In 2006, Bill Ray was working on another artist's album; during set up / sound check, the engineer captured some of Bill's playing. "I played a song in my head and gave it some interesting dynamics and rhythmic breaks. I wanted to "digitize" my drumming somehow and make contributions to the internet." Eventually the internet "gave back" by way of two notable pieces of work by Bill's friends Neil MacPherson who created "The Journeymen" and Bill Cornish, half of "The Odd Get Even".
Bill has been a member of ccMixter for many years now, and his drum tracks have appeared on hundreds of remixes and original tunes.
Questions and Answers for ccMixter
How did you (and Tobias) meet?
We have never met. I did not know of Tobias until he sent me a video of a tune he had written around one of my drum videos on around January of 2014. It was a great "calling card!"
How did you decide to collaborate on an album together?
We didn't decide. Tobias just did it and sent me a copy. So the way I compose things is to sit down and begin to play and whatever falls out of my head and share it on the internet. Tobias is the one who really did all the work!
What are your musical inspirations?
I like 1970's Jazz Fusion, Motown, Soul, Blues, etc. But I also like to translate visual art styles into "rhythmic shapes", and as a result I "hear with my eyes" quite a bit. I love M.C. Escher, Dali and Picasso as well as Cubism and Surrealism because they correlate well to the drumset. Rhythm is merely "points on a line". I can read the black dots and lines on a piece of music, or look at a cool painting and offer a translation.
What do you appreciate about each other's musical abilities?
I love the balance and feel that Tobias gives to each composition. He makes "smart musical choices". Hopefully someday we can actually perform together!
What is your favorite track on the album?
I think for me it's "The Freakout Experiment" because it's got a nice contrast of "prettiness" and "grit". Rhythmically, Tobias phrased his parts around things I played to generate syncopated flows that I would not have thought of.