Dean has given up attending horror film conventions since immigrating to New Zealand, focusing instead on his music … Grace Falls in particular. With an accessible rock sound that sits somewhere between the Goo Goo Dolls, Foo Fighters and Counting Crows, Dean says that everything surrounding the band's formation was guided by a magical intertwining that was equal parts coincidence and destiny. "We all crossed paths or connected in some way before Grace Falls without knowing it," he says. "I read about the band's assistant producer in the book that inspired me to move to New Zealand from Liverpool, England, without knowing I would end up working with him." It was while surfing MySpace that Dean was first impressed by a recording of Jesse O'Brien's vocals. This was before Dean realised that producer Regan McKinnon had already booked Jesse for a vocal session on the Grace Falls project.
The fateful blessings continued as Dean's wife won a sum of money on the television game show The Singing Bee … the exact amount needed to record Grace Falls' debut album Restless. "Those events and a lot of other strange occurrences surrounding us is such a phenomenon," Dean says. "Grace Falls could not have happened at another time but right now." Jesse, who subsequently became lead singer, and previously of NZ Idol fame (2005), expands on Dean's belief that Grace Falls was simply meant to be. "I was in a band called Saving MacGyver with drummer and radio announcer Blair Dowling, so we were already good friends when Grace Falls came about," Jesse says.
"Our bass player Jared Harper is Dean's boss at a CD store in Mt Maunganui, which is perfect when they need time off for our shows. Our keys player Paul Smith and I work together at a musical instrument shop in Hamilton, which is great for gear hook-ups!" Jesse lists vocalists Mike Patton and Chris Cornell as inspirational influences, as well as his wife Cat who is soon to appear on Wheel of Fortune along with Blair's wife Suzanne (Jessie has a hearty chuckle as the coincidences continue, describing Grace Falls as "the television game show band"). Like Dean, the tattooed and pierced Jesse isn't exactly a fallen angel either, but he certainly has a light side, bringing balance to the force having served his local community as a man of the cloth. Speaking of religion, drummer Blair Dowling began his percussion career at age 12 when his church bought a drum kit, despite the fact that nobody in the congregation could play drums. "They handed me some drumsticks and said, 'You're the drummer,'" he says, laughing about his on-the-spot initiation into the brotherhood of musicians. Paul Smith describes playing keyboards and piano in Grace Falls as "… a gift.
I'm grateful to be working with these guys. Music for me is an obsession. It's always evolving. It's my anchor, my reason to be excited in life." When asked about naming the band 'Grace Falls', Dean concludes, "The name just came to me after realising my past mistakes in life, and seeking forgiveness for those mistakes.
Everybody falls from grace some time, and I hope that, from the lightest through to the darkest of our songs, we can inspire others." Grace Falls is a band that has graciously fallen together. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..