The making of………
Mind of the Mannequins is a band comprised of two Renaissance figures heavily influenced by progressive rock bands like Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Queen and the like. These figures would be keyboardist Stevie Holmes and guitarist Johnny Graves. Stevie’s main influence being Yes while Johnny’s would be Queen. Mind of the Mannequins can be considered a form of “Classical Rock” with just a hint of Techno.
Well, there is a beginning to all of this. Steve had been recording on a Tascam four track reel-to-reel recorder with the help of high school friend Steve Werbelow. One day, sometime late November 1982, Steve had met with bass player Paul Bernstein, discoverer of and expert on “Gyroism”, and Guitarist Johnny Graves at his house in Granada Hills, California. From this meeting emerged four songs and a band with no name that only performed in Stevie’s practice room known as the “Cave”. They ate a lot of hamburgers too.
Before long, Paul moved on to become a music teacher and the band adopted the name Stormkro. They acquired a new bass player, Richard Cusato and moved their operations to a studio in Chatsworth, California. For many years Stormkro performed mostly in the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood areas. There were many changes in line up in the band but the most dedicated were Richard Cusato, Bass, Christopher “Strider” Holst, Vocal and drums and Howard Roth, Vocals and drums. In 1996 Stormkro released the independently produced record entitled “Some Odd Years”. During this time Stormkro was nominated for “Best Live Show” at the Rock City News music awards. Johnny left Stormkro in 2001 while Stevie continued his musical endeavors.
In 2010 Stevie and Johnny rejoined forces in what was a soon to be known as a mental health cooperating project called ”No Asylum”. With careful consideration it was decided to name the band Mind of the Mannequins. This was heavily influenced by a Halloween character played by long-time friend, Joe Kendall. The production and sound engineering talents were commissioned from old time friend Steve Werbelow with the musical talents of drummer Mike Notterman, bassist Craig Carter and vocalists James Tillett and Kate Taylor. The No Asylum project was recorded at The Castel Studio in Franklin, Tennessee and The DogHouse in Nashville, Tennessee. The result is a 13 song musical project with many classic and modern day influences. It is a Mental Health Cooperative with “No Asylum”.