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Brecksville, Ohio, United States | SELF

Brecksville, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Rock Metal


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Gravity @ Stampers

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Gravity @ Peabodys Concert Club

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos



What happens when you mix a guitar player from Brecksville, a bass player from Broadview Heights with a drummer and a keyboard player from North Royalton?

You get the 11th annual 2007 Mountain Dew MDX High School Rock Off winners Gravity, an all-instrumental, progressive rock band started by Eric Potapenko of Brecksville.

Potapenko, 16, performs lead and rhythm guitar and said he has been playing for about five years.

"I always used to play as a solo act," Potapenko said. "I formed a band to back up myself, for the High School Rock Off."

From there, Potapenko said it began to evolve into more of a team work thing.

Why Gravity? Potapenko said one of the first bass players came up with the name, and it reflects his band's sound.

"It's a more atmospheric sound," Potapenko said.

That was two years ago, and Potapenko was an eighth-grader at Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School. That year, Gravity came in second place at the Rock Off.

Since forming, the lineup has changed, due to members graduating high school, but Potapenko has stayed at the forefront and is surrounded by three good friends: Joe Capka, 17, and Matt Kerschner, 16, both of North Royalton, on keyboards and drums/percussion, respectively, and Brian Craft, 18, of Broadview Heights on bass.

In his second year of competing in the Rock Off, Potapenko said the new venue at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was "a great place to play."

"It's cool playing in front of a lot of people," Capka said. "It was a different atmosphere."

This was Capka's third Rock Off.

Kerschner, also a Rock Off veteran, said this year has been a cool experience.

"This is basically like a dream come true," he said. "The fact that we won the competition . . . it was a mind-blowing experience."

For Craft, the Rock Off was virgin territory. He said he had never competed in or attended a Rock Off until this year.

"It was probably the most fun I've had playing," he said about the experience.

Craft said the final night, along with the week leading up to it, was nerve-racking - especially when the bands were waiting to hear who had won the event.

All four members agree that winning this year's Rock Off was the most exciting milestone for the band.

"We've had our highs before," Potapenko said, "but this is the biggest high."

Next on the list of greatest accomplishments for Gravity was being able to open up for Kamelot, a world-renowned power metal band, last September.

"The liked us enough to ask us to open up for them again in the fall," Craft said.

Gravity won that honor by competing in a battle of the bands in August at the Agora.

For winning the Rock Off, Gravity received a prize package valued at $15,000, which included, among other things, $500 in cash, $200 donated to each high school's band fund, equipment, five free hours of recording time, a $200 gift card to F.Y.E. and the opportunity to open for a national act.

Besides the prizes, group members jokingly said they received fame, glory and bragging rights, as well as having their names on the announcements at their respective schools. Potapenko also said he received free lunch for a week.

George Potapenko, Eric's dad, said having the band win was the greatest thing a parent could want.

"I couldn't ask for a nicer group of guys for my son to play with," he said.

"My mom practically passed out," Craft said.

To add to the success of winning the Rock Off, Gravity has been distributing its first studio album, the EP "Visions Within," since October.

The band has said that, since being exposed to larger crowds at the Rock Off, there has been a boost in CD sales, close to 200 in the past two months.

Now that the Rock Off is over, Gravity hopes to play more shows, write some new material and try to get its name out.

"We proved what we had to prove," Craft said.

"We enjoy playing together," Potapenko said of his bandmates. "We're great friends." - Sun News


Visions Within EP: 2006
Into Oblivion: 2007
Midnight Sonata: 2010



Straight out of Cleveland, Gravity is causing a stir with their energetic and engaging music. The band has opened for Dream Theater, Symphony X, Kamelot and Sonata Arctica, and they have won many competitions in Ohio, including the Live Nation 2007 High School Rock Off at the Rock ā€˜nā€™ Roll Hall of Fame where they placed first out of over 200 bands. In 2009 and 2010, they performed at the Three Rivers Progressive Rock Festival (3RP) in Pittsburgh, sharing the stage with many progressive rock bands. In 2011, they were featured in a Toyota commercial aired in Northeast Ohio. Their first full-length CD "Into Oblivion" was released in 2007 and they are currently performing in support of their 2010 release, "Midnight Sonata."