Six Feet Under song and Cannabis Corpse song to your solo work, what are a couple of the primary differences, or do you take a similar approach from a mentality standpoint?
Ray: It’s really important to me to that everything I play or write has a definite mood or feeling to it. Music is a catharsis for me and I try to inject feeling into everything I play. If I hit one note, I want everyone to feel something from that note. That’s much more important to me than being technically correct. A lot of the parts on this EP were done in one take and a lot of the solos were improvised until I like the energy in them. I take this approach in every project I’m involved in whether it’s Six Feet Under, Cannabis Corpse or even the more jazz and fusion projects I’m involved in.
M.T.C.: If you could play guitar with someone that you have never played with before, who would it be and why?
Ray: Man! That’s a hell of a question. There are so many! For heroes that I’d love to learn from, I’d love to sit in front of John McLaughlin and Stochelo Rosenberg and observe their technique and jam with them. I’d love to jam and write with Stephen Brodsky of Mutoid Man and Cave In. I’ve been a big fan of his writing and singing since Cave In’s record “Jupiter”. I’d also love to jam and do a project with drummer Thomas Pridgen. He’s incredible!
M.T.C.: What can listeners expect from “Fulmination”?
Ray: “Fulmination” is an instrumental guitar record. While that description can bring to mind endless noodling, “Fulmination” was written with the riffs in mind first and foremost. I tried to have the songs stand on their own riff wise first before I started adding melodic elements and solo sections. The tuning I used for most of the record (AADGBE) definitely give some the riffs a Mastodon-like vibe. The EP also features some pummeling, intricate drumming from Victor Montanaro.
M.T.C.: Plans for the rest of the year moving forward.
Ray: This year should be a busy one. Cannabis Corpse is going to release our new record. “Left Hand Pass” in September. I got to do a lot of soloing on that record. If you like what I did on the “Fulmination” EP you should be into my work on “Left Hand Pass”Besides that I’ll be doing some touring with Six Feet Under later in the year as well as releasing a jazz record that I recorded a couple of months ago with some pretty incredible players.
M.T.C.: Fun Question: If you could sit down and have a beverage of your choice with anyone right now, who would it be?
Ray: Damn! Another good question. I’ll go with David Lynch. I’ve been obsessed with Twin Peaks lately and I’d love to try and pick his mind and learn about his creative process.
M.T.C.: Where can people find “Fulmination” and Ray Suhy?
Ray: People can order “Fulmination” on any of the major online music retailers and you can also order physical copies at https://raysuhy.com/ To stay up to date with all of my projects check out my website as well as https://www.facebook.com/
M.T.C.: Thank you for your time to interview with me for Madness To Creation.
Ray: Thank you, and it was a pleasure!
And there you have it, please check out Ray Suhy on Facebook and go pick up a copy of “Fulmination”. Here is the title track with playthrough below!