I asked Blue Embrace front man Chris Wray to give me some details about himself for this bio. He responded:
“ I’m a little bit Ninja and a little Jedi. However...I’m mostly the son of Odin, Prince of Asgard, wielder of the mighty Mjolnir, in my mind. I like to play, anytime you’re ready let me know. I like to get loud.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
A little ninja and Jedi attitude couldn’t hurt when fronting Los Angeles based hardrock band Blue Embrace. Their complex sound and energetic stage show is just part of what would require those ninja qualities. Formed over time by trial and error Blue Embrace came to be in 2010 and has shared the stage with Korn, Black Eyed Peas, Shiny Toy Guns and Story of the Year. Blue Embrace is:
Oz Chiri: An Argentinian guitarist who immigrated to the United States in 1998. He came here with the inspiration of creating a hard rock band. Oz’s sound is definitely steeped in his Agentinian roots. Oz studied in a Argentinian music conservatory for 6 years, but missed his final exam stating: “I never really cared about degrees.” Think Randy Rhoads meets Steve Vai and splash a little tango energy in there and you get the picture.
Mike Mikesell: A staple American metal guitarist. Rhythmic, aggressive, distorted. Mike began as a Sax player being trained orchestrally before switching to Guitar. Played throughout So. Florida in punk bands. Moved to California to: “Go where the majority of rock history lives.”
Chris Wray: Vocalist. To quote: “ Go naughty or go home." Greg’s vocals are all about dynamics and range, he grew up singing in choirs, and underground bands. A true vocalist for sure. His tone recalls vocalists of the seventies and eighties, but maintains a melodic style all his own.
Mick Hanes: Drums. Mick was trained from the age of 6 six as a percussionist. Picked up drum set at the age of 10 and began playing wherever he could. After high school graduation became session player in the LA and Inland Empire area. Studies Jazz primarily and loves to bring the funk.
Blue Embrace writes music that recalls the experimental hard rock of the seventies mixed with the dynamic contrast of modern metal. Picture a small cramped rehearsal studio, poorly lit, feed back slightly permeating through the speakers. Five men hard at work the sound is almost non-existent at some points. Cigarette smoke thin and blue hangs faintly around their heads. Somewhere the smell of a joint still lingers. The vocals phase in and out, soulful. The lead guitar mirrors the melody, but changes it just slightly, much like Miles Davis riffing in years past. The bass, the foundation, is building a slow groove, dark and foreboding. Cymbals swell and mix with the distorted effects of a second guitar. The sound stops.
Suddenly the room is shaking as the five members explode into the last refrain. The pulse much like a freight train gathering speed. The vocals recall a woman or a land long lost. The music moves into a coda, intricate and wild as the guitars and drums traverse a long unison phrase. The smell of sweat. The smoke circles. The song comes to an end. The last note held by the vocalist resonates through the room. Then silence. Exhale. Then laughter. This is Blue Embrace.
The band is currently writing and recording material to be released in October of 2010. They have recently ventured into “webisodes” that will showcase the writing process as well as give insights to the members lives and overall creative process. The “webisodes” will be 5 minute video blogs available through the band’s website: www.blueembrace.com. In addition to viewing these “webisodes” fans are able to interact with the band, check show dates and preview audio from the new album. The band will continue touring the Southern California area through the writing process. For more information visit: www.blueembrace.com, www.myspace.com/bluembrace, www.facebook.com/blue.embrace, www.twitter.com/BlueEmbrace
Chris Wray - Lead Vocalist
Oz Chiri - Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, 12-String Guitar
Billy Thompson - Bass
Mick Hanes - Drums & Percussion
Fenix full lenght
we do have tracks for streaming and radio airplay
A Tale Twice Myself
The Battle for Hell
Consume Without Haste
Blind Before my Eyes
Blue Embrace Rising
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Premiere Hollywood Band Releases Hard Rock Inspirational New CD ‘Fenix’ Combine old school expe...Premiere Hollywood Band Releases Hard Rock Inspirational New CD ‘Fenix’
Combine old school experimental rock with dynamic modern metal and you’ve got the electrifying Blue Embrace! Self-described as rock meets fusion meets progressive, and recently opening for huge bands like Korn and Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, playing the Key Club on the Sunset Strip and touring South America, have all paved the way for their growing popularity across the globe.
The well-rounded musicians bring uniquely different styles of music to the table. Between them they have studied jazz, tango, orchestra, funk, punk, techno, even musical theater
A native of Argentina, Oz Chiri, guitarist and founder of Blue Embrace, studied at a music conservatory for six years before relocating to the U.S. over a decade ago. “I came to America to form a band with talented musicians mixing different genres and decades,” he notes. “I wanted to include the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, while being original and audible for music lovers from those eras.”
