Introducing Rock-Blues Solo Artist Raising Ravens

Published in Music  
Raising Ravens is the solo moniker of musician Jess Finlayson. Raising Ravens is the solo moniker of musician Jess Finlayson.

The solo project of songwriter, guitarist and singer Jess Finlayson, Raising Ravens began when Jess' other band The Mis-Made went on indefinite hiatus.

A touring musician since she was 15 (Jess began as the lead guitarist for all-female hard rock act Nitocris followed by Fyreflyes), Raising Ravens' music is a mix of classic rock, blues and moodier heavy music.

Raising Ravens current single 'It's A Trap' is a dark pop, rock number exploring the true meaning of fairy tales.

Who is Raising Ravens... Is a new project I started after my last band, The Mis-Made, went on hiatus just before the start of the COVID pandemic.

It is predominantly a solo project that I have been working on with my producer, Lachlan Mitchell, and a mixture of some of my favourite drummers and bass players (Suzanne Rex and Tara Doyle on bass; Lara Chrystal and Andrea Dyson on drums).

I guess we are a mixture of classic rock, blues, moody heavy music with a dash of punk and metal, but the album is quite eclectic, so it's difficult to specify any particular artists. I tend to write from a very visual starting point in my mind, so I draw my inspiration from what I observe of life.

Our first gig was... At the Townie in Newtown for the Great Southern Nights music industry incentive shows. I have performed several solo shows over the past year as well while being in the midst of writing, recording and preparing to play gigs as a full band line-up.

When did you settle on the name, and was it a unanimous decision... I came up with the name many years ago, but the band members at the time thought it was too dark, so I went with The Mis-Made and remembered it very recently before rebranding my solo project from my birth name.

It comes from a movie called 'Cria Cuervos' (Raise Ravens) by Spanish Director Carlos Saura. I saw the film when I was at university studying film studies. I fell in love with the film and the meaning of the name always stuck with me.

I have also always loved ravens as I feel they are very misunderstood in their symbolism and nature.

In the studio we usually... Prepare to jump without a parachute.

If I could tour with anyone... At this point in time I would probably agree to tour with anyone, but I am really just looking forward to getting back on the road both nationally and internationally, and playing with as many different artists and friends as possible.

Social media is... A double-edged sword and a necessary evil.

My favourite app at the moment is... I don't have one but Instagram seems to be the slightly less shady of the options available.

Life on the road can be... The most exhausting and the most enriching experience ever.

If you'll have me on your bill, all I ask is that the rider contains... Pinot, cheese and chocolate.

The scariest scenario I've found myself in... Not knowing when or if I will be able to tour internationally again or see my friends overseas.

What celebrity/ famous person would you love to be spokesperson of the band? My cat, Cyril. He is sparing of words but always honest about his intentions.

If you had to live in a city abroad, where would you choose and why? Either Budapest or Edinburgh. Both are amazing, wild and beautiful cities that always feel like home.

Three people you'd like to invite around for a dinner party? That's a hard one so I'll go with a higher number. Most of my former band mates. They are all extremely entertaining and can hold anyone's interest for days on end. It would be a very long dinner party.

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us? My Mexican fiestas are famous.

When it comes to pets are you a lover or hater of our furry friends? An absolute lover and fan. They are our guides on how we should behave and what really matters in life. They are also hilarious.

No matter the expense, send me a case of... Pinot Noir.

The last time I saw the inside of a gym was... When I was in my early 20s. I went once, pulled a muscle in my thigh, couldn't walk for a week and never went back.

What's the one chore you dislike the most? Clearing cobwebs. I would prefer they were left alone.

Do you have any phobias? None apart from small, confined areas.

Would you ever partake in a reality show? One hundred per cent no.

If you could prank any of your friends, who's your target, and how are you bringing them down? I prefer not to bring people down at all, however bass players tend to have the best sense of humour.

Best local takeaway joint for a 2am feed that will leave you with a food coma? Canterbury kebab shop.

Last show you binge-watched? During the COVID lockdown I binge-watched all of the 'True Blood' series. Had a great time remembering all the themes and was still entertained the second time round.



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