Jeffrey D. Hill is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and recording artist born on February 27th, 1984 in Las Vegas, Nevada. From a young age he found himself magnetically drawn to the world of music, and by adolescence it quickly became the pillar of his life.
It started with singing Michael Jackson as a child and realizing he had a knack for it. Eventually he picked up saxophone in middle school, but while the natural talent was evident, there wasn’t much love for the instrument or musical style. His rebellious attitude led to many a spat with the band instructor. But that didn’t matter, because the dream was to be a guitar player, and that is what came next. When he picked up guitar at 14, he never looked back.
During adolescence, a very specific guitar solo inspired something in him to dream bigger and say, “I want to play like that someday!” It was the long, song-ending solo in Pearl Jam’s “Alive.” This was a “space” in the world that made sense, when most of the world made no sense. This he could wrap his head around. Thankfully, musicality was always cultivated as his family was fairly musically oriented, particularly his father giving him early exposure to artists like Led Zeppelin, Cream & Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Ray Vaughan, and AC/DC to name a few.
Never fitting in and always being misunderstood was the moral of his story, so in this world – the world of music – he could escape, make sense of the world, and express himself with clarity in a way he was unable to articulate through conversation.
During these formative years he discovered his love of rock, metal and grunge music, including bands like Metallica, Soundgarden, Bush, Pearl Jam, Tool, Megadeth, Testament and so on. This would lay the foundation for his musical style and vision. With that said, he always had a tendency towards heavy music that was just as forward with melody as it was with heavy riffs and drums, and he always craved fewer musical limitations than was typical in metal, finding the “box” of metal to be stupid, stereotypical, and creatively claustrophobic. He also greatly appreciated advanced musicianship and unpredictability in music, yet simultaneously being a sucker for a good simple hook and groove. Something was missing.
That something was progressive metal.
The discovery of artists like Ayreon, Queensryche, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Vanden Plas, Myrath, Anubis Gate, Darkwater, Sun Caged, Pathosray – the list goes on – this felt like “the next evolution.” There were fewer constraints on these artists (though granted, some of them boxed themselves in to a predictable niche). No constraints on the instruments used; no constraints on song structure; concept albums and rock operas with a united story line; soaring melodies with heavy guitar and drums; complex musical sections. This was the missing piece.
With that said, today it has come full circle. Integray blends this entire background into its own entity; its own vision. It only takes bits and pieces of each and does not conform itself to anything other than the current moment, the current feeling and the current song. You can call it whatever genre you like. It is only defined by its own name and style. And that is Integray.