Sterilize Stereo
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Sterilize Stereo

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"St. Joseph Artist of the Week"

Artist of the week: Sterilize Stereo
Sterilize Stereo is a quintet comprised of members from Kansas City and Lawrence, Kan. The members are Marshal Louk, Jake Kersley, Stephanie Kersley, Chris Tady and Jason Grant. Their music crosses numerous genres, harkens back to forgotten decades and could induce foot stomping and/or head scratching. They perform at The Scallywag at 7 p.m. on May 26.

Q. How did Sterilize Stereo come together?

A. Marshal and I (Jake) played in a metal band from the ages of 12 to 21. He was the bassist back then, and I always joke that I can't work with drummers so I have to have a bassist play them. After the metal years and band dissolved, I met Jason and started writing. We moved to Lawrence with the sole purpose of starting a band that would allow us to do anything we wanted without any musical limitation. We set this up under the moniker "Sterilize Stereo." After a few bar gigs, we added my friend from back home, Christian Tady, and magic happened. So I called up my sister and told her to come to town and play... more magic. So when it came time to look for a drummer, I called up my good friend, Marshal, to return to the ranks... and voila! Strangely enough, all of us (aside from Jason) grew up within five miles of each other in Anderson County, Kan.

Q. How long have you been playing out?

A. We played our first show as a full band March 28 last year at the Replay Lounge. We'll be playing our 50th show at the Scallywag on the 26th of this month. So it's been a busy year.

Q. The recordings seem to feature instruments that aren't too common in today's music. What are you guys playing?

A. It's mostly standard, though, we substitute cello for bass guitar. What we play that isn't so standard is xylophone, mandolin, banjo and concertina (mini-accordion.) You can get exact listings of who plays what at

Q. How would you classify your music?

A. Folk/country/Vaudeville/gypsy/circus/rock theater?

Q. You seem to draw from influences from an almost forgotten era. How did you discover this music and why did you decide to play it?

A. My sister, Stephanie, and I played traditional and classical piano from the ages of 5 to 13. By traditional, I'm referring to pieces dating back to the roaring '20s. We used to listen to our grandmother bang away on her piano and sing showtunes. Our father and Marshal's father played in a classic country band for years together. All of this melded with the metal influences, Christian's rock-orientation, Jason's punk cello, Marshal's bizarre approach to percussion and Steph's world music/classical stylings to create what you hear and see today.

Q. Any projects in the near future you are working on?

A. We are finishing up the writing for our second album and our latest project is moving the whole band out to Portland, Ore. There, we will tour the West Coast relentlessly, over-playing every city that'll have us. (hee hee)

Q. Considering The Scallywag is a pirate-themed venue, your music seems to be a good fit. What do you like about performing there?

A. The punks... we love the punks. There weren't any pirates there last time, and it's a good thing, too. Pirates hate gypsies. It goes back to when a gypsy woman cursed pirates, so that they couldn't get to the center of a tootsie pop. Justin (the owner of The Scallywag) will tell anyone the full story. But in all seriousness though, all-age venues are an important investment to the community. It gives kids choices, other outlets. It allows them to see music up close and to help bring their own creativity to fruition. No music scene has ever blossomed without the backing of a good venue. St. Joseph is very lucky to have someone as caring and good natured as Justin Tatro to help establish such a place.


St. Joseph News-Press - Blake Hannon, St. Joe News-press

"Sterilize Stereo Promises Rowdy Times at The Axe And Fiddle..."

OK SO WE"RE IN OREGON!!! And it was one hell of an adventure...but the Photo Blog for that is being assembled....but we wanted to post the latest news article on us from our FIRST show in OR. Thanks To Jon For Putting together a Rockin' piece.........

"Sterilize Stereo promises rowdy times at Axe & Fiddle"

Posted: Thursday, Aug 23rd, 2007

It's been about a year since the members of Sterilize Stereo decided to give the Pacific Northwest a try. After their arrival in Portland, a week ago they prepare to journey south; bringing their particular brand of rowdiness to Cottage Grove's Axe & Fiddle.

Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Sterilize Stereo now calls Portland its home, and guitarist Chris Tady says the band has enjoyed the new scenery.

"It's been wonderful out here," Tady said. "It's nice to have a change of pace, and we've got a great place with a lot of great neighbors."

The outfit of percussionist Marshal Louk, lead vocalist Jake Kersley, pianist and all-around asset Stephanie Kersley, Tady and bassist Jason Grant knows how to have fun.

"We're known for our ability to have a good time," Tady said. "And we tend to draw a semirowdy, good-time having crowd. It gives the show that extra bit of spectacle that can sometimes take it to a new level."

The ten tunes comprising the band's latest recorded effort, Bugs and Daymares, bear out such fun. From the languid acoustic chords of the opener, "Hannibal's Lecture," to the barroom refrain of "Lungs and a Liver," Sterilize Stereo delivers music ranging from beautiful to disturbing, uplifting to macabre, tunes built to rattle around the boards of the Axe & Fiddle. The fullness of sound created by a group of consummate musicians finds its focus in the in-yourface gravel of Kersley's vocals. Good-time tunes indeed.

Sterilize Stereo recorded Bugs and Daymares in February with the assistance of Mike West, half of Louisiana-based duo Truckstop Honeymoon. Tady said the band's live shows include cuts from the album, but that newer material is finding its way onto the setlist. He describes the band's sound as an ever-evolving statement involving an eclectic group of musicians.

"It's all about bending what you're into to the will of the song," he said. "We want to come together and make a statement in the coolest way possible. We've been together about a year and a half, and the music we've been making has mutated quite a bit. It's still exciting to see what comes out of us playing together."

The band lists divergent influences as the foundations for its sound, many of them literary, such as Jack Kerouac and Noam Chomsky, as well as music giants like Miles Davis and Merle Haggard.

"We make music collectively," Tady said. "And we feel that everything we do should reflect that. This is a very inclusive album, and lots of times our songs come from a thought pattern or a visual cue. There's really no end to it."

Tady's explanation of the band's moniker echoes the nolimits approach to everything the band does. "The name is about setting up a project without limitations," he said. "If we want to bring in an extra banjo player or a string quartet, that's what needs to happen . We just go for it." Sterilize Stereo will go for it at 8:30 p.m. this Friday. Madame Flodd opens, with a $5 cover.

- Jon Stinnett

"Bugs And Daymares"

From a band named Sterilize Stereo, one would expect punk rock, maybe, or some kind of minimalist German techno. One would be wrong. This fledgling KC-Lawrence band sounds like gypsy freak folkers doing numbers from a lost 1930s protest musical. Though the instrumentation is unconventional — bowed cello instead of bass, a member who doubles on piano and mandolin — the star of Bugs and Daymares, the band's debut, is singer and acoustic-guitar strummer Jake Kersley. His histrionic, youthful voice has the comedic baritone growl of Mike Doughty and the wannabe-gospel-singer flair of Rufus Wainwright. Though the band isn't too timid to kick out the Zeppelin-via-Romania stomps ("Bezerka Mazurka," "Lungs & a Liver," "The Dirge"), the arrangements find the instruments following the mad frontman across a proglike landscape of frequent, crashing changes. The approach is more about expression than melody, so there's not much to sing along with on Daymares but plenty to listen to. In concert, Sterilize stomps and hoots like mad vaudevillians. The name may be ill-advised, but the sound is far from sterile. - Jason Harper, Music Editor for Pitch Weekly

" Interview"

Check out this address to hear a phone interview with Jake Kersley, conducted by Music Editor, Richard Gintowt for the Deadwood Derby...
- Richard Gintowt


Bugs And Daymares 2007 (self-released) on Axehead Recordings



Fresh from the farmlands of Kansas, these blood-lust revivalists left the heat of the hayfields in trade for hot lights of staged night. Pushing the limitations of traditional stylings, they stomp, hoot, and sway their way across the stage...their musical intensity only matched by the extent to which their faces contort. Soothing and scathing, lifting and falling, alive and yet dead, they bring to you the nervous chants of the past...