Steriogram

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Not to be confused with Stereogram.
Steriogram
Origin Auckland, New Zealand
Genres Punk rock
Indie rock
Alternative rock
Hardcore punk
Indie punk
Rapcore
Rap rock (early)
Years active 1999–2010 (hiatus/split)
Labels Independent
Capitol
Members Tyson Kennedy
Tim Youngson
Brad Carter
Jared Wrennall
Jake Adams

Steriogram were a Grammy Award-nominated punk band from New Zealand that formed in Auckland in 1999. Their 2004 song "Walkie Talkie Man" was used in an advertisement for the iPod and a number of films and video games.

Formation, EPs and Schmack! (1999–2005)[edit]

Steriogram was formed in June 1999 by Brad Carter and Jake Adams, two friends from Whangarei, who joined with Tyson Kennedy and Tim Youngson, two friends from Auckland. They started performing as a melodic rock four-piece band with a manic live show.[1] They released the EP Soccerstar in December that year. It had three tracks, "Chiqboom", "Soccerstar" and "Aeroplane". Only 500 copies were made.

Their second recording, "White Trash", released in August 2001,[1] was more successful. Its b-side was "Soccerstar". They made a video for "White Trash" with drummer Kennedy rapping and it got so much exposure they decided he should stop drumming and move to the front of the stage to rap. They then recruited mutual friend Jared Wrennall as drummer and became a five-piece.[1][2] From then they started writing more of their songs with a hip hop influence.[2] Steriogram toured New Zealand in a friend's van without any support crew, doing gigs where they could.

In 2002, still unsigned, they joined several other New Zealand bands in the inaugural Boost Mobile School's Tour, playing for free during high school lunch hours to get exposure, as well as at bars at night. During the tour they released the EP Sing the Night Away, which contained five tracks: "Sing the Night Away", "Free", "Big Lady Loving", "White Trash (DLT remix)" and "West Side!". Videos were made for the songs "Sing The Night Away" and "Free".

While recording at a rented beach house in 2002 they were contacted by a scout for American label Capitol Records, who had come upon their music video for "White Trash" on the website nzmusic.com, and were signed to Capitol Records later that year. 2004 saw the release of their debut album Schmack!. In addition to "White Trash", five more tracks from it were released as singles: "Walkie Talkie Man", "Roadtrip", "Go", "Tsunami" and "On and On". Three songs from Sing the Night Away featured on singles from the album: "Sing the Night Away", "Free" and "Big Lady Loving".

There were two main factors contributing to Steriogram’s immediate success. First, the national school tour helped to generate a wider fan base. The other factor was their internet site and the use of fans' loyalty. On the site fans were able to join up for the band’s newsletter and then eventually to what was known as a "fan street pack". This was sent to the fan via mail and contained promo CDs that had five of the tracks to be featured on their upcoming CD, and lots of stickers. This was where Steriogram relied on the support of fans, to hand out the promo CDs and stickers. These points proved to be very successful and rewarding for Steriogram as a new band.

Their big break came with the release of "Walkie Talkie Man", which was used for iPod advertisements, and its music video, in which characters and objects were created by knitting puppets and animating them using stopmotion. The video, directed by Michel Gondry, was nominated for four MTV music awards. The song debuted at No. 19 on the UK Singles Chart. [3] It was used in several films and video games including Elite Beat Agents and MVP Baseball 2004.

The band toured New Zealand during New Zealand Music Month in May 2005 with the support of other New Zealand bands 48May and Goodnight Nurse. Also in 2005, their album Schmack! was re-released as a special edition containing three songs from Sing the Night Away and a cover of AC/DC's "Back in Black".

This Is Not The Target Market (2006 - 2009)[edit]

The band recorded the album This Is Not the Target Market at York Street Studio in Auckland and released it in New Zealand on 16 October 2006. Unlike the first album, it was not released under Capitol Records. In an interview with Juice TV, band members Brad Carter and Tyson Kennedy stated that all the band's connections at Capitol had left since the release of Schmack!, and they decided it would be easier to release the new album themselves. The first single off the album was "Just Like You". Rock Ridge Music released the album in the United States in October 2007. With the release of This Is Not the Target Market the band toured extensively through the year with such bands as Rise Against and German band Die Ärzte. Steriogram then went on the road with Bad Religion in June 2008.

Taping the Radio and after (2010–2012)[edit]

Steriogram's third album, Taping the Radio, was released on 18 September 2010 on iTunes, and subsequently made available in New Zealand stores on 2 November 2010.

Steriogram have been working on a movie titled The Life and Death of Steriogram, "a rock-u-mentary which delves into the world of New Zealand's biggest rock band, Steriogram, providing a behind the scenes look at their new tour and the obstacles they face as they try to scrape themselves, once again, to the top of the rock and roll pile."[4]

At the moment the band has gone on to perform other careers, Brad has gone on to start "NO" and "Pistol Youth", Tyson has created a hair product entitled "Fatboy Putty",(and most recently it kept the hair of 2012 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney in order for all his Election and Media moments), Jared Wrenall had drummed for singer Miriam Clancy. Currently Tyson and Jake are living in New York, Brad is living in Los Angeles, California, and Jared and Tim are still located in Auckland, New Zealand possibly meaning the band has ended.

Band members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Albums Label
2004 Schmack! Capitol Records
2007 This Is Not the Target Market Toshiba EMI
2010 Taping the Radio Self-Released

EPs[edit]

Year Albums Label
1999 Soccerstar Capitol Records
2001 Sing the Night Away

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
NZ UK
1999 Soccerstar Soccerstar EP
2001 "Sing The Night Away" Sing the Night Away
2001 "White Trash" Schmack!
2004 Walkie Talkie Man 14 19
"Roadtrip"
2005 "Go" 28
"Tsunami"
"On and On"
2006 "Just Like You" This Is Not the Target Market
2007 "Own Way Home"
2010 "Ready For Action" Taping the Radio
"Skinny Runt Revolution"
"Moving On"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Featured appearances[edit]

The group have appeared on the following compilations and soundtracks.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Steriogram biography". Sing365.com. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Steriogram". Amplifier. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 529. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ "The Life and Death of Steriogram". Facebook. Retrieved 22 January 2011. 

External links[edit]