- 24 Jan 19
When it comes to American singer-songwriters, few are as prolific and consistently brilliant as Michale Graves. Just over twenty years ago Graves made his debut appearance on the world’s stage when he emerged as the singer for the second coming of The Misfits. Filling the void of the formidable Glenn Danzig was no minor thing, the barely twenty-year old Graves was thrust into the spotlight as the frontman for a legendary punk band, signed to major label Geffen Records and found himself working with legendary producers and engineers such as Daniel Rey (The Ramones, White Zombie, Richard Hell) and Andy Wallace (Sonic Youth, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana). The first album of the Graves era was 1997’s excellent American Psycho and the band would follow that with 1999’s even better Famous Monsters, a stunning collection of songs and one of the best punk/hard rock albums of the period. Graves’ material for these two albums, such as Dig Up Her Bones, Saturday Night, Dust to Dust, Descending Angel have become as crucial a part of The Misfits canon as anything from their 1970s heyday. Since the resurrected version of The Misfits went their separate ways at the turn of the millennium, Graves has continued releasing material in various guises, with horror punk band Gotham Road and later as a solo artist.
As with many artists these days, Graves has found a direct avenue to releasing music via the support of his fans, using the likes of Kickstarter as a means of releasing his latest work. Writing and composing new material from his home in rural New York State, Graves doesn’t spend too much time in the studio before the material is ready for release and for the road.
“The way that I’ve produced and released music over the past five or six years has been very fast paced, guerrilla-style record making. I’ll go into the studio for a week and turn over a ready-to-be-released record. That approach has its good points and bad points. It really creates limits on what I can do production-wise...I loved being in a situation like in The Misfits days where we had the resources to have the likes of Daniel Rey or Andy Wallace or Ed Stasium come in, people to whom you can hand off your product and they give you back something truly amazing in return. Those people are just awesome at their job; you can just sit there and watch them work and it is just a wonderful thing. These days you don’t have that luxury and there is such a small window of time to get things done; I have to be the one to make the decision and say ‘okay, it’s done, time to move on now’ and that’s a hard hat to wear because I’m one of those guys who will do something 150 times over and over in the studio before I think I’m starting to get it right. So when there are time issues it creates a discipline, which is good.”