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American Steel

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American Steel was formed in 1995 in West Oakland. When offered their first show, the group took their name from the block-long sign on the warehouse across the street. After playing at parties and smaller venues around the Bay Area for over a year, and undergoing several lineup changes, which resulted in a more serious and tour-ready conglomerate, the band bought a van and embarked on their first tour of the US, lasting 32 days and covering 12,000 miles.

After returning from tour, American Steel went into the studio with engineer Kevin Army (Operation Ivy, Green Day, The Mr. T Experience, etc.) to record their eponymous first album, released on San Francisco’s New Disorder Records, home of Half Empty, The Cost, The Enemies, and many others. In 1998, the band appeared on several compilations and toured the country twice, re-visiting some cities from previous tours and playing numerous new ones.

In the spring of 1999, American Steel signed to Lookout! and again went into the studio with Kevin Army to record Rogue’s March, released in October 1999. The recording process was intermittent, due to guitarist Ryan’s initial diagnosis and early battle with leukemia. Part of the urgent, soul-searching quality of the album came from the band’s personal struggle with Ryan’s illness, most poignantly captured in their song, “Hope Springs from Somewhere.” 2000 saw the band tour relentlessly in both the U.S.

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