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Michael Emanuel (born March 21, 1975), better known by his stage name Michale Graves, is an American singer and songwriter. He is most well known as the lead singer for the 1990s re-incarnation of the Misfits from 1995 to 1998 and again from late 1998 until late 2000. Graves grew up in Dumont, New Jersey. He has also released albums as a solo artist.
Life and career:
Graves was recording a demo with his band the Mopes in Lodi, New Jersey, when their engineer, Bob Alecca, mentioned that the Misfits were reforming and holding auditions for a new singer. Graves bought the Collection I and Walk Among Us albums to familiarize himself with the band and became an official member shortly after trying out.
Graves' singing can be found on American Psycho,Famous Monsters, backup vocals on the 1999 single Monster Mash and Cuts from the Crypt. He also wrote original songs for the band, including "Dig Up Her Bones", "American Psycho", "Scream!", "Saturday Night", "This Island Earth", "Fiend without a Face", "Shining", "The Haunting", "Witch Hunt", and "Fiend Club".
During a break in touring in 2000 Graves and Dr. CHUD formed a band called The Lost Boys. They played two shows before the Misfits regrouped to embark on another tour, which was their last tour with this line-up. The first Lost Boys show consisted of Graves on an acoustic guitar and vocals while Dr. CHUD played drums. They played Misfits songs they had written while in the band as well as songs which later came to be songs used for the band Graves which Graves wrote. The second show was the same music played as the first show, only this time the lineup consisted of Graves on vocals and electric guitar (he used Doyle's old Ibanez Iceman which has been used to record such Misfits albums as Walk Among Us and Earth A.D./Wolfsblood and was given to Graves as a gift upon joining the Misfits back in 1995), Dr. CHUD on drums and J~Sin Trioxin on bass. Later on as an encore set, JV Bastard took the stage and joined the band to play guitar as Graves sang. The 4 played "classic" Misfits songs from the 1977 to 1983 era of the band.
After Graves and Dr. Chud's split with the Misfits on October 25, 2000, they formed the band Graves which made one album called Web of Dharma. Before the band finished writing songs, recording, touring and even solidifying a lineup, Graves rejoined the Misfits, but only as a guest vocalist for a month during the M25 kickoff tour. He would perform Misfits songs written during the time of his tenure with the band to raise money for his new project, Graves. During a 2-day break on their Web of Dharma 2 Tour, the band recorded what was to be new material for a second album in Ripsnorter Studios, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The studio is owned by members of the Minneapolis Horror Rock band, Ripsnorter, who offered the band free studio time. The recordings were never finished due to disagreements between the mixing of the songs and have never officially been released. After two successful US tours and the verge of a breakout record contract, Graves dissolved due to differences between Graves and Chud, after only releasing one album
Graves then formed Gotham Rd shortly after with Loki, JV Bastard and Paul Lifeless. Under the assumed name of Graves they recorded a 5 song demo of redone Graves songs. 3 which were released on Web of Dharma and 2 other songs which had been written and demoed with the original Graves lineup, but not officially released. Around this time is also when Graves announced via his website that he would begin producing other bands albums on his off time. One such band is Stressbomb from Connecticut who recorded their first album "Self Medicate" with Graves as producer and his drummer Quincy as engineer during January 2006. After a few months of the band practicing, they decided to change the band's name to Gotham Rd. They released one album before going on hiatus so Graves could join the U.S. Marines. His last show ever was to be on December 31, 2004. They went on 2 successful tours. 2003's Seasons of the Witch tour, and 2004's Mourning Lights tour. Before their Mourning Lights tour, the band entered a studio to record 3 new songs they had written after their first tour. Out of the 3 songs only one, the song on My Way, had been mixed. The only way it was available for listening was by requesting it on Seton Hall University's WSOU, Pirate Radio. Before going on indefinite hiatus they'd play one off shows in New Jersey when home from the Punk Rock is Dead, Graves solo tour. Their second to last show to date was held at the now defunct Connections in Clifton, NJ in March 2005. Recently the band announced "The Nightmare Rides Are Back" all over the net and played a one time only reunion show in Belmar, NJ at the Goodwill Fire Hall with Cryptovyrus, The Zombie Mafia, and Johnny B. Morbid. They played a mix of material from Graves' solo works, Graves re-records, and Gotham Road, as well as some Misfits songs written by Graves. In 2008 & 2009 the band contributed some songs to the German compilation-CDs Get acquainted Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
Solo projects and beyond:
Right before his leave for the Marines, Graves was approached by Horror High Records to do a solo album. Graves recorded his debut solo record Punk Rock is Dead. He wrote and recorded the entire album with friend and band mate in Gotham Road, Paul Lifeless on drums in only one month. The two also recorded the follow-up to Web of Dharma simply titled "Web of Dharma 2," which has no plans for official release yet. Along with this month long writing/recording session, Graves also laid down vocal tracks for the band Summer's End's debut self-titled release. He wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals for the song "Headwound."
After being honorably discharged due to a back injury, Graves went to embark on a tour in support of his album Punk Rock is Dead. With Loki, JV Bastard and Matt Johnson. Graves wrote and sang on the album The All-Star Sessions made by all the bands which reside on the Roadrunner record label before his departure into the Marines. His vocals can be found on the track he penned with Trivium's guitarist/singer Matt Heafy, "I Don't Wanna Be (A Superhero)".
