Eric Granata and Martin Rubeo formed a last minute duo called Rubeo and Granata, to play Club Cafe before Man and the Arena and Estonian indie pop stars, Ewert and the Two Dragons. Both are former members of Pittsburgh band Gramsci Melodic. We caught up with lead vocalist and guitarist Eric Granata (wearing glasses). Granata has been a musician for over 15 years and is currently a production manager at MCG Jazz.
Sound Scene Express: We caught you with Martin Rubeo at Club Cafe. How long have you been performing as Rubeo and Granata?
Eric Granata: That show was our first being billed as Rubeo and Granata.
SSE: Will we be seeing a lot more of this duo?
EG: Potentially, it was kind of spur of the moment. We’ve played together for other
shows and were typically billed as some type of Gramsci Melodic redux. We haven’t
really made many plans to go out and grab gigs as a duo at the moment.
SSE: Is this a project you would want to turn into a full band?
EG: This pairing was more of a transition than anything. We played a couple of Gramsci
Melodic songs (that were rearranged from a full band), a few of my new originals
(which had yet to even be played on stage, but will hopefully get a full band to
play them) and a couple of covers for good measure. We would probably stay duo, but
that’s not to say that if we had a bigger show where a full band was needed, we
might assemble the troops up again.
SSE: What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week,
in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
EG: Our rehearsals for this show weren’t like normal rehearsals, we got together a
couple of times, picked a couple of songs we knew and then picked a couple of songs
of mine, played through them and Martin and I decided on parts to play to support
the other person.
SSE: Is there any new music on the horizon?
EG: I have written about 10 songs in the last couple of months and am in the process of
recording my first EP, which I am very excited to release.
SSE: Who are your major influences as a musician?
EG: To first pick up the guitar: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. I know that this
is such a cliche and cop-out answer, but I have so many influences that it is too
hard to start listing before it becomes a novel. I listen to such a huge range of
music and try to learn from everything I listen to. With my job, I get to see a lot
of amazing musicians and I try to ingest as much as I possibly can.
SSE: Where have you performed? What are your favorite venues?
EG: I’ve played in a lot of different places in the last 15 years. I enjoy playing all
kinds of venues and have had varying experiences in all different size places. Its
always a great time playing at The Park House on the North Side, and I had an
absolute blast when I was fortunate enough to fill in for a gig at a 76ers halftime
show in front of 20000 people.
SSE: Who is your favorite Pittsburgh band or musician?
EG: Joe Negri and Roger Humphries are two musicians that never fail to make me excited
about music and put a smile on my face when they play.
SSE: What do you think of the Pittsburgh music scene?
EG: I’ve been out of the loop as far as the music scene goes in the last couple of
years, but I’ve been slowly trying to get back in to it. There seems to be a nice
sense of community between a lot of bands and that is something that is extremely
encouraging. Especially as a budding solo artist!
SSE: You have done some work with Pittsburgh band Gramsci Melodic, are there
any plans for another reunion or new music?
EG: There are always rumblings about doing potential shows because it is so great to get
our awesome group of friends we’ve developed over the years back together and catch
up. As far as music goes, I don’t know. There are always rumblings. haha
SSE: Have you been in any other bands?
EG: I have played with a number of local artists over the years as a side-man guitar
player. Most recently with Mike Medved. That’s a great group of guys with some
really fun music to play and listen to. I also play bass in a polka band called
Madel Jager which is, at least to our knowledge, the only under 30 polka band in the
greater Pittsburgh area. We have a bunch of fun with that and come Oktoberfest
season, you can see us playing all over the area rockin our lederhosen!
SSE: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with
sample songs or a demo CD?
EG: Unfortunately, I have no way for fans to gain any access to my music or myself
besides just finding me on facebook right now. I’m working on making a cohesive release of
music/website/social media here in the near future.
Gramsci Melodic performing New Delhi