The Velmas are a rock band from Albany, New York. They formed in 1999 after its members left the band pour.jayce. The band's current members are Mike "Harvey" Grosshandler on guitars, keyboards, and vocals; Todd "Figaro" Minnick on bass guitar and vocals; and Michael "Bruce" Bruce on drums and vocals.
The Velmas write and perform original rock music. In concert, The Velmas back their music with a playful, high-energy live show. The band has been voted "Best Band" by the readers of Albany's Metroland in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Grosshandler and Minnick have also been voted "Best Local (Male) Celebrities With Whom You'd Like To Have A One Night Stand".
The Velmas submitted their version of the song "Restless, Restless" for a Howard Stern Show contest in 2004. That version was subsequently released on a compilation CD "The Best of Restless, Restless (Volume 1)", which also featured versions by William Shatner and Robert Goulet.
The Velmas have played with the following bands: Everclear, Soul Asylum, Collective Soul, Nightmare of You, Mohair, moe., Winger, Vertical Horizon, Shaw Blades, Richard Lloyd, Samantha Ronson, The X's, and Tally Hall.
The Velmas signed with the New York City independent record label City Canyons Records in 2006.
City Canyons Records released two digital singles ("Playground" and "Wait") by The Velmas in 2009. The songs were recorded in the same sessions that produced the album "Station" -- at Robby Takac's (of the Goo Goo Dolls) "Chameleon West" studio in Buffalo, NY. The Velmas have released three CDs and appear on several compilation albums.
In August 2007, The Velmas reached Number 5 out of 1000 songs on the Alternative Charts on iheartradio.com with their song released on their latest album Station, Tell Her I Love Her. As of August 2011, they are still at Number 6, but out of over 16,000 songs.
They released their first music video for the song "Tell Her I Love Her" on April 11, 2008. They have also released several other videos, including a series of videos called "Hairband Fistfight", where they discuss and compare musicians in an entertaining game show format, which is filmed in their tour van on the road.
Grosshandler released his first solo CD of some of his acoustic recordings, Scales, in April 2003. He released his second acoustic CD, Wrote Myself, in October 2004. He released a full solo album, Blue Skies Black, in February 2012, which features guest vocals from Phil Taylor of Future Leaders of the World on the song "Status Quo". He released a music video for the title track on July 31, 2012.
The Velmas have appeared in numerous local and regional radio and print interviews. They have been featured on the front page of Albany's Metroland. They have even been recognized by Gene Simmons from Kiss. During a press conference, he once asked "What's a Velma?"