Video Interview with Johnny Ray of THE MOURNING

The Mourning Logo

Video Interview with Johnny Ray of THE MOURNING
By Sheri Bicheno

Hello Everyone! Sheri here…

I am back with another new 2021 interview – and this time I had the wonderful opportunity to have a chat with vocalist/keyboardist Johnny Ray of Florida based Progressive Rockers The Mourning.

Johnny Ray will also be recognised by fans of the band 3 Headed Snake.

As for The Mourning well, I feel, these guys are wonderfully different. They blend Progressive Rock with elements of Jazz, Metal and, what I would call, a Spooky Alternative sound. I find this interesting as there are not too many Prog Rock bands that would enter the realm of mixing Jazz with their music and creating something so soothingly melodic whilst taking you down a Tim Burton style staircase at the same time.

The Mourning formed in 2017 with Johnny Ray recruiting Drummer Jason Berlin, Bassist Spence Howard and Guitarist Thomas Griggs, and together they released the 2018 EP “Theosis”. They then added Keyboardist John Richardson and Guitarist Andrew Stout during live sessions and are now creating their first full length album, due to be released for the Summer of 2021!

Have a watch and see what’s in store…

THE MOURNING Video Interview by Sheri Bicheno

The Mourning are:
Johnny Ray – Vocals/Keyboards
Jason Berlin – Drums
Spence Howard – Bass
Thomas Griggs – Guitars
John Richardson – Keyboards
Andrew Stout – Guitars


‘Hush’ (Audio)

The Mourning Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.



Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Chicago, IL based, Instrumental/Progressive Rock/Metal band Coyote Man. Huge thanks to drummer Ian Wheeler, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name is Ian Wheeler and I play drums for Coyote Man. Me and Augie (guitarist) have known each other since high school and played in a few bands together. I would say we’ve been playing together for almost 20 years now. We played some covers and originals with a few different vocalists between 2001 and 2004. I would say around 2005 or so we just started creating instrumental parts to original songs. We took a break after that for a few years. The summer of 2015 we decided to get back together again and Coyote Man was formed.

How did you come up with your band name?

We came up with it one day going through some random names. We just want to leave it up to speculation and let the listeners decide what it means. Imagination is the name of the game.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We are from the United States. The metal/rock scene is explosive in the US. We have only done a few small tours in the mid-west so far and they have all been fantastic. At the moment, for us, Michigan has been extremely kind to our band. We have played some kick ass shows there. The fans have been really good to us in Michigan. We still haven’t travelled the world yet but from what I hear Europe has the best metal/rock scene.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

We came out with our single ‘Perilous’ on March 2nd available on all streaming platforms. This single will be on our upcoming sophomore record “Precognition” which drops on April 20th.

Who have been your greatest influences?

There’s a lot to choose from over the years. Growing up The Beatles and Pink Floyd were played a lot in my household. In early grade school Nirvana blew my mind. Dave Grohl’s drumming on “Nevermind” made me want to play drums and then Tre’ Cool from Green Day added more inspiration shortly after that. Later on bands like Rage Against the Machine, 311, The Mars Volta, Deftones, Radiohead really opened my eyes on different drumming styles and techniques. I’m inspired and influenced almost every day from different groups which is the beauty behind music.

What first got you into music?

My family has a lot of musicians on my mom’s side and growing up I would always watch my uncle’s jam on guitar and jam out some oldies at family parties. I think my first percussion instrument was the tambourine just because I could hold it at a young age and it was very interesting to me. I think any instrument should be given to a young child so you can start them off right away with music.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Matt Embree from Rx Bandits or SA Martinez from 311 would be a dream.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

If there was another Woodstock that would be incredible. Nothing will beat the first Woodstock concert but to be a part of that again is something beyond special. I can die a happy man if that ever happened. (Laughs)

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

We did receive some beef jerky from a show we did in Wisconsin. I wouldn’t call it weird but more like a weird unexpected delicious treat.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

“Enhance your calm” or use the three seashell method. (Laughs) Sorry, I just finished watching Demolition Man the other day.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Kurt Cobain or John Bonham.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I enjoy playing live in front of crowds. Playing and creating music is like no other feeling I can explain. I don’t hate it but loading in and out from shows can be a pain in the ass but that’s part of the job.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Streaming platforms need to pay bands more for their art. Small percentages are not enough. The music industry itself I’ll just keep those comments to myself. (Laughs)

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Toadies – “Rubberneck”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I would have to say Vinyl and CD’s only because I have a lot of them. (Laughs) I do stream music on my phone constantly, so it does help when you’re working on the road too.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Playing with Bit Brigade last year at Reggie’s Rock Club was a great show. Our first sold out show in Chicago we ever played I believe. Bit Brigade are an instrumental video game rock band. They have a guy on stage with them playing the original Mega Man Nintendo game while the band plays the soundtrack for each level. It’s pretty wild. Our last show back in October we got to open for one of our favourite bands Brutus, which was also a great experience. They are probably some of the nicest people we ever got to share the stage with. It was quite an honour playing with them at the Chicago venue Schubas.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

That’s hard to say. I would probably still be a musician. Working in the Cannabis industry too. (Laughs)

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Living and dead? I’ll just throw some out there. Jim Carrey, Hunter S. Thompson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Rob Zombie and John Carpenter.

What’s next for the band?

At this moment in time we will be releasing our new album “Precognition” on April 20th. A lot of our upcoming shows are going to be postponed due to the Coronavirus. We are just staying safe and working on more new music since we have a lot of time now. I’m already super excited with the new batch of songs that we have. We’ve been working with our new bassist too and it’s going really well!

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I have never had one but I see that they are from the UK. I would definitely try one if I ever get the chance. They look like a sugar based biscuit so I will go with biscuit.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you so much for this interview. Stay safe out there and make sure to listen to our new single ‘Perilous’ streaming on all platforms. Don’t forget to listen to our new album “Precognition” on 20th April this month. Wash those hands and keep your distance from other people please.

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.