Raggy Monster, an indie alt-rock/classical band from Florida, got its name from a childhood imaginary friend, and the creativity exploded from there. Consisting of five talented individuals, Raggy Monster has shared the stage with The Misfits, Smashing Pumpkins, and Train. Their sound is breathtakingly unique, and they are definitely here to stay. Keep reading to find out more about Raggy Monster!
What did each of you want to be when you grew up?
”Billy wanted to be a cobbler. Rachel wanted to be a cat farmer. Mike wanted to be a professional golfer. Oren wanted to be an archeologist or astronaut possibly both at the same time. Sage wanted to be Fox Mulder from the X Files or Walker Texas Ranger. Basically any type of upper echelon law enforcement.”
Your band’s name came from Billy’s imaginary childhood friend. Tell us about Raggy Monster; what was he like?
“Raggy Monster has a theme song that completely describes him:
‘His eyes pierce through all evil,
his arm chops all the bad guys,
lightning strikes at his will,
and thunder sounds from his thighs’”
How did you develop your unique sound?
“Each member’s musical influences differ in a lot of ways. Billy and Rachel are more classically trained in opera and piano. Sage desires more complex structures and patterns of progressive rock and math rock, while Mike is rooted heavier in blues and blues rock. And Oren is a freak of nature who plays 12 or so different instruments and draws his influences from vast array of different genres and composers but mainly the band Thrice and progressive rock.”
Describe your songwriting process.
“A member of the band will bring a melody or riff or drum pattern to our sessions and we will simply try and build on it. If it is not working or not moving toward a sound we like we will save it for something else. We enjoy a spontaneous style of writing music and try and let it happen as naturally as possible. That is when the best stuff happens.”
The band has been through some tough times and nearly broke up last year. What saved Raggy Monster?
“The band was in a rough period as far as members getting along and members finding time in their own life to devote to Raggy. ‘Wicker Flies’ was planning on being their farewell album unless something else came along. Sage and Billy had a strong desire to keep Raggy going and with the addition of Oren and Mike, two members who were willing to make Raggy a top priority, Raggy got a second wind and now we are a stronger band than ever before.”
What was it like making the video for “Crying Shame”?
“Crying Shame in itself is a dark song about Billy’s uncle who had been paralyzed and left in a wheelchair. We wanted to convey a dark message but still have some sort of visual presence of the bands performance of the song. Capturing the feeling of the song without going overboard financially was a challenge. But we took advantage of a few local areas to shoot footage, one being an ice rink where the performance footage is taken, and everything went together pretty well. It also helped that our good friend, Noah, is an amazing videographer and was able to capture a lot of the feeling the song conveys.”
Tell us about the Whiskey Wasps.
“The Whiskey Wasps consist of Billy Schmidt and Rachel DuVall of Raggy Monster. Hailing from West Palm Beach, their hauntingly soothing sound and thought-provoking lyrics have built up a loyal following ranging from teens to old-timers. They are currently working on a year-long YouTube project called 52 Weeks Under The Covers. Their first self-produced EP is currently in the works for a summer 2015 release date, and promises to be ‘well worth the wait.’”
What’s next for Raggy Monster?
“Well nothing is set in stone yet, but we are definitely planning a tour for the early part of 2016 and a new music video is in the works. We will playing a lot of shows up through the new year including headlining Moonfest in West Palm on Oct 31st. We are ready to take the next steps forward to branch out of our local scene and for people around the country and around the world to hear our music.”