2/21/04...Well, its been a weird month for all of us and we didn't practice at all for like about a month and a half. But a couple of days ago, Dave and I (John) got together and really got to work. We have alot of new (and really good) songs that we're really excited about. We also played a couple of them at open-mic night at Huntington St. cafe that night as well, and even though it really wasn't our kind of crowd, it was good to get em' out. But I think a revolution has occured in Graduate and we're finally ready to get ready to record our ep that we've been putting off for quite some time now. We haven't decided on a title for it, but the track listing goes as follows: 1. "We'll Never Know" - 2. "This Time - 3. "Back Home" - 4. "An Ode (To Deciding The Rest Of My Life" - 5. "The Same". Now we've been saying for months now that we're gonna record this and that cd, but I think this time we're really serious and this track listing is pretty set in stone for us. Me and Dave are planning and spending as much time as we can on it, starting with making a rough version of it and then giving it to people so they can record some different instruments on it. So I can't really tell you when to expect anything, for that Dave's pretty busy with work and I'm pretty busy with the high school spring musical. But we're really excited about this, and we're getting pretty impatient. So signing off, this is Johnny Vavra, telling you that Graduate is still alive and better than ever! Peace...
1/2/04...Hey boys and girls, it's a new year and we're ready to make the best of it. Dave and Chris are slowly getting together new shirt designs for the fans, with a few shirts already completed. Meanwhile, John is still pumping out new songs like the song-writing animal he is. It's been tough, but we're trying to get at least a few songs recorded so that we can start playing cafe shows and stuff. And may I reiterate...we promise that our first CD, "Enjoy the Silence," will be well worth the wait (man that's a lot of w's). Thanks to everyone who keeps supporting us. Updates on the Cd and shows will hopefully be up soon. Take it easy guys!
12/9/03...John here, and I'm proud to say that because of the crazy snow storm that hit CT this weekend and caused me to see nothing but a snow shovel and my guitar, I've completely finished the 3 songs I've been workin' my tail off on this past month. One's a short intro song for our upcoming cd, "Enjoy The Silence", which is also the name of the song. One's an acoustic song and it's definitely our slowest, yet one of our best songs to date ("Back Home"). The other's a crazy up-in-the-hizaa song that I'm hoping will maybe be the closer to the cd ("Someday Someone"). So now all we got to do is get these songs written with the rest of the band and work on this amazing piano song that Dave wrote, and then we'll finally be all ready to start recording. And when I say finally, I mean that if we don't start recording within the next month,I'm gonna lose my mind up in herre (DMX ownz). But for now, you can read the lyrics to the new songs (They're kind of short, but except for Back Home, they're longer in music than in words.) Later!
11/30/03...We decided to screw the acoustic cd and write some more songs for the full-length and we got a wicked lot of work done. First, we decided on the name of the cd which we are titling "Enjoy The Silence" (Its an inside thing, ask me and I'll tell you about it.) Second we have both the cover arts set and lastly we have the track listing. The only thing most of the songs are untitled, but there's gonna be 7 songs on the cd and 4 of em are "Tonight", "The Same", "All You Have To Do", and "Back Home". But one of em is a song Dave wrote on the piano, which is so amazing and another one of em is a 2 minute long intro song that kicks butt as well. So now that we're getting pretty set on all of this, we're gonna have this cd finished in no time. I'll keep y'all posted with the updates. Later....-John-
11/26/03...I, John, am on a crazy writing spree and my music is getting pretty dang good if I do say so myself. However, its alot different from our old stuff. It's a lot deeper and it sounds sort of Howie Day/Rufus Wainwright/John Mayer-ish. I really don't know how to describe it, but its a lot deeper and not as poppy as before. But anyways, I've got about 10 cafes lined up for shows in towns like Shelton, Trumbull, New Haven, Branford, Milford, etc. But every one of em, of course, wants a demo. So me and Dave are gonna get together this weekend and make another attempt to make an acoustic demo (We're planning on having some better luck than in the past.) It's probably only going to be 3 songs, including "Tonight" and our two new songs "All You Have To Do" and "Back Home". I'm not really sure what its going to be like, but if we like it or not, I'm planning on handing them out to people. We'll see how it goes. Later.
