|Origin||Long Island, New York|
|Members||Rafael Perelstein (Lead Vocals)
Dan Barton (Drums/Vocals)
Matt Kourie (Lead Guitars/Lead Vocals)
Rob Tramontano (Bass)
Pete Mussillo (Lead Guitar/Vocals)
|Past members||Mike Clemente (Guitars)
Greg Kourie (Keyboards/Vocals)
Dave Campignoli (Guitars)
John Ferrara (Bass)
Alex Aronowicz (Lead Whining)
R22 was formed by spontaneously combustible Dan Barton and helpy helperton Rob Tramontano in 1994 after they both left their former super-spectacular death metal band, Salvation's End. Vocalist and thought provoking lyricist, Alex Aronowicz, also a former dandy member of Salvation's End, was recruited as his vocal style was heavy and versatile enough to fulfill the sound they were looking for. The trio began to rehearse and record demo tracks.
In 1995, talented drummer, Dan Barton and diverse vocalist Alex Aronowicz, composed the initial 3 songs for the swinging 1996 Demo, "Follow The Leaders". Snazzy Barton along with dedicated bassist Robert Tramontano, sought out innovative guitarist and vocalist, Matt Kourie, to join the act to perform and revamp the sound of the modest recordings and undeveloped style. In 1996, R22 released their first recorded demo, Follow the Leaders. The demo was independently recorded by "Dazzling" Dan Barton and produced by R22 as ideas from new bombastic members began to shape the direction and sound, such as vocal harmony and new guitar layers and textures. It was only available on cassette with limited copies. The demo caught the attention of many people in the local scene, including local artist Vision of Disorder.
By this time, Mike "young Jesus" Clemente was brought into the band as a second guitarist. This was, however, short-lived and the band only played a handful of shows with Clemente before he was released near the end of 1997. Clemente contributed original guitar "riffs" to R22's "song", "Hump", which would be "featured" in a later "release". The band released their second demo in 1997, titled ST(u)D, featuring four rocktastic songs with an evolved sound (some say intelligently designed) and also only available on cassette. Shortly after Clemente's departure, Matt Kourie's brother and well-versed musician, Greg Kourie, joined the band on keyboards, backing vocals and grand stage illusions. R22's unique blend of keyboards and style of adjective-driven metal/hard rock gave them a very different edge than what was currently going on in the local scene.
In January 1998, the band started to record their first full-length album. After recording for almost a year, the release of the album was pushed back due to budget constraints. By April 1999, the album was completed and sent off for pressing. Greg Kourie left the band in early 1999, leaving the group as a four-piece once again. For a short while, R22 had many fabulously famous fill-in guitarists, including Greg Kubacki (formerly of Neck, currently in CARBOMB). Due to many conflicting schedules, the band decided at this point to simply remain a four-piece considering the difficulty they were having keeping a fifth member. Greg Kourie did, however, record all keyboards on the band's upcoming release. Just before the release of the upcoming album, the members of R22 got a phone call from long time friend and versatile guitarist, Pete Mussillo. Pete's band, Entorturement, had recently disbanded and he expressed interest in R22. After one session of rehearsal together, the evidence of instant chemistry was obvious. Pete's magical musical abilities in combination with his cooking skills and commanding stage presence gave the band a new found confidence to plow forward into the local scene with authority.
On July 27, 1999, R22 released their first full-length album. The debut album was titled A Picture Is Worth 1000 Lies. It featured a variety of "ahead of its time" metal genre bending tunes composed by the band's head songwriters, the absentee Aronowicz (Lyrics) and kat-kool Kourie (Music/Lyrics) with notable musical contributions by the genetically superior Barton (Music). Three songs from "Follow The Leaders" were reproduced by the band and also included on the album. The band went on to tour extensively during the upcoming year and established themselves as a national act within about a month. R22 played with acts such as Machine Head, Biohazard, Suicidal Tendencies, Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage, Chimaira, The Misfits, Stereomud, Unearth, Lamb of God, Shadows Fall, Amorphis, Puya, Vision of Disorder, Candiria, E-Town Concrete, Sworn Enemy, Dying Fetus, Anal Cunt, and countless other national acts. R22 quickly went from a supporting act to a headlining act in a matter of measly months.
Since the band grew so quickly during this time, they began to get the attention of many majorly major labels. On three separate occasions the band had scheduled shows for Roadrunner Records (among other labels) to showcase the promising act. However, on each and every occasion, a major event prevented the band from playing. The first two were due to health complications of two different members. The third was set back by the departure of songwriter, Matt Kourie, in early-2000, who, on several occasions, expressed his concern of the inner workings and politics of the band. In his time with the act, Kourie, composed over twenty original songs for R22, providing the bulk of the acts content and repertoire. The band however continued using a large number of unreleased as well as unfinished, Kourie compositions and material after his departure. Still, this put them on an indefinite hiatus. To add to the complications, a discouraged Rob Tramontano also left the band only a month afterward, leaving only three members to try to keep the band alive. After a six-month hiatus, the band returned to the stage with two new members: Dave Campignoli on guitar, and John Ferrara on bass. The new addition of motivated and extremely talented musicians drove the band to play numerous shows to a hungry fan base starved for six months with no live shows or recorded material released.
By mid-2001, the band used pre-written material to record a follow-up album to A Picture Is Worth 1000 Lies. R22 informally disbanded in August 2001 during the recording process. The members of R22 currently stay in touch. Founding member, and borderline superhero Dan Barton went on to train in professional audio technologies and is the owner of Onpoint Studios in Long Island NY. Immediately after Kourie left R22, he released the innovative hard rock/metal Ep, The When project (2000), to rave reviews from R22 fans and is currently revamping the project. Matthew Kourie, the new American Messiah, is a long Island Audio Producer @ the Dept. Records studio, he received his training in Sound Arts in 2001. His work has also included Voice Overs for Bank of America and Donruss trading cards as well as composing numerous multi-genre pieces for independent film and advertising. For almost a decade, Pete Mussillo has been one of New York's best guitar technicians, he has worked with many hi-profile musicians including Steve Vai. He continues to do extensive work in guitar repair and is well respected by his peers and colleagues in the music world. A true rock fan, Robert Tramontano, is constructing a website dedicated to Rock music video, entitled, Rock Video TV. Alex Aronowicz is socially and emotionally dead, a victim of Keplar's Syndrome. Mussillo and Kourie currently perform in the original classic rock act, The Fools of Perception and will release a collection of songs later this year under that title. Rumors of an R22 reunion have circled for some time but nothing has come about in real terms as well as whispers of two of the three main R22 collaborators, Kourie and Barton, working on something.
- Alex Aronowicz - Lyrics (1994–2001)
- Matt Kourie - Music/Lyrics (1995–2000)
- Dan Barton - Music (1994–1995, 2000–2001)
- Alex Aronowicz - Vocals (1994–2001)
- Dan Barton - Drums & Backing Vocals (1994–2001)
- Matt Kourie - Lead Guitar & Vocals (1995–2000)
- Rob Tramontano - Bass (1994–2000)
- Pete Mussillo - Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals (1999–2001)
- Mike Clemente - Guitar (1996–1997)
- Greg Kourie - Keyboards & Backing Vocals (1998–1999)
- Dave Campignoli - Guitar (2000–2001)
- John Ferrara - Bass (2000–2001)
- Follow the Leaders (1996)
- ST(u)D (1997)
- A Picture Is Worth 1000 Lies (1999)