Stage Finds Slow-Building Success

Excerpted from the magazine for

Although "Stage" is the Maverick Records debut of the Long Island, N.Y., band of the same name, the set resonates with the distinct vibe of a group of musicians that has been playing together for some time. Indeed, frontman Ryan Stahr, Petr Anselmo, Greg Meyer, and Justin Parker have taken a long road to major label-dom.

The friends got together to perform at a high school battle of the bands-type showcase and played their first gig at fabled New York punk club CBGB at age 15. A few years later, they booked time at a local studio to lay down tracks for what would become Stage's indie release, "Historical Underdosing." A local radio contest yielded a stint opening for Bon Jovi. Another showcase earned the band a ticket to Prague to open for Kiss.

"We kept getting little tastes of success -- of what this could be like. It kept confirming that this was what we wanted to do: create music together," says Stahr, whose piano playing lends a dramatic edge to several of the rock tunes found on "Stage," released April 1.

For Stage, the more time spent on the road, the better. "We see how much stress is put on bands with radio. We've always prided ourselves on our live show. So we asked Maverick if we could put more effort into touring, and they're supportive," Stahr says. "That time we get on stage every night keeps us going."

Having completed a run with Trapt and the Exies, the group will finish out April with shows in Farmingdale, N.Y. (April 22), Columbia, S.C. (April 24), Raleigh, N.C. (April 25), and Charleston, S.C. (April 26). For more information on the band, visit its Web site at

Excerpted from the April 26, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Premium Services section.

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