“Graham Czach is already a music lifer…morphing from guitar-heavy, prog-rock jams like “Hurry Up and Wait” into more tender fare like “True Love,” a Paul McCartney-esque ballad bathed in lush strings.”
"Like a modern Howard Jones meets David Bowie... Czach is a musical artist of the first order, blending modern and progessive styles with pop hooks..."
“…any guy who can sound like both Thom Yorke and David Gilmour is one vocally versatile dude…I can hear a lot of Muse and Radiohead.”
“This is one of the best new voices in music.”
“We are stronger together, and few things exemplify this message more than Graham Czach's ONE HUMAN project — bringing together artists from all over the world to support UNICEF's lifesaving work.”
Graham Czach is an artist-activist and accomplished upright and electric bassist, composer, producer, vocalist, and guitarist.
Releasing his new full-length concept album Originalien on Ropeadope Records in 2023, the collection of 11 songs is not bound by any traditional convention. Started at the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, the album tells a sincere heartfelt story with larger-than-life musical arrangements featuring a host of all-star guests and collaborators, including GRAMMY nominated artist Rachel Eckroth, Angelo Moore of Fishbone, the Budapest Scoring Symphony Orchestra, drummer and artist Makaya McCraven, and many more.
When the pandemic stopped many musicians and artists in their tracks, Czach was inspired to dig deep and create something that would realize his passion to tell a story and make a difference through music once again. He started an ambitious project with the first song he wrote for the new concept album Originalien called “Come Home Again” which features 33 professional musicians and friends benefiting the COVID Musicians Relief Fund to help musicians out of work and in need. With the success of this endeavor, a flood gate of ideas and creativity opened up, taking him on a journey for the next ten months of writing, arranging, and organizing the “One Human” Project featuring a world orchestra and 123 Artists from 110 Countries benefiting UNICEF, which went on to break a world record for “Most Nationalities Contributing Vocals to a Musical Recording (Single Song)”.
“One Human” is a prime example of Czach’s purpose behind the album, which is to tell a collective story through music that no matter what our differences are, we must seek empathy and understanding for each other through the shared bond of co-existence and experiencing the human condition. “We are stronger together, and few things exemplify this message more than Graham Czach’s ONE HUMAN project – bringing together artists from all over the world to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work.”, says UNICEF.
The song and accompanying music video for “One Human” is an epic magical masterpiece that tugs at the heart strings and erases all borders literally and figuratively. It features performances by Senegalese legend Cheikh Lô, GRAMMY award winner Dobet Gnahoré, Juno award winner Alpha Yaya Diallo, Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Miss Bolivia Claudia Arce Lemaitre, Greek superstar George Perris, Japanese Taiko drumming group Yamato, and many more. Ethereal, euphoric and deeply spiritual, it is an example of world music at its finest. Written at a time when the very fabric of humanity’s existence was under threat, it is an astounding track that brought comfort at a moment when we needed it most. Czach explains the project, saying, "This song and video tell the story of all of us, and creates something special and unique in showing how we are so much stronger and better as a whole. By coming together as one, through compassion and the universal language of music, we can unite in a higher consciousness, as one people, to help solve our many crises in the world.”
From the musical melting pot of Chicago to the ethereal beauty of the Californian coast, Czach’s work is a stunning example of intricate sounds merged with a kaleidoscope of influences ranging from the jazz of Miles Davis to classical masterpieces by the likes of Debussy and Tchaikovsky to the classic rock of Led Zeppelin and the Beatles to the sounds of Fela Kuti’s afrobeat, James Brown funk, brooding singer-songwriters like Jeff Buckley, and beyond. Originally from the Windy City and now based out of Los Angeles, Graham has been releasing music for over a decade under various guises that have gone on to win awards and establish himself as an artist capable of anything and everything.
Fusing modern and progressive rock sensibilities with pop-like hooks, genre-bending arrangements and lush orchestrations, he defies classification as an artist with a unique sound all his own. According to the Chicago Tribune about Czach’s debut album Lucid (2010), “Graham Czach is already a music lifer… The album swings between polar extremes from guitar-heavy, prog-rock jams into more tender fare like “True Love”, a Paul McCartney-esque ballad bathed in lush strings.” From Czach’s live performances to his extraordinary studio and recording career, the dramatic and the brilliantly diverse soundscapes he delivers are complimented by the roster of incredible featured artists he collaborates with. He has garnered the respect of major music merchants as well, and has endorsements with D’Addario, Eden Amps, Fender, Guild, QSC, Mono Cases, and Souldier Straps.
“I’ve always been about breaking down barriers that separate people from each other and our true potential of coming together as a united global community, whether that be standing up for human rights or bringing people together of all kinds through the universal language of music.” He views his work as an extension of his inspiration and passion for helping people, explaining, “Any music, regardless of genre, that makes you feel something deeply and can change your life by inspiring you, healing you, or helping you take a step outside yourself and see things in a different way, including gaining a compassionate and respectful perspective, is the music that moves me the most and what I strive to create.”
