- Buffalocomotive (2003 – 2004)
Dustin and Ryan Tooker planted the seeds of what would become grade 8 in the mid 90s, in their home state of New Jersey. Ryan was a last minute choice to fill in on vocals for guitarist Dustins then band. Their natural chemistry worked well and they continued playing over the next few years with various rhythm sections. The brothers then moved to Southern California where their charisma and work ethic impressed those they met, eventually leading to a record deal with Lava / Atlantic. They worked various interesting jobs in the entertainment industry in their spare time, knowing that once their professional music career began, there would be no turning back.
As they created their self titled debut, a new rhythm section was formed and the band prepared to tour. Grade8 proved themselves an intense live force touring with Mudvayne, The Murderdolls, Anthrax and the Ozzfest. It was on that final tour that the tenacity of Dustin and Ryan caught the attention of their peers. When business issues nearly forced the band off the tour, they fought back by riding with other bands and borrowing equipment, refusing to quit.
After that victory of will, they found themselves in another rough spot. The single Brick by Brick had reached .1 on the college rock charts and tracks were appearing in high profile video games and television series, such as True Crime: Streets of LA and The Sopranos, but they once again found themselves searching for a bassist and drummer to provide the key rhythmic assault. Then an amazing opportunity presented itself: a new manager willing to relocate the brothers to Las Vegas, where they would be able to regroup and prepare to begin the battle for survival anew. The necessary elements came together with preternatural speed.
Stitch had been playing bass in Los Angeles for several years. Since moving from Ohio he had put in hard time with several promising bands. Unfortunately acts of fate kept these projects from reaching fruition. Those experiences did, however, give him the opportunity to hone his skills: in song craft and in mediating the personality clashes that occur in any band situation. The Tookers knew him through Paige Haley, and after viewing his vicious stage presence, he was also pulled to sin city.
The four musicians moved into a secluded house in a desert area, building Fight Club style bunks to sleep in. They worked on new material for hours every day in the shed they shared with black widows and scorpions. At night they explored Americas largest adult playground. Several months later they had created the songs that comprise their forthcoming record, Resurrection. Tightly wound tales of desire, adversity, and victory that ooze with the hunger and drive of those that refuse to succumb. From the unstoppable raw thrust of the title track to the eerie ghost town vibe of Ignore, grade8 present a dynamic blend of textured rock. Fallen Angel is highlighted by Dustins creative use of guitar effects and Joshs unstoppable double kick technique. Ryans growth as a vocalist is readily apparent on Fighting Me, exploring more melodic territory while retaining the power and flow of previous material. Stitch and Josh form an ultra tight unit, whether laying back into a groove or launching a thrash attack. This wall of sound is complimented by solid songwriting and the lust of those who have fought to survive and demand to thrive.
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