Will-r is the brainchild of Will Ragano, who has been playing in bands and writing music since he was 13. However, this is the first time he has officially taken the lead role. He grew up in Tampa, Florida and moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, after receiving a degree from the Southwest Guitar Conservatory in San Antonio, Texas.
While at Berklee, he played in the twisted electro-funk-punk band Psycho Tech, which later morphed into the acclaimed Boston band Think Tree, who toured Europe twice, opened for Nine Inch Nails, won numerous awards and played many sold-out shows at large venues in Boston and New York, putting on intense shows that skillfully blended electronic and rock elements. Their song “Hire a Bird” was a hit on college/alternative radio in the U.S. and on VPRO in Holland/Belgium/Switzerland/Germany. He currently plays with the main offshoot of that band: Count Zero, who has toured North America (w/The Dresden Dolls) and been featured in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games.
Will-r combines Will’s love of both traditional acoustic music (blues, gospel, country, folk) and modern electronic/distorted music with samples and loops — mix this with a fascination with creative wordplay and the result is a stew of songs that feel both familiar and utterly new at the same time. Multi-layered textures provide sonic details that reward repeated listening.
“I enjoy combining the dark and the beautiful, the simple and the complex, as artists like Tom Waits, Radiohead and even The Beatles do so well. I also like creating rich, somewhat psychedelic textures that tickle the ears and encourage careful listening. This is the first project I’ve worked on where I really strived to maintain the unique spark that is at the core of a quirky demo, which often gets lost in the process of recording. I let all the musicians come up with their own parts, then I manipulated the tracks and combined takes, which introduced wonderful element of chance.” – Will
Neil Young, Fiona Apple, The Beatles, Elliot Smith, The Police, Beck, Rufus Wainwright, Tom Petty, Public Enemy, Nirvana, Beirut, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Elvis (P. & C.), John Cage, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Mountain Goats, Joe Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Andrew Bird, Dr. Octagon, Harry Nilsson, Leon Russell, The Beastie Boys, Frank Black, Brian Eno, Bela Bartok, Captain Beefheart, Tin Hat Trio, Bjork/Matmos, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Iron & Wine, XTC, King Crimson, Nick Drake, Coltrane, Miles, Monk, Charlie Parker, Pere Ubu, Pink Floyd, A Perfect Circle, Simon & Garfunkel, The Bad Plus, Yes, Patti Smith, Queen, ELO, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, Field Music, James Brown, Randy Newman, Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Field Music, The Residents, The Butthole Surfers, Negativeland, Hank Williams, Devo, The Pretenders, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Stockhausen, The Monkees, Led Zeppelin, Blind Willie McTell, Muddy Waters, Radiohead, Igor Stravinsky, Jethro Tull, The Clash, The Cars, Amon Tobin, The Flaming Lips, Delta Spirit, Quasi, King Crimson, Joe Jackson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Elk, and many more.