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Interview - Ron Ravi (Warrion)

Interview with Ron Ravi from Warrion
by YngwieViking at 09 January 2014, 12:56 PM

The brainchild of Ron Ravi, WARRION, is a collaboration of some of the brightest stars in 80’s US Metal music. With the release of the band’s debut album, “Awakening The Hydra”, via Pure Steel Records, YngwieViking talked to Ron about this fine venture to revamp the 80’s, his personal experience and more… 

Hi Ron, First congratulations!!! I think that “Awakening The Hydra” is another winning release and an overwhelming album, as a fan of traditional US Metal and Power Metal in general, It was for me a real Sonic blast…What will be your words to describe it?

Hi Cedric, thank you very much!! I am glad you enjoyed it. After reading your review on Warrion i would say that you have connected with the album and understood what i was trying to portray.  Awakening The Hydra is not your typical heavy / power metal album. If the listener is expecting lots of melodies and huge sing along choruses, this is not the album. No dragons, wizards and lord of the rings crap here.  As you have precisely stated in your review it is captivating and mentally challenging. The listener will be left to ponder on the journey and the characters visions. You are either going to like Awakening The Hydra or hate it. Buyer beware!! Lol

Can you first tell us about yourself? Your background as a musician…Your past or actual involvements in other bands. I want to know everything… Go!

I have recorded and done some session work for jazz bands locally and most of them are demos only, some of them i was not credited for and others were demos . I recorded both bass and guitars for those demos. Warrion is my first official heavy metal project band.

Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Michael Vescera and George Call, I know you are a big fan of their past works.

Yes, i own and enjoy all of their releases. I called Michael Vescera and spoke to him for four hours on the phone and after our conversation I knew right then he was the main voice for Warrion. I have been a huge fan of Aska Avenger and Absolute Power, I phoned George Call in the middle of Banshee recording (Lol) and asked him to sing on two songs. Both George and i got along very well right from the beginning and he finished the songs Victim of Religion and Serpents Fire within ten days of our conversation.

Tell us also the role of each guest in the final result? Can you introduce to us the full line up?

Michael Vescera All Vocals, George Call Vocals on two songs. Tim Thomas  lead guitars, Keith Knight Bass, Rob Brug Drums. Dave Dufort Keyboards. Chris Bennet solos on Victim Of Religion.

You seems to take the meaning of the lyrics quite seriously, can you tell us more about the whole concept story of “Awakening The Hydra” Do you hold a special message?

Awakening The Hydra, is a concept album based on an individual’s journey in the astral realm. The unexplainable visions piqued his curiosity and he continues his travels. The entire album explains his thoughts, visions and the voices he hears. The intro in the album is actually him pondering if these are only just creations of the mind? The title track is all about the figure in the album cover which explains to him what he is oblivious to in the spiritual world. This is his early stage where he is in complete control of his transitions. Michael Vescera is the voice of that figure you see in the album cover.  Every song in the album expresses his thoughts, visions and progress. Midway through his journey he questions religion, if it is real or manmade? His astral transitions continue to an extent where he is unable even to know if he is in the real world or the astral realm. At one point he even begins to question if his mind is playing tricks on him. Has he lost his mind?  George Call is the voice he hears in his head in the real world. However, he thinks he has transcended deeper into his visions and he thinks he is incomplete control. At this point i will not continue, i would prefer for the listener to ponder and figure out themselves what happens next.   No, i do not hold any message at all.

What about the textual content of “Lucifer My Guide”…??? Are you a Satanist or a Hell Worshiper??

The song lucifer my guide, is in the final stages of the album where he has completely lost his mind. He is unable to grasp onto reality and he can no longer evaluate between his astral transitions and the voice he hears in reality. At this point he is completely insane. Lol, this is a question i have been asked numerous times. No, I am not a Satanist and lmao no i am not a hell worshipper. I am an atheist. However,   I do worship Cold beers, Hot Women and Heavy Metal!!!

Great, it’s the only trinity that I will bow to ! Tell us more about the quote in the booklet of the album saying: “he who does not have the courage to chase his own dream will always try and find ways to destroy yours. Be wary of these vermins, some are masquerading as your friends and others are lurking in your bloodline!” Pretty realistic and true isn’t it?

During the early stages of WARRION, I was told i would never be able to do this and everyone surrounding me were all negative. Not once did I receive any positive feedback or encouragement from friends or even family. Yes, you are right it is very realistic, we have friends, families who always masquerade and pretend all their lives and will do anything to stop or hurt you. So even though it was in my thank list, that little section is meant to be the Fuck you list. Lmao.

Now, as a revenge  can we expect a second album of WARRION sooner or later?

I do have some ideas running in my head as we speak but it would be premature to speculate a date right now. Probably later.

In my review for the superb new album “Awakening The Hydra” , i states that the album reveal a style that I call : Screaming US Metal in its most honest approach …What is your feelings about this quote?
Screaming US metal is actually interesting; the high vocals of both Michael Vescera and George Call will pierce all listeners with no mercy.

I also wrote about your complete dedication to your art , the conquering freedom and your unadulterated spirit while it’s time to compose the uncompromised music of “Awakening The Hydra”?

