Last week, we shined a spotlight on the indie film The Barn. We promised you an interview with the man who scored the film, Rocky Gray (lead guitarist for Living Sacrifice and former drummer for Evanescence) himself – and we are a website of our word.

The Barn

How did you begin to collaborate with Justin Seaman?
After seeing the absolutely amazing poster for The Barn, I contacted them through their Facebook page to see if they needed some music and attached my album Accursed to show them what I could do. I actually got a response from someone on the staff saying they wanted to use some song. I replied back confirming the use of the songs from Accursed and added that I would love to do some additional music made specifically for the movie, and they were excited about the collaboration. After this I started communicating directly with Justin and immediately went to work on some new ideas. It has been really easy working with Justin on the movie because we’re inspired by all of the same 80’s horror movies. He can suggest something and I know exactly where he’s coming from.

How was your experience recreating 80s sounds?
I really love the 80’s era so it was great to get into that headspace of the writing and production. It’s a fairly difficult task to get it sounding legit but it was all part of the fun of doing it. Luckily I had started my 80’s sound training on my album so it wasn’t too hard to know where to go for doing new things for the movie.

What do you like most about writing movie scores?
I’m just very comfortable with it. It’s very natural for me. I’ve always loved movies and have always had that interest in all the behind the scenes of how a movie is made so after scoring one scene for a movie and knowing I could do it I knew I wanted to take my career in that direction.

Your solo album “Accursed” was very much like a horror score to a movie that doesn’t exist. Was it different scoring for an actual movie? What were some of the different challenges?
Really the biggest difference from scoring a movie is just making the songs for the album listenable for a few minutes. In a movie there could be just a drone or a vibey piano that doesn’t do much and it holds up. Not so much when you’re just listening to an album. Sometimes the movie score is awesome and holds up on its own too so it can be both, but for Accursed I definitely focused on it staying interesting and moving along.

Accursed

Tell us about the title and the vibe of the album.
I couldn’t think of anything better for the title. It’s so hard coming up with something that is bold and cool sounding for an album title so I had that one and just stuck with it. As for the vibe I wanted to sort of do a little of everything that I love about horror movie music, from stuff like Amityville Horror to Saw.

How did you come up with the idea for the album?
I have been a huge fan of Midnight Syndicate for many years and thought it would be awesome to do something like that. I’ve wanted to do an instrumental horror album for a few years now and was just finally able to make time for it.

Are you doing any live performances playing “Accursed” songs?
No, I don’t plan on any live performances for it any time in the near future.

Is there a horror movie in your head that this album goes along with?
As I’m writing the music for each song I kind of have an image in my head of what’s going on and putting together scenes in my head that the music could follow along with. So not necessarily for the album but for each song I’ll create a little movie in my head that it goes to.

Are there any particular albums or musicians you were inspired by?
Definitely. I listen to movie soundtracks constantly. The Burning, The Boogeyman, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Sinister, Creepshow and a ton of others are always on rotation.

Other

You say on your website that you recently got involved in scoring video games. What has that experience been like?
Yes, I recently did songs for the Killing Floor 2 game soundtrack and scored all of the short film they did for the game as well. It was a great experience and I would love to do more. It was fun to mix together my love of horror, metal and futuristic sounds to make some dark sci-fi/action sequences.

Is it similar to writing a film score?
It’s a lot like scoring a movie but more of just capturing the general vibe than hitting marks and themes and stuff like that.

What is the earliest horror film you can remember watching?
The Exorcist. Scarred me for life. Salem’s Lot was another one I saw when I was really young and it was pretty terrifying too.

What’s your favorite horror film?
It’s always a tie between The Exorcist and John Carpenter’s Halloween.

What’s your fondest memory of your time with Evanescence?
There’s a couple great moments, actually. When we received gold and multi platinum plaques for the Fallen album. When we won 2 Grammys and when we opened for Metallica, that was one of those “wow” moments. That’s like bucket list stuff. Check, check and check, haha.

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We're a collection of horror affectionados, filmmakers, and and lovers of all things creepy, ghostly, bloody, grimey, spooky, gorey, hellish, and just all around terrifying. You know, the kind of people who like to keep the lights off in the house at night just to scare ourselves silly.