Chad Gray – Mudvayne ‘Dreams Of Our Histories.’

Mudvayne Chad Gray INterview 2023

If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters — 204 if you’re in Japan.” — Claire Cook.

This excellently eccentric and incredibly intelligent quote by the New York Times, USA Today and the number one Amazon bestselling author is a statement that remarkably captures Chad Gray’s outlook on life. The vocalist for the prominent progressive nu-metal outfit Mudvayne has had a ‘Beautiful And Strange’ path to the band’s reunion and beyond.
In April 2021 the quartet (quintet in live performances) announced that they had reconciled and were planning numerous festival appearances to the exhilaration of an uncountable number of metal enthusiasts throughout the world. However, this “Plan A” was to encounter an obstacle in the early phases of this itinerary. As Chad explains:

Well, it was amazing and then it all went horrible. Because what was amazing is that we hadn’t been together in over a decade. And after all the lead up, when I walked on stage for the first time in years with Mudvayne…” He pauses in a reflective disbelief – “I had COVID with a respiratory virus and I was horrible. I could barely sing at all, and I could barely breathe. So that was my first experience with Mudvayne, which was fucking miserable, and we had to cancel the next show obviously. Then we did two shows after that, and they were both fucking great. But that first show walking on stage, was awful (laughing).”

So “Plan A” in retrospect did not go quite as intended, nevertheless the Illinoisans were back and beyond ‘Determined’. The next chapter as part of this reconciliation was a 21 date tour throughout the US with Rob Zombie and Powerman 5000, but this plan would also have Mr Gray becoming the ‘King Of Pain’ once again. As was well documented, during a show in Florida in 2022, CG fell off stage during the performance of their ironically titled hit single ‘Not Falling’ and although he can be seen smiling after dropping onto the barrier, there was a lot of suffering under the blood splattered make-up.

It hurt so fucking bad dude, and I think what hurt more was I was doing so good man. Everyday and every show went so well, and it was just crazy how it happened. I went to step out onto the barricade, so I’m on the stage which is about six feet above the ground. Then I go to step out and put my foot on the barricade and the fucking fans push my foot placement and I just went straight down ‘BAM’ right onto the barricade and I hit it right across my sternum and consequently I broke a rib.” He recalls with a wincing giggle – “A soon as I hit it, I had the wind knocked out of me, but I just got myself together really quickly and started singing and coming out of the daze and I was saying to myself: ‘Holy shit. Just keep going’. Unless you have experienced it you probably wouldn’t know that you can barely fucking breathe when you have a broken rib. It was so painful, and it lasted for the whole rest of the tour. It was probably four months of recovery, don’t ever break a rib man.”

Even though these foiled plans resulted in rather painful outcomes, Mudvayne have been ‘Pushing Forward’ with The New Game. But, as Darth Vader famously said: “You Cannot Escape Your Past” and considering the vast success the group experienced two decades ago, it compelled this writer to revisit that era of music with Mr Gray. Specifically, the five-piece’s inclusion in the Saw film franchise and how that phenomenal opportunity arose.

Well the director Darren Lynn Bousman for Saw II directed our video for our single ‘Forget To Remember’ which was featured on the soundtrack. It is pretty crazy.

How was that experience?

It was great! I mean, he wrote the treatment for it obviously along the lines of movie and when we met, he was super cool. Here is a funny story though, in one of the scenes in the movie, one of the actors has to cut his eye out to get to a key that is behind his eyeball.” Chad breaks momentarily to recollect the truly astonishing story, then continues: “It’s such a funny coincidence – I told the director this story. Essentially, I asked him if he had ever been to Bob’s Big Boy (restaurant chain) in Hollywood. He was a bit confused, but he said: ‘Yeah I used to write there, and we would have production meetings there too.’ Instantly I responded saying: ‘It’s funny you say that because I remember Matt (McDonough, Drummer) and I went to the Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank and we were eating and I could hear somebody talking behind me and I looked at Matt and told him that a guy behind us is talking about someone cutting their eye out to get a key from behind their eyeball.’ He couldn’t believe it and this is years later when the film was completed. We heard them talking about one of the movies that he ended up filming several years later and we were featured on. It’s so crazy.”

There is no telling what letter of the alphabet that plan came under, it did however launch Mudvayne into mainstream popularity. It plagued to ask this scribe though, what Chad Gray thought of the film?

I mean they put our song in the film, which was amazing, but truthfully, I didn’t even see it (laughs hysterically). We were also on the soundtrack for the movie Ghost Ship, but I never saw that one either. We went to the premiere, but I didn’t see it.

A plan that has been hatched for the alt-metal outfit is their first venture to Australia in 18 years (Plan “Oz” perhaps?). To really accentuate the idea of ‘A Cinderella Story’ fellow nu-metal luminaries California’s Coal Chamber are along for the ride to really make Australia’s metal enthusiasts ‘Wishes’ come true (Chad states: “Dez (Fafara, vocalist for CC) and I pretty much yelled with excitement at each other about this tour when we were on the road together, you guys are getting your money’s worth!”). Given that it had been so long, it only seemed fair to ask what Mr Gray remembered from his previous visits down under?

It was so long ago, I do remember being there for Big Day Out and you guys were insane! We felt like we were The Beatles or something!

And are there any other plans?

We are talking about new music – to be honest some demos have been done and people in our close quarters are very excited about it.

Perhaps the new album could be called Plan MV?

Interview by Will Oakeshott @TeenWolfWill

Mudvayne will be touring Australia in February 2024 with Coal Chamber.

Mudvayne Australian Tour

Mudvayne Australian Tour w/ Coal Chamber

February 14: Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane
February 16: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
February 17: Festival Hall, Melbourne
February 19: Hindley Street Music Hall, Adelaide
February 21: Metro City, Perth

Tickets here

About Will Oakeshott (83 Articles)
Funny bloke, writer, Journalist, Vocalist, bit of acting, music, comedy and dad joke lover. Love: music, beer, bodyboarding, movies, books.