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10 Quick Ones with MICHALE GRAVES – August 2017

According to a recent press release: Former Misfits front-man Michale Graves is gearing up to hit the road for his 80+ show, 3 months long The Beginning of the End Fall Tour 2017. Launching September 8 in Elmhurst, NY, the tour criss-crosses the US twice before winding down in Jamestown, NY on December 23rd.  We get Michale himself to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, his influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The latest release is called The World Turned Upside Down. It’s my snapshot of now both internally and externally.  Its purposefully Americana and presents my current life and times and encapsulates my world view throughout.  The album moves at a medium pace and the songs are laid back and thoughtful. I did this in a sense to give the songs time to breathe and emote and create a lucid stream of experience.  I think the listener might miss the exceptional drumming of Chuck Treece. His drum work is so beautiful. He and I really  key in and are able to groove together solidly.  As far as hidden nuggets there is one song that has a lyrical connection to my song ‘Dig Up Her Bones.  You’ll hear it if you listen. I won’t even give away what song it’s in, you’ve got to listen.  I KNOW for sure some of the die hards out there know it because when I first began playing some of the new songs I would be asked about it so by now it’s known.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I think what got me into music was how music made me feel when I heard it. From my very first childhood memories I remember being able to feel music when I heard it.  I don’t know how to explain it.  Music activates a higher sense of experience inside of me.  I am able to encapsulate in a profound way, at least for me, my emotions, world view and experience I’m having in this life in song and sound. I listened to the radio constantly as a kid but I think I really began to notice music in 1980 and beyond. I remember my Mom bought me a red guitar from a guy in town who handmade guitars. She bought me a guitar and amp because I told her I wanted to play and join a band. I got a little ‘Gorilla’ amp, too.  I was about 8 years old in 1983 but when I heard songs they played on the radio like  U2’s “New Years Day”, or The Police “King Of Pain”, Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” etc. By 1988 when REM Green came out and as the world changed and the culture of music became more mainstream active in culture and politics,  I became more and more drawn to the power of the medium.  By the time 1989’s Moscow Peace Festival took place I was hooked and fully focused and driven to be a musician.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

This question is REALLY hard.  Uhmmmmmm – U2, Bob Dylan, Black Crowes, Sex Pistols, Nirvana.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

This question is EASY. Without any hesitation get me Dr. Dre.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Well, I guess I would liken it to an enchanted forest. There are a couple of different parts of the forest and all of them a bit different then each other. Upon entering the forest you immediately find yourself in a wicked world of monsters and lunatics, aliens and monsters larger then life.  That’s the The Misfits part of my career. As you make your way through the straight jacket patches and skull faced scarecrows you come to bit of a calm. That calm becomes The Graves part of the story.  All of a sudden a very important part of the forest catches fires and a lot of things die. That’s the next part of my career called Gotham Rd. This part of the path is thorny and angry.  Twisted, sad and smoky.  The music is heavy and growling. The Sept.11 effect on me begins in those songs. Later you come to more monsters, aliens, skulls, horror movies and death but then come into an opening where you see America. You see family and friends. Songs that are clearer and melodic with  no other purpose then to communicate my experience.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

I guess the best thing about being a musician for me is to be able to reach into people and touch there heart and soul. From that connection comes dialogue and a real human connection. That sort of connection saves the world a little bit at a time and at the very least really helps a lot of folks get through tough times and celebrate and treasure good ones.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I would be the one to cook while Loki took care of drinks and he then would grab the guitar and get it all going. I’m actually the last guy to grab the guitar and do that sort of thing. I’d rather cook. I am a guerrilla chef and I can cook almost anything.  From scrambled eggs to filet mignon, killer pork chops, tasty pasta and sauces….amazing chicken burritos and the best espresso mocha you have ever tasted.  I can knock your socks off with dessert, too.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I  would love to have a 5 day a week LIVE talk radio show. The subjects and things I talk about would be brought to life and expanded upon through videos and films.  But the main hub of it all would be my radio show.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

I could give example after example of missteps I have made throughout my career. Some may argue against some examples I might give but nonetheless as I see it there are many. One example is that I should never have put 11 people in a Winnebago and think I could drive all over the country with a very heavy trailer and not have the vehicle blow up.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would go back in time and be part of the recording session for USA For Africa’s “We Are The World”.  There was SO much talent that came together and to think how it came together from composition to execution just amazes me. That record summed up why I wanted to be a musician. Dedication and serice to others is and should be a part of music always.  I don’t think it should be mandatory type thing. Some people just want to rock and be left alone. That’s cool. But for me this was the epitome of what being a Rockstar should be.  These people were like superheroes to me.

MICHALE GRAVES LINKS:

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10 Quick Ones with MICHALE GRAVES - August 2017

Filed Under: Interviews

About the Author: ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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