Behind the Music
Driven by a fiery mix of hard indie rock and dark, intense life affirming moments Charlotte NC based Grown Up Avenger Stuff – a powerhouse unit driven by veteran guitarist John Thomsen and his sons. Hunter (bass) and Tyler (drums/percussion) and now fronted by the incomparable Ray Stern (vocals) - emerged as a true global sensation in 2015.
They have extensively toured the US including appearances at one of the largest music festivals Summerfest (Milwaukee), NoDa Summerfest (Charlotte), Center of the Universe Fest (Tulsa) and batches of shows at South By Southwest.
Their freewheeling, high energy live shows have gone international with dates at K-Days in Edmonton (one of Canada’s top festivals), Indie Music Week and Canadian Music (Toronto), and toured European cities in Italy, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.
Capturing their wild, growing momentum beyond the status of “regional sensation,” GUAS – which first hit the local scene in Charlotte in 2009 - has notched a growing number of critical accolades from key indie music tastemakers. Beneath The Grid named them the “2014 Breakout Artist of the Year.”
Rock World Magazine said they “haven’t been this excited since I first heard Alabama Shakes.” Mid TN Music puts them “on par with bands such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Queens of the Stone Age, Florence and the Machine and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.” Bandblog says it all about GUAS’ growing impact in a few words: “May possibly become your new favorite band.”
GUAS has had the honor of working with Mark Needham, a renowned engineer who has worked with The Killers, Shakira, Stevie Nicks, Chris Isaak and Blues Traveler, among countless others.
Needham says of GUAS: “I love what this band is doing. They have a very unique sound and they ROCK!”
The sound comes from the unique histories of the GUAS band members. John’s years of pure rock guitar work, combined with Tyler and Hunter’s gospel roots playing in church every week starting at twelve years old, and finally with the true electronic punk rock roots realized by Ray as she toured the clubs of Toronto and London, Ontario. Each is a multi-instrumentalist and their love of many music styles brings uniqueness to an effortless, exhilarating rock and roll energy.
As John says, “What you get from us live is pure fun rock and roll. The connection and chemistry between us is so strong, especially between Hunter and Tyler, and Ray has proven to be a perfect fit, as though she was created to be the perfect front person for GUAS. There are times when it feels like magic on stage – and there’s no better feeling than when we’ve got the energy going and we’re connecting with the audience. It’s taken us a few recordings to emerge with our own sound free from the references to our influences, and there’s freedom in knowing who we are and being able to express everything in our own unique way.”