Rocky Horror has a horrible, horrible secret, one that is sure to shock his fans and maybe even his family and friends: He’s never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show. “I just have never been interested in musicals,” he says.
So then, exactly where does his moniker come from? The answer: Quentin Tarantino. “In Pulp Fiction, there was a guy they talked about named Tony Rocky Horror and he gave Marsellus Wallace’s wife a foot rub and they threw him out of a window. And you never saw him throughout the whole movie. I thought that was so bizarre,” he says. “And it’s always a big mystery why he got thrown out of the window. Was it because he gave her the foot rub? Was it because he pissed [Wallace] off? I don’t know.”
Oddly enough, Rocky says there’s a DJ out west who actually goes by the name Tony Rocky Horror, but the two have never communicated. “I’ve thought about contacting him, but I never have,” Rocky says. “I’m sure he’s as aware of me as much as I’m aware of him.”
Although the Charleston DJ has never seen the cult classic tale about a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania, who beds Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick, there is one bit of musical theater that Rocky has taken a shine to, and it’s R. Kelly’s telenovela R&B opera Trapped in the Closet. And rightfully so. Kelly’s Closet is a masterpiece of schlock, self-indulgence, and gun-wielding midgets.
“That is all I have been listening to the past week,” he says. “The very end of each song is like a shocker. I think that’s brilliant and how it leaps into the next.”
Rocky first began DJing 10 years ago, back when he was 15. “Me and my dad drove to Atlanta to buy turntables because there wasn’t a place to buy turntables around here,” he says.
By the time he was 16, Rocky was regularly playing gigs at the Upper Deck Tavern. In fact, he says he played at the King Street hotspot every Tuesday from the time he was 16 until he was 20. His streak came to an end when he moved to New York City to get a degree in audio engineering. Since then, he has returned to his regular gigs at the Upper Deck, and he has begun producing his own music, a dance-happy blast of electronic beats and keys.
OK. It’s time for another confession. Although Rocky has mastered the fine art of boot-shakin’ beats, he’s no Vincent Vega on the dance floor. “I’m a really bad dancer,” he says. “I’m self conscious about it.”
When it comes to his music, the turntablist draws inspiration from Daft Punk and the Chemical Brothers, two of electronica’s grandmasters. However, he also owes a debt of gratitude to metal gods like Slayer, Cradle of Filth, and Dimmu Borgir. “I’m a huge metal fan,” he says. “Whenever I’m making an original dance track, even though I try to make them as dancey and poppy and as fun as possible, they always end up dark, like real dark heavy bass lines, dark synths.”
Rocky says that love for the harder end of the pop spectrum translates into his live show. “It’s almost like going to see a metal show. Everything is just real dark and real nasty, grimy sounding,” he says. “I’m not a dark person at all. I just find it very interesting.”
Currently, Rocky — who asked that we not use his real name — is working on a full-length piece called Doomsday Device. He also has a joint effort with Joycette called Holy Blood, which was recently released. He says it’s “bass music … very danceable.”
Doomsday has arrived, ladies and gentlemen, and all Rocky Horror wants you to do is dance.