11/22/03...What a night...Last night, us Graduate kids played at our school's fasion show and let me tell, it was pretty big disaster. The sound guy forgot to turn on the mic for the vocals and the mic was not tightened on the stand at all so it kept falling down. It was pretty disasterous. But it made me realize something. Life as a musician was alot simpler when we were acoustic and although we only played at two open mic nights, playing at cafes was alot more relaxing. So we've decided to go back to being a strictly acoustic band, for that our new music wouldn't sound anywhere near as good if it were played full-out. So from now on, we're going to try to stick to playing cafes (Don't worry, I found a bunch of em' and as soon as we record this cd they'll all start appearing on the site). Also, we realized that we want our cd to be acoustic as well, with pretty much only acoustic guitars, bass, drums, some piano, and drums (For the most part). So now, as we get into the recording process, expect a sort of Norah Jones feeling to the cd, except a little faster at some points. But let me tell you, our new music is amazing and we're starting to impress even ourselves. So believe me, you're going to love it when we finish it, which better be soon cuz' I'm kind of sick of talking about this cd rather than recording it. See ya later.
11/19/03...I, John Vavra, have made a revolution in my own style of writing music. For the past three days, I have been spending as much in my evenings as humanly possible working on music and I think you're going to start seeing new things for Graduate. See, within the past two weeks I've been listening to alot of deep singer/song-writer music like Rufus Wainwright (Who is freaking amazing and is like my new favorite artist) and Gavin DeGraw, and for some reason within the past few days, ideas have been pouring out of my head and they sound quite different from our old stuff. Like I said, it's alot deeper and I feel like it comes more from my soul. So far I have 2 songs that I'm in the process of, and 1 song completely finished because I stole some lyrics from old song that I canned awhile ago. But let me tell you, I surpized myself with these songs and when people hear them I think they'll be pretty surprized themselves...but anyways, as for recording, we're gonna start as soon as we can. But we do have like 9 cafe shows that I'm in the process of setting up, so we can all look forward to that. As for now, you can check out the lyrics to my new song ("All You Have To Do") in the lyrics section of the site. I'll post the other one's up when I'm finished with them. Later peeps.
11/11/03...Ugh, we went to record our acoustic ep on Saturday and the recording program wouldn't work. So now that Chris's hand is starting to feel better, we're going to just get working on our full-length cd. We're going to take this weekend to brush up on new material, and then the weekend after we're going to just start with the drums. The good news is - not that us starting our full-length sooner is bad news - that our friend Kurt came over on Saturday and starting adding piano to our songs. So far, he's only got "Tonight" down because of the fact that we was gonna record it, but computers hate us. But now I'm really excited for that the piano makes it sound so much better. I can't wait to see what it'll do for the rest of the cd. Anyways, we'll keep you posted on our progress and expect even more lyrics up soon, for that I really have to finish all my unfinished songs if we want to record them (Well, duh).
11/2/03...I'm gettin' excited about the recording of our acoustic ep, so I added some new stuff to the site including 3 new lyrics and I redid the discography section. From now on, all updates dealing with our acoustic cd and our full-length will be posted in the discography section. For now, I'll just tell that we're gonna start recording the new cd this week, but go to the discography section for more info. Lata.
10/26/03...Phew! Everything's better than I what I thought...To bring you up to speed on the conditions of Graduate, Chris got his surgery and won't be using his hand for about 4-6 weeks :( ...However, Dave seems to be alot better than how we expected and we decided to start recording a demo without the drums this weekend now that we finally have all the equipment that we need. Now although we won't have any drums, we still are going to try to make a really good demo. We're just gonna record with acoustic guitars, bass, piano, and try to make some good vocal tracks (I've been working on some fab harmonies yo). So expect within the next couple months for us to pass around some 5 acoustic demos. We're not completely sure on what we're going to record, but if it were up to me, I think we're most likely going to record "Anything More", "Tonight", "Overjoyed", and our two new songs ("Wishlist" and "Everthing I Was Afraid Of Happening Happened"), which in my opinion are our best ones to date. So we'll let y'all know about our progress...P.S. - We're still going to make a full 10 song cd once Chris gets better. This cd is just to screw around with, but we're still planning on making a really good demo...P.S.S. - Get the new Ben Folds ep's. They're so amazing. God, I wish I could write music like that man. Peace!
