Not Playin' Around When It Comes to Success

Podcast/Interview with Diane DiMemmo

May 12, 2021

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If you’ve ever watched the singing competition television series, “THE VOICE,” then at some point you’ve seen the judges (who listen to contestants sing without seeing them) turn their chairs after hearing a performer sing just one note. That was the jolt I felt when I heard the first vocal in the new single “I’m Fine” by the Clifton, NJ rock-rap-punk band - ToyMachine! The tune is a perfect blend of hard rock and rap, with an incredibly catchy chorus sung by a frontman who very honestly admits, “I didn’t like music very much at all growing up.”

ToyMachine! is Ray Bentley (Rapper/Singer), Ryan Lamon (Guitar/Vox), Mikey O’Connor (Bass/Guitar), and Greg Alders (Drums). I had the chance to virtually hang out with Ryan and Ray recently to talk about the group’s determination, focus, and vision for success. (See podcast links below.)


Originally formed by cousins Lamon and O’Connor as the Blue Lizards, Alders joined them in 2019 to form the band ToyMachine! But the guys were really determined and intent on finding their true frontman. Lamon explained, “Mikey and I always had the goal to get a frontman; and when I say ‘frontman’ I mean like THAT guy. You know that person that just has it.”

As luck would have it, they literally ran into Bentley backstage at a show ToyMachine! was added to at the very last minute. “I saw Ray and literally went up to him and told him he was going to be in my band,” said Lamon. “And I hadn’t even heard him sing.”

Bentley, a successful rap artist and occasional bit actor, had made a recent move to include more rock in his repertoire so he was stoked to be asked. And ready to oblige. “Although everything that we [ToyMachine!] do is super coincidental, and it might just be a weird and quirky way of going about things … it always feels super organic. Things always just fall right into place," he explained.

Lamon agreed, “We definitely feel like we were meant to meet Ray at some point, and I think it happened at the perfect time.”

The band describes their sound as “rock meets rap with a punk personality.” Bentley shared, “It's super liberating to be able to make three different genres of music. And then you have the ability between the four of us to mend them together whenever we want to and not be boxed into any one genre is really cool.”

The four bandmates dub themselves “workaholics” and are currently fueled by an onslaught of creativity, writing a ton of new music day and night. “We're here writing songs as much as is humanly possible. I’m like eating my cereal and fumbling with the guitar and a notepad at the same time,” laughed Bentley.

Some of those new tunes were recently recorded in Austin, TX by friend and BLK Odyssy member, Sam Houston, who kept hounding the guys to come out there. “Sam is from New Jersey and when he moved out to TX, we started seeing all of his success,” explained Lamon. “He asked us to come out there but it never really came to fruition. Then Ray joined the band and we said to ourselves we have to take the jump, that leap of faith. And that was the best decision we've made as a band so far, no doubt about it.”

On May 21st, ToyMachine! will release their newly recorded single, “I Hate Myself” which they describe as “half rap and half hard rock. Think Black Sabbath meets Kanye West.”

“So it was the first real dive into something that actually, we haven't done yet. And it's the first time we're really going for it.  It's a really exciting release for us," Lamon stated.

Follow ToyMachine! on Instagram and all other social media platforms for information about this release and other new music that’s coming soon. You can also catch them performing live on Saturday, May 22nd in Hoboken, NJ at the Pilsner Haus Biergarten as part of the “Rock The Haus” Three-Day Beer & Music Festival.

Click below for more information about the event or to RSVP to the band!



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Diane DiMemmo stumbled into and fell in love with Asbury Park and photography a few short years ago. An avid concert fanatic and former musician, she recognized the need for a Jersey Shore music publication to highlight the accomplishments of local and national musicians through photos and press. Asbury Park Vibes has been her labor of love ever since, along with her Golden Retriever – Cooper – who you’ll often see walking Diane through the streets of Asbury.

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