GTPulse: Traverse City Band Remains Creative and Optimistic – ‘It’s just an obstacle to overcome’

What will you do to fill your time during the Stay Home Stay Safe order? I’m a fairly disorganized person and I have grand illusions of reorganizing my cabinets and closets, and hopefully working on a couple of creative, personal projects. Morgan Arrowood is going to be working on her favorite creative project; writing music for her local Traverse City band Little Graves.

“I’ve been doing music my whole life and I decided to do the college thing after high school. You know, not really believing in my musical prowess, I guess enough to pursue it professionally,” she said.

She found herself cooped up in her apartment, taking 17 credit hours and needed a creative outlet to break up the monotony. She wrote two songs during this time and showed them to longtime friend Vincent Grimaldi, who plays bass. They both enjoyed playing music and wanted to find others to play with them.

Vincent had a drummer in mind named Levi Garrett, and once they found a guitarist they started practicing regularly in Levi’s basement.

Little Graves got their first gig at Art Bomb, an annual local art show held at Right Brain Brewery every spring.

“It was our first gig, three years ago. We rehearsed a ton. It was so fun.”

The band had planned on playing this year’s Art Bomb, but will not be able to due to COVID-19 cancellations. Missing gigs like these has a trickle-down effect.

“We kind of foresaw that one so that one not being a paid gig is like not the biggest ordeal. But in terms of exposure, it is a big deal. You know, these gigs do lead to other connections and networking is super important. I think our first year the band, we played maybe six shows and then the next year we played like, 25. Each of these leads to another thing we do.”

They didn’t have many shows booked yet this year, but they were relying on finding bookings to support funding recording their music.

“Pretty much everything we make from shows goes into the band’s till. So we haven’t been able to book anything for the summer which has been a huge bummer.”

Musicians all over the world are getting creative with how they’ll still make money, with many of them live streaming themselves playing music.

“I just watched a stream last night, and people were tipping which was cool, but we’re still in our infancy. So I guess if you’re on a national scale that’s something you can do to pay your bills, but probably not for us and our stature as a band right now.”

They may not have national recognition right now, but Morgan was still pleasantly surprised at some support the band has received. She made a post about how times were going to get tough for the band and provided a link to their Bandcamp site where they had stickers for sale.

“I was really surprised but it actually made enough money to cover one of our studio sessions. People do care.”

The band members won’t be able to rehearse together for now, but Morgan is going to use this time to write music and practice for when they can all reunite.

“We’re trying to stay optimistic. We’re not going to say this is going to hinder us in any way, it’s just an obstacle to overcome.”

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Categories: GTPulse