Welcome to Rockin’ Engine’s “Carnival of Evil,” a place where you can be yourself, act like you want to act, and be what you want to be! That’s the message behind the band’s brand new single, from their new Altered By Evil EP, released last month.

Today comes the premiere of the song’s accompanying music video. This is arguably the Ottawa band’s biggest and most notable moment to date. You are really witnessing a band coming into their own, realizing their potential, and expanding their horizons. Joining together hard rock and thrash metal, the quartet may remind you of the sound and spirit of Rob Zombie, Gojira, and Lamb of God. There’s certainly a fun factor to their music, as there is with Rob Zombie’s. It’s one of the things that distinguishes Rockin’ Engine from your typical, middle-of-the-road metal act.

Altered By Evil is heavily inspired by the Psycho horror movies of the 1980s. It’s a tribute to all the things about horror movies and serial killer documentaries that the band grew up loving. There is a fascination within the band regarding things that are eerie or even grotesque. This provided a lot of inspiration regarding where they wanted to take things, lyrically speaking. You may think of Altered By Evil as a fantasy world full of evil spirits, ghouls, ghosts, and monsters, with a historical element to keep things somewhat grounded.

The members of Rockin’ Engine have joined us today to discuss the origins of “Carnival of Evil,” how the song developed, and how it turned into the band’s most elaborate video ever.

“There comes a time, as a band, when things just fall into place like they were meant to be as if everything you worked for leads you to the beginning of a new era, a new chapter. For Rockin’ Engine, ‘Carnival Of Evil’ is exactly that, and more!

“During the writing process for our new album, our lead guitarist Ste Vy Leff came to us with a brilliant composition he worked on at home. Just after our first listen of the demo, we kind of all had an epiphany in terms of what we could do with this song. It was actually at that moment that we decided to have a horror-themed album and inspire my lyrics from some of my favourite horror movie characters. I’ve always been a huge fan of horror movies and I saw this as a great opportunity to show my appreciation for such amazing productions like Nightmare On Elm Street, The Exorcist, and The Shining, just to name a few.

“However, at the time we first listened to the demo track, I was binge-watching all the movies from Rob Zombie. I can’t even count the times I’ve watched his movies! In all of them combined, my favourite character was by far Captain Spaulding, played by the very talented, but unfortunately deceased, Sid Haig. So it was just the perfect time for me to honour his work, and that’s when I started working on the storyline for the song. That’s when I came up with this idea of a bunch of carnival roadies that go from town to town with an insatiable hunger to kill… with a twist!

Rockin’ Engine ‘Altered by Evil’ album artwork
Rockin’ Engine ‘Altered by Evil’ album artwork

“After writing the lyrics to the song and laying down some synth tracks and sound effects, I presented the updated version of the demo and that was it. We knew exactly where we were going afterward. Not only did we choose this song as our opening track for the album, but we most certainly wanted a killer music video to project our vision of the storyline. At some point, we all got together and sat down to shoot ideas for our music video production. It didn’t take too long to realize that we were most likely going to go broke after this video (laughs)!

“So we had to come up with creative ideas to build everything ourselves to save some money, and we ended up having so much fun doing it! When we pitched our ideas to our producer Joe Lyko at Dark Moon Productions, he was so excited to work on this project with us. He knew that if someone could pull it off in that short amount of shooting time, it would be us. It took a hell of planning to go through with it, but with the incredible implication of our 23 actors, the amazing people at Light Is Art Studio where we shot the video, the crazy talent behind the production team, and most importantly, the outstanding work relationship we have within our band, we can proudly say it was a huge success!

“The ‘Carnival Of Evil’ is by far our biggest production. It has opened the door to so many creative ideas for the future. This is the carnival you’ve all been waiting for! They are ruthless yet charismatic, and they will stop at nothing to deliver a performance to die for.