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Meet Ace McCormack, Mike Dutko and Leah Bluestein of Groundlift

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ace McCormack, Mike Dutko and Leah Bluestein.

Ace, Mike and Leah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Mike: Groundlift really started in the Fall of 2016 when Ace and I met Leah Bluestein when we moved into school for the first time. Ace and I had been writing songs and jamming together since high school and we were looking for a drummer who had the same vision and taste as us. We loved writing music that was diverse because we were in love with so many different bands. From Oasis to Slayer to Yes to The Beatles, we seriously love it all. Writing a nice melody is the one constant priority throughout all of our songwriting. We wanted someone who could play drums like Dave Grohl, Neil Peart, Ringo Starr, and Tre Cool and we found exactly that in Leah and more! It has been the three of us ever since, playing shows in the New England area and writing songs. We have released several singles and a full-length album on Spotify. Once COVID is over we hope to start playing around the country, especially the West Coast.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As far as within the band, it has been a very smooth road. We are not one of those bands where there is constant tension within the creative process. All of our writing is extremely collaborative and we all contribute heavily. Most of the songs start with Ace having an idea and we build off it, but we do it many different ways. We are all super enthusiastic about the band and have a great chemistry both onstage and off. One thing that has been difficult though is how hard it is to get noticed these days. We have been a band for many years and are more determined than ever but have had a tough time really getting noticed, mostly because of how oversaturated the music industry is. We know that thats out of our control though, and all we can do is keep grinding and getting better individually and also as a group.

Please tell us more about Groundlift. What else should we know?
We feel that we’re unique because we have such a wide variety of styles within our music. We have songs that are really heavy metal/hard rock, other songs that are really nice and poppy, songs that are progressive, and much more. We never want to put ourselves in a box and are willing to entertain any idea that one of us brings to the table. Trying new things is something we really pride ourselves on, all the while staying true to our vision of having a nice melody that people can sing along to. We also put a big emphasis on our individual musicianship so that we have the technical facility to try anything we come up with. Rehearsing and practicing individually and together often is very important for our process.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Probably the first time Ace and I ever jammed together. I went over his house when we were sophomores in high school and we jammed a bunch of Nirvana together. He played guitar and I played drums, it wasn’t pretty. It was the start of something really great though and we’ve had a mutual goal ever since. I never would have guessed him and I would still be together all these years later still writing songs and playing.


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Image Credit:

Anna MacDonald & Grace Cook

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