Posted on August 7th. 2017
Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Jason: Hello Rayman and Thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to speak with us here at Metal To Infinity. Where are you originally from and what was the music scene like there when you were growing up?
Rayman James: I grew up in middle of nowhere small town USA I actually grew up on a farm. Seriously the nearest town’s population was 200 and 500 people. So there was no music scene and everyone listened to country which I hate.
Jason: Where is home base for the band these days?
Rayman James: We are based out of the Twin Cities area in Minnesota
Jason: There was another band from Los Angeles that was formed in 1980 named Malice. I was curious if when you formed the band if you had any idea that there was already another band named Malice? Part of my reason for asking is I was curious if any fans ever mixed up the two bands or if the other band ever tried to stop you from you calling your band Malice?
Rayman James: Obviously I had no clue there was anyone else out there by that name. There was also one in the UK back in the 70s as well and many more that operate under the Malice name now which I own the rights to. I got a few smart assed uneducated emails and messages about the name from random people and the LA Malice, but like I said I own the rights. So it was just a lot of empty threats and I ignored them. People always try to threaten you and scare you. It’s easier than real action. I am a man of action.
Jason: Rayman do you remember how old you were when you first started playing the Bass? Did you take lessons or would you consider yourself to be a Self-taught player?
Rayman James: I am self-taught. Never had a real lesson and part of the reason is I hate school. I love to learn but hate people telling me what to do and how to do it. It’s part of my personality I cant stand it. I can’t work for other people either, it’s just not in my DNA. I can’t stand people telling me what to do. Probably the real reason why I haven’t gotten married yet.
Jason: Do you remember why you chose the Bass as your instrument of choice?
Rayman James: Yeah my lil bro bought a guitar and told me to buy a bass so we could start a band.
Jason: I really like the band’s logo, I was curious who designed the logo and how did you come to name the band Malice?
Rayman James: I designed it myself and drew it up on a piece of notebook paper. There were a few influences on it there I saw a video game at a store that had an E that was a sword, and I thought that was cool, originally the M sword was based on the Ultimate Warriors face paint design, But after a few drafts i changed it to what it is now. The name was because I was a big Manowar fan and way back in the day record stores actually were a thing, and I wanted to come up with a name that would put my band right before Manowar’s alphabetically.
Jason: Who were the Bass Players/bands that really influenced you when you were growing up?
Rayman James: Joey Demaio, Magnus Rosen, Patrice Guers.
Jason: I noticed on your FACEBOOK page that you list Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd President of The United States Of America. Kind of an interesting person to list as an influence…Talk about why Thomas Jefferson had on you?
Rayman James: We are all patriotic in Malice and we just feel Thomas Jefferson was a great leader. He was the author of the Declaration of Independence. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson
Jason: We don’t usually get too political here Rayman but being that you listed Thomas Jefferson as one of your influences I’d like to ask you no matter what political party you might lean towards I have to ask what do you think of the way that some celebrities and some people in the main stream media not only trash talk the current President of the United States but often times these people not only speak out against the President and his views but often times will encourage violence against the president?
Rayman James: I am an American Citizen, I support President Trump and want him to succeed and be the greatest president we ever had. As I had supported and hoped Obama would be, and Bush and Clinton before him. We are all on the same team called USA it’s time we start rooting for ourselves. That being said I did not vote for Trump nor Obama, but I support them and willing to give them a chance. I vote for the same person every election and it is the only person I actually trust. Thats correct I do a write in vote for myself on every ballot.
Jason: Is there an album in your record/CD collection Rayman that you can point to and say that’s the album that really had a major impact on you and played a huge role in you becoming a professional Musician yourself?
Rayman James: Manowar, “Fighting the World”.
Jason: While they’re two very different animals I’d like to ask you Rayman if given the choice do you performing live on stage or prefer being in a recording studio?
Rayman James: Both are great fun, but stage by far being on stage. I love creating music but I am a performer I love being in front of people.
Jason: Could you share with us how you first hooked up with the other members of the band and came to form Malice?
Rayman James: I met Sheridan when he was 15, and playing in a School of Rock type band. Dave Whitmer responded to an ad. Dave my drummer was a good friend of my little brothers.
Jason: I noticed on the band’s FACEBOOK page that you’re listed as The Metal Warrior…How did you come to be known as The Metal Warrior?
Rayman James: That was a name that someone in the Manowar camp gave me many years ago when I was following them around Europe I liked it and it stuck.
Jason: Are you the primary songwriter in the band or does everyone in the band play a role in the songwriting process?
Rayman James: I do most of the writing and Sheridan now does about 50% on the music as well.
Jason: How important is social media to you and the band…I mean how much do you enjoy inner acting with fans and receiving messages from fans? How important is that to you and your band mates?
Rayman James: We love hearing from people and seeing the photos they share. Lot of great fans out there taking photos wearing out merch and making videos.
Jason: With the music business being in its current state I have to ask you how do you feel about digital music vs. a standard/physical CD? I mean many bands these days for the simple fact that there’s just not a lot of people buying compact discs these days and because of that it often times doesn’t make financial sense to release a physical CD. What are your thoughts on this?
Rayman James: I still like the CDs but I am old fashion but yeah it doesn’t make a lot of sense they have become outdated but I still like holding something.
Jason: Also talking about digital music VS. physical CDs I have to ask you how do you feel when fans download your music illegally? Would you ever consider taking legal action against fans like Metallica did?
Rayman James: It is upsetting to say the least to see you have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times in Russia and thinking if you had just 1 dollar for each download you wouldn’t be struggling.
Jason: I have to ask you Rayman is there something that you’ve had the opportunity to experience that you would not have had the opportunity to experience had you not been in Malice?
Rayman James: Just touring some of the places we have been to.
Jason: What is currently going on with the band?
Rayman James: Writing recording, planning next tour.
Jason: Anything left that you’d like to say to all the Malice fans out there Rayman? Thanks so much for doing this!
Rayman James: We hope to see you at a show and we would love to hear from you on any of our social media sites.