It all started in 2002 with the demise of Mike Lopez's band Eve’s Drop. Mike wanted a challenge, and instrumental rock guitar seemed the stiffest, especially given the long shadow cast by area legends Fourth Estate. Mike recruited drummer and fellow manufacturing-plant employee Nate Scofield to record the first CD, LandSpeedRecord (Hapi Skratch Records, 2003). LSR started a long streak of outstanding reviews for the band and featured a set that included hints at thrash, a Van Halen-ish hoedown, and a Spanish-themed number. The second track, Submarine Limousine, ended up on an instrumental compilation from the east coast called Quintessence and also brought home the group’s first Hapi Skratch award for best instrumental rock track of the year. Mysterious Dead Orleans was chosen to compete for rock instrumental of the year in the 2004 Just Plain Folks international music competition. For live shows, Mike asked long time friend Derek Maness to help out with the rhythm section. Fourth Estate member and studio musician Mike Olson completed the live line-up in addition to playing bass in-studio on most GasHead releases through 2007.


2005 saw GasHead release its ultimate thrash instro-metal CD with the humorously titled Knuckles Avec Sombreros. This time around GasHead had become more than just a project, the core of Mike Lopez, Derek Maness and Nate Scofield was truly a band. Knuckles displayed the direction the three were heading: heavier rhythms. The sound was akin to Satriani being influenced by the Bay-area thrash scene from the eighties. As progressive as the band could be at times, even the uninitiated listener was captured by the band’s groove. There was only one thing holding GasHead back -- a full-time bass player. That would come, but not before the band made the giant decision to include a vocalist in the mix. It was hard to turn their backs on what they had accomplished in the instrumental genre to this point, but perhaps they knew somewhere in the back of their minds that a new level of synchronicity was around the corner.

Kronow’s James Brennan was a label mate with GasHead and a like-minded Testament fan. He agreed to cut a couple newly written songs with the band to serve as a recruiting tool. Juarez, in particular, gave the band the confidence that they could in deed write a kick-ass metal song. Before long, Josh Purdy, who had at one time sung for The Mandrake, joined the band onstage to perform Testament’s The Preacher, and the band was impressed enough to offer him the gig.

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