Originally hailing from Orlando, Florida, Grin, Cynic (meaning: lighten up you judgmental individual) is a hard rock band that was founded in late 1990’s when Songwriter/Guitarist/Singer Mike Lee submitted an original three song demo tape to an independent record label for consideration. The label was impressed and asked Mike to put together a band and then get into their recording studio and record a full-length album. The band went on to record a nine song CD titled “Demonstration” and quickly made some noise in the city of Orlando. Additionally, they had the opportunity to appear on the Howard Stern show and play live. That along with a televised live performance at New York City’s famous CBGB’s helped Grin, Cynic start to put their name on the map. But, like a lot of bands, after touring and nonstop shows, the band started to go in different directions musically and eventually the boys went their separate ways.
Mike kept close with Marc (original singer) throughout the years and in 2017 Mike learned that Marc suffered a massive stroke and was permanently disabled. This was quite shocking news, so Mike turned his focus to putting Grin, Cynic back together in his city of Palm Beach, Florida by recreating and bringing to life some of the cool riffs and melodies that never made it to the original album. “I am so happy that Mike is carrying on the Grin, Cynic name, and the music is living on!” said Marc. Unfortunately, Marc passed away shortly after, but Mike was gifted with Marc’s book of poems and lyrics, which then inspired Mike to begin recruiting new band mates to head back into the recording studio with. Among these band mates were veteran guitar player Sean Young, who had recently completed a tour of the darkest dankest corners of Europe. He was soon followed by drummer Raffi Lamardo, who brought along a Venezuelan style rhythm over his powerful beats. Greg came to Grin, Cynic with a thumping bottom end bass sound and with low end harmonies. When Mike began writing and recording for the first of the new music, he hooked up with singer, songwriter and producer James “Wamo” Wamsley (Daybreak Embrace, Lucid Drive) It was like magic when both Mike and James started to write and record. Songs were coming together naturally. James became like the 6th member of Grin, Cynic co-writing, producing, and even coming on the road to live shows. In August of 2023 the boys asked James to front the band and take over the role of lead singer. He eagerly accepted. Mike, James, and Greg have such a diverse vocal range that 3-part harmonies come almost naturally. This was a game changer and what has separated Grin, Cynic from the typical original rock bands out there today.
It is almost as if the universe was giving this project a second chance at life and the new lineup not only had a lot of similarities to the original members, but also shared in the same strong sense of creativity and ball busting camaraderie. With a couple singles under their belts with the new line up, the band gained some new attention from radio and press which caught the eye of Pavement Entertainment. The band is currently finishing up an LP to be released and marketed by the label. Stay tuned for the LP release date, touring, and other exciting things from Grin, Cynic. A band that never says die and was put here to deliver good honest Rock Music to the masses.