If I was putting together a Central Georgia Wrecking Crew, Daniel Graves aka Gravey Jones would be at the top of my list. From thumpin’ hip hop alongside Floco Torres and the spaced-out rock of Maryex to solo performances that descend into raucous sing-a-longs, Gravey’s got the skill and charisma that draws listeners into every performance. Bo Walker and I have both had the opportunity to trade songs with Gravey over the years, and we couldn’t be more excited about the January 9th show on The Creek Stage at The Rookery featuring our friend in support of The Whigs’ Parker Gispert. So, as any good buddy would, we decided to ask him some dumbass questions for our own amusement!
What was the first song you ever learned to play– and do you still play it?
DG- Oh, man, that was so long ago! I was 13 when I first started out, and I did the whole thing of learning parts of songs and never a complete song for the first couple years. I wanna say “Come As You Are”, Nirvana or “Beautiful People”, Marilyn Manson were the first couple I picked out. And no, I don’t really play those anymore. Hahaha!
If you could go back in time, would you perform or record songs you know would become popular? Ostensibly stealing the credit and fame.
I don’t think so. I think that’s kind of the beauty of the whole thing. I’m super critical of the stuff I write. I can’t count the times I’ve written a song and then a few weeks later, I’ll play it and… “Oh good, I just ripped off this song or that song!!!” and then scrap the whole thing. If I ever get any credit or fame, I want to get it honestly.
What is your most prized musical possession?
I’ve honestly never spent more than about $500 on a single piece of gear. Probably my mom’s accordion she gifted me once it got too heavy for her to play, even though I can’t play it. It’s a cool instrument, and the sentimental value is worth more than anything else I own.
What is the barest of minimums it would take for you to give it up?
Let’s just say if I ever got to the point where I had to choose between selling that accordion or starving, I’d probably starve to death.
– Imagine you’re writing a concept album that addresses the issues of 2018 and while looking towards the nature of 2019. What is that album called?
The Devine Ignorance and How to Overcome It… Or something along those lines. Thank God I haven’t been commissioned to make that album.
You can only eat at one local restaurant for the rest of your life– where you going? Be careful…
Oh, y’all gonna do this to me? I see how it is. There are so many great, independent restaurants in Macon, but if I had to pick only one, I’d probably go with Dawson’s Kitchen. Their menu changes daily, which is important in my decision if it’s the only restaurant I can eat at– and have you had their Mac n Cheese?! I’d die an early death, but I would be fat and happy.
As an artist, what do you find to be the most inspiring thing, good or bad, about Macon?
Honestly, the community. How artists support one another and will help each other however they can. It’s pretty rad to play shows and see so many fellow musicians/artists in the crowd. Really, just the support of the community in general. There are some amazing folks in this town.
If you could form a wrestling tag team with any other Macon musician, who would it be, what would you call yourselves, and what would your theme song be?
Hahahahaha! Oh, man… I’d probably pick Travis Reeves (Choir of Babble’s drummer, they just put out a new album and y’all should check it out, by the way) just because we would have fun with it. We’d call ourselves The Godzilla Boys complete with green Lucha Libre Luchador masks and our song would be Fu Manchu’s cover of “Godzilla”.
In addition to performing solo, you’re an in-demand bass player for more than a few artists in Central Georgia. What do you think draws other musicians to you– or you to them?
Well, bassists are hard to come by, for one. I’d like to think my eclectic taste in music makes me appealing to others in a way. “Oh, Gravey can play that.” Whenever I started playing bass more than guitar, it made me look at music differently. Bass is more of knowing when not to play, which those who have heard me play may not believe that. Hahahahaha! I feel like I’m pretty easy going, and I get along with most everyone, so that may play into it as well. As a guitar player who essentially transitioned to bass, it’s just putting in the time to actually play the instrument and not just play root notes on top of the guitar– not that there is anything wrong with that in some instances.
I know you’re a big baseball fan… If you could start a power trio with any two ballplayers, alive or dead, who would they be, what would you call the band, and what kind of music would you play?
Freddie Freeman and David Ross. We’d be called Bravos Loco and we’d play Prog/Math Rock. Freddie would be on sax, David on drums, and myself on bass.
If you met a Martian on the street tomorrow, and it asked you to describe Macon music in three words or less, what would you say?
Kpdheua. Ljfkwk. Gtysbfkh. Oh, let me translate for you non-Martians out there. Diverse. Unifying. Exceptional. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this music community. I’ve gotten to play with some extraordinary musicians because of it. I love how the music brings us together as a community (Second Sundays, Bragg Jam, Cherry Blossom Music Festival, etc) and that is something that is immeasurable, in my opinion, and the reasoning behind my choice of words to describe this special thing we have to the tiny green folks with beady eyes and giant heads. Maybe I could talk one of them into joining Bravos Loco to make it a four-piece and I could make the rare switch to guitar!?!?