Though perhaps known on a wider scale more for his many contributions to metal music (Gray has been a member of Gothic metal acts Evanescence and We Are the Fallen, influential metalcore band Living Sacrifice, and many, many others), among horror fans, Rocky Gray is known for his retro-synth score in the indie-horror hit, The Barn. Well, it turns out that film was no fluke, as Gray sits down with Horror Fuel to discuss his many current horror projects, from music composition and his influences, to sitting in the director’s chair.
Horror Fuel: The Barn is one of my favorite things to come into existence in quite some time. It captures that 1980s slasher/creature feature/endearing cheese vibe perfectly. How was it working on that slice of retro horror heaven?
Rocky Gray: You said it; it really was horror heaven. For my first time scoring a full horror feature, it was really fun to work on.
HF: What were your influences in composing the film’s theme?
RG: For this one I was listening to a lot of 80’s horror soundtrack playlists. There were bands that stood out, like Bonfire and Laaz Rockit so I went in that direction with it.
HF: What can you tell me about your work for Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories?
RG: I did some main themes and a bit of music scattered around, and 3 full segments – “Deathday Party”, “Fear For Sinners Here” and “Murder Death Killer”.
HF: What gravitated you toward horror in the first place?
RG: I have been a movie fan and specifically horror fan since I was a child. After doing the band and touring thing for nearly 15 years, I wanted to try and accomplish one of my other passions, composing horror movie music.
HF: I’ve seen a bit of buzz about your upcoming film 10/31. It’s an anthology, correct? What can you tell me about your segment? Is it your directing debut?
RG: Yes, it’s an anthology. I’ve directed music videos before but this is my first time directing in this format. My segment is about a family that’s been through a tragedy and some of the mental baggage that comes with that and on this Halloween night there’s been an escaped killer and the havoc the family and their friends endure.
HF: Will you be composing the music for the segment?
RG: I am composing all of the music for the segments except for “Killing the Dance”, directed by Johnny Holt. He has his own composer.
HF: Who, or what, are your primary influences and inspirations when scoring horror films?
RG: John Carpenter, Christopher Young, Tyler Bates, Danny Elfman, Steve Joblonsky, Joseph Bishara, Charlie Clouser.
HF: Will you be directing any future projects, or was 10/31 a one-off experience?
RG: I think I will do some more in the future. It’s been a fun and hectic ride but it’s totally worth it.
HF: Finally, I know this is a tough question, but what are your ten favorite horror films at the moment?
RG: The Exorcist, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Sinister, Halloween II (1981), Creepshow, Trick ‘r Treat, Tales of Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve 2, The Gates of Hell (aka City of the Living Dead), Friday the 13th Part 2.
Keep up with all of Gray’s work at his website, www.Rocky-Gray.com