Members: Greg Gould:Guitar, Steve Niles:Guitar, Rob Berthelson:Drums, Korey Keathley:Bass
AUDIOSTAGG was first formed in the summer of 1989 in Modesto, CA by two friends influenced by the music they grew up with; primarily the British heavy rock scene- UFO, Led Zeppelin, Judas Priest (and even The Babys) and other guitar and bass-driven heavies of the 1970s and early 80s. Greg Gould and Steve Niles were connected and driven by their shared passion for music, and as young teens they expressed their drive through pantomime on tennis rackets in their childhood bedroomsand then taught themselves how to play the guitar for real. As they reached their 20s, they set off on separate musical paths; Niles playing in his first band and Gould producing and engineering for various groups. After years of traveling different roads, they reconnected creatively to form AUDIOSTAGG.
Joined by Mark Bradfute on drums and Collette Bias on bass in 1988, Gould and Niles rehearsed in Goulds one-car garage with various vocalists drifting in and out until one stuck. Mykal Fury made himself known in 1989 and became their front man. By that time, they had moved into a rented studio downtown. In early 1990, the band began writing and recording songs for their inaugural, self-titled album which was never officially released. Bradfute and Bias had since been replaced by Dave The Beast Watkins on bass and Rob Berthelson on drums.
They circulated through the rock club scene in the SF Bay area and the California Central Valley. Under heavy competition, AUDIOSTAGG worked hard and was able to gain a following of fans and club owners. This increase in recognition led to invitations to support nationals like the late Carl Albert and his power metal band Vicious Rumours. The band, like many others during that time, was frustrated by the infamous pay to play policies of the time. (Watch for upcoming documentary Pay to Play, now in pre-production.) The Stone, Niles Hard Rock Station, The Zoo, The Boardwalk, The Omni, The Real Rock, The Cabaret, etc. all had the same policy. In order to get on the bill, bands had to guarantee tickets sales worth about $250, or pay the difference in lieu of sales. Any monies generated by the band over that amount were considered their pay.
In 1992, on the eve of the release party for their next album, unfortunate events occurred. Drummer Berthelson had a run in with the law and could not perform. And even though well-known Seattle jazz drummer Steve Korn offered to sit in, AUDIOSTAGG was unable to take the stage. Both Berthelson and bassist Watkins had been battling personal issues for some time, to the detriment of the group. It was decided by the remaining members to take the opportunity to re-work the membership and asked both Berthelson and Watkins to permanently step away. Nevertheless, 13-track Dilemma was released, including the unanticipated hit Squid, a wacky punk anthem that continues to get attention and air play.
Needing to fill the two vacant positions quickly in order to get out and support Dilemma, the guys went on a search and within four months, the slots were filled. Korey Keathley on bass and Jim White on drums became permanent members. Through a strange twist of circumstances, Keathley met Goulds wife while recovering from surgery in the hospital where she worked and he was recruited from his hospital bed. Already an AUDIOSTAGG fan, White answered an ad on a music store bulletin board. White confesses that even though hed playing drums since the age of five, he was nearly overwhelmed by the professional quality of the music theyd given him to learn and was anxious about trying out. Despite that, he was inspired to audition in order to achieve his dream and be a part of this all-original band.
For 2 years the group toured regionally with the Gould/Niles/Fury/Keathley/White line-up supporting acts like Great White, Quiet Riot, etc. .....12/20/2010....Update in Progress.....Mykal Futy is Back!!....Rob Berthelson is Back!!!......