The Progressive AOR Adventures of Noely Rayn
The Progressive AOR Adventures of Noely Rayn
Noely Rayn was founded in 2014, based out of Athens, Greece and ready to enrapture the world with their exciting brand of progressive melodic rock. Inspired by bands as varied as Thin Lizzy. Yes and Foreigner, Noely Rayn recently unveiled Perfect Is Not Enough, the second chapter of their exhilarating AOR adventure. Highwire Daze recently caught up with guitarist Johnny Sinnis to find out more about the auditory journey of Noely Rayn, the music scene in Athens, their time as a Thin Lizzy tribute band, and other topics of interest. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Noely Rayn, and how long the band has been together.
Hi there! I am Johnny Sinnis, I am playing guitar in Noely Rayn alongside with my friend Panos Papapetros… We are a guitar duet trying to follow the roots of our childhood heroes Thin Lizzy. We formed the band in 2005 as a Thin Lizzy tribute band under the name Remember Lizzy and in 2013 we decided to create our own music… so we changed the name to Noely Rayn.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
We are from Athens, the capital of Greece.. a place that is most known for the Greek traditional music… but the Greek Rock ‘n Roll scene is growing bigger and bigger. There are great Greek bands touring around the world like Rotting Christ, Firewind, Suididal Angels but in a heavier style… our music direction is AOR – melodic rock which is not so popular here.. Don’t forget that we are the country that KISS had the smallest crowd back in 2008 on their European tour – about 7.000 people- … we are so unhappy for that , but we are satisfied because we play the music that we prefer.. Without press from any company etc… in general it is a little bit strange to play melodic rock / AOR in Greece …
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Perfect Is Not Enough title?
It has a dual meaning … the first explanation is a love story about a couple that seems to be perfect… but this is not enough for the woman – you know women is the main reason for all the lyrics in rock n roll history – the second meaning is that in our days you see people fighting for their lives to be perfect with a lot of education, certificates, diplomas, but they don’t succeed… to have a good job.. a good level of life … so we can admit that “Perfect is not enough“.. you need something more , some people call it “star”… so you need a star to show you the way…
Select two songs from Perfect Is Not Enough and what inspired the lyrics.
Well… I ‘ll tell you about 2 songs that I wrote the lyrics.. my favorite musician is Phil Lynott.. the greatest rock lyricist for me. I am trying to write on his style… with words and rhymes, which is not necessary to have a logical story or a mathematic type between them… if the rhyme is ok, it’s good to me … so the first song is Driving home which actually is a country rock song in the style of 80’s Fleetwood Mac and I describe the nostalgia when you ‘re driving away from home and you are dreaming that soon you ‘ll return to your family… the other song is Bleeding… a power ballad where I ‘m trying to describe the sad feelings of a separation when you have to smile in front of people, that you don’t want to see you unhappy..
Who produced Perfect Is Not Enough and what was it like working with them?
The whole album was first pre-produced at a PC by Panos Papapetros, who is a very good user of Music Computers ..Then we rehearsed the songs and did the music arrangements all the band together. Later, Akis Gavalas, our drummer started the drums recordings, and the other guys followed up… At the end, Nikos Iosifidis did the mix with Akis and Panos and the mastering of the album. Nikos Iosifidis is famous in Athens for his clear and powerful sound… he did many projects with other bands before us. We had a great time together, with a lot of fun and we are very happy with the final result and the whole production.
Who did the cover art for Perfect Is Not Enough and how much input did you have on it?
The artist is Sakis Melissinos, he is the brother of my wife .. so we have a special relationship. He did the cover of our first album too, Escape from Yesterday.. we wanted a prog rock atmosphere like the classic covers of Yes and Asia and we believe that he succeeded… there is a balloon at the sky ..it is the same in the 2 covers of our albums… so you can see that our music journey is going on …
How does Perfect Is Not Enough compare to your first album Escape From Yesterday?
Our first album Escape From Yesterday is totally inspired by Thin Lizzy, because we used to play as a Thin Lizzy tribute band for many years, so there are a lot of dual harmonic guitar parts in every song…. and also the Celtic elements are very obvious, too … there are a lot of up-tempo songs and a lot of Gary Moore style solos. The next album is more personal , the Lizzy influence is less, we built more personal music, with more modern songs and modern sound and we also put some progressive rock stuff because the half band members, Akis, Manos and John at bass, were members of a very famous Greek progressive metal band called Sound of Silence… we also added keyboards from Manos as a permanent member now… we have added many music styles like country, pop, funk, disco, progressive… it is our next step , we like to evolve our music direction …
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your band and live shows in your city?
We lost 2 very good gigs, we had the opportunity to play at the Up The Hammers after party a Lizzy set , and we canceled another gig with a very good Greek band called Dark Engine… everything is cancelled for 3 months and the rehearsals too, so it was a very silent period for Noely Rayn. The only thing we did was a video for our track Borders of Love with distant “messenger” videos from friends of ours. All the live shows were cancelled in Greece, during this period…
What could one expect from a live Noely Rayn show?
Energetic and emotional Rock’n’Roll, original Noely Rayn songs, and a few very carefully selected covers, by bands like Toto, Yes, Asia etc… We usually also add some Thin Lizzy & Gary Moore tracks there… we like to pay tribute to our heroes in our gigs…
If Noely Rayn could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
It would be our dream to open for Thin Lizzy… especially if Phil Lynott was there.. this is our favorite band and our main influence. Nowadays.. it would be awesome to open for bands like Toto, Whitesnake, Foreigner, Motley Crue…. and many many more..
What’s up next for Noely Rayn?
Now we are preparing our next music video.. it will be on YouTube this September… of course we will also try to organize as many as live gigs possible… Finally, it is always in our minds to collect ideas and demos for our next project, as well…
Any final words of wisdom?
We would like to thank Highwire Daze Magazine very much for this interview.
Rock’n’Roll Greetings from Greece to everybody out there!
Keep safe and rock on!
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photo by Peter Papapetros)
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