In the world of modern hard rock, Grotto North sets themselves apart with a style that's been described as 'Metallica meets Godsmack meets Dave Matthews Band.' Throw in a long list of influences from Primus to Slayer, and including Classical, Jazz, and Eastern music, and you've got a band that's true to it's genre but different enough to stand out in the crowd. The band is the brainchild of guitarist Dave Pearson and bassist Greg Meyer, who started writing and playing music together casually in 1993. The two met in a Non-Western Music class, and both were looking for a heavy band where they could enjoy the freedom to shape a new sound around their widely varied musical tastes. After several years of on-and-off playing and numerous temporary lineups, the band was finally completed with the addition of drummer Dave Martinson in late 1997. Martinson brought a strong and focused work ethic to the group, and by April of 1998, the band was playing club dates and soon began recording for their first demo disc, aptly titled intro. As Grotto North grew into a hard-working, cohesive unit, the band found themselves in exciting new territory, opening for national acts like Roadrunner Records' The Step Kings and building a mailing list of hundreds of fans. Always ready to make the most of their opportunities, they also began to play local charity events for radio stations, free shows to all-ages crowds, and were the only band that weathered the 30-degree stage temperatures at a Western Michigan University outdoor event. The band's love for live performance even attracted the attention of Grammy Award-winning drummer and producer Narada Michael Walden at a show at Kalamazoo's legendary Club Soda. During the band's set, Walden (who distinguished himself with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and has produced numerous top-selling albums) asked if he could sit in with Grotto North. The resulting onstage collaboration was something the band would never forget, and served to boost both their credibility and ambition. As their first full album, Silence Broken, is released in 2001, Grotto North is concentrating on building it's fan base and expanding it's territory, playing regularly across Michigan and branching out into the regional market. The band is also gaining a following in places it has never been, thanks to the World Wide Web -- two consecutive singles have placed in the top 100 in their genre on mp3.com, and the Grotto North mailing list currently goes out to fans in over 40 cities in 3 countries. Nationwide U.S. retail chain distribution has been secured for the new album, and the band is looking forward to booking it's first small Midwest tours in the coming year.
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