10/22/03...Well this isn't good...Sorry folks, Graduate may be taking sort of a break for as short of a time as possible, but it could be anytime from a few weeks to a couple months. Why, you may ask, is because of the physical condition of 2/3 of the members of the band. Our bassist, Dave, just found out he has mono, so he won't be able to do much for a couple of weeks. But even worse, our drummer, Chris, cut his hand and now has to get hand surgery next Monday. So I'm not really sure what he can and cannot do after he gets it, but I imagine we now will not be starting our cd for quite a while now. However, I'd like to say that we will still be playing the fasion show at SHS (even though I haven't heard anything about that for quite awhile now). But I'm pretty sure this won't stop us from playing any cafe shows, so still expect some of those to appear. So all in all, don't expect any updates about the recording of our cd for awhile now. And to think, we would have been starting it this weekend :(
10/19/03...Thanks to everyone who came out to the show last night!! Those benifit concert organizers certainly put together a great show. We had a blast playing. The sound tech didn't make it easy for us, or any of the bands for that matter, but we made it through our set from setup to takedown. You can be sure that we're going to do it again next year. In the mean time, we members of Gradute are going to be keeping quite busy. For the next few months, we'll be working on some new material and starting to record our first cd. Don't worry, we're planning on schedueling some nice cafe shows around CT sometime soon, so you can come hear the original acoustic sounds of Graduate. We'll keep you posted!
10/14/03...Dave here. Well, I'm bored out of my mind and still sick as a dog, so i figured I'd do a little promoting for our upcoming show (as always, you can check the shows section of the site for details). Come down to Warsaw Park in Ansonia this Saturday and support the fight against cancer. You can catch us along with Evoked, A Certain Something, Grover Dill, and a few more performing live with 30min sets. See you there!
10/11/03...Since this is the most uneventful weekend in history for me, I (John) decided to put my 4-track recorder to use and record an accoustic ep with just guitar and vocals (so far). I've been working on it all day today and so far I'm just about finished with "Overjoyed", "The Same", and "This Past Year". I want to get a couple other songs on their too, like "Anything More" and "Tonight", but those don't sound as good with just guitar, so I'm gonna wait for the bass to record those. But if I can find a way to post these up later this weekend, I'll let y'all hear em'. Otherwise, it might just be a demo tape or something to give to the cafes. I'll keep ya' posted....Also, I put up some brief details about the fasion show thing next month, so check the show section for details. Well, I'm back off to work. Later.
10/3/03...Just to let everybody know....We made our audition! Full details about the show aren't known quite yet, but we do know it'll be an awsome Graduate/Evoked experience. And remember, come see us at Shelton Day this Sunday. Peace
10/1/03..."Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!!!!" That's right guys, come see our first full-on gig at Shelton Day this weekend (check out the shows section for details). This month we're kickin' it into high gear. Friday we're auditioning to play as house band for the Shelton High Deca Fashion Show; Sunday is Shelton day; and October 18 we're playing at the "Rock the Valley" benefit show. Needless to say, we're going to be practicing like crazy within that time. So come see us play brand-new, never-before-heard songs....as well as some of your old favorties. We'll keep you posted....Later.
9/21/03...I was little bored, so I totally redid the lyrics section of the site so they're not all moshed together on one page anymore. Plus, I added like 5 more songs, so now you can know 5 songs worth more about the minds of Graduate. Oh, and another thing, my new phrase is "Dag yo" (I'm not really sure where I heard it), so expect to hear it out of my mouth constantly cuz' I can't stop saying it. Lata....Johnny V....
9/15/03...Hey peeps, I just wanted to let you know we're playing at our annual town fair on October 5th. Check out the shows section for more details....and one more thing, if you're into that kind of stuff, go out and get the new John Mayer cd. It's freaking amazing. Later.
