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Published:June 30th, 2011 10:00 EST
STEMM Finally!  A REAL Hard Rock Band!

STEMM Finally! A REAL Hard Rock Band!

By Tom Ski

Readers "we`ve been on this "artistic road of discovery` together for a while now.  Out of the mostly average and mundane world that various genres of music have become, we have been able to find true "gems` that are on this planet bringing music and lyrics to their fans that are unique, thrilling, heartfelt, and one-of-a-kind.  But, as of yet, we haven`t seen nor heard a hard rock band that outshines all the rest "that band we not only crave, but absolutely need.  And, trust me, I`ve been looking.  As an ultimate metal head " from the 1980`s - when you had to actually search for the real rockers buried under all the eyeliner and big hair - I was a lover of metal and hard rock.  Being a writer, I don`t have that stellar voice in a microphone that will stop you in your tracks, so I have to rely on my writing voice " instead " 


STEMM IS the band Hard Rock Fans Need!

Do you know what real is?  The word real is barely ever used anymore because real describes the rockers who don`t give a sh*t about the fake smiles, the fake head banging, the run-o`-the-mill flash in the pan " songs that mean nothing - real rockers are the ones who sit, think, feel, desire, obsess - and produce the most amazing lyrics that not only hit you upside the head and make you listen, but knock your ass to the floor while you wonder why the hell you haven`t been listening to them in the first place!  Oh, yeah "that`s STEMM! 

I was incredibly honored this morning to speak with a man by the name of Joe Cafarella - the lead singer of STEMM.  This man actually made my rock hackles " stand up straight on the back of my neck.  Looking for a real rocker is like Dracula looking for blood in a mortuary.  Impossible, right?  But, believe me, when I got off the phone with Joe I had caught STEMM`s scent!  I was finally free of the mortuary and back in the fantastic world of real heart-pounding hard rock.  STEMM`s 2008 release, Blood Scent, is better than any hard rock/metal band I`ve heard in decades.  Yes, I apologize to the Metal Gods who are now upset with my statement because die-hard fans are die-hard fans but, as you all know by now, I speak the truth!  STEMM is NOT cliché!  The "flavor` of metal and hard rock has become wearisome, listening to the same redundant ridiculousness on every single album.  I just, literally, watched a video of STEMM and my Dracula fangs released.  I almost want to kick myself for ever moving away from the East Coast.  STEMM is based in Buffalo, and they are the true breath of fresh real air that metal and hard rock haven`t received in a very long time!

Yes, the music has strength and power.  Yes, there are crushing guitar riffs, a rhythm section that makes you feel like you`ve died and gone to rock Heaven, and voices that make you reel in disbelief that there is a band that is THAT good out there in America!  Every single part of this band comes together like a huge metal transformer, and re-lights the fire that is buried deep inside every rock fan that has been dimming ever since hard rock turned lackluster and tedious.

One of the truly amazing things about STEMM is the fact that, like life, they know how to evolve.  They don`t stick to one single category; the members of this band know exactly what it means to transform with the times, but also know exactly what to say and how to say it in their own unique voice!  STEMM was formed in 1998, and their sound from 1998-2003 was what some would call hardcore " or rapcore. "  Their first EP titled, Further Efforts " and their first independently released debut, Dead to Me, " began to open people`s eyes.

In 2002, however, STEMM struck a deal that would bring them to the forefront of music.   STEMM signed a licensing deal with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), and  STEMM`s music has been incorporated in UFC television and live events ever since.  "Face the Pain, " by STEMM, was used for the UFC theme song and is featured on the UFC 2009 Undisputed soundtrack; STEMM`s music has been used on every UFC pay-per-view since 2002, AND on the SPIKE TV programs The Ultimate Fighter " and Unleashed. "  STEMM also signed a licensing deal to feature their music on the Canadian television station, The Fight Network, " AND, House of Cards, " a track from STEMM`s amazing CD, Blood Scent, was selected as the theme song for UFC Wired, " while their music also appears on UFC-related video games available on X-Box and Play Station.  In 2010, STEMM`s fantastic track House of Cards " also appeared on the EA Sports video game MMA."

It would take the rest of your week to let all of you know what STEMM has been a part of, so I`ll just go for the highlights.  Transitions began with the band in 2004, when a local Buffalo Metal act (5 Years Gone) merged with STEMM.  New members came on board and the music, itself, began to transform from the hardcore/rapcore world into metalcore and groove metal.

Joe Cafarella is quoted as saying: We never followed the rules.  Our entire career we have felt like the underdogs. No matter how many hoops we jumped through for the industry people, it just wasn`t good enough. "  But, thankfully for the rest of us, they kept on.  EP`s, albums, performances, touring nationwide with Chimaira and Trivium; opening for Damageplan`s final " concert (when, the next day, the incredible musician Darrell Dimebag " Abbott would be murdered while onstage.)  STEMM also opened for Bleed The Sky at the legendary Whiskey A Go Go.  They participated in the 2005 installment of the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, and released their second full length album, entitled Songs for the Incurable Heart. "  This album is a killer CD and includes a song that pays tribute to the victims of the 9/11 attacks titled, The Day the Earth Stood Still. "

Songs for the Incurable Heart " put STEMM on tour and brought in fans left and right, enabling STEMM to start their own label (CATCH 22 RECORDS).  CATCH 22 released Blood Scent, and unleashed STEMM into the world on their own terms.  Again, STEMM didn`t wait on the big deal. "  They already knew they were real, and there was absolutely no one on Earth who could or would work harder for STEMM than they would for themselves!  Want more, people?  Blood Scent is their third full-length album, and Broken Face Masterpiece " was featured in the May edition of Metal Edge Magazine " on a CD sampler that accompanied the edition.  (Yes, before you ask, get on the internet and buy that edition right now!  It will not only be the perfect music, but we`re talking collector`s item when STEMM heads to the Hall of Fame).

Which brings us to the here and now.  STEMM is made up of four incredible members:  Joe Cafarella (Lead Vocals/Guitar); Alex Scouten (Guitar); Dan Nelligan (Drums); and, Steve Crowl (Bass).  These intelligent, unique members KNOW rock, and their insightful lyrics and ground-breaking sound offers the whole package to fans.  There`s no fear when STEMM makes an album or steps on stage.  They bear their souls to their fans, and have no idea how much we appreciate them for it.  STEMM`s appeal is not stuck in a category; in fact, all ages and fans of all genres love STEMM and what they stand for.

Summer is supposed to be a fun, entertaining, relaxing time.  But now that I`ve met up with STEMM, I`m going to be chomping at the bit knowing that on September 13, 2011, STEMM`s new album titled, Crossroads, will be coming at me.  This is the first year of my life I actually wish summer was over.  Alex Scouten, the guitarist of STEMM, has actually made my heart palpitate all the more for the release of Crossroads because of the wonderful statement " he made regarding its` birth. "

The words of Alex:  Life has changed so much over our time in this band that the men we were in the beginning almost feel like strangers to us today.  Relationships, jobs, and friends have come and gone, as we chased our dreams across the highways and byways of America.  Like modern day cowboys we ride into town, find the party, and are gone the next day to do it all over again in some other town with another group of new faces.  It`s an amazing way to live, and we heartily recommend it to anyone with the guts to pursue it.  But there comes a time when, as an artist, you begin to question what else you have to say.  We`ve spent over a decade shouting to the heavens about the things that make us angry. "

You might not know it to hear it but STEMM is a labor of love. We`re a band of brothers.  Making this music is the only thing we know how to do to get along in this life. But we knew that if we were to continue as a band, then STEMM would have to become more than just a shared dissatisfaction with the status quo.  The band was at a crossroads. "

There is much more to Alex`s fantastic statement that makes the listener, fan, and reader truly believe in the betterment " of life "but you don`t get it all today.  Why?  Because,  luckily enough for all of you out there - while you`re headed to the internet to look up everything you can about STEMM (if you`re as smart as I think you are), and to watch the videos and listen to STEMM`s outstanding music - I will be on the job!  AND I`ll make you a promise.  Over the next several weeks, you will receive all there is to know about STEMM.  I will bring to you in-depth coverage of all of STEMM`s projects, albums, plans for the future, and have one-on-one`s with each superior member that makes STEMM the best hard rock/metal band to be presented in decades!

There will be notices on upcoming events and tour dates - with many coming at you in August; and you will get to see, hear, and feel the actual souls of STEMM.  This is one band that doesn`t put up its guard.  STEMM is here for YOU!  They have lyrics that can go from slamming, to heart pounding, to heart lifting in seconds, and their pulsing sounds are as powerful, dramatic, strong, and determined as the incredibly talented men who are performing them.

Yes!  Hard Rock is back in our lives with a vengeance.  And the ambassador of this outstanding music is STEMM!

Until Next Time, Everybody!

STEMM Show Schedule

**More Coming!

Friday August 12, 2011 * 7:00 PM

Broadway Joes, 3051 Main St, Buffalo, NY, 14214

STEMM will be playing an acoustic set from the new CD coming out this fall, and the first 100 people through the door gets the STEMM promo CD!!

(This writer hates all 100 of you already!)


Friday August 19,2011 * 8:00 PM

Albion PUB, State Street, Albion, PA, 16410

More Info TBA


Saturday August 20, 2011 * 2:00 PM

The Carriage House, 9033 Columbus Rd, Louisville, OH, 44641

The Carnival " is the Carriage House annual outdoor festival.

For more information stay tuned to














Catch 22 Records

Buffalo, New York


Vox Media Management LLC

(210) 464-2679


Streamline Productions:

Booking Agent