Ray Stevens III joins us to talk about his music career and many years in the skateboarding industry. Both music and skateboarding are part of modern culture. Ray is a punk-rock musician who has a superbly-refreshing take on music. I don’t think I have met someone as easy to get along with as Ray in quite a long time. Perhaps that is why he has so many high-level friends like Steve Cabellero, Tony Alva and Steve Alba who are also skateboarders and musicians. He’s played in too many bands to name over the years. His current focus is on the popular bay area band RS2 Solid Sound. Join the party as we talk about beers, skateboarding, friendship, and our all-time heroes.
Over the years punk-rock has exhibited features that explain why it’s become a main-stay of the music industry. When it’s trendy it is not too hot and when it is unpopular it is not exorbitant. This bi-polar attitude makes it have a unique lifecycle different from other popular music; getting right to the listeners hearts and minds. Ray explains it as DIY music where the musicians are closer to the listeners than any other musical genre. This relates to software design and startups. In order to be successful, the customer has to come first; you have to design for the customer. Nothing helps designing for the customer more than being closer to the customer.
Not so Underground!
Green Day is perhaps the most popular punk-band of all-time. Some notable runners up are Linkin Park, No Use for A Name and for some of their albums, Red Hot Chili Peppers. When you see the kid down the block with the chain wallet and torn jeans it can be hard to picture punk-rock as being part of culture. Our take on culture is composed of stead-fast elements – not necessarily popular – that are omnipresent day-to-day and year-to-year. Culture is the big picture while using our typical user of the internet as the connector. The individual user who is casually aware of the topics we bring to you on the podcast is the exemplar. Culture doesn’t have to be overpowering; it can appear from out of nowhere in a moments time or it can be part of a persistent measure.
Ray hasn’t used social media or the web much being that he is from the older generation. However, all his music has done very well on soundcloud. In relation to culture, soundcloud is a place where musicians from all over the world are able to share their music with fans all over the world. This makes for a new economy for music, where the fans can have the pull that the industry used take for granted. Now we have streaming which doesn’t reward smaller bands very well and made for indie platforms like bandcamp. Subscribe to our youtube channel for an in-depth look at the bandcamp platform coming soon.