In August 2005, Graves' guitarist for both the Gotham Rd. and the Michale Graves solo project abruptly quit after a canceled U.S. and UK tour, leaving Graves scrambling for a new guitarist. He is currently touring with J-sin Trioxin of Mister Monster. The touring lineup at this time featured Graves, Trioxin, JV Bastard, and Matt Johnson on drums. During downtime and at home shows, Graves would sit in on bass for I Hate The Color of Your Skin which had usually consisted of members of Gotham Rd and Graves solo band and crew.
In March 2006, Graves began a tour in support of Damien Echols and the West Memphis Three. Matt Johnson was replaced with Quincy Smash, who has played bass guitar for one of Graves' bands, The Mopes, before the Misfits.
To coincide with the 2006 Halloween/Almost Home 2 tour, Graves' second solo effort titled "Return to Earth" was released on Halloween day of 2006. On October 20, the remainder of the Almost Home 2 tour was postponed due to his tour bus breaking down. A handful of post-Halloween dates in the Midwest were rescheduled, only for Graves to cancel again on the eve of the St. Paul, MN show on November 27, 2006.
Graves has currently written an album entitled "Illusions" with Echols. The album consists of 15 songs, to be releases October 31, 2007. The lyrics are written by Echols and Graves, and feature J~Sin Trioxin and Quincy Smash.
In addition, Michale has recently started collaborating with wrestler Vampiro on a band currently titled "Devil, Devil" which will also include band members Quincy Smash! on drums and Lalo from Vampiro's punk/industrial band Droch Fhoula. No news has been heard regarding this band since its initial announcement as to date.
A Spring Tour from April 2007 - June 2007 Called "Revelation VII:XII Tour 2007". It was to unveil the new lineup consisting of Quincy Smash who moved to bass, replacing JV Bastard for the time being as well as introducing new drummer Lenny Thomas, who had previously played drums with Trashlight Vision. The tour was canceled due to multiple reasons.
On August 2, 2007, Graves announced on his website, MichaleGraves.net, that he is in the process of writing an as yet untitled new studio album, planning on releasing a DVD that documents the recording sessions of the "Illusions" album, as well as Volume 3 of the Demos and Live Cuts series of internet release albums.
As of January 27, 2008, Graves announced a Demos and Live Cuts III will be a live show from the original Graves era recorded late 2002. Artwork will again be provided by Evan Eckard and the release will coincide with an official Gotham Road release combining "Seasons of the Witch" as well as demos and previously unreleased tracks.
In September 2008 Graves confirmed that he would return to The Misfits if asked. "Jerry and I do not have a dysfunctional working relationship. Him and I both know and I know he knows that I am on board. It is a phone call away. I won't step back into what I walked away from, but the problem isn't with Jerry and I. The problem is with Doyle and with Chud."
In October 2008 Graves released "Illusions Live/Viretta Park" on Screaming Crow Records followed by several US tours.
Graves married his longtime girlfriend Renee Sarno in August 2006 and together they have a daughter, Olivia Rae, born in May 2009. On February 6, 2012, they welcomed their second daughter, Perri Anne.
On December 26, 2009 Graves appeared on stage with Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and Dr. Chud's band Gorgeous Frankenstein at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville NJ. While on stage the band (along with Graves on vocals) played four late 1990s-era Misfits songs: Helena, Lost in Space, Scarecrow Man, and Shining, but they were cut short from playing Dig Up Her Bones due to time.
Graves began touring as the singer for Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg, which features the namesake drummer and at one stage members of the band Antiproduct, although the band now features a rotating line up. The band covers vintage Ramones songs live, and in 2010 recorded a cover of a Graves original song called "When We Were Angels", Originally featured on Illusions. In March 2011, Blitzkrieg also released another song written by Graves entitled, "If and When."
On September 28, 2012, Michale began a pledge through Kickstarter to release a new album titled "Vagabond." later it was announced that the album would be released to the public under the title "Vagabond V2." Later that same year a second Kickstarter release was announced, "Lost Skeleton Returns," which he referred to as a return to horror punk, and stated would feature 10 re-recorded classics as well as four new songs.
Graves appeared as a guest vocalist on the song "Zombie Romance" in Snow White's Poison Bite's album Snow White's Poison Bite: Featuring Dr.Gruesome And The Gruesome Gory Horror Show released on April 16, 2013.
The album "Lost Skeleton Returns" marked the long awaited return to the horror genre for Michale Graves and was released on June 20, 2013. The record featured new versions of classic Graves songs as well as six brand new monster rock anthems. Motionless In White vocalist Chris Motionless provided guest vocals on the track "Forbidden Planet". The album was supported by nationwide touring with Graves performing as his infamous "Skele-Crow" character for the first time in nearly a decade. Following the release of "Lost Skeleton Returns", an instrumental version of the album was issued and made available to fans online. An extremely limited amount of copies of this edition were made.
In 2014, Michale began a pledge through Kickstarter to release a new album titled "Wanderer", which was successfully funded on March 6, 2014.