Soul Embraced, the Christian death metal assault force had returned with an all-out vengeance. Their brand new album is entitled Mythos, their fifth magnum opus of spirituality and lethal intensity, showing a band at their very height of creative ingenuity. After a tenure with Solid State, Soul Embraced now find themselves on Rottweiler Records, ready to unleash the next great chapter of their ferocious legacy. Interestingly enough, their drummer Rocky Gray spent time with Evanescence, while retaining a membership in a good number of other notable bands. Here is an interview we recently conducted with Rocky Gray and bassist Jon Dunn to find out more about the mighty Soul Embraced and their latest work of sonic artistry. Read on…
Introduce yourselves, tell me what you do in Soul Embraced and how long the band has been together.
Rocky: I’m Rocky. I play drums and the band has been around since 1997.
Jon: I’m Jon. I play bass and I joined the band in 2012.
Where is the band from and what is the local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Rocky: We are from Little Rock, Arkansas. The rock and metal scene is pretty good at the moment. For a while it was kind of dead but things have picked up a bit. Some good local bands are Legions Await, Rwake, At Wars End, Descended From Wolves.
Jon: Little Rock has a very active music scene with bands from all genres. Some bands I would recommend include At Wars End, Season of Evil, Every Knee Shall Bow, My Brother My Friend and Winona Road.
Is there any story or concept behind the title Mythos?
Rocky: I like H.P. Lovecraft stories and that’s really where I got the idea. The idea of a mythos being a bunch of stories that are somehow connected. Our record is not a concept album but there are things that connect the songs such as God, Satan and government.
Select two songs from Mythos and what inspired the lyrical content.
Rocky: Heartbroken Reaper was inspired by the Casey Anthony case. I remember my wife and I glued to the TV back then. It was unreal. The other would be They Live, We Sleep. That was inspired by the John Carpenter movie They Live and it has a great message.
How difficult was it to walk away from long time label Solid State Records and how did you wind up signing to Rottweiler Records?
Rocky: It was pretty easy. When a label says we don’t want to put out any more records with you and you’re free to go, you move on.
When you look back on your three albums on Solid State, what do you think of them now?
Rocky: There are some great moments on all those records. My favorite records are Immune and Dead Alive. Both records turned out near perfect for that time.
Will Soul Embraced be doing any touring any support of Mythos?
Rocky: No touring but we will do some shows.
At this point, would you consider Soul Embraced to be a Christian band or ministry? Why or why not?
Rocky: We’ve always been a Christian band. I’m not messed up about that.
Rocky, you’re in every band known to man, including Living Sacrifice. How in the world do you find time for all of this activity?
Jon: He’s a magician!
Rocky: Almost all the bands are projects so it’s not too difficult to juggle. While one band is on a break I’ll play with another band and write with another band or whatever. It just works out. I get overwhelmed sometimes but I get it figured out.
So how did your work in Evanescence affect Soul Embraced and do you still keep in touch with any of the members?
Rocky: I think it gave us a little more attention being with a high profile band like that. I stay in touch with Terry Balsamo.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Rocky: Metallica or Slipknot. ‘Cause they’re the best metal bands in the world and their fans are insane.
Jon: Black Sabbath…because they’re awesome.
What do you think has kept Soul Embraced so vibrant and passionate about your music after all of this time and through member changes?
Rocky: We do it because we love it. When it’s not fun anymore we’re done.
What’s up next for Soul Embraced?
Jon: More metal!
Rocky: We have an EP in the works. We want to try to release it a few months after Mythos.
Any final words of wisdom?
Rocky: Do what is right and fair no matter what.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
Rocky: Thank you for the interview, we appreciate it.
Soul Embraced is:
Cody Smith- Guitar
Jon Dunn- Bass
Chad Moore- Vocals
Rocky Gray- Drums
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
Soul Embraced on Facebook