9/6/03...We're sorry to announce that our long-awaited cd, "Songs I Wrote While Watching Television", will not be released any time soon. After hearing the master copy, we realized there was a lot more we could have done to make it sound like the 'Graduate' we want people to hear. We are still evolving as a band, so new ideas are coming up all the time on how to make our music more enjoyable. So try to think of this as a good thing, cause when our cd does come out, it'll have more songs and a much better feel to it. Not to mention our new stuff seems to only be getting better. We promise it will be worth the wait!...To read more about what the new cd itself is going to be like, go to the Discography section and read the latest message posted up. In the meantime, we better see you at the Starbucks gig cuz its our first show in a long while.
8/25/03...I realized that we only have one show coming up, so I (John) started planning out some shows. I didn't have very much luck for that like every cafe in the Fairfield County has no musical program, but we do as of now have one show at Starbucks in Branford in September (See our show section for more details). However, expect at least three more shows within the next two months, including the Discovery Cafe in Milford, the Accoustic Cafe in Bridgeport, and our own annual town fair (Shelton Day). So check back for more updates, for that I'll post up more shows at soon as they're finalized.
8/23/03...We've got some really bad news for all you Graduate fans out there, the Factory House has been shut down. And so, our first big gig on the 25th has been cancelled. Not to fret however....we are in the process of putting the final touches on our CD. Plus, once it's done we are going to send them in to some cafe venues around the area. So keep checking back for updates on our CD release date and upcomming shows. Keep it real.
8/19/03...Want a taste of "Songs I Wrote While Watching Television"?!?! Well, its only a small taste, but if you go to the mp3 section of the site, you can now download the intrumental version of the last song of our cd, "Sypathy". It's a little repetitive without the vocals, but atleast you can get a sense of what the quality's going to like. But stay tuned, we're putting the real version up this weekend. Later
8/13/03...Hey everyone, we've got a couple of updates to let you know about. Most importantly, our show on the 25th has some slight changes. I talked to the manager of the Factory House and apparently there was another show scheduled for that same night...so, our show is now at 4pm, admission will be 5$. We are set up to play with Evoked, No Ones Hero, and Point Nine Eight. So, make sure you bring everyone you know down to the Factory House on Monday the 25th for an amazing show. Also, we will definitely be recording our first CD this weekend thanks to our good friend Chris G. from Evoked. We will be selling it at our show, so support the band and buy a copy of "Songs I Wrote While Watching Television"!! P.S.- Feel free to take lots of pictures of us at the show, and if at all possible, send them to either Dave (Skatishman15@aol.com) or John (Johnnyvav21@aol.com).
8/8/03...Just a couple of cool updates for y'all...For starters, get to know us kids just a little bit better in an interview posted on wildwritings.com , an entertainment site run by our good friend, Jimmy. Just ignore the pictures (I forgot to shave that week and my facial hair doesn't come in very attracive-looking...heh). So click here to see the deeper side of Graduate...second of all, we are sceduled to play at a Benefit concert for a boy named Ryan in Derby living with Leukemia. Check the shows section for more info on that...and finally, we have come to the glorious conclusion that the long-awaited ep, "Songs I Wrote While Watching Television", will be finished and ready to be sold at our show at the Factory in Shelton (Again, check our show section for more info on that). It will be sold for $4 or 5$. We haven't decided yet. So consider the show at the Factory our cd release show and be one of the first to buy this absolutely spectacular work of art...atleast that's what we hope will be your reactions. Have a good one!
7/29/03...And so the show planning process begins...we're pleased to announced we are playing a show at the new Factory House in downtown Shelton along with again, our good friends from Evoked. The show is on August 25th and starts at 7 and we're most likely going to be playing 3rd, so if you want to end your summer off with a bang, come see us. Hopefully we'll have the cd done by then. Later.
