Toledo native brings DREAMEND to Mickey Finn’sWritten by Mighty Wyte (Matt Feher) | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, vocalist, label owner, insomniac, Toledo native. All are accurate descriptions of one Ryan Graveface, but even when combined they barely scratch the proverbial surface when describing the work-obsessed virtuoso.
Graveface, owner of the aptly named Graveface Records (The Appleseed Cast, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Monster Movie and gobs of others) is the sole proprietor of the Chicago-based label and one half of the eerily fascinating band DREAMEND, which is scheduled to play our fair city on Sept. 23.
“I don’t remember why I moved to Chicago,” Graveface laughed. “I’ve been asking my family and friends why I moved here and I have no recollection. Everyone said I moved here for music, although I don’t know exactly what that means.”
The first 19 years of Graveface’s life were spent in Toledo when he “wasn’t really interested in music per se,” a strange statement coming from a man who now operates a successful record label and writes some seriously engaging music.
“I used to play basketball and I thought I was pretty good, but when I got into high school, I found that I really didn’t like the people I was playing with. So, my dad rented me a guitar. I had no idea how to play, I had very little interest in playing and I never took lessons,” Graveface said.
After a couple of years of just toying around with sis rented instrument, Graveface started his first band at the age of 17.
“It was my first batch of songs. It was kind of fun, kind of embarrassing and pretty noisy,” he said.
Graveface moved to Chicago after high school, launched his record label and began writing furiously.
“DREAMEND came about out of the same ridiculousness that births my songs,” Graveface said. “I thought it was going to be a one-off album but it stuck for some reason. It encompasses all the songs I write while I’m asleep. I sleep so infrequently that when I do get rest my mind goes nuts with ideas. I have a crappy recorder on my iPhone, and I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and record my ideas and when I listen back I don’t even recall some of the things I record.”
With Graveface responsible for vocals, guitars and in many instances banjo, and drummer Mike Mularz handling percussion, DREAMEND generates tones that can be described as organic, earthy and spatial.
“The new record is banjo-heavy, but not country per se,” Graveface said. “I guess it’s indie-folk, but very poppy.”
Regardless of how DREAMEND is defined, its sound is perfectly fit for eclectic cinematic soundscapes or scores, and Graveface describes the live shows as “fast and loud.”
DREAMEND will play Mickey Finn’s on Sept. 23 with Junk Culture and Tobacco. Doors for the show open at 8 p.m. Advanced tickets can be purchased for $10 at the website www.mickeyfinnspub.com.