Cedric, as I mentioned earlier you have dissected my album perfectly and even connected with it on a personal level. You are absolutely right. I do not compromise the music when it comes to Warrion and yes I am very dedicated, I read tons of books on subjects such as astral realm, spirituality and other topics. Lots of research was done for this album. In my other interviews I have mentioned heavy metal is all about freedom. Freedom to do what we want. We should not be programmed or fearful of mad made creations or folklore.

Do you think that the technicity, the complexity of some song structures or the straight Metallic parts in WARRION can be a block for some listeners, do you keep this aspect in mind while composing, or did you just get the inspiration flows?

I tweaked the guitars, lyrics and vocal melodies along the way till I was satisfied and kept on tweaking till I realized I was wasting too much time on them and at the rate I was going I would  never release this album even in 2025 lmao. As for the listeners, Awakening The Hydra is not a typical metal album, so it will not be for everyone. We did get some mixed reviews initially but so far we have received three 8/10. Which I believe is pretty good!

Ron where are you coming from as far as guitar influences are concerned?

Mark Reale!!! I love Riot and Virgin Steele!!!

As a Musician from the Republic of Singapore, how is the Metal scene in your country? How are you perceived by the everyday people in your own country? Did you think that it’s a major difficulty for you to break onto the international market?

It sucks. The heavy metal scene here is extremely horrible. There is not a single local heavy metal band in Singapore that has signed to a foreign label and published their album internationally; however there are lots of extreme metal bands that have done it.  I do not like this genre. It is horrendous. Vocalists who sound like having bowel issues should not be singing. There are lots of good talented, jazz, blues, alternative, classical bands and artist here. Sadly I have yet to speak to someone who has heard or listens to Riot, Virgin Steele, Aska etc. Hopefully I will soon. I do not give a damn on what people down here think of me or the choices I have made to pursue my interest.
No, Nothing is impossible. Breaking into the international market all depends on the individual. If you are lazy and have a programmed mindset you will never be able to get your music across and receive international recognition

Are there new bands we have to reckon with in the next years ?
I have no idea, the music I listen to are mostly bands from the 70s and 80s. The new bands I know are already considered old. Lmao.

Do you plan on touring in The States? In Europe ? If yes, did you think to bring with you some Friends band from Singapore in support?

I am currently negotiating and looking at the possibility of a few shows in the states. But all of this depends on the individual band members availability due to their hectic schedule with their  own bands.  so it is a little tricky. Aska have already started their tour, Michael Vescera has just returned from Puerto Rico with Obsession.  Keith Knight is no longer touring with Aska. Hopefully everything pans out. Never say never!! As for bringing along local bands, absolutely not. They lack the discipline and until they change their mindset they will forever be cocooned.

Can we expect a Full touring line up ?

I would love that but only time will tell!

What do you think of the state of the market in 2013. What is your opinion concerning digital downloading legal and illegal?

The current state could be much better!! As for digital downloading it is both bane and boon. If a person downloads a song illegally and likes the band and decides to purchase the entire CD, then its ok. But if that vermin is downloading everything and not buying anything, every artist would stop making music completely because no one would be receiving royalties. That would be ludicrous.

Tell us what we have to expect from your side in the future to come?

More 80s music!!!

What is the last CD you have purchased?

ASKA’s “Fire Eater”

Please let us know your Underground Metal TOP 10?

RIOT  “Thundersteel”/”Privilege of Power”
JAG PANZER “Ample Destruction”/“Thane To The Throne”
VIRGIN STEELE “Age of Consent”/”Invictus”/”House of Aterus 1 and 2”/”Marriage of heaven and hell part 2”
DRIVER “Sons of Thunder”
ROB ROCK “Garden of Chaos”/”Holy Hell”
TITAN FORCE “S/T”
RUNNING WILD “Masquerade”/”Black Hand Inn” and “Death or Glory”
LIZZY BORDEN “Love you to Pieces”
LEATHERWOLF “Street Ready”
ASKA “Avenger”/”Absolute Power”/”Fire Eater”


Please let us know your Alltime TOP 10 ?

IRON MAIDEN “Seventh son of Seventh Son”
DIO “Holy Diver”
BLACK SABBATH “Heaven and Hell”
BLACK SABBATH “Headless Cross”
KING DIAMOND “Abigail”
NEW EDEN “Obscure Master Plan”
CRIMSON GLORY “Transcendence”
WASP “Headless Children”
JUDAS PRIEST “Painkiller”
MANOWAR “The Triumph Of Steel” / “Kings of Metal”

Now it's time for the Chinese portrait aka Le questionnaire de Bernard Pivot , which is inspired by Marcel Proust but This questionnaire is probably more familiar to English audiences as the one that journalist James Lipton asks at the end of  the TV show "Inside the Actors Studio."

What is your favorite word?

IPad

What is your least favorite word?

No way

What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

Red Wine, Hot Women and Good music!!

What turns you off?

Naive People

What is your favorite curse word?

Fuck You!

What sound or noise do you love?

Love the sound of any musical instrument

What sound or noise do you hate?

Cheap cars and bikes

If not yourself, who would like to be?

Batman

What profession would you not like to do?

Janitor

Who would like to see on a new bank note?

Homer Simpson

If you reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?

A Labrador

If God exists, what you like to hear him say at the gates of Heaven?

Lmao, can I answer this when I do see him?



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