Last updated: 09/01/2010 12:00:00 PM
The story of Steriogram begins in New Zealands North Island, June of 1999. Brad and Jake, longtime friends from a tiny town called Whangarei meet up with Tim and Tyson who have been friends for years in Auckland, and they start playing shows around the area as a melodic rock four-piece. Making a name for themselves with a manic live show they quickly start to build a loyal local following.
They start touring, booking and organizing everything themselves while devoting less and less time to day jobs. Meanwhile the sound is developing as Tyson starts bringing his rap vocals into the mix. Realising the need for a full-time drummer, they enlist mutual friend Jared who actually OWNS a drumkit.
The band releases the song White Trash in August 2001 on their own label, Sumo Music and shoots the White Trash video on a shoestring budget and a whole lot of favours. The song brings in airplay on various local and nationwide NZ radio stations as well as a good amount of Music Television play.
By early 2002 everyone has either lost their day jobs or is about to, so they put their heads down and tour every corner of New Zealand in a tour of High Schools, Universities, and Pubs.
After sleeping on floors in random houses throughout New Zealand, the band rents a beach house and writes and records a batch of new music, resulting in a bunch of new demos and many irate phone calls from the neighbours.
They are contacted out of the blue by a U.S-based freelance A R scout, who managed to get substantial label interest with a handful of the new demos and a home-edited video of a live show. The band signed with Capitol Records in November 2002 and flew out to Los Angeles shortly after to meet with producers and managers.
They spend January back home in the NZ summer writing more new material for the album, returning to the States in February to begin recording their debut album with Producer David Kahne. Many late nights and cases of Red Bull later they emerged with the 12 tracks of Schmack! Ready to face natural light again, the band gets into a van and starts touring, which is where they are now.
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Tyson Kennedy, 24 - Vocals
Brad Carter, 23 - Vocals, guitar
Tim Youngson, 22 - Guitar
Jake Adams, 22 - Bass
Jared Wrennall, 19 - Drums
After four years of tirelessly touring their native New Zealand, the five members of melodic rock/hiphop amalgam Steriogram suddenly found themselves of great interest to American music executives thanks to the Internet.
"An independent A&R guy from Los Angeles just happened to see our video for 'White Trash' on the Internet," remembers guitarist/vocalist Brad Carter. "He contacted us immediately and we sent him some of our songs. All of a sudden we started getting calls from him saying he had interest from big American record labels. We were so excited but at the same time kind of suspect…I mean we didn't even know what this guy looked like!"
When the smoke cleared the band signed to Capitol Records. Their debut album, Schmack!, was released in the U.S. on May 18, 2004.
The story of Steriogram began in New Zealand's North Island, June of 1999. Brad and Jake, longtime friends from a tiny town called Whangarei (pronounced Fun ga ray, population 50,000) met up with Tim and Tyson who had been friends for years in Auckland (population 1.4 million) and they started to play shows around the area as a melodic rock four-piece. "Jake and I have known each other since we were 7 years old," says Carter. "He didn't even play bass when we started the band. But he learned really fast."
Making a name for themselves with a manic live show, the band quickly began to build a loyal local following. The band's self-released first single, "Soccerstar," gained immediate exposure when it was used by New Zealand's national soccer team for a TV commercial. Then came their second release, "White Trash."
"When we wrote 'White Trash' in 2001 I don't think any of us knew what we were getting ourselves into, it pretty much changed the nature of Steriogram and opened up a lot of new pathways for the band," says guitarist Tim Youngson. "We made a video for it with Tyson rapping and it got so much exposure that we decided to take him off the drums and bring him up front, then we asked Jared to join as the new drummer and became a five-piece. It was also then we started writing more of our songs with a hip-hop influence."
On the strength of their first two independently released singles and the subsequent media exposure, Steriogram was invited to play the New Zealand leg of the Australian Big Day Out festival in 2000 and 2001.
Steriogram signed to Capitol Records in November 2002 and not long after they were bunkered down in a Los Angeles studio with producer David Kahne. "He is a superstar producer," says Carter. "He's worked with Fishbone, Paul McCartney and Sugar Ray. But my favorite track he's ever done is 'What I Got' by Sublime. That was like my high school song!"
The sessions yielded new album tracks like "Walkie Talkie Man," a silver-tongued guitar rocker devoted to power-tripping security guards, "Road Trip," a groove-driven travelogue about the joys (?) of endless touring, and title track "Schmack," a funk sing-along about taking out a classified ad to find a girlfriend.
With a full-length debut completed and hundreds of dates in the U.S. already under their belt, Steriogram is ready to roll!!!
UPDATE: This Is Not The Target Market released in 2006
Thanks to Gary Helps for submitting the biography.