Kelly Gray (musician)
June 20, 1963 |
Washington, United States
|Years active||ca. 1978–current|
Slave to the System
Gray grew up with his mother and brother in a rural area near Redmond, Washington. He started playing guitar in the late 1970s, learning the style of Ritchie Blackmore. He attended Redmond High School, and graduated there in the same year as Scott Rockenfield, with whom he would play in the bands Queensrÿche and Slave to the System.
Gray founded the progressive metal band Myth together with his school friends, bassist Richard Gibson and drummer Jimmy Parsons, in the garage of Parson's parents, later moving to the basement of Gray's home. Initially playing cover songs, Myth soon switched to writing original material and worked with various singers until they went with Brent Young. They were also joined by keyboardist Randy Gane, while Gibson switched from rhythm guitar to bass guitar. In 1980, some time after the departure of Young, they asked Geoff Tate to join them as the lead singer, as they were impressed by his performances with the band Tyrant. In 1981, a local progressive metal band, The Mob, got Tate to sing vocals on their demo tape, and write lyrics to one of their songs. This led to tensions in Myth. The Mob changed their name to Queensrÿche, and after a year of trying to get signed with a record label, the demo became an international success in 1982, following which Tate left Myth to become Queensrÿche's permanent lead singer. Parsons was later replaced by Layne Antonesen, and Young returned as the lead singer. In 1985, Myth performed the song "Let Me Hear The Thunder" on Restless Records' Pacific Metal Project album, and recorded the album Arabia.
After Myth disbanded, Gray played in several bands, including Fire Choir and Dog Daze (formerly Lyon House), frequently together with his Myth-bandmate Gibson. Several of these bands were managed by Kim Harris, the owner of Easy Street Records, who also managed Queensrÿche in their early years. Gray then went into a recording engineering career, working on various albums in the capacity of recording engineer, mixer, and eventually, producer for among others Shadowlife by Dokken, the eponymous debut album of Candlebox, Brother Cane, Sven Gali, Bob Rivers, Nevermore, Second Coming, and Yianni "Johnny" Bacolas.
In 1998, Gray rejoined former Myth bandmate Tate, when he became a guitarist in Queensrÿche to replace the band's co-founder Chris DeGarmo. Gray produced their 1999 album, Q2K, and plays on the 2001 live album and DVD, Live Evolution. In 2000, Gray also collaborated with Queensrÿche drummer Scott Rockenfield and the Brother Cane members Damon Johnson and Roman Glick in the hard rock project Slave to the System, recording one eponymous album, which was released independently in 2002, and re-released in 2006 on Spitfire Records. According to Rockenfield, Gray was fired from Queensrÿche in 2002 "because of [his] personal abuse habits and ongoing problems".
In recent years, Gray's involvement with Queensrÿche has increased. Three Myth demos appeared on the collector's edition of Queensrÿche's 2007 release Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche, with the same song titles and partial overlap in lyrics with many classic Queensrÿche tracks. Gray and Jason Slater produced and engineered Queensrÿche's albums American Soldier in 2009 and Dedicated to Chaos in 2011, with Gray performing additional guitars and participating in the songwriting for both albums. Additionally, he contributed to Tate's second solo album, Kings & Thieves, released in 2012.
On September 1, Gray was announced to be part of a new Queensrÿche lineup with Tate, who was expelled from Queensrÿche on June 5, 2012. Myth bandmate Gane is also part of this band. The band performed an "Operation: Mindcrime Anniversary Tour" in 2013, celebrating the album's 25th anniversary.
- With Myth
- With Queensrÿche
- Q2K (1999): producer, guitars
- Live Evolution (2001): guitars
- Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche (2007): guitars on selected tracks
- Take Cover (2007): guitars on track 11
- American Soldier (2009): producer, songwriting, additional guitars
- Dedicated to Chaos (2011): producer, songwriting, additional guitars
- With Slave to the System
- Slave to the System (2002/2006): recording, mixing, guitars, vocals
- With Queensryche featuring Geoff Tate
- Frequency Unknown (2013): guitars
- With Geoff Tate
- Kings & Thieves (2012): recording, mixing, songwriting, guitars, additional bass
- Brett Miller. "The Kelly Gray Myth". QueensrycheHistory.com. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- Brett Miller. "Before the Storm: The Early Days of Queensrÿche: The Rÿche Is Born". QueensrycheHistory.com. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- "Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) 2013 Interview on the Signals of Intuition". The Signals of Intuition. 99.1 CJAM-FM. 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
- H.D. Gray. "Mythology". QueensrycheHistory.com. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- "Declaration of Scott Rockenfield" (PDF). Court declaration. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
- "Queensrÿche celebrate "Operation: Mindcrime" anniversary". SoundSpike. 2012-11-28.
- "Declaration of Michael Wilton" (PDF). Court declaration. 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- "Declaration of Kelly Gray" (PDF). Court declaration. 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- Heaton, Brian (2006–2009). "Slave to the System Dedicated to the Long Haul: Despite Commitments to Other Bands, Supergroup Pushes Onward". Anybody Listening. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
- "Declaration of Eddie Jackson" (PDF). Court declaration. 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- "Declaration of Geoff Tate in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction" (PDF). Court declaration. 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2012-12-01. (Exhibit E.)
- Geoff Tate: Heading to the Future with a New Queensrÿche. Entertaim.net. Retrieved on 2012-11-26.