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RAY MAYHEW: HOLD ME, SHAKE ME, I'M ALL SHOOK UP,  SHOOT IT UP - MEL IGNITES A CONVERSATION

 
Ray Mayhew was born in Southampton on January 22nd 1965. He plays guitar, drums,  sings and writes the songs. He is best known for being a former member of the group Sigue Sigue Sputnik.They were a British pop-cyberpunk influenced band with futuristic overtones created by former Generation X bassist Tony James, Martin Degville on Vocals,  Neal X and Chris Kavanagh. Ray was spotted by Martin and Tony when he passed the Kensington Market shop 'YaYa' - chosen for his 'star quality' - the fact he couldn't play drums was a mere formality. Ray left Sigue Sigue Sputnik in 1990 and later formed the 'rock and roll chaos' group 'Mayhem Deranged'. Ray Mayhew is currently on Wikipedia alongside another Ray with the same name but not to be confused with the bible basher!!

Rays story..."Southampton was "nowheresville" and I realised that moving to London was the most logical thing to do, aged about 15 there was no plan, just an idea that something better could be found there, not to mention that I was kicked out of school for violent behaviour :)

(Photo of Ray at 'ya ya' 1984)

When I landed in London, I got myself various part time jobs helping out at Kensington Market. I had even met Tony James at a Sex Gang Children gig in Westbourne Park and he snubbed me when I approached him!
Fast forward to 1983 and I had seen Martin Degville and Tony hanging out at Kensington Market and as it turned out they were looking for band members. Martin and Tony had spotted me outside a shop called 'YaYa' and I was hanging out across the way at a stall called "Pure Sex" - but it was Neal that actually approached me: Neal - "'ere mate you look great - can you play drums?" Ray - "Yeah, but I'm guitarist!"And then I was given a phone number and I had a gut feeling that it had something to do with Tony James as I had seen him hanging out with Neal at a shop called "Western Styling" nearby.    I was a little apprehensive at first, but something inside told me that THIS was it. I phoned them and got invited round to 3 Pindock Mews, a place that belonged to Magenta Divine. It was Tony that answered the door and was invited in and there sat Martin and I fucking freaked (inside, that is).
They gave me a sort of informal interview and we got on great and they fed me as well, which was great because I was starving!
A nice glass of wine, but I wanted the bottle really...if only they knew then what they know now! but I still love them :)"
- Ray Mayhew 11/08/08

There's lot's more to Ray's story, and it proves to be quite a controversial interview!

Mel - Hi Ray welcome to 'Mudkiss' interviews - I guess my initial question would be what are you doing these days?

Ray - Preoccupied with the 'Mayhem Derangedness' of life. Mayhem Deranged is my new fangled dream along with my fellow friend Rob or is that Robbo Godfrey the god cop on bass. However, this band actually started out in 1983 during rehearsals for Sigue Sigue Sputnik at Pindock Mews. Me and Neal (Whitmore) X had some down time waiting for the rest of the fuckers to turn up, so I suggested that he listened to guitar lines...of which I had previously stolen from Iggy Pop and Billy Idol, hence Iggy Pop's "Pumping For Jill". I suggested that Neal crudely record it on a 4 track, which all the Sputnik demos of the time were recorded on and fuck it - "Save Me" as a title born... Later on it was Kevin Prockter that answered an ad in Melody Maker in 1992 and hence tracks like "Pubic Heaven" and "Just a look" appeared. He took my mess and structured it, like all cat lovers or is that pussy lovers?  And I ain't no pussy, but he dealt with it all the same! We hooked up some years later and recorded at Berry Street Studios our forthcoming single called "Here I Go Again", which sums it all up really :)

Mayhem Deranged are:
Ray Mayhew - Words and Music,Kevin Prockter - Guitars and Programming, Robert Godfrey - Bass Guitar.

Mel - How would you describe the sound of Mayhem Deranged? What do you write about?

(ARTWORK BY ALEXANDER HEATON 2006)

Ray - Fucked up, deranged and better than that other shit that I have to put up with! Experimental, mental, dub, deranged and Mayhem Deranged! Me, myself and I...I am a selfish cunt perhaps that is why I have no friends! :) I write about Sex, drugs and revolution! (what else?)

Mel - I know from your web site that despite creating some great masterpieces your demo's didn't make it onto any releases why was this? They were booked in to work with producer John Ravenhall in mid to late - 1993, but the session did not actually happen.

Ray - Because we are all c***'s, but because c***s are useful no one likes to lick them like crazy. If I have said a word out of context, then more the fool me. I will burn myself down in flames as I do everyday.

Mel - Did you ever perform live gigs with Mayhem Deranged (which is a fabulous name by the way)?

Ray - Well there was one in Dundee back 1993, but most of it was under the
radar.Does anyone remember my drum sticks? It's all pointing at you! I am at what I am because I am what I am. There was another one around 2001 at a bar called the Trinity in Harrow...is that place still there? I fell into the house drum kit during the 2nd song (Pubic Heaven) and they removed me from the venue! If that had happened now it would have been on YouTube!

'Ray Mayhew and Billy Idol at the 'Dortmunder Westfahlen Halle' dressing room - Germany 1986

Mel - Who writes the songs and where is your inspiration from?

