Saving Gracie (Pop/Punk/Grunge)

Written by Jonny Havoc

Saving Gracie
Posted Dec 18, 2006.

Dan Howe- Vocals Guitar
Brandon Morrison - Lead Guitar
Matt Carranza - Bass
Max Minskoff - Drums

What is your MySpace?

What is your PureVolume?
We made the account years ago, and they never sent us our password. In all that time, they have never responded to our emails to receive said password, or remove the account. Hence it has never once been updated.

What genre is your music?We've always been about blending different styles. But the ones that really resonate with us are punk, poppunk, hard rock, grunge, metal, prog, and the illustrious post-hardcore. It's impossible to get anyone to check out your band if you don't list "Post-hardcore" somewhere in your description.

How did you come up with your band name? We sat around for days tossing names around until someone threw out Saving Gracie, and we all thought that sounded catchy.

What does your band name mean? I always thought it was a reference to Star Trek IV, where they save a whale named Gracie. But apparently I'm a nerd and no one else in the band has seen that flick.

What venue would you like to play the most that you haven't played at? I'd love to play a stadium someday, I don't care where.

What venue has been the best to play at? I might be alone here, but I loved playing the Santa Fe Café in Fullerton. It's an outdoor hookah bar at the train station. We kept trying to time the songs so that a train would arrive in a really dramatic moment.

What city or area has been the best place to play? I really love playing in the Long Beach/OC area, people are so into live music here.

When, Where and How was your first show?We played a house-party in Monrovia. It was a hike, and the people were jerks. After our second song, some random guy came up to me and whispered that we needed to finish up and get off "stage" A.S.A.P. because they had a better band, Oh, and that we needed to let them use our P.A. The better band was a New Found Glory ripoff, and the whole party started to degrade into a brawl during their set, with our P.A. in the middle of it.

How have you seen yourselves get better since then?Well, we went through a handful of different bassists and drummers, and eventually wound up with Matt and Max, it took the band's sound to a whole new level.

What makes a show the best? When you're tired at the end of it, but you still feel great.

Who do you one day want to play a show with or open for? My dream has always been to play with Get Up Kids, barring a double-reunion of both bands, that one's kind of dead.

What makes you strive to be heard? Desperation

What inspires most of your lyrics? Personal events and politics/social issues.

What you are saying thru your music?The theme that's most prevalent through all the songs is the idea that no matter how bad things get, its never too late to at least try and turn it around. Even if you fail, at least you went down trying to make things better.

How many people in the band right now are the original band members?Brandon and I have always been the core of this band, there were times when we were the band. Matt was a friend of a friend of Brandon's, and Max and I were both students in the percussion program at CSULB.

Where do you wish for your band to be in 5 years? Sounds about right for a reunion, maybe?

Where have you been playing lately and how has your response been? It's funny. Since we broke up, we get myspace adds and more myspace messages from people saying "You Rock!" more often than when we were together.

Do you have any advice to starting bands? When you're looking for members, be cautious of the whole Myspace/Craigslist scene. 9 times out of 10, the person who has been "playing for years" just started playing the day they posted the ad. And more than 50% of the time, they're also flakey. My rule is if they don't show the first time, or call you 5 minutes before the first rehearsal to cancel, I don't ever call them again.

What do you want to see happen thru music in the future? I'd like to see a departure from cookie-cutter formulaic songwriting.

What are you doing to progress those ideas? We try to incorporate as much as we can into our music. We'll never write a hardcore song, or a country song, or a metal song. Guaranteed. But you could find elements and flavors from those styles, and we'll try and make them seem like they were always meant to be together.

What other instruments can play (other than the ones they currently play in the band)? Max plays the whole array of hand percussion instruments, as well as Steel Drums and all the mallet percussion instruments. Brandon plays drums, he plays with another band that has shows pretty regularly, D-Tox. Matt plays guitar, and he used to play Saxophone from what I understand. I'm also a Steel Drum guy, and I play a lot of Mallet Percussion. I can play drum set, but nobody wants to hear it.

What religion are you? We're all pretty non-affiliated with any actual faith. But Max, Brandon and I are all of Hebrew-blood. We actually forced Matt to convert so we could claim to be an all Jewish band.

Does your religion effect your music? Not usually, we had an old song called "Shiksa", that reflected my attitude of just wanting to be left alone as far as religion is concerned. And Shiksa's a Yiddish term, which cracked us up when Brandon's dad suggested it as a title.

Any funny or interesting stories? You'd think so, but no.

So why'd you guys break up?It was mostly an issue of time. College and work takes up a good amount of time, and then Brandon moved down to Costa Mesa and it there just wasn't enough time in the week.

So why should we care about a band that's been broken up for about a year? What will give this show closure for your band members to go there separate ways at the end of this show?

First off, it's a long show. We're taking up two sets. And we're playing both some new material, and older material that hasn't been played since 2002. We're also bringing back some former members to play with us, and bringing in some outside instrumental and singing help. We'll be doing both electric and acoustic songs, and it will really showcase both the skills and the history of the band.

When's the show?
The 25th of November at 8pm sharp, $7 admission, all ages.

Can we bring someone?
We might not let you in if you don't. I'll tell you why. Because when we broke up we just went our separate ways, there was no closure. There were fans of our recorded music that never got a chance to see us play, ever. So we decided that we'd rather go out in style. So we've arranged to do a Good-Bye show at DiPiazza's in Long Beach that will blow some minds. Brandon was in a band called Overestimated, which I guess had some kind of following in northern O.C. A lot of our early songs were reworkings of Overestimated tunes. We all grew up listening to this kind of stuff. .

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