S.T.E.M. (Space, Time, Energy and Mass) is a Progressive/Hard Rock band hailing from NY. Honoring the influential greats who defined Progressive Rock, S.T.E.M. combines daring time signatures with heart-pounding rhythms and mind-racing lyrics to deliver on every promise of Progressive Rock composition – while throwing in a twist or two along the way. Through an unconventional but appealingly fluid mix of essential raw elements, such as Mediterranean Soul, Funk and purist American metal, S.T.E.M. convincingly redefines the standard rock experience with unique and truly intriguing flavors. These are sounds that tease the ear and challenge convention through audacious arrangements and wonderfully colorful harmonic progressions.
Assembled in August 2006, S.T.E.M. is comprised of former members of "Project plan b", including vocalist/percussion Ryan Safarian, guitarist Greg Bolomey and "Bunson Large" bassist Jeff Romano, who then welcomed drummer Tony Consalvo, completing the progressive rock quartet. S.T.E.M.'s influences are respectfully drawn from the undeniable and transcendent talents of pioneers like Dream Theater, Tool, Primus, Rush, Opeth, Gruvis Malt, and Pantera.
Like the entropic states of physical matter the band’s name would suggest, expect to hear the progressively unexpected when you listen to S.T.E.M.
Born in Queens, New York, Ryan Safarian was raised in a traditional Armenian household. From day one, a deep spirit of cultural identity, personal legacy and downright ethnic pride led him down a path of self-discovery and expression that quickly manifested itself in rich music and poetry. He picked up his instrument first at the age of 7, thus embarking on his own personal musical odyