The Strand is an electro-industrial group based in Phoenix, Arizona that was formed by Dave Strand in 1999 whose current members include Scott Levy, Dave Strand, Elias Lewter, Steve Laskarides, Bryon Anderson, and Laura McQuaig. Original members were Scott Levy, Kimberly Brown, Jeremy Reich, Steve Laskarides, Neal Parker, and Randall Hampton.
History of The Strand
The Strand is a six piece band based out of Chandler, Arizona whose music ranges from industrial dance, to EBM, and industrial rock. The current band members are Dave Strand, Laura McQuaig, Scott Levy, Steve Laskarides, Bryon Anderson, and Elias Lewter.
In the early 1990's, founding member David Levy began writing music on his Amiga computer under the name the Strand in the Chicago suburb of Vernon Hills, Illinois. The music was influenced by the wave of ground-breaking industrial music emerging from Chicago's Wax Trax record label. The band's name is a reference to a philosophy David created which relates strands to individual perspectives. (See Kooshian Philosophy) In 1999 singer/songwriter David Levy moved to Arizona with his brother Scott Levy and assumed the pseudonym Dave Strand. He soon formed the official band, when he asked his brother and five of his closest friends to join. The original members of the Strand were Randall Hampton, Dave Strand, Scott Levy, Kimberly Brown, Steve Laskarides, Neal Parker, and Jeremy Reich.
The Strand began by distributing short two and three song burned demos to local fans of industrial music. Around sixty copies of the Strand's mp3.com eight song demo CD titled “Digging the Trench” sold online in 1999. It was removed from production shortly afterward, when in 2000, the Strand's first full length CD entitled “In the Trench” was released. This coincided with their debut performance at The Power Plant in Phoenix, Arizona. Even at this early stage, the Strand explored humor in their music, and presented an involved live show with a mix of acoustic and electronic drums, several keyboardists, themed costumes, and video projection. Fueled by a drive to get the music heard, the band sent over 400 CDs to DJs across the globe, and soon had an emerging fan-base. In 2000 Randall Hampton left the band amiably to pursue other ventures.
Between the years of 2000 - 2004, the Strand performed at various venues and festivals in the South-West USA, often supporting touring bands, such as VNV Nation, And One, Covenant, Assemblage 23, Imperative Reaction, Dismantled, and The Azoic. Their music was also featured on several independent films and compilation CDs during these years. In 2003 Neal Parker, the Strand's original drummer, left the band and Bryon Anderson a local musician for alternative rock band Army Of Robots, stepped in to replace him. The Strand was actively writing new material and so, with the help of their new sponsorship by Trash City Entertainment, two more CDs were released in 2004, “RMX01” and “Diatom”. “RMX01” featured original songs by the Strand that were remixed by many respected industrial musicians. The CD titled “Diatom” was the Strand's second full-length release.
From 2004 to 2007, the Strand continued to book concerts in and around the Southwest region of the USA. In 2005 the Strand performed on the main stage at Convergence 11. The band was also featured on the main stage at the Salt Lake City Dark Arts Festival in 2007. Soon after this festival, singer Kimberly Brown left the Strand to finish her college degree in Texas.
In October 2007, the band hosted auditions for their new female vocalist. Esmeralda Villalobos was originally voted to be the new singer. However, after careful consideration the band ultimately decided that Laura McQuaig was the best fit. During the audition process, Jeremy Reich opted to leave the Strand and Elias Lewter, formerly of The Marbles and Dubok, was recruited as the new keyboardist to replace him. At this time the Strand also released their third full length CD titled, “Destroyers of that which is destroyed and rulers of that which is not destroyed”, which was titled by Daniel Hunter who won a contest to name the CD through the band's website. The Destroyers release featured vocals by both Kimberly Brown and Laura McQuaig, since some of the music had been completed prior to Kimberly's departure.
In 2008 the Strand embarked on their first official tour, performing many states along the Midwest. The Strand also performed for the second time at the Oscillation Festival in New Mexico in 2008. In 2009 the band continues to write music and play concerts, and is actively working on their next full length album.