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Champaign, Illinois, United States | SELF

Champaign, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Alternative


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College Piece (Live Demos) -- 2010



Former Emberic guitarist Chris Wilson created Altria with vocalist Stephanie Haddad in February 2010 in a cold, sad, little shed in Champaign, Illinois. Born from the ashes of Wilson’s former project, guitarist Shawn Farbman, drummer Kevin Krell, and bassist Kashev Dalmia have joined them in their pursuit of rock. They’ve created a thumping, shaking sound that rattles your rib cage and pushes your eardrums in the most pleasant way possible.

Altria came together by way of the internet, the past, and a little elbow grease. Both Wilson and Krell are home grown Champaign alt rock dwellers, while Dalmia and Farbman began their lives in the Chicago suburbs with classic tunes. Haddad's formative years were cultivated in Pittsburgh, filled by a raging need for a better solution to any problem. All together, their different backgrounds have blended into a writing style that's hard rock with subtle intricacies.

Wilson, the originator of the band with Haddad, is a skilled guitarist and bassist whose musical portfolio consists of playing bass for Filtered Through in the mid 00s and the cover band The Ban’d List. Chris also played guitar in the budding Emberic before forming Altria in 2010. His influences come from Evans Blue, Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, and TRUSTCompany.

A veteran drummer with more than 13 years of experience, Krell previously played drums for Filtered Through with Wilson. His biggest musical influences include Underoath, The Used, 36 Crazyfists, Travis Barker, A Day to Remember, Smile Empty Soul, and Saosin.

Farbman is an original founding member of the popular Central Illinois band Joyhammer, which in the mid-1990s enjoyed regional success with their hit “Lullaby,” as well as touring and playing at significant venues in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri. For the past 12 years, Shawn has served as an “ambassador of tone” for world-renowned guitar amp company Mesa Boogie. His guitar influences include The Beatles, Cheap Trick, Kiss, and Van Halen.

An alumnus of Illini Contraband, Haddad cut her teeth on bass guitar and backup vocals for the group from 2007 to 2008. When she isn’t rocking out on the mike, Stephanie works as a photographer for musicians and families. She was raised on Billy Joel, matured/raged with System of a Down, simmered to Placebo and Peter Gabriel, and calmed down with Regina Spektor. Haddad joined forces with Wilson in 2010 to launch Altria with the click of a send button.

The youngest member yet possibly the most mature, Dalmia's influences in bass playing include The Who, Led Zeppelin, Tool, and Parliament. Back in the Chicago suburbs, he plays with The Paxton Brothers Band as the singer while switching it up on guitar and bass and sticks to bass with Illini Contraband on campus. When he is not playing in Altria, Dalmia is studying at the University of Illinois, working towards a degree in Electrical Engineering. Despite his schooling path, Kashev can very much talk to girls without the help of a computer.

Altria is here to give your ears and bodies a good time. Altria is here to let you forget your worries. Altria is ready to let loose and sing it, sister.