Roy Z is a badass musician and producer who is known for his killer work with Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford and Judas Priest. We recently chatted with Roy about his work on the Zombie Squash game starring George A. Romero, his current music projects and much more.
AMANDA DYAR: Tell us, what have you been up to nowadays?
ROY Z: I’ve been mixing, writing, recording and developing artist, working with new young artists, teaching, you name it. I’m currently mixing, what I would call an international group, because they’re all from different countries, called One Machine. I’m mixing their debut now. My good buddy, Steve Smythe is in the band, who, when I first met him, was in Testament in 2003 when we toured together with Halford. I’ve also been working and developing a group called Art of Shock. I’m doing their EP now and they’re going to be on the Warped tour this year. I’m putting together, instead of retrospective, an Introspective of Tribe of Gypsies. It’s a double CD, and it’s going to have four new songs as well as different songs from our catalog. You know, there are other real cool things on the horizon that I can’t talk about right now, but I’m real excited about what’s happening with Zombie Squash and being able to create a bit of a soundtrack to video games, which I used to play a lot as a kid, it’s a different mind-set.
AMANDA: What drew you to Zombie Squash and what did you enjoy most about working on it?
ROY Z: Well first of all, through the Halford experience, I became friends with Attila Juhasz and you know, working with Attila and just the idea and the concept drew me to the whole thing. Working with Attila on other projects, I always knew he was a serious dude and very professional so I took it as, not only a complement, because it was his private thing, but I took it as a really cool coincidence, because I grew up playing all the video games. I had to get rid of all my video game systems otherwise I wouldn’t work, I’d just play video games. (laughs) So it’s kind of weird, that my work nowadays has computers and it’s kind of like playing video games in music these days; what you can do, it’s so strange how those worlds have collided through computers. But getting back to the project, I just felt good about it and I have so much music, that some of it I thought it would be great for a video game so when Attila asked me I already had a stash of songs ready to go.
AMANDA: How was composing music for a video game different than other projects you have done?
ROY Z: With video games, it’s a lot like a movie scene or TV scene, you’re enhancing what’s going on, so there’s certain repetition and a certain build up and certain notes to enhance that. The songs that I chose have that in them, they create this sort of build up or create a sort of calmness or an in-between moment, for certain pauses and working in that text. Video game music can be like zen music, some of it can be crazy and …