Beloved St. Petersburg rock band The Grapes have a show Saturday, July 16 at Tampa’s Hooch and Hive, and they’ll also have a new album to share with fans.
Yesterday, the band led by Alexander Charos announced the band’s surprise third album, Fates of waxscheduled for September 30, 2022. The songs on the 12-track album, however, date back to 2016 when the country was still emerging from the wake of elections.
Charos described this period as a strange time for the band, which was not playing due to an injury to its drummer, Alexander’s brother, Philip Charos, and the relocation of bassist from Grapes, Tom Dicks. Only he and guitarist Dr. Chase Swan were active in the band.
“The local scene was in transition as St Pete lost 90% of its music venues to a wave of development and gentrification. With nowhere to play and no rhythm section, I dove into writing “, explained Charos in an announcement.
But in the spring of 2018, Charos flew in longtime Grapes friend and collaborator Jeremy Mendicino to play drums and whittle down the album’s potential tracklist. They spent a week tracking drums to tape at Yoko Phono studios in Charos and when Mendicino left, Dicks flew out to track bass for another week.
“I know some of us were really struggling emotionally, so these sessions were a really good time to connect and be creative together again,” Charos added.
Work continued here and there for a few months, but stalled due to an inability to meet and practice and then play shows. Fates of wax slipped out of sight for Charos as his psych-surf band The Venus gained momentum, giving him an outlet to play and spin behind the music just for fun.
“At one point, the heavy emotional content of the Grapes songs was something I actively avoided. Looking back, I think I needed some separation from those songs to be able to heal from some trauma,” Charos said.
Will Philip on the mend and Dicks back in town, The Grapes started playing again. Charos knew he had to finish these songs before the release of Grapes’ fourth album later this year.
“This record is old to us, but new to you. A time capsule of some of our most difficult years,” Charos wrote. “I hope you dig, I hope you heal, see you soon”