Even though "Carmen Gray" signed a recording contract with Sony/BMG only a year ago and will release their debut album later this year, the group itself has been around much longer than that. Three of its members, Lappe, JJ and Pete, have played together for a decade. To make a long story short, before the group became "Carmen Gray," they were called "Jerkem" To be honest, they could never really decide upon what they wanted to be called. They only knew that they wanted a name that would not only reflect their sound but also do justice to their genius as musicians. And finally, in May 2005, they came up with "Carmen Gray," which they all felt captured the spirit of the group perfectly.
Although it?s next to impossible to pinpoint when things really started taking off for "Carmen Gray," it?s fair to say that the year 2000 proved to be a watershed for the group. Up until then, the idea had been just to have fun with music and hang out together. However, with the inclusion of Nicklas Nyman as the lead vocalist, they were now finally ready to embark on a joint voyage towards becoming a professional act. It was also round about this time that Lappe joined forces with Tommi Tikka in the songwriting front. Since then, this songwriting team has been solely responsible for the group?s material.
Many a musician visited the group over the years - some stayed longer than others did - but in the end, they all left because "Carmen Gray" was never about instant gratification. On the contrary, it was always about hard work. For a long time, being in the group meant trying to figure out how to make the best possible music with the worst possible equipment and investing everything that you had on your bank account in what most people considered little more than pipe dreams.
The most current change within the lineup took place in January 2003, when O.J. joined in on the drums. It?s fair to say that he was an instant fit, and it soon became apparent to everybody that with him behind the drum kit, the group sounded tighter and better than ever. At last, the chemistry of the group was completed. All of a sudden, there were no missing links.
But of course, the success of any band is always dependent on the right people and the right connections. In this case, the right person turned out to be Peter Kokljuschkin, a seasoned professional with a long history in managing pop/rock groups in Finland. Peter discovered the band in November 2004. It wouldn?t be an overstatement to say that his contribution was a major factor in getting the group where it is today.
Wild, Fresh, Exciting...
Not enough can be said about "Carmen Gray?s" wild stage performances and their catchy rock melodies. Of course, if you?ve been lucky enough to catch them live either in Helsinki or elsewhere in Finland, you already know this. One thing?s for sure, they continue to dazzle their audiences wherever they play.
Through meticulous perfection of their craft, the "Carmen Gray" have, over the years, managed to create their own distinctive brand of rock?n?roll that sounds fresh and exciting. Their influences range from the "Beatles" to "Skid Row." Yet, from the very beginning, their goal was always to create something new rather than be tied to any traditions.
But naturally, to most of you out there, the story of "Carmen Gray" is just beginning. So, stay tuned for more adventures and help us complete the stories that will one day make up the second chapter in this biography.