Ray - Me, myself and I. there are many influences - Billy Idol, Iggy Pop,Lou Reed, definitely not Sigue Sigue Sputnik, TRex, Whitesnake, Sisters of Mercy, Suicide, Alan Vega, Basement 5, Prince, Madonna, The Farm, Pete Wylie and The Mighty Wah, and All Saints and Kylie Minogue.The Clash and Mick Jones, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleroes.  Paul Simonon as Artist (paintings). Topper Headon, Terry Chimes, Jamie Stevenson, Steve New, Steve Jones, John Lydon, The 4x2s Jimmy Lydon (Johns brother).

Mel - Let's rewind to 1980's - I believe you were the first member of the band to be recruited, to S.S.S no experience of playing drums at all (although you did play guitar) - mainly down to the way you looked ' you looked like a star’! What were your impressions about this at the time?

Ray - I was the first drummer to be recruited in the sense of the new regime
of the group as a spectrum of the so called society we live in.  but it all started in Southampton 1979, playing guitar for the band with no name.

Mel - One legend goes that the band had a special T shirt made with the lists of all your court appearances as you were dubbed the 'dangerous one' tell us more about that...

Ray - Er..more fool me?
 

Mel - Mick Jones lent you his '50s white Gibson’ and became your sound mixer for a while and even lent you his roadie and a transit van after he'd been sacked by the clash - what were these times like? Any fond memories of Mick?

(Photo with Mick's guitar by Ray Stevenson)
 
Ray - Absolutely true.  I love him all for it, they were our backbone (Tony & roadie Flea).You know if it wasn't for the Clash, there wouldn't be an SSS.

Mel - You used Sid Vicious old flat in 3 Pindock mews as your rehearsal rooms. Any old ghosts floating around?

Ray - Yes, I used to fuck them frequently!    

Mel - You all worked for a while and hung out with Johnny
Thunders, tell me about that.

Ray - Show business is show business.

Mel - Tell me about working with John MacKenzie (brother of the late Billy MacKenzie of the Associates)

Ray - I met John in Dundee through the MacKenzie brothers and I hadn't realised that I had hung out with their brother Billy.The voice that c*** had was amazing and John's got the same vocals big up to John. We did try writing songs together and that was it really.

Mel - It's an interesting tale about Mark Laff and Terry Chimes giving you
your first drumming lessons, could you tell us about these times and how it came about ?

Ray - Mark Laff was a frequent visitor to 3 Pindock Mews and he introduced
me to Led Zeppelins "In Through The Outdoor". He also lent me a drum kit (in addition to Topper Headon) and taught me how to swing the sticks.He taught me the John Bonham and Keith Moon stuff, which is where he learnt it all from.

I used to see Steve New in Camden busking - Bee Bop A Lula and all that
stuff, great guitarist. I met Terry Chimes in Hammersmith, in a rehearsal studio near the old Odeon. I didn't even know there would be 2 drummers in the group. I got into the studio and there were 2 drum kits set up and Terry sat behind one of them! He showed me the bass drum, hi-hat and snare and a simple 4/4 beat. We did great "Balls of Fire" and all that sort of stuff. Terry Chimes actually part owns Berry Street Studio where we recorded our  Last track "Here I Go Again" - small world eh? Sadly, I have not seen Mark in years, but I do know that Terry is chiropractor....The rest as they say is history....

Mel - Why did you leave the band are you still in contact with any of the former S.S.S band members? What happened to Chris Kavanagh?

(Photo of Sigue Sigue Sputnik by Johnny Rozsa)

Ray - I got disillusioned with the fact that Giorgio Moroder was producing
the album 'Flaunt It'

I hated every minute of it and I think Keith Forsey should have done it.
And I should have had a whole string of limos!  I'm still in touch with Martin and I played drums for him back in Jan 2005 for Sputnik 2. I might play some guitar for him in the near future. Chris? - I don't know where he is and I miss him.  I hope he's safe. Last time I saw him was playing drums for BAD in Hammersmith. Neal is cool, he just needs to know that I am.Tony is the most superb bass player that I have played drums with and one of the most patient people I have met! And I didn't steal the money off the table. Fuck'em - I'm the real deal, I am so sorry that you lost me.

Mel – When did you first start to get into music – what bands did you like, what kinds of music? Did you go down the punk road or were you too young?

Ray -
I was always a punk rocker (at about 11 years of age)
Like many of my generation, I was into the the Sex Pistols and The Clash, Buzzcocks, 999, Generation X, Bowie, John Lydon, Iggy Pop, etc. I had also played the part of donkey in a play which was really good fun touring round all the local middle schools, 23 quid a week for doing that too...the cracked actor eh?

MelDo you go and watch bands and are you still London Based?

Ray - Yes, I caught some bands at the 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street
recently.Yes London based.

Mel - Where do you see your future in music and what's new in the pipeline?

Ray - We are going to release "Here I go again" and a remixed version of it
will be done in the first week of September.  Work on the album is ongoing.
We also have a gig coming up at "Lark In The Park" on the September 28th
with a very special guest on guitars, so watch out for that.

Listen to  'Here I go again' http://orangeunsignedact.co.uk/acts/mayhem-deranged

MelFinally do you think you’ve calmed down a lot since those ‘wild days’ are you settled and happy in your life?
 
Ray - No and I am still working on it! Please, can anyone tell me where I am?  Because I don't know... Love and kisses, Mayhem Deranged x

Remember how good they were....... 

www.mayhemderanged.com

 
Interview by Mel