As most of you have heard by now, Michael Grant died on May 31st. It’s still painful and hard to accept. His obituary has been posted in the Greenwich Time. It’s a nice tribute. Here it is:
MICHAEL DONALD GRANT III, age 39, died peacefully surrounded by family on May 31st in Los Angeles CA from a cerebral hemorrhage and complications of liver disease. Actor, vocalist, songwriter, lyricist and sports fan. Loving son of Betsy and Michael Grant of Greenwich CT, brother of Andrew, Luke, and Bettina McCarthy, Uncle to Wim and Avery McCarthy, Barlow Grant and Godfather to Avery. Namesake of his grandfather, the late M. Donald Grant, a co-founder of the New York Mets, he was a devoted follower of the NL baseball club. He also adored NHL hockey, and cheered for his adopted hometown team, the Los Angeles Kings. He attended Brunswick School and Trinity-Pawling School before graduating from Greenwich High School in 1991. He then was accepted for the two year program at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, and after completion toured the country as the Genie in a national production of “Aladdin”. He then moved to L.A. and began actuating his life-long love affair with the heavy metal music genre. As lead vocalist for the metal bands “Legend Maker,” “Onward” and “Crescent Shield” he was known for his rich and powerful baritone, and the passion with which he infused his music. He will also be remembered for his gift for comedy, his spot-on impressions of friends and associates, his warm and gentle nature, and his consistent effort to create a smile on everyone he came upon. A memorial mass will be held at St. Michael the Archangel Church, 469 North Street, Greenwich, CT on Thursday June 14th at 11:00 am.
I’m sure there are few Crescent Shield fans chuckling at the thought of Mike as the Genie in Aladdin! The guy sure had multiple talents. Besides the CT memorial, we are also planning a memorial for Michael around Los Angeles which will probably take place in July. More information forthcoming.
I would sincerely like to thank all the fans and friends of Michael that have offered condolences to both Michael’s family and me and the band. The outpouring of love and respect for Mike from music outlets, blogs, forums, and social sites has been amazing. It’s heartwarming to be part of such a wonderful community of caring, like-minded music fans. My respect for the heavy metal community has increased many times over.
Some people have asked if Crescent Shield will find a new singer and continue. No. However, I mentioned that Michael and I had been writing material for another album. What I want to do is release this material. I have demo recordings of eight songs with me on the guitar and bass, a drum machine, and Michael singing. On seven of them, the vocals are recorded in good quality. On one song the vocals are horrible quality; my recording computer died and we had to improvise. I would like to rerecord the music with the rest of the band and use Mike’s vocal tracks; and rerecord the vocals on the one poor sound quality song. A guest vocalist will do that. This will be the last new music Crescent Shield will ever release. I know Mike would be happy his last songs were properly and professionally released.
Here is a demo recording of one of the songs Mike and I wrote a while back called Flags of Thunder. This song was inspired by our fallen musical heroes especially Ronnie James Dio. Mike’s eloquent lyrics describe how we miss our fallen heroes and how we carry on their musical tradition; carry the flags of thunder. It’s so sad and ironic that Mike is now one of those fallen heroes.
Today I have lost a dear and close friend, a band mate, and a heavy metal brother. Michael Grant passed away on May 31, 2012 at Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, CA after a relatively brief but serious illness. He was 39 years old. He was peaceful and surrounded by family at the time of his passing. Michael recorded and toured with several bands throughout his career most notably Onward on Century Media Records and more recently Crescent Shield on Cruz del Sur Music.
Michael’s rich and powerful baritone and clean melodic vocal style made him a distinct voice in heavy metal. He was known for crafting memorable vocal hooks and layered harmonies. He often weaved multiple vocal phrases together creating a complex and striking tapestry of vocal melodies. Perhaps most notable however was the passion Mike sang with. He could evoke the strength and grandiloquence of the mightiest metal warrior or the mournful atmosphere of a passing life.
Mike was more than just a singer though. He was a greatly talented songwriter and lyricist. Although he didn’t play an instrument, he would often write complete songs by humming guitar lines and vocalizing drum beats. His lyrics were profound, evocative and often personal. He was a true lover of heavy metal and would sing its praises with a sense of poetry and grandeur. No matter the topic: journeys into the unknown, the choices we make in life, religious dogma, or a crimson moonrise, Mike always delivered a moving message with unique elegance.
Writing, recording, and performing music with Mike in Crescent Shield was a joy. We were in synch creatively and complimented each other’s abilities very well. We produced music for the love of it. We performed for the love of it. Crescent Shield’s pinnacle performance at Keep It True 08 in Germany was a dream come true for both of us.
Working with Mike was the most creatively rewarding experience of my life. Although the band has been on hiatus for a while, Mike and I still were writing new material and his voice and creative energies were still in top form. Losing him at such a young age is both shocking and tragic. I will miss my musical companion, my metal brother, and my friend.
Memorial plans and gift/donation designations have not yet been arranged. Please check back soon for more information.