Born in Chicago in the Summer of 1979, Graham’s music loving parents named him after the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Graham Nash of CSNY, and was raised on the classic rock of the 60’s/70’s, which he still cites as his main creative influences. Czach picked up the upright and electric bass at the age of 8 to play with his brother on guitar. He soon fell in love with all types of music and joined the orchestra and jazz band in school, going on to form a popular ska/rock band in the 90’s with drummer Kris Myers of Umphrey’s McGee called the Skalawags, selling out shows and getting offered a major label record deal with EMI. After the band rejected the offer, Czach continued his music studies with a scholarship to attend Illinois Wesleyan University where he graduated with a BM in Music Performance and Composition.
He returned to Chicago in 2002 and delved head first into the music scene making several albums, winning multiple Chicago Music Awards, and doing extensive tours with the Chicago Afrobeat Project. During this time, his experience and talent grew by performing with some of the best in music including GRAMMY winners Paul Wertico and Howard Levy, as well as forming a progressive jazz fusion trio with now acclaimed jazz artists Makaya McCraven and Greg Spero called GMG (Greg, Makaya, Graham) releasing a self-titled debut album in 2009 with subsequent touring.
The Chicago Music Award Winners 2010 debut album Lucid features Kris Myers (Umphrey's McGee) on drums plus brilliant artwork by album artist Jeff Jordan (The Mars Volta). Proceeds from the album release show were donated to Planned Parenthood of Illinois, who Czach partnered with for the event. Featured on WGN TV Morning News, the Chicago Tribune, and Chicago’s premiere LGBTQ+ newspaper, the Windy City Times noted, “Lucid contains the timeless "Keep You" and the sing-along-worthy "Gather Round."
Czach continued to hone his craft as a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist while writing music for his next record. Working from a palette that not only paints a picture of extraordinary textures, but also sends a socially conscious message that shines a light on what it means to be human, he was able to capture that ability to imagine the world through intelligent and empathetic eyes leading to collaborations and performances that have seen him in high demand by his peers.
He was featured on the Matt Nelson Trio album Nostalgiamaniac (2010) receiving 4-Stars in Downbeat Magazine, recorded double bass on GRAMMY winner Lupe Fiasco’s album Lasers (2011), and over the next few years performed and recorded with indie pop band Hey Champ, singer-songwriters Andrew Ripp and Jeff Goldford, and performed in an acoustic blues band with Big Head Todd and Chicago blues legend Ronnie Baker Brooks, which was featured on WGN TV News. Czach also shared stages with notable artists Les Claypool, Seun Kuti, the Wailers, and more, as well as recording on the debut album by Saint Asonia (2015) while working with GRAMMY nominated producer Johnny K. A standout moment for Czach was when he was invited by Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins to perform at his tea shop in Highland Park, IL, which Billy personally attended and then connected Czach with his producer/engineer. A “full circle” experience, Czach noted, drawing a lot of influence from Billy and the Smashing Pumpkins.
The critically acclaimed 2015 sophomore release Star By Star EP has songs co-produced by producer/engineer Bjorn Thorsrud (Smashing Pumpkins), Manny Sanchez (Fall Out Boy), and GRAMMY winner Greg Magers (J. Ivy). It also features Dylan McGee Jones (Gallant, Booker T) on guitar and Jonathan Marks (Dessa) on drums. Power Popaholic pronounced, “Like a modern Howard Jones meets David Bowie… Czach is a musical artist of the first order, and has both a solid voice and melodic gift, blending modern and progressive styles with pop hooks…” The EP was featured in LA Weekly, AXS/Examiner, Buzzbands LA, The Deli, PureVolume, and more. BVS Reviews stated that Star by Star, “…captured the essence of psychedelic 60’s music while wrapping it up in a modern rock package.”
In addition to his solo albums, after moving to Los Angeles, Graham formed Rebel Rampage in 2017, a protest rock power trio and released the debut full-length album Divided We Fall in late 2018 featuring Angelo Moore (Fishbone) and Emily Armstrong (Dead Sara). The album was recorded at the famed Rancho De La Luna studio in Joshua Tree, CA with owner Dave Catching (Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age) and mixed by 4-time GRAMMY winner Adam Kasper (Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden).
"Armed with words and music to resist oppression by the government and inspire change for equality and justice.", Czach cites as the band mission statement and elaborates in interviews with LATV and All Access, “It's our reaction to the outrageous corruption and darkness that has fallen over this country and is dividing it, hence the name of the album. I hope that people get charged up and inspired to make a difference and take action from listening to these songs in order to make this world and country a better, kinder, and fairer place to live. If we can change just one person's life with this music and make a positive impact, then our mission is a success. One person at a time.” The band toured the U.S. in 2019 and partnered with the ACLU of Southern California, which led to opening for Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) at the ACLU 100 Year Anniversary Celebration in Downtown Los Angeles.
Originalien is a culmination of Czach’s long and diverse career in music. In a magnum opus of grand design with an accompanying concept story in and around the lyrics, the album challenges controversial issues like science, religion, war, racism, and more through philosophical and abstract ideas with universal messages told via large scale, ornate, and deeply emotional arrangements and songs. The concept is about a man that is born remembering his past lives and knowing that the human being, soul, or consciousness is extra-terrestrial, inhabiting our organic bodies to survive on Earth. He goes through life trying to help humanity learn from history with important messages about our beings that he carries with him from across the universe in order to make the world a better place, before it's too late and humanity meets its fate.