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Graham Vinson of GENTLEMEN OF TRAGEDY – “Heavier than elephant titties”

Formed in 2017, Gentlemen of Tragedy is the brainchild of Graham Vinson, hatched over the course of a promising solo song-writer career and needing an outlet for heavier material. After years of internal debate, Graham’s vision would not be contained and the process began. After a short search, the foundation for this vision was laid beginning with writing partner and co-founder Jeromy Smirnoff on bass. While the sound and songs developed, it took a little longer for the rhythm section to fill out. Finally, with the addition of local veteran Jonny “Hi-Hat” Shidler, the band quickly gained steam, their cumulative approach derived from the roots of the 916 underground sound (spanning a plethora of genres,) designed to be heavy, independent, fun, adaptable, beautiful, intentional, tasty, and… heavy.

 

How did you first get into music, who or what turned you on to heavy metal and did you ever enjoy, r&b, hip hop or country?

I first got into music via my folks. They had great taste in music. Hendrix, The Police, Zeppelin, James Taylor, Peter Gabriel.
I come from a family of musicians so I soaked up a lot. I still enjoy Hip-Hop a ton. I’m not understanding the new generation of rappers but I’m trying. Things like Outkast, Method Man, Redman, DMX, 2Pac. There is a tinge of it in our music. I love old country music. Cash, Williams the 1st, Willie Nelson…Rebel Country..not pop country.

Who was your first rock concert, do you have vivid recollection of it and have your parents always approved?

It was Van Halen summer tour 1993. Last tour with Sammy Hagar. I was a huge VH fan when I was younger so seeing them was the tits. I can still smell the weed in the air of Cal Expo..lol. As for parental approval my Dad took me to that show. By the next year I was seeing Metallica and Slayer with my friends. Thats was magical to have parents that never censored me in any way.

What was the first music bought with your own money and how did you acquire your first instrument? What is your most prized music collectible?

I remember this vividly. It was 2 CD’s and one cassette from The Warehouse music chain in So-Cal. The CD’s were Public Enemy- Apocalypse ’91 and Metallica’s black album. The cassette was Faith No More- The Real Thing. That’s actually a great combo of what we are doing now. I have a new main guitar which is an ESP prototype and is my current prized possession.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

I loved music in a way I never loved anything before. So when I was 12 I borrowed my friends older brothers guitar. A $15 dollar sears special. It wouldn’t ever stay in tune. No joke. But after playing that for a years my parents were willing to invest in a Mexican Fender Squire Strat and a 10′ Crate practice amp and I haven’t stopped.

How did you become singers, bassists, guitarist’s and drummers and who are your main influences?

We all come from different but similar backgrounds. We all have done the million local bands and side projects. We all have done cover band stuff for the cash. We are influenced by ton of bands from 15 to 20 years ago. But especially Sacto bands like Deftones, Far, Will Haven….that distinct 916 metal sound from years past….but evolved.

How much has the local scene changed since you started playing in bands?

So much yet its still super recognizable. A lot of venues are in flux right now. Probably more than ever.

What does heavy metal or hard rock mean to you?

Freedom…Excitement…Liberation…Healthy agression…Empathy….Love….Emotion..Sexuality..dedication…hope.

How would you best describe your sound?

Groove based heavy tunes that have a beautiful, bittersweet sound involved. Some tunes are like a sledge hammer…but its all heavier than elephant titties.

What kind of gear is bringing us the Gentlemen Of Tragedy sound?

Jonny is playing DW kits with various hardware and X-CEL drum sticks. Jeromy is playing all line 6 gear with LTD 5 string basses. I play Fender and LTD 6 string guitars. LTD Baritone Guitars with Peavy amps and cabs and Line 6 effects.

How soon can we expect to see Gentlemen Of Tragedy live and/or hear some recorded music?

We are planning out first show in early Feb 2020 and music to soon follow

Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months and all time?

In the last 12 months I have no idea….I couldn’t name 12 albums that I own from the last 12 months…lo. All time???
Graham says “Pantera- Far Beyond Driven” “Del Tha Funkee Homosapien- Both Sides Of The Brain” ” Machine Head -The More Things Change” “Faith No More- Angel Dust”

Jeromy says “Helmet- In The Meantime” “Beastie Boys- Check Your Head” “Nirvana- Nevermind” “N.W.A- NFL”

Jonny says “Linkin Park- Hybrid Theory” “Linkin Park- Meteora” “Alice In Chains- “Dirt”

GENTLEMEN OF TRAGEDY IS
Graham Vinson- Guitar/ Backing Vox
Jeromy Smirnoff- Bass/ Backing Vox
Jonny Hi-Hat – Drums/ Backing Vox
P.D.L.- Vocals

GENTLEMENOFTRAGEDY.COM

FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM #Gentlemenoftragedy
(916)595-7580

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