Sunday, October 26, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Band is Self Centered in a good way

selfcentered

By
March 24, 2011 |

To make it in the music industry, you have to believe in yourself. This is especially true of the five local guys in the up-and-coming rock band, Self Centered.

The band was founded in 2008 by brothers Blake and James Grafton, both Davis High School grads. With Blake on vocals and James on drums, they recruited three bandmates from Winters — Ellis White (rhythm guitar, scream), Jimi Guerrero (lead guitar) and Ron Lewis (bass, backup vocals).

Self Centered will perform at 9 p.m. Friday at JJ’s Saloon, 318 Railroad Ave., in Winters; (530) 795-4640, http://www.myspace.com/jjssaloon. The show is $5 at the door. The proceeds will go toward the band’s first tour. Self Centered is hitting the East Coast in support of the platinum-selling band Hawthorne Heights.

“It’s going to be insane for us,” Blake Grafton said in a recent phone call. “Hawthorne Heights were a huge influence on us. Now we’re touring with these guys.”

How did an unsigned band land this deal?

“I wrote a letter to their booking contact,” Grafton said. “I thought, what’s the harm in asking advice from people you want to emulate? I got an email back from their singer, JT. He liked our stuff and invited us on.

“We’re the only band on the tour that’s not on a record label,” Grafton continued. “It’s a little more stress and a little less sleep, but we get to call the shots. We’re a do-it-yourself band. We work hard. We’re not in it for the wrong reasons.”

The band released its debut album, “Bleeding My Dreams,” in 2009. With heavy guitars, mosh-worthy breakdowns, catchy hooks and melodic vocals, the songs appeal to fans of punk, metal and rock.

The band is working on a follow-up EP at Fat Cat Studios in Sacramento. Grafton said the band is “in the process of growing as artists. It’s about expanding your influences to make them your own and fit what you currently like.

“Hawthorne Heights were a big influence in mid-2000. Now we have more influences. We’re phasing out some of the more hard-core stuff and moving in a more pop direction.”

It’s a smart move; the catchy and melodic elements will stand out in the crowded hard-core scene.

“We want to stand out,” Grafton said. “There’s definitely still a hard-core influence in our riffs and underlying screams, but we’re liking the cleaner sound more and more. We’re writing better choruses and things are getting catchier.”

This new direction is paying off; the band’s covers of Paramore’s “CrushCrushCrush” and Ke$ha’s “We Are Who We Are” are turning heads.

“We wanted to try something poppy,” Grafton said. “The Ke$ha cover is approaching 5,000 views on YouTube.”

It’s attracting a whole new audience: “It’s no longer friends of friends,” Grafton added. “We got people from Canada. We also had people from Spain asking if we’ll tour out there! That song was a turning point.”

A standout element of the band is Blake Grafton’s vocals. He figured out his singing style while working with the band.

“The bands I listened to, their words and melody meant a lot to me,” he said. “I wanted to share a message I had with other people. It wasn’t that I wanted to be the best singer.”

Grafton said he has been learning and growing as an artist: “I feel more confident in my singing. All of us have more confidence.”

With the state of the music industry in limbo, Self Centered isn’t taking the old route to success.

“Everyone’s strapped for cash these days,” Grafton said. “From what I’ve read and heard from other bands, record labels aren’t signing unless you’re on tour six months out of the year and already making a living. We’re trying to figure out what’s trending.

“The trend now is getting placements and music in commercials. If a good deal came from a record label, we’d do it. But if we had to change anything, we wouldn’t.”

It’s refreshing to hear such maturity from a group of guys in their early 20s. But while they work hard, they also like to have fun.

“We’re not epic party animals but we like to have fun after shows,” Grafton said. “We’re really social guys. We’re all pretty down-to-earth and approachable.”

Grafton encourages people to come out Friday and support the band.

“We’re playing old favorites for the fans and brand-new stuff,” he said.

For only $5, you’ll be helping Self Centered get to Ohio, where the band starts the tour.

“Anything extra you want donate, we won’t say no,” Grafton said.

Comments

comments

Landon Christensen

.

News

Gardner jurors hear of alleged shooting motive

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Ballantyne reaches pinnacle of cycling world

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Once starving, rescued dogs ready for new homes

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Benicia sees cash in crude oil; neighbors see catastrophe

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Early voting alters campaigns’ strategies, costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Cops arrest alleged fighting foursome

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A2

 
Woodland woman ID’d as Sacramento crash victim

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Sunder adds to lead in school board money race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

 
Kids ready to trick-or-treat for UNICEF

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

‘Heart to Heart’ examines sustainability

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Candidates eye district’s real estate assets

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Grivetti shares observations of Vietnam

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

New tool identifies high-priority dams for fish survival

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Winters Library marks anniversary with open house

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

UC medical centers step up to treat Ebola cases

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Whee!

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A4

 
At the pond: Landing close to home

By Jean Jackman | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
‘Prized Writing’ anthology marks 25 years

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

A honey of a market at Sutter

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Her counter-reformation has stalled

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Old dog trying new tricks (gulp) speaks out

By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

 
Get the flu vaccine for your child

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

David Fitzsimmons cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Pair are supremely qualified

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Dodd has a track record

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Our view: Justices need voters’ support

By Our View | From Page: A10

 
Her heart’s in the right place

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Archer, Adams for school board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Vote no on Prop. 1 and tell lawmakers to get it right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

Two good measures for state’s long-term health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

League champion Devils golfers looking for more

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

 
Blue Devils drop a double-overtime thriller

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Fantastic finish for DHS field hockey team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies tie two records in 0-0 decision with Sac State

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sabres squeak by Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

JV Devils lose on late PGHS touchdown

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

 
Giants offense explodes for 11 runs to tie Series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Sports briefs: O’Keeffe comes up huge for DHS harriers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Mocha Joe’s to close; center expansion planned

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
Cunningham Engineering adds new leadership as it celebrates 30 years

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Waldie Owen

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, October 26, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8