In the fall of 1995 Michale Graves was nineteen and recording a demo in Lodi, New Jersey with his little known band "Mopes" when the owner mentioned that some of his friends were looking for a singer and that he might be what they were looking for. After some contemplation, Michale made a phone call to schedule an audition that would ultimately change the course of his life forever. He was about to get that all elusive "big break" that everyone is always waiting for.
On Halloween night in 1995 after a brief appearance on stage at The Roseland Ballroom in New York City, he became the lead singer and played his first official gig at a club called Coney Island High with one of the most legendary punk rock bands of all time, The Misfits.
Michale continued writing songs over the next few months and recorded demos with the new lineup in May of 1996 at Trax East Studios in South River, NJ. The band soon kicked off an explosive tour of Europe and the United States dubbed "Resurrection". After attending a concert at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park NJ, Ben Horowitz, of The Record, described "Graves" as "an athletic young man from Dumont...perpetually in motion. Fully immersing himself in the moshing spirit of the occasion, at one point leaping onto the crowds outstretched arms while singing."
Soon after Michale and the band signed a recording contract with Geffen Records through the same A&R rep who signed Metallica and White Zombie.
Andy Wallace mixed "American Psycho", and Geffen Records released the Misfits first release in almost twenty years. It was 1996. Michale was twenty-one. The ´Fits´ then embarked on a grueling world tour with one of the biggest heavy metal acts on the planet, Megadeth. After opening for them at the sold-out, Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, the headline of the entertainment section of the next days major newspaper publication read, "Misfits outshine Megadeth".
The band shot two music videos. For several weeks the Misfits "American Psycho" video was listed on the Sonicnet chart at #2, book-ended by Backstreet Boys videos at #1 & #3. Over all the "Psycho" video remained in the top 5 for nearly a year while videos from many chart-topping acts quickly came and went. Theatrical screenings ran in film festivals both in and outside the U.S. garnering "Best of Fest" nods as well as award nominations from the Horror Writers Association. The videos also created a stronghold in the then, uncharted territory of online entertainment. They have been repeatedly on the top of the charts, listed as the "most downloaded videos on the net" with online outlets like Sonicnet. Matt Pinfield premiered Dig up Her Bones on MTV´s 120 minutes. That year Michale performed with Joey Ramone and sang a medley of songs with him in front of a sold out Roseland Ballroom in New York City. The band appeared on the cover of the Aquarian newspaper that year under the headline, "The Jersey Devils´".
The Misfits next release was a live album entitled, Evil Live II. It was a collection of live songs taken from shows on the relentless and very successful American Psycho tour and a limited edition glow-in-the-dark 45 covering the classic song "Monster Mash. The 45 was fully endorsed by longtime Misfits supporter Sara Karloff, (daughter of the late Boris Karloff) who gave consent for the use of her father´s image in connection with the record. The Karloff estate had shown similar support in 1997 approving the band´s use of footage from the classic film "The Bride of Frankenstein" in their first music video "Dig Up Her Bones". The Misfits and their "Fiend Club" were also instrumental in petitioning and seeking approval for the 1997 release of the U.S. Monster Stamp series, which among others, featured Bela Lugosi Sr., as Dracula and of course, Boris Karloff as Frankenstein.
October 1999 marked a third studio album called "Famous Monsters" released by Roadrunner Records followed by a live performance on October 8, 1999 at Madison Square Gardens Theatre for the opening of there Scream Park. Upon conclusion of The Famous Monsters world tour at The Mt. Fuji amphitheater in Japan with Marilyn Manson, Japans premier rock n roll publication Burrn Magazine voted Michale Graves "Vocalist of the Year" and his song "Crying on Saturday Night" "Song of the Year". In that time The Misfits also released the third video for the song "Scream" that was directed by George Romero the same man who directed "Night of The Living Dead". Michale and the band appeared in Mr. Romero´s film "Bruiser" performing "Fiend Without a Face". Other film credits include Insane Clown Posses´ "Big Money Hustlas" released by Island Def Jam that held the nations #1 home video sales position for weeks. Vh-1 included The Misfits in its list of 100 greatest bands of All Time. Famous Monsters went on to become the biggest selling title ever for Roadrunner Japan.
Michale continued to tour as usual aside of the off days that were spent appearing and wrestling on Ted Turners´ WCWs´ Monday Nitro, Thursday Thunder and a pair of pay-per-views. He also appeared in WCW Magazine including a centerfold and exclusive write-up about the band and their wrestling partner Vampiro. That year Michale turned twenty-five and lived in Hawaii..
Roadrunner Records followed up Famous Monsters with a wonderful package of previously unreleased studio demos and out takes from the bands beginning in 1996 until 2001 called Cuts from the Crypt.
Since then Michale has spent time at Paramount Recording Studios in Hollywood, California producing bands for Hollowpoint Management as well as independently releasing a solo record entitled "Graves, Web of Dharma" supported by two American tours.
In April of 2003, Michale embarked on a new project called Gotham Rd. It was a departure from the musical style that defined Michale in the past and held true to a heavier Metal presence. Gotham Rd. has played hundreds of dates on the U.S. Club circuit performing and promoting a seven song EP that bears the same name as the band. In May of 2003 NJs´ premier college radio station, 89.5fm WSOU, Seton Hall´s Pirate Radio Station, charted the band at #30 after only several days of rotation. The bands single entitled, "Seasons of The Witch" shot to number 2 and held steady for weeks.
In January 2004, Michale helped found conservativepunk.com in which he also contributes and writes for. Michale has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Times, National Public Radio, WABC, Fox news, WLIB and USA Today and news outlets all over the world speaking and debating issues relating to pop culture, politics, counterculture, rock music and the entertainment industry. In October 2004, Michale addressed The Young Republicans Club of New York City and received a standing ovation. He was made an honorary member of the club and placed on their board of advisors.
In January of 2005 Michale Graves inked a deal to record and release his first solo record. The music embodied his return to his horror punk roots and was eagerly anticipated by the scene. A national tour followed as "Punk Rock is Dead" became an underground classic.
In January of 2006 Michale announced a 55 city spring tour to promote death row inmate, Damien Echols book called, "Almost Home". Graves´ "Almost Home Campaign", seeks to raise awareness, support and debate concerning the issues surrounding the West Memphis Three. In coordination with other activist groups both for and against the death penalty, Graves´ hopes to spark a national debate while seeking to find and cultivate justice somehow for the 3.
Michale has also just completed his first video since teaming up with legendary Horror Film director George A. Romero, which he wrote and directed, for the much anticipated, never before released song, "Butcher Shop".