Ray Gun are a band from Margate in Thanet, who play indie rock which takes a lot of influence from punk and riot grrrl. They started quite recently and released their first EP, MAY THE BRIDGES I BURN LIGHT YOUR WAY, on Sexx Tapes. Ned Samuel speaks to them, and they give collective answers, in the manner of a sort of indie hive mind.
Who’s in Ray Gun?
Eoin, Harry, Jess, Paula.
How and when did the band get started?
We started playing together about 6 months ago. We met at the Tom Thumb, a small DIY venue Jess and Eo run in Margate. We bonded over the bar and the byo vinyl night.
What does the band draw on musically and lyrically? What’s the process for writing songs?
We are all in to quite different things musically, but some favourites are Big Black, Le Tigre, Shellac, Crass, Son House, Todd Rundgren, Bikini Kill, Pixies and PJ Harvey. Lyrically Jess is a bit of a magpie. She likes happening upon a sentence or a couple of words and then building the lyrics for a song around it. “I’m There Right Now” started with a line from David Lynch’s “Lost Highway”. Another song started from a piece of chalk graffiti on the beach, another from the “Riot Grrrl Manifesto”, another from a Point Horror book.
Our writing process is fairly evenly weighted and very collaborative. One of us will bring a riff to a rehearsal and then we’ll all contribute to it.
Are you Thanet natives, or did you move into the area recently?
Harry is a native, Paula moved down for Uni about four years ago. Jess and Eo moved down about two and a half years ago.
With more bands and venues appearing in Thanet, would you say there’s a local scene appearing? Or has that still not happened?
There’s definitely a local scene, with great bands emerging from it. But we need more! More spaces for people to play, more people picking up instruments.
What’s next for Ray Gun? Any plans for shows, touring, new releases?
We are writing this from the car, on route to play in Camden tonight. We are doing some more recording in June, supporting the lovely Fever Dream in July and playing our first festival – Forgotten Fields – in August. There’s whispers of a vinyl release … Fingers crossed!
[interview conducted by Ned Samuel, originally published in No More Gigs issue 6 in a slightly different form, June 2015]