Michale Graves carved a place for himself in the late ’90s punk and metal scenes as the skeleton-faced singer in the second incarnation of the Misfits. He recorded two albums with the band before departing on a solo career.
He’s since released more than a dozen albums of his own punkish, metal and acoustic rock, including the just-released “Wanderer.” Graves plays tonight at The Crossroads. We found out more from the singer.
The new album just came out last week. Where does it fit with your previous work?
“Wanderer” has been in my head for years. It is only now that I could create this body of work. It has taken 20 years of performing, touring and composing to build such a diverse body of work. This album is like a fine aged whiskey. It blends rock, R&B, rockabilly, folk and a dash of country to create something I have never done before. We are incredibly proud of this work.
Was it always your intention to take the quieter sort of acoustic turn you did?
From the very beginning, and I mean my first composition, I always wrote in an acoustic voice and would then convert it to full band. In the late 2000’s when I was touring on my own I began to perform acoustically and today it is half of what we do.
You’ve been connected with some true punk-rock royalty (not only the Misfits, but Marky Ramone, etc.). What is it like to be out there playing some of these songs, with those guys?
I have deep respect for everyone who I have played with – as each has assisted in crafting who I am today. But the ability to write and perform songs that have literally influenced peoples lives… that’s a blessing.
To this day, I still see people throw out the Danzig vs. Graves Misfits question. Which made a better band? Does it start to get old after awhile?
I have never focused on that at all. Glenn is an incredible performer, but our voices and styles are very different – so I really don’t associate the two.
The other thing people talk about is your political views. Just how tough was/is it as a conservative in the scene? Do your political views affect the type of music you make?
Our political structure, our liberties and rights are the core fundamental of who we are as a society. So those core tenets are very important to me. My roots are those of the punk-music movement – founded and grounded in the ability to think and speak freely and pursue a way that can create freedom of thought, belief and spiritually that I believe was intended to hold for each of us.
Any future plans?
Future plans? Have you met my partner, and CEO of Hydraulic Entertainmen,t Mark Allen Stuart? Mark and I have worked together for nearly two years and have done seven albums, three short films and five tours. We are in the middle of the “Wanderer” release, but at the same time we are working on a sequel to our very successful full-band “Monster Rock” album from last year. We are working on a feature film, as well as an autobiography of the first 20 years of my career that we have titled “Recollections.” It will be a series of stories that tell the tale of the past two decades as a performing artist.