Mudvayne’s Chad Gray Posts Cover of Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson Classic, “Always On My Mind”
Mudvayne and Hellyeah frontman Chad Gray has been teasing solo music since last month, starting with the launch of a website for himself and then the requisite trailer video promising new music. The day has arrived, and so has the song, and it’s a cover of “Always On My Mind,” a tune performed by many artists over the years but made most famous by Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson and The Pet Shop Boys.
The video for the track features footage from Gray’s wedding to Shannon Gunz, a DJ on the SiriusXM stations Octane, Turbo and Ozzy’s Boneyard, as well as performance takes of Gray singing and Ozzy Osbourne’s live keyboard player, Adam Wakeman, on piano.
Gray explains of the track:
“Planning a wedding is grueling — from flowers to location to picking the music. We initially chose ‘Dream On’ for our first dance song. Now I’m not sure how or why I landed on ‘Always on my Mind.’ I’m assuming I heard it in passing and it stuck. I just remember, late one night, thinking about it and going online to search the lyrics and listen to the track. As it was playing, the lyrics were so emotional and compelling that it actually moved me.
“So I reached out to my producer and very good friend Kevin Churko and asked if he would do a cover with me. He responded, ‘What song?’ I told him and he was like, ‘WHOA! Okay.’ So he reached out to the keyboard player for Ozzy, who is obviously not doing anything in this shit time we’re living in, and sent us three different takes and flavors of the song. We landed on one and started tracking it vocally.
“It was super cool when I started it, because I realized that this was such a different way of singing. No one has ever heard me doing anything like this. This was done for my wedding, but I thought, ‘Should I release this song to the public?’ I always talk about how I look at my fans as more than fans. They’re family, and I wanted to share this moment with them.”
Not gonna lie: I’m a little disappointed. I was hoping for an original. Not necessarily a heavy banger, as solo material usually represents a departure from an artist’s usual fare… blues? country? Free jazz? Anything. But perhaps there is more on the way, and a message included with the video certainly suggests as much: “This is Gray’s first step into creating music as a solo artist and he has since created an online hub for all things Chad Gray.” That would be this website.
Have a watch below.