7/27/03...With our bassist back from vacation and guitarist almost done with Youth Connection shows, we are nearing the recording of our first CD "Songs I Wrote While Watching Television". The next one or two practices will be the deciding factor as to when exactly we are going to record, depending on how quickly we can orginize ideas and what not. So check back in the next couple weeks for updated news on our progress and release date. Take it easy...oh, and one more thing. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN! That's right folks. 17 years ago to this day our guitarist/singer was born. So if you see him anytime soon, make sure you wish him a nice happy birthday. Also, for anyone who likes high school/college drama and musicals, please go see Showstoppers at Shelton High School on August 2 or August 3 at 8:00. It's a musical review on the last 20 years of the Youth Connection and is just absolutely awesome. It's directed by the acclaimed Gary and Fran Scarpa and contains great numbers from such musicals as West Side Story, Fiddler On The Roof, Oklahoma, Les Miserables, and so on. And plus John's in it! So do what all the cool kids are doing and go see Showstoppers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7/18/03...Decisions, decisions...We again had a little bit of a talk today and decided that although we enjoy playing accoustic songs and will continue to occasionally play accoustic shows, we are going to kick up our music a notch. It will still be the same music, but it will now just be a little harder and will sound more like alternative rock rather than accoustic folk. Now even though some of you may be thinking this is crazy and it will absolutely sound terrible, I have been playing all of our songs lately on an electric guitar and adding some fuzz to them, and I personally think they sound a whole lot better. We sound a lot more energetic and that's what I intended to sound like when I started this band, just now I won't be playing an accoustic guitar at our non-cafe shows. We made this decision because we feel that we will be able to get into our music alot more if it's got more power in it, and for the audience it will be a lot more exciting than just us playing pop folk music with just an accoustic guitar, a bass, and a few drums...In other news, we're starting to plan out some shows. We even may play one here in Shelton at a new venue called "The Factory". So look forward to seeing the new and improved Graduate at our upcoming shows and check back for all the new show dates...Oh, and one more thing, go to the Youth Connection summer musical in Shelton! I, John, am in the show and it's gonna be awesome. To buy tickets, go to the Mayflower shop in Shelton Ct. I better see a ton of you there!
7/13/03...We had a little discussion today and we decided that if we're going to rush to put out the cd so we can have something good to give to the cafes and stuff when we start planning our August shows, we should only have 5 songs on it. However, in a positive sense, this means that we can spend alot more time on these songs and I promise that they will be freaking amazing. To put it in other words, if you thought our cafe shows were good, you will be wicked impressed with our cd. So go ahead and check out the slight changes over in the discography section. Later.
7/11/03...So I go down to Huntington St. Cafe today and what do I find out?...You have to be 18 and older to go in there now, which is apparently because we were attracting too big of a young crowd and kids were coming in and not buying anything. So I guess that means no more shows there anymore. Even worse, no more shows until we get this cd done. So we decided to get crackin' on it and we're hoping that we can get finished with it by the end of the month. So far, we've figured out the title, the track list, and everything we're planning on doing with the songs for the cd. All we have to do now is go and record it, which we're hoping to do right away. So check the discography section to see the track list and check back for more updates about the new cd and possibly some mp3's. Later.
6/30/03...Due to Chris and Dave going on vacation within the next month, Graduate will not play any shows/open-mic nights for atleast a few weeks. However, we are going to spend as much time as we can during this period perfecting our material for our upcoming new CD. Then after we've decided what songs we want on it, we will then spend some time recording the CD with the help of the nice kids of Evoked.
As of now, we plan to have atleast 6 songs on it and will title it "Songs I Wrote While Watching Television". Hopefully, we will have it out by August, but you never know what will happen. So check up for more updates on that. See ya later.
6/27/03...I just want to thank everyone who came to the show the other night. All of you not only supported us, but personally I feel freaking awesome from the response we got. Alot of people know that my music is very important important to me and always has been ever since I started playing it. So to have tons of people scream because of the enjoyment they got out of it, I've never felt better in my life. Thanks again to all of you.
6/25/03...We had some problems and had to start from scratch on all the pages again, so I'd like to reannounce that Graduate has a drummer! Our good friend, Chris Campoli, who has played with us in our past punk bands, has decided to become a part of the band after listening to our music. So I, John, practiced with him for quite awhile yesterday, in which we recorded the two songs we're going to be playing at open-mic night this week...and let me tell you that they sound like completely different songs. They sound so much better and the percussion just does wonders to our music. So come this Thursday to the Huntington St. Cafe around 8 O'Clock to see Chris rock out with a snare and a cow bell...and experience the awesomeness for yourself. See you then!