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Violet Ray

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Violet Ray

New punk, classic attitude.

When Billy Sommerville contacted me to create some images for his band, Violet Ray, it certainly wasn't a stretch. Having played with and been involved with a number of bands from the Cleveland punk scene since the early '80s, I felt right at home for the job. Violet Ray is a band with a classic punk sound, so the graffiti covered stairwell at the Phantasy was a natural choice for them. After the shoot, I stuck around and photographed a rousing performance.


"Violet Ray is an original punk rock band from Cleveland, Ohio formed in 2017. Our members include Billy Somerville on Lead Vocals and ryhthm guitar, Mike Layton on lead guitar and backing vocals, Rich Kaufmman on Bass and Ryan Gearhardt on drums. Our goal is promote social justice and have a lot of fun while doing it. Unless we are raising money for a cause in our community we will not play. We reject the idea of identity politics and we set an example that people with different views and backgrounds can work together. Our message is to encourage people to think for themselves, take pride in being an individual and most of all the belief that one person can make a difference in making the world a better place."