John Patterson (guitar, backing vocals) and Patience Hodgson (lead vocals)
|Past members||Alana Skyring
The Grates are a three-piece indie rock band from Brisbane, Australia. The band consists of vocalist Patience Hodgson, guitarist John Patterson and current drummer Ritchie Daniell. The band was brought to national attention when a demo of their single "Trampoline" got air time on Triple J.
The Grates have released three studio albums since 2006, two with former drummer Alana Skyring and one with drummer Ben Marshall. The band is best known for their energetic and often sold out live shows.
John Patterson and Alana Skyring, who both attended Alexandra Hills State High School at Alexandra Hills, Queensland, had been good friends since Year 9, and they met Cleveland State High School student Patience Hodgson in year 12 at a drama class all three were attending at the Alexandra Hills TAFE to avoid physical education classes. Patience didn't discover that she had a singing voice until a night at a karaoke bar, when just as a joke, she performed "A Whole New World", from Aladdin. A month or two later, while watching rage together in 2002 she suggested to Alana and John that they form a band together. But just three weeks later, after a handful of rehearsals Patience travelled to Scotland for a year where she formed the idea of a two-piece band, Prix Divers, with her then-boyfriend. She kept sending back ideas for songs. Alana and John in the meantime played in bands Zombie Crime Boss and Clifton as well as forming a number of short-lived bands together and with others.
On her return, Patience started jamming with John and Alana again in John's family garden shed. Prix Divers performed various gigs for approximately a year, while at the same time The Grates were in their formative stages. They started performing under a different name every night. They thought they might trick audiences into thinking they were a new band instead of the same “shitty” one. But the Grates name stuck once people started hearing them. That happened in 2004 mainly through their sending a rough demo of the song "Trampoline" (featured originally in the Just Jeans "Shortcuts" TV ad), recorded on an 8-track recording with two cheap microphones in John's shed, to national youth network Triple J accompanied by a hand-written bio and press release.
The band has a distinctive style. All three members have a background in art and they design their own album artwork, posters, t-shirts and even socks. 
They released an array of limited edition recordings before releasing what is referred to as their debut EP, The Ouch. The Touch, in Australia on 14 February 2005. The EP received a United Kingdom release two months later via the Captains of Industry collective.
Their debut album, Gravity Won't Get You High, was released on 8 April 2006. It debuted at No. 9 in the ARIA charts and reached a peak of No. 9. It has also been released in the UK and the United States (June 2006). The first single off the album, "19 20 20", was released in March as a 7" and iTunes music download.
They have been growing in popularity since being invited to perform at the 2006 Big Day Out Australian leg. They also launched on a national tour in the first half of 2006 and have supported Sleater-Kinney on their 2006 Australian tour, The Zutons on their 2006 UK tour, The Young Knives in 2006, The Go! Team in 2005/2006 and Arctic Monkeys in their 2006 tour of Australia.
Four of their songs got into the Hottest 100 2006, entering the top 20 and top 10. "Lies Are Much More Fun" was No. 71, "Inside Outside" was No. 42, "Science is Golden" was No. 17 and "19 20 20" reached No. 10.
Their live DVD 'Til Death Do Us Party' was released on 30 April 2007. It was filmed at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne on 13 October 2006.
Their new album titled "Teeth Lost, Hearts Won" was released on 2 August, with the first single release, "Burn Bridges", released 5 July. As of August 2008, the album had peaked at number six on the ARIA Charts.
In January 2011, it was announced via the band's website that drummer Alana Skyring had left the band, and that The Grates would continue as a two piece. Drummer Ben Marshall joined the band in New York to finish recording their third album, and toured with the band in Australia in June-July 2011 on their sold out Secret Rituals tour with touring bassist Miranda Freeman, and on their Summer’s Breath tour later that year in October-November. Ben Marshall left the band in 2012 due to commitments back home in America.
Their third album "Secret Rituals" was released on 17 June 2011. The band revealed the first single 'Turn Me On' on Triple J on Friday 29 April 2011 and streamed it on their official Facebook page. "Secret Rituals" charted at number 11 on the ARIA charts. In Triple J Hottest 100 of 2011, their single Turn Me On charted at number 54.
The Grates took a hiatus from live shows in early 2012 to focus on the opening their cafe/bar Southside Tea Room. New drummer Ritchie Daniell, who also drums for Brisbane indie rock band The Trouble With Templeton, officially joined The Grates in 2013 as they required a drummer to play their live shows.
- Gravity Won't Get You High (2006) No. 9 AUS
- Teeth Lost, Hearts Won (2008) No. 6 AUS
- Secret Rituals (2011) No. 11 AUS
EPs and singles
- The Grates EP (2002)
- Crocodile EP (2003)
- Black Dog Black Dog EP (2003)
- Pyrate Kids EP (2003)
- Nightstick + Grates Double A-Side 7" (2004)
- Sukkafish 7" (2005)
- The Ouch. The Touch. EP (2005 on Dew Process, and on Captains of Industry (record label) in the UK) No. 77 AUS
- "19-20-20" 7" (2006)
- "Science is Golden" CD single (2006) No. 52 AUS
- "Burn Bridges" CD single (2008) No. 61 AUS
- "Aw Yeah" CD single (2008)
- "Turn Me On" digital single (2011)
- "Sweet Dreams" digital single (2011)
- Til Death Do Us Party: Live At The Forum (2007)
- Patience Hodgson – lead vocals (2002–present)
- John Patterson – rhythm guitar & lead guitar, backing vocals (2002–present)
- Ritchie Daniel – drums (2014–present)
- Touring members
- Dan Condon - keyboards (2008-2009)
- Miranda Freeman - Bass guitar (2011)
- Former members
- Ben Marshall – Drums (2011-2012)
- Alana Skyring - Drums (2002-2011)
Awards and nominations
- 2006 Australian Music Prize - Best contemporary music album (Gravity Won't Get You High)
- 2006 Jack Awards - Best Live Newcomer
- 2006 Triple J J Award (Gravity Won't Get You High)
- 2006 ARIA Award - Breakthrough Artist - Album
- 2006 ARIA Award - Best Cover Art
- 2007 ARIA Award - Best Music DVD ('Til Death Do Us Party')
- 2008 Triple J J Award (Teeth Lost, Hearts Won)
Southside Tea Room
In 2012, John and Patience opened Southside Tea Room, a bar/cafe located on Wynnum Road at Morningside. Southside Tea Room has received rave reviews since its opening and now hosts special events, such as markets, intimate gigs, and craft tutorials.
- Suraya Saleh, "The Grates are Doing Great", Bayside Bulletin (26 February 2009), http://www.baysidebulletin.com.au/news/local/news/general/the-grates-are-doing-great/1445288.aspx
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