Chad Alan Gracey was born in the local hospital of York, Pennsylvania on July 23rd, 1971 exactly one week later than fellow band member Ed. Chad taught himself how to play the drums, without any lessons - he used to listen to records in hisl bedroom and tried to play what he heard. Chad always played drums with bare feet, something which he continues to do. Chad also played the saxophone for over 10 years, but unfortunately he has since forgotten. So a thrilling sax solo is something we won’t see him do anytime soon.
One month after he bought his first drum kit he and Patrick started working on setting up a band. Together with the other band members he graduated from William Penn High School in 1989. From that moment on his focus was fully on the band. In an interview Chad once mentioned that if he had gone to college he’d probably have become a doctor or parapsychologist. Besides that he said he was sure that one way or another he would’ve found his way in to music as that is where his heart is drawn to.
Chad comes across as a calm person: maybe he needed some time to get used to the life of a famous rock star. During his drumming he magically changes in to a very passionate musician and he totally gives himself on the drums. It’s therefore not a big surprise that White, Discussion and Lakini’s Juice are Chad’s favourite songs to play. And the recent ‘Sofia’ even inspired Chad for a very danceable intro to that song. During one show he uses about 10 pairs of drumsticks, but it also happens that he needs 3 pairs for only one song!
It’s said, Chad is the band member that’s mostly in the background (even literally on stage). But he doesn’t seem to mind that at all: ”I’m not jealous about all the attention Ed gets, I love my place out of the spotlight”, he says. When someone once asked him what talents you need as a drummer, he replied: ”Have a solid technique and don’t try to catch any attention. The drummer is the centre of the band, not its face.”
That is also emphasised during the The Distance to Here tour: for the first time we see Gracey put behind a glass ‘fish tank’. But he has a very good reason for that: the sound intensity on stage needed to be decreased dramatically and well Chad can’t really turn down a volume dial. Luckily he’s usually seen on the large video screen at the bigger venues, which gives you a great view on how intensely he plays the drums.
While Chad isn’t the most extrovert person in the band he does have several other important roles within the band. Chad explains:” I don’t really get myself involved in the process of song writing, but I do organize. Probably I’m the one in the band deciding if a song is getting on the record or not. I think of myself as the most critical: if I don’t like a song or can’t find the right drum beats with whatever the rest is playing, then I don’t want to have anything to do with the song. Ed and Chad Taylor sometimes have an idea that they are both very enthusiastic about, and if I then don’t like it they hate me for it. But most of the time it turns out to work out best for the band..”