Chiri and company have just released their latest labor of love, ‘Fenix’ on the international label Tarot Records. They have acquired deals with Walmart where the CD is available as well as online at iTunes and Amazon.com.
“The story of the CD is based on the famous Greek tale of the Phoenix,” Chiri explains, “a bird that turned to ashes and was reborn more beautiful and powerful than before. A lot of people expected this band to fall when some of the old members left, but we worked really hard, found the right formula and made a ‘rebirth’ of our own with high quality musicians.”
Drummer Mick Hanes, who acquired his first drum kit at the age of 10, started as a percussionist at six. Upon graduating high school he worked as a session player throughout So Cal. “Blue Embrace is all about playing honest music,” he says, “like how bands used to do it back in the day!” Hanes has also been shooting ‘webisodes’ on mini dv and posting them on www.Bluembrace.com. “We wanted to document the process of becoming a kick ass band and all it entails to do so.”
Rounding out the Hollywood rock band are rhythm guitarist Mike Mikesell, who started out playing sax (reluctantly), then switched to guitar performing in Florida punk bands prior to moving to L.A., and bassist Billy Thompson, plucking since he was a teenager from Orange County, Ca.
According to Chiri, after trying out singer after singer, the band continued on their quest for those key powerful rock n roll vocal cords. Enter Chris Wray. He picked up singing bored and bedridden while recovering from a major injury and brought with him a background in acting. Wray mixes his theatrical experience with his music wearing his heart on his sleeve putting every possible emotion into belting out the lyrics on the ‘Fenix’ tracks.
The band recorded in their brand new state-of-the-art Salamanca Studios in So Cal; the mystical cover artwork was designed by Eric Colorbender. Here’s a taste of what you will find within the musical chapters on ‘Fenix’ (you can also listen at www.myspace.com/Bluembrace):
The radio friendly release bursts open with “Doomsday Machine” showcasing the vocal range and talent of Wray along with Chiri’s kick ass guitar licks within the first few seconds. Later in the track there’s a moment reminiscent of Rush’s Alex Liveson/Neil Peart chemistry. Power from beginning to end defines “Doomsday”.
Calming things down a bit (so you can catch your breath after the assault from “Doomsday”) “Lady” contains lyrics speaking of what most of us have been through relationship wise (but wish we didn’t!) with good advice given during the song along with Mikesell’s and Chiri’s wicked guitar playing.
BLUE EMBRACE :30 second commercial spot for ‘Fenix’ from Denise Ames on Vimeo.
“Fenix” (the title track) provides an anthem worthy intro then forces you on a crusade with interchanging bass lines, slithering vox, throbbing drums complete with hailing chants.
“A Tale Twice Myself” comes in with perfect precision, allowing one to reflect on life and the world around with Wray also on acoustic guitar. Chiri plays classical guitar so beautifully that it seems to sing along becoming one with Wray as he carefully displays the song’s heart through his awe inspiring heartfelt vocal work.
“The Battle For Hell” sounds just like its name. Cord changes, marching drums and Wray’s voice yet again supply a (pleasant) assault on your ears. The musically complicated sounding track showcases the band’s talent as a whole; altogether tight and precise. Chiri’s guitar solo is my favorite on the entire release.
Continuing the journey “Consume Without Haste” blasts its followers with a good old fashioned dose of pure rock n roll, then “Blind Before My Eyes” wraps things up providing a scathing, epic extended ending to an awesome sounding CD. So much soul and so much talent are evident throughout the entire ‘Fenix’ release.
A DVD is also available featuring the tracks in highest quality 192 format and special video footage of the band.
Follow the band, check for tour dates and watch webisodes on Bluembrace.com, myspace.com/bluembrace and facebook.com/blue.embrace. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 747-5056.
Vinny Appice about Blue Embrace (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven and Hell)
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“Blue Embrace’s ‘Fenix’ is very refreshing and contains great grooves. It’s music with a bad atti...“Blue Embrace’s ‘Fenix’ is very refreshing and contains great grooves. It’s music
with a bad attitude! The powerful guitars get right to the point: not too much,
not too little, but just right. Their simple yet effective cool riffs remind me a bit
of Zeppelin. The drums pull together the whole foundation of their music with
a great feel sitting on top throughout ‘Fenix’. They are not followers or trendy
and I see a bright future ahead of Blue Embrace if they just keep on doing what
they’re doing: metal with soul.”
Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven and Hell
Our set list can be arranged to do shows from 25 minutes to 1:30 hs
Repertoire as follows:
A Tale Twice Myself
The Battle for Hell
Consume Without Haste
Blind Before my Eyes
12 more songs