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Stimulus / Blog

Devin Ross aka Agent I (keyboard)

Agent I didn’t have much of a family life at home. His father met his mother on a bucket-list trip through the Orient. They were married and Agent I was born nine months later in Sarasota, Florida to a 70 year old retired white man and a 20 year old half-Vietnamese girl. Agent I’s father had amassed a signifigant amount of financial wealth in his lifetime, and hired only the best tutors for his son. Age caught up with Agent I’s father and even though he wasn’t involved in his son’s life for very long, he did manage to set up a trust that took care of Agent I through his youth. His mom was never around, living out her young fantasies of being rich in America. Agent I gravitated to the grand piano his father had left behind in the parlor of their house and found the comforting solace his mother couldn’t provide. However, she was so intrigued to hear her quarter-Asian son play the instrument that when he was 11 years old she paid to have him sent to a remote music school in the Northern Provinces of China. On his 18th birthday, when the trust ran out, Agent I was sent back home to Florida to find that his mother had sold the house and disappeared. His father’s trust was only established to get him through schooling, and after that Agent I was left to fend for himself. With only his musical talent to see him through, Agent I joined Stimulus with little more than the clothes on his back. Playing an ancient synthesizer abandoned on the side of the road, Agent I somehow extracts amazing sounds from the artifact.

Daniel Bodak (bass)

Daniel Bodak Vision impairment has plagued Daniel since he was born. Coming from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, Daniel was often lost in the mix. His siblings taunted him and his parents, broke, overworked, and stressed out by the sheer volume of the family denied the boy had any vision problems whatsoever. He was a reclusive child. One day the entire family left their suburban Philadelphia house for a day trip to the city. It was Christmas time and the family was wandering the mall, looking at gifts they could never really afford, when Daniel was lost. He followed a woman he thought to be his mother, but was in fact a recently fired nanny. The loss of her job upset her, but not as much as the loss of the connection she had with the young boy she worked with. The poor black woman wandered the mall, so lost in her own thoughts, that she didn’t notice the little white boy following her around. It wasn’t until the bus stop that she became aware of him. She took the boy home, made contact with his parents, was informed of the situation, and everyone agreed it would be best for all parties concerned if Daniel was just left in her care. Raised as a poor black kid from East Philadelphia, Daniel was embraced by his surrogate family. His new father was a factory worker, hardworking, diligent, and kind. The man had but had one guilty pleasure. The 1986 Ford Escort he drove to work was outfitted with a ridiculously large car stereo system. Daniel soon discovered that when he was riding in the back seat, and the bass from the car stereo was vibrating his whole body, he could actually see. The bass guitar was an obvious next step, as well as leaving behind his strange childhood on a journey of self-discovery.

Anthony T. Karnow aka Antwone (guitar)

Abandoned on the streets of Detroit at the tender age of 4, Antwone quickly forgot his parents and resolved to get tough before the streets killed him. Somehow, he managed to collect enough scraps from the dumpsters of Detroit, and remain hidden well enough, that the young Antwone survived for years completely unnoticed in the urban wilderness. One day, while foraging through dumpsters for food, he found a battered Ibanez electric guitar with two strings left on it. The sounds from those two strings brought the very first smile to the young child’s face. With these sounds, he could transcend his own oppressive existence and enter into a space where anything was possible. The years passed and Antwone somehow survived, teaching himself how to play the guitar and teaching himself how to get by alone in this bizarre civilization. When Antwone was finally able to plug the electric guitar into an amplifier, his life’s purpose crystallized. His self-taught mastery of the guitar has matured to include a wide array of effects pedals that he uses to produce sounds unlike anything anyone has ever heard before. The natural leader and front man of Stimulus, Antwone has been able to harness the anger of his dismal upbringing and translate it into an energy that keeps every show bouncing.

Carl Odis Cole -drums

Born and raised amongst the cotton fields of Levelland, Texas, Cole was born to a Church of Christ preacher and his devoted librarian wife. His home life was as ordered, neat, and sterile as the endless rows of brown dirt and genetically manipulated crops that surrounded him. Before he could even walk, young Cole was banging and beating on anything to relieve the frustration of his flaccid Americana upbringing. The only member of Stimulus with a chance at a relatively normal childhood, Cole threw it all away to look for a fundamentally different religious worldview than his father had preached about. At 13 he ran away and hitchhiked to New Orleans where he lived for a time on the streets of the French Quarter begging for spare change. Soon enough, he was taken in by a mysterious voodoo rhythm shaman. The protégé was led through a series of dark rituals intended to instruct him in all the possibilities of good and evil contained in the polyrhythm forever beating at the heart of existence. The training and rituals nearly killed him, but Cole survived and began his long journey towards mastering the true rhythm of all things. Using his understanding of the rhythmic force, Cole has been able to manipulate and steal his way into a hybrid drumset. Using a mixture of acoustic drums and cymbals along with electronic apparatus and devices he is beginning to fulfill his own religion of embracing both the good and the evil stashed amongst the beat. The eldest member of the band, Cole’s drumming lays the foundation for Stimulus.


we are emerging