Local Noise: Graviteer

It may have been a circuitous route to get to the current lineup, but with the return to the band of guitarist Matt Basilotto and bass player Chris Dechert, Graviteer evolved into the energetic and exciting young band they were destined to be.

Originally known as Breathing Blue, Matt and Chris joined forces with Justin Sanford on keyboards and vocals, and drummer Tyler Moellmann. After starting the process of making a name for themselves on the local scene, they decided to leave the group, and Justin and Tyler recruited Rudy Meier to take their place. The band continued on with the writing process for their debut album, Inner Animal, but as the group began tracking, it was decided that something wasn’t quite right. They then asked Matt and Chris to return, which solidified the band’s lineup as a six-piece. With the recording of Inner Animal coming to a close, the band decided it was time to reach a wider audience, so they commenced a series of out of state shows, with plans to continue with longer stretches of shows out on the road in the near future.

Inner Animal is very much a rock record,” guitarist Rob Bost says. “It blends an impressive and creative intricacy of guitars with soaring, concise vocals and a rhythm section that manages to keep every last drop of your attention span.” The lyrics definitely are an integral part of what the band is trying to get across, with every member of the group making a contribution to the final product. “Lyrically, it deals with releasing the questions and emotions one would typically hide within him or herself, and the band’s songwriting reflects just that,” Rob continues. “An entirely collaborative effort wherein each member brings his own personality, inner struggle, and taste to the table, resulting in a very unique, but readily accessible chemistry.”

Rudy agrees that the final result stems from what each individual member is able to contribute. “Writing is a completely collaborative effort,” he says. “Someone will come up with an idea that acts as the foundation, and the rest of us expand upon that idea.”

The name of the album was also descriptive of that band ideal. “The name Inner Animal comes from the idea of your true self, who you really are inside,” Rudy relates.

Together, they have shared the stage with bands such as Chiodos, MGMT, Paramore, Jonny Craig, Automatic Loveletter, and many others. And they have a new single out as well, a fan favorite called “Watch Us Go.” Another popular song in the live shows is the title-track from the album, which Rudy considers one of the highlights of the live show. “I think ‘Inner Animal’ is a definite crowd pleaser,” he says. “It’s usually our set opener and it does a great job of getting the energy flowing. It’s also really fun to play.”

While the album is definitely a rock-oriented release, the group brings a varied background to the collaboration. “Our influences vary from member to member, so there are definitely too many to name,” Rudy says. “We love anything rock. Some of us are into hip-hop, jazz, electronic, and classical music as well.”

You might get a taste of what each of them bring to the table from their past endeavors on the Jersey music scene. Rob, Matt and Chris actually worked together previously in a band called Between Distant Lights. Tyler was in a band called The Boy Judas, while Justin was in a group called A Man’s All, and Rudy was a mainstay in Catch The Mouse. As such, Rob, Matt, and Chris have been working together for a long time, and the sound of Graviteer actually came about through the evolution of that earlier project, reaching its fruition in Graviteer.

With a future that appears to be heading in the right direction, the group manages to keep its eyes on the process of getting where they want to go. “I think our goal as a band, both musically and professionally, is to make music that we’re proud of,” Rudy states. “And to see how much we can accomplish by pushing it.”

You can find out more about Graviteer, including upcoming shows and information on their releases, at facebook.com/graviteer, or get in touch with the band by emailing fred@oblivionmm.com.