2002 – present (16 years)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
The Grates are a three-piece band from Brisbane, Australia. Patience Hodgson (vocals), John Patterson (guitar) and Alana Skyring (drums) formed The Grates in 2002, with Skyring eventually departing to peruse her passion for culinary arts and Ritchie Daniell taking her place.
The Grates have been lauded for their catchy songs and enthusiastic and energetic live show (Patience spends much of the show bouncing around, while singing). They are frequently described as fun: "We just wanna have fun and hope other people do too." (Patience). Their sound has been compared to the Ramones, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Be Your Own Pet.
The band has a distinctive style. All members have a background in art and they design their own album artwork, posters, t-shirts and even socks.
The Grates released an array of limited edition recordings (The Grates EP (2002), Black Dog Black Dog (2003), Pyrate Kids (2003) and Crocodile (2003)) before releasing what is referred to as their debut EP, The Ouch. The Touch, in Australia on 14 February 2004. The EP received a United Kingdom release two months later via the Captains Of Industry collective.
In 2005 the buzz surrounding the band only grew, with festival performances at the Big Day Out, Meredith, Falls Festival and Homebake. The Grates performed at the 2006 Big Day Out Australian shows. They also launched their own a national tour in the first half of 2006, after supporting The Go! Team in 2005 and The Zutons on their 2006 UK tour. In March 2006 they played at the South by Southwest trade music fair in Texas.
Their debut album, Gravity Won't Get You High, was released in April 2006. It debuted at #9 in the ARIA charts and reached a peak of #9. It was also slated for release in the UK and the United States (June 2006). The first single off the album, "19-20-20", was released in March as a 7" and iTunes music download.
Their second album, Teeth Lost, Hearts Won, was released in August 2008, with the first single "Burn Bridges" released earlier in July 2008.
The band's drummer, and one of three co-founders, Alan Skyring, left the band in 2011 to study culinary arts in New York. The band continued as a 2-piece, often inviting guest musicians to fill in for Skyring during the live shows.
The band released its third album Secret Rituals in 2011, and then announced they would be parting ways with their label Dew Process.
In 2014, The Grates announced they would be recording a new album to be released through their own own independent label, Death Valley, with Ritchie Daniell officially joining the group on drums. Dream Team was recorded in just 2 weeks, and released the same month, with the band citing they were unsatisfied with the process of "albums collecting 6 months of cerebral dust in our heads, before an audience gets to finally hear it".
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