Timothy Robert Graham is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, mixer, and songwriter based in Seattle, Washington. He runs a tiny recording studio out of a secret warehouse loft by the city sport stadium in SODO and he also writes, records and performs with friends along the West Coast of America. Music is in Timothy’s blood as his grandfather, Robert Drasnin, was the music director for CBS where he composed incidental music for The Twilight Zone, Mission: Impossible, Hawaii 5-0, and other popular TV shows. As a jazz musician in the 50s his grandfather adopted the symbolic all black uniform. As a toddler, Timothy refused anything but black clothes as an act of admiration for the man who inspired him to become a writer.
In high school, Timothy was obsessed with hardcore and punk music, picked drums and bass and would travel by any means necessary to go see a show. For college, he turned this teenage fascination into a more serious endeavour by studying music production and recording. Once he moved into Seattle he had a hard time finding a band, so he decided to record a few demos on his own to pass around at parties and shows. In his own words, “I was shameless. But I was also lonely, so I didn’t really have much to lose.” Later, he made a bunch of DIY music with friends and played all over town, but eventually he realized that his efforts and commitment was a little different than a lot of people who just wanted to party and hang out. He began the search for some mentors and people to help open a few doors that he couldn’t seem to pry open. Eventually he joined a touring band that practiced three nights a week and finally felt like he had a little music community that was interested in really putting in the work as songwriters and musicians.
The band he had been touring with, Motopony, was keeping Timothy busy, but still he felt the need to have a solo project where he could fully express my ideas. The well-known DJ Marco Collins had rated one of those self-made records as the “best of the year”. This gave Timothy the boost he needed to invest more into his own music, especially as he used to tape Marco’s radio show so he could listen to it on the bus ride into school. In 2018, he connected with a friend who was the producer for Pedro The Lion (David Bazan) and when they got together it took about ten minutes to realise that he was the right person to refine his vision and meet those sonic goals. When the covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Timothy was forced to take a break from touring and switched his focus to production and mixing work. Since then, the last three years have been non-stop and he’s been able to work with a ton of talented artists.
Despite the success of Timothy’s studio, he’s still the same kid he’s always been. As he states, “I need to express myself, be on a stage, travel, make new friends, and feel like I’ve been accepted by the freaks and punks. So, until the wheels fall off I’ll be sharing songs and hoping for that wonderful feeling of connection at the end of every show.” He has two brilliant musicians involved in the project and he often ends up playing shows with the artists and bands that he works on production for. Ultimately, Timothy Robert Graham’s music is all about building a community in Seattle and pursuing a lifelong dream.
Back in 2021, Seattle-based multi-instrumentalist, producer, mixer, and songwriter Timothy Robert Graham released his Could Be Better EP, a bittersweet take on the years battling through the pandemic, away from touring and collaborating with others. Now, the musician is delivering his counterpoint with the satirically titled EP, Could be Worse, featuring three new singles ‘Get Me Out Of Here’, ‘Till There Was You’ and ‘These Days’. Together the two EPs come as a light-hearted reminder that not everything needs to be perfect, whether that’s with songwriting, another form of creativity or daily life. For listeners, it’s a cue to focus on the silver linings and choose gratitude whenever you’re losing perspective.
Timothy Robert Graham recorded the Could Be Worse EP between his home and a warehouse studio sequestered away in Seattle’s industrial district SODO. The first track that came to the fore is ‘Get Me Out Of Here’, initially written as a cathartic release during those long, languid days of the 2021 pandemic. Although, beyond that experience, this single will strike a chord with anyone who is missing travel and community, or feeling the need to escape when the walls are closing in.
Here, Timothy summarises the inspiration and context behind ‘Get Me Out Of Here:
“When life feels meaningless or monotonous I think it’s easy to check out or cope with entertainment or drugs. But I think it’s really important to also learn a way to feel your feelings and get grounded. I started getting mild panic attacks over the pandemic and convinced myself I was going to actually have a heart attack. So, I started running. At first I could only run a mile. But little by little I noticed I could run further and further without needing to stop. It doesn’t matter how you get out of your head, but getting outside has been really good for me. I cook most days, get to the beach by my house most weeks, and still find so much joy in listening to records and making music. I hope my song inspires someone to go outside and also create their own healthy coping mechanisms. Being healthy is fucking awesome. You can use that extra energy to create stuff or play and feel like a kid again. If someone could please make a skate video to Get Me Out of Here my life will feel super meaningful.”
As for the other two tracks on the EP, ‘Till There Was You’ is a love song for friends, designed like a typically romantic song, but conveying that intense appreciation one has for friends who can stand by you in thick and thin. For this one, Timothy recruited Ash Negal (they/them), who fronts the band TV Star, to sing harmony and to help finish the song.
The third and final track is the musician’s own take on the 1967 single ‘These Days’, first recorded by Nico, then later re-recorded by Jackson Browne, before later being popularised as one of the soundtracks to Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. Featuring the country-tinged voice of Lerin Herzer, this cover took years in the making until Timothy was finally happy with it. This song also holds a special meaning to the artist, who relates to the fear of trying again, whether that be in love or life.
All in all, when these three singles come together in Could Be Worse, they signify coming over a tough couple of years for Timothy Robert Graham. However, this release also represents how things are now looking up; the music community is coming back together and Timothy is once again creating with the people he loves.
SOURCE: Official Bio
Featured image by Will Harvey.