Ray Roc: I'm also a songwriter so I wanted to get a little more serious than just DJing and making tracks. I developed the Roc Project to showcase what I was able to do as a songwriter and as a producer, but unfortunately I'm not a singer and I don't look like a model so I couldn't be the artist.
RS: Actually, you do sing backgrounds on the tracks though, so you could sing?
Ray Roc: Oh yes, I can sing but I'm not a singer. A lot of people can sing and they're not singers but I can hold a note and that's as much as I would probably do. Although you might see some records with my vocal on it, I would be more of a backup, a background kind of a guy.
RS: So you're sort of like a C&C Music Factory where you have a whole bunch of people working on records together?
Ray Roc: Yes, pretty much. As a matter of fact the concept of the Roc Project was based on the idea of the C&C Music Factory with a vocalist who would perform and sing my songs. The Roc Project is more of a band with the singer, a bass player, a guitar player, dancers, and me on a keyboard and as well as on the turntables. We take the show out and just shock the world!
RS: That makes sense because I was going to ask you, that as a DJ when you play out, you seem more on the underground tip, playing records by Artificial Funk, but the album has much more of a pop influence.
Ray Roc: Yes, I mean everyone has different monikers. If you're familiar with X-Press 2, Rocky Diesel and Ashley Beedle are part of a unit which do more of a progressive sound and crossover sound as opposed to individually they have their own kind of unique sound. There's a lot of producers out there with different monikers, especially UK producers like Norman Cook, Fatboy Slim.
RS: Pizza Man, Mighty Dub Katz, etc.
Ray Roc: Yes, so they'll make a moniker to push a certain sound, so every time you see that moniker you can trust that that kind of sound is coming out from them. Under the name Ray Roc, I'm known for spinning underground house music, funky house music as well as progressive . If I would have done this album, the people that follow me on that side would have probably been disappointed, as opposed to building the Roc Project as a radio-oriented situation. Radio is going to look at Roc Project differently, as opposed to knowing, Ray Roc as a DJ, who's an underground guy.
RS: Well, it seems like "Never (Past Tense)" has been the crossover for you, it's brought you a lot of success. It's an amazing record, when you wrote the song did you have any idea that this would be the one?
Ray Roc: Funnily enough no, I mean, yes and no. I didn't know it would be the one for the US, I was assuming it was going to be a huge success for me in the UK and in Europe, where it's still building. As opposed in the US, I had no idea as I've never made a record that was successful in the US but I have done records that have been very successful in the UK. So, the shocker was it coming back to the US and being more of a success here before hitting Europe and the UK.
RS: A lot of that I think has to do with the radio station in Miami WPYM, they really championed the record.
Ray Roc: They did, they really, really did. As a matter of fact they fell in love with it before it even had a home in the US. They played it from the import and they pushed it to death. They loved it and they said not only did they love it but the crowd response to the record was amazing and that's what kept the record alive. I knew I had written something special but I had no idea that it was going to be such a successful record that has actually lasted over a year now playing on American radio which to me is incredible.
RS: It's back in the Hot 100 again, it's up to ninety-seven again.
Ray Roc: Oh great, I didn't even know that.
RS: Radio stations get sent a hundred records every week, what about the record do you think stands out that made them latch onto it?
Ray Roc: When you listen to the album you will hear that I use a lot of substance in the songs. There's a meaning with the story line of that song which grabs the listeners. The song was written for women, because they all relate to it 100 percent. They couldn't even believe that I wrote the song. I wrote it with my wife, she wrote the bridge which pretty much put the hook line and sinker in it where it says "I don't even want to be your friend, at the end of the day, your love is so past tense." Everyone thought it was an amazing line, although when I wrote it I thought it was the corniest thing I have ever written. I said to everyone that I think it's going to be a hit, but if I would have heard this from somebody else I would have said that is the corniest line on that record. It keeps on haunting me back because everyone keeps on saying "oh yes, you're love is so past tense."