voc, *1972 GB, London
Alternative and Rock
Sonny Kay is a visual artist/musician currently residing in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1993, he founded the independent record label Gold Standard Laboratories, known also as GSL, while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. During that time he was a member of the hardcore band Angel Hair (Gravity Records). In 1996, Kay (and GSL) relocated to Berkeley, California. By this time, he was vocalist with the "futuristic" post-punk band, The VSS. Kay founded the independent music distributor, Bottlenekk Distribution, in 1996 which resulted in a rapid acceleration in releases and notoriety for GSL. The label soon became synonymous with bands such as The Locust, !!!, and The Mars Volta. Kay moved to San Diego in 2001 and to Los Angeles in 2003. Between 2003 and 2006 he was vocalist for the post-hardcore/punk band Year Future. After GSL ceased operations in October 2007, Kay began devoting his time mostly to art and graphic design. In 2008 he became creative director of Rodriguez Lopez Productions, a record label based in Los Angeles dedicated to releasing the works of guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López and various other artists related to The Mars Volta. He was also the creative director for L.A.-based Sargent House Records. His collage art and/or graphic design has adorned album and CD sleeves for bands including Omar Rodríguez-López, The Mars Volta, RX Bandits, Red Sparowes, The Locust, DJ Nobody, The Glitch Mob, 311, and others. Kay was also a member of the bands Savalas (1991–1992), Subpoena the Past (1997–1999), and Optional Body (2008). He is credited with backing vocals on early releases by the San Diego grindcore band, Cattle Decapitation.