Rocky Gray is a name pretty well known in musical circles -- particularly if those circles are grinding around the floor at a Living Sacrifice or Soul Embraced concert. A musician and producer with several projects under his belt, Gray has recently turned his musical ear toward another passion: horror. His new album, "Accursed," dropped Tuesday, and has been described as the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist. He's been working in the meantime on a couple of other projects as well. Rocky took the time out of his increasingly busy schedule to talk about what he's been up to.
A Flame in the Dark: So, between Living Sacrifice, Soul Embraced, your more recent bands like Even Devil’s Die and Solus Deus, and what is it, 15 other bands you’re actually in right now?
Rocky Gray: Creep Carnival and my solo project are the only other ones besides what you mentioned (haha). I've calmed down on the projects in my old age.
AFitD: So anyway, between ALL of that, plus being an in-demand producer and session musician, you’ve composed and released this new album, Accursed. Because you were bored, or…?
RG: I had been wanting to do an instrumental horror record for 2 years, and I finally had the time so I took advantage.
AFitD: In the vein of Midnight Syndicate, Accursed is an instrumental, with individual tracks each reminding very much of a film score. Was that the goal going into it?
RG: For sure. It's the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist anywhere but in your imagination. The idea of that has always been exciting to me.
AFitD: Between the theme of the new album, and lyrical content from other projects -- most notably the Solus Deus -- you seem to have a particular affinity to horror themes. In fact, we didn’t mention this earlier, but you’re currently scoring two horror films! Not to run off on TOO large a tangent, how did you get involved with those?
RG: Yes, there's definitely a horror theme in pretty much all the projects I’m involved with to some degree. I started scoring soundtracks a while back with a movie that's still in post production, a comedy in fact. I felt right at home with composing music for film so I wanted to start doing more of that and when I saw Eric Stanze whom I had known for a few years was in the early stages of his new movie IN MEMORY OF, I hit him up and we made it happen. With THE BARN I had seen their killer poster art and looked into it a bit more and saw that they were still in production and I had just finished mixing and mastering Accursed so I sent that over to them with a message to get back with me if they needed some music done and they did.
AFitD: Working as much as you do with faith-based groups, and obviously a strong element of Christianity among your fanbase, do you find yourself having to explain or justify using that imagery in your writing and with your bands?
RG: I use to think I had to explain stuff, and sometimes I'll do that if I really need to. But most of the time, I just put it out there and have it be interpreted however the viewer [or] listener want to. Sometimes they get it and sometimes they don't.
AFitD: That’ll bring us to what is often the crux of what we deal with here at A Flame in the Dark: Do you view horror imagery as a good way to express your own faith and philosophies? If so, how so?
RG: Dark imagery is definitely how i express creatively. The early days of Soul Embraced were more dark biblical themes than in the later records such as Mythos, which was more of a focus on the luciferian elites. With music most of the time I'm just being real with you; I'm not trying to preach or any of that. I'm just like, "here's what's on my mind take it or leave it I'm just putting it out there."
AFitD: So "Accursed" is out right now. Available digitally through iTunes. And the CD is available where?
RG: Its at all the usual sites -- CdBaby, iTunes, Amazon, BigCartel etc.
AFitD: Meanwhile, you’re working on a new EP with Solus Deus and, if I’m not mistaken, you and a Wretched (of Grave Robber) have been dealing with a side project called Creep Carnival. So what can fans expect as far as new material on those fronts?
RG: "The Bloodtrail" from Solus deus is out now. It's pretty in-your-face death metal. And Creep Carnival are hoping to have a single out before Halloween.That is a fun project that is straight rock and roll with a bit of a surf rock edge to it.
AFitD: And your experience with Accursed? Can we expect more instrumental albums in the future?
RG: Absolutely. Accursed was so much fun to make, as long as I have the time to do it I'll keep putting them out.
Thank you, Rocky, for taking the time to speak with A Flame in the Dark. We're looking forward to hearing what you have coming out next!
To get the details on everything Rocky's got going on, check out his website!