Last week, Grant Haze was just another bland singer-songwriter with a tremendous ego and hoop earrings. Now he's charged with killing his ex-girlfriend, dismembering her corpse, stuffing the body parts in ice chests, and driving them from his North Carolina home to a creek in Fort Bend County, where authorities have recovered her head, torso and leg.
The 32-year-old Haze (who claims to have legally changes his name from "Hayes") was in a heated custody battle with Laura Ackerson, 27, the mother of his two young sons, according to the the Houston Chronicle. A friend reported Ackerson missing on July 13, when she failed to pick the boys up from Haze's home.
Haze and his wife, Amanda Perry Haze, drove to his wife's sister's home near Richmond and disposed of the body parts in Oyster Creek, authorities say. Amanda was also charged with murder.
In an August 2010 interview on his website, Haze -- who says he's the son of a minister and a gospel singer -- talked about working with notable producers and studio musicians, like a guy who played bass for Marvin Gaye and a drummer for Frankie Beverly & Maze. Haze said he started recording original songs on a 4-track when he was citing his first wife -- who he doesn't name -- as his inspiration.
"[I] got married when I was 18 to a ballerina, and she actually inspired my career...she danced, I would write songs about her," he said in the interview.
Haze's songs range from mediocre, inoffensive Starbucks fare to the kind of music occupying forces blare through tank-mounted PA systems to wear down ruthless dictators in order to get them to leave their surrounded palaces. Charles Manson was a better composer.
Here are a few highlights of the eight-part interview, in which Haze astonishingly cites the 1992 hit "How Do You Talk to an Angel?" as an inspiration, perhaps ingeniously paving the way for an insanity defense. It's just a glimpse into the mind of a dude who we'll probably be paying attention to for quite a while.
On how he gets ideas:
"The music comes through me and not to me....I kind of have dreams where an entertainer that I look up to, like Sting or Dave Matthews or Lionel Richie call me up and say, 'Hey, come to the studio, I just finished working on something. I want to get your opinion on it.'"
"My major influences...were Sting, Lionel Richie, Safe, Bobby Womach, Jodeci. But I play the guitar, and I also enjoy '80s [music]....'How Do You Talk to an Angel?' Some Meatloaf, some Billy Joel. I was a flute player....I'm 'acoustic soul.' I was described that way in an industry publication about ten years ago."
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"Being a father, it's made me personally and professionally a lot more responsible....My little boys repeat everything I say. And...there's things I've experienced, lessons that I've learned that I want them to take from my wisdom, and not from their experience. And I'm able to guide them...by being cool. I'm gonna stay cool, I'm gonna stay relevant. And they're always gonna like Dad, they're always gonna be around Dad."
On why he gave his younger boy a name that will put him in grave peril at school:
"I named my oldest Grant Haze IV...and then you have Gentle. Because now...in my maturity, I'm understanding what real masculinity is. And it's gentle."
We'll be following this case for sure. And maybe the whole ordeal will inspire Haze to write a few songs.