June 15, 2024

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Rocket Interviews Eric Smith of MR. GREY

ROCKET: Where were you born and raised

ERIC: I was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee called Lewisburg.

ROCKET: When did you first realize you wanted to be in a band?

ERIC: The wanting of being in a band has been in the back of my mind since I was a kid. My dad was in a thrash metal band back in the day so ever since I can remember I’ve been in a band atmosphere. To me it’s not even wanting to be in a band. It’s a need not a want.

ROCKET: Who are some of your biggest bass playing influences?

ERIC: My biggest influences are guys like Geezer Butler Steve Harris Justin Chancellor…. I’m sure I’m leaving someone out but those are definitely my top three…… in that order……oh yeah…. Bootsy Collins. That cats got grooves for days.

ROCKET: When did you first realize you wanted to be in a band?

ERIC: I was originally a singer in a rock n roll band and we had a roundtable of revolving bass players for awhile. One of the guys we used was really a guitar player…… a really badass guitar player. When my last band ran its course I got a call from them to come over and check out some of their new riffs. Honestly I wasn’t even thinking about being in or starting a new project but I decided I would check out what they had. I was amazed. Absolutely amazed. I felt so much emotion and instantly I was inspired to write. It was so different …….it was real. Raw. For once I could write about real stuff. Real things I was feeling. Not just rock n roll drinking fighting fuckin. Actual emotion. We called up the drummer from my old band and brought him into the mix and there it was. Actually we did have a bass player for awhile but it didn’t work out so I decided I would take matters into my own hands and take on the duties of bass as well as vocals. It was definitely a learning curve but also the best decision I’ve made in awhile. 

ROCKET: Let’s talk briefly about your equipment. What kind of bass do you play live and in the studio?

ERIC: My equipment……….when we first started I was using a Schecter stealth 4 string. Lately I’ve been using my 80s model Yamaha broad bass. Man that bass sounds so good. I have many basses now but I always go back to the broad bass. It’s perfect. 

ROCKET: And your amp rig?

ERIC: Amp rig…… My rig is actually the first rig I ever bought. It’s an acoustic head and acoustic cabinets…. I use a 4×10 in combination with a 15″ and honestly I don’t need anything else. It’s not anything fancy but it sounds great.

ROCKET: Do you play with your fingers or with a pick?

ERIC: Fingers or pick?? I use a pick because we’re such a tight sounding band. If I used my fingers it wouldn’t be as punchy. I must admit though… it is fun to slap a bass.

ROCKET: How does the songwriting process work for Mr. Grey? Do you all get together and work on that at some point?

ERIC: Songwriting process… our process is for the most part organic. Usually we are just jammin and a riff pops out. We put the bones of the song together… record it and I take it home to get a feel for what it’s telling me to write. That’s pretty much how it goes every time.

ROCKET: Is Mr.Grey working on some new music? If so, when can fans expect for it to be released?

ERIC: Yes we are working on new music and it can be expected very soon.

ROCKET: Who are some of the bands you have shared the stage with in the past year that deserve to be recognized?

ERIC: Bands we’ve shared the stage with that deserve to be recognized…… that’s a tough question because there are some great bands we’ve played with. Recently we did a show with By All Means and Pull. Great bands and great guys. No egos. 

ROCKET: What is your favorite heavy metal album released in 2024 so far?

ERIC: I don’t think there is a such thing as “heavy metal” anymore and that’s a shame. Everything now is pretty lame to me. I stick with the classics when it comes to my metal. 

ROCKET: I tend to agree with you, brother. There are way too many scene bands getting promoted in rock music, like these screamo bands that are just not heavy at all. I find it hard to find any decent metal today that is not a nostalgia act. So, it’s cool to come across a new fresh metal band like Mr. Grey that gets it right. What are some of the upcoming shows for Mr. Grey fans need to watch out for?

ERIC: Every Mr. Grey show is a awesome upcoming show to look forward to so just hop on our social media…. mr.grey.rocks…. and take your pick.

ROCKET: Best of luck with your music moving forward. Any last words for the fans?

ERIC: Last word for the fans……. each and every one of you are special to me. You are what keep me going…. I wish you all love and luck. I am and will always be grateful for your support. I love you all and remember….The imperfections are what make us perfect. 

MR. Grey is…

Eric Smith Bass/Vocals
Shania Blake Guitar/Backing Vocals
Kenny Barlow Drums

Visit Mr. Grey’s Facebook