After leaving the band in 1974, he formed his own band, 'Woman' in the mid 1970s and pursued a long touring schedule. In 1982 he rejoined with ex-Budgie guitarist, Tony Bourge to form 'Tredegar'. In the 1990s, Phillips founded another band, Six Ton Budgie, alongside his son Justin Phillips on guitar and Tom Prince on bass, where as well as playing drums, he took over lead vocals. The band toured the UK extensively for several years. In 2008, Ray began work on a solo album, Judgement Day, which was released in 2011
BEGINNINGS (1967 - 1974)
It all began back in late 1967 in Cardiff, Wales, when Ray Phillips (Drums) and Burke Shelley (bass/vocals) teamed up with Tony Bourge (lead guitar) to form what went on to become one of the most influential rock bands of the 1970’s and beyond.
At a time when the war-bomber guitar riff did indeed rule, it was no surprise when a music journalist likened the power trio’s sound to be more in keeping with that of a ‘Six Ton Budgie.’ SIX TON BUDGIE would become the bands pre-recording name. The original line up was always going to be a tough act to follow, and it remains a fact – even today. Nothing would quite compete with the raw driving energy that was created by these fine Welsh birds of a feather. They had a unique chemistry. BUDGIE would go on to sign a five album international deal with MCA in 1970 after auditioning for Roger Bain, a producer who had also been working with a band called Black Sabbath. Roger Bain went on to produce the early albums of both BUDGIE and Black Sabbath, and in later years, the debut by Judas Priest. .
ROCK HARD MELODIES
The majority of Budgie’s early material rocked hard, while contrast was also applied in the form of gentle ballads containing some remarkable melodies. BUDGIE also gave the impression they didn’t take life too seriously with quirky song titles such as ‘Crash Course in Brain Surgery,‘ ‘Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman,’ and ‘Hot as a Dockers Armpit,’ – all of which couldn’t fail to raise an eyebrow or two. The sound was classic Roger Bain – sparse and separated, yet it came accross ‘Heavier than Air.’ BUDGIE were of course one of those bands well worth of attention, but somehow got overlooked by their critics as the years passed by. Thsi of course was no reflection on their ability or impact. The heavy down-tuned guitar riffs produced by lead guitarist Tony Bourge were on par with those of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi. Burke Shelley’s punchy bass and high pitched vocals were likened to early Geddy Lee, and Ray Phillips (who employed double bass drums) had a style resulting in an endless powerhouse similar to that of both John Bonham and Bill Ward.
BUDGIE were widely considered as one of the first heavy metal bands and a seminal influence on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Although BUDGIE were never more than a cult band in the United States, their influence was felt by many notable American bands. Highly respected by the likes of Metallica, who went on record as having credited BUDGIE as their major influence. Meanwhile,Soundgarden – who emerged from the Seattle grunge scene covered‘Homicidal Suicidal.’ Interestingly, Metallica and Soundgarden all covered/performed songs selected from the first three BUDGIE albums – arguably the bands finest offerings. The said albums all featured Ray Phillips on drums – whom Alex Van Halen claimed as an influence. Alex Van Halen – orginally discovered by Gene Simmons, who produced their fifteen song demo, went on to be a huge household name. Slightly later,Iron Maiden would cover ‘I can’t See My Feelings.’ MCA would put out a ‘Rock Sampler’. The sampler vinyl featured ‘Zoom Club’ off the ‘In For The Kill,’ however, the cover featured Ray Phillips in action on the kit! In more recent times, Irish rock band Sweet Savage performed a version of ‘Breadfan’ at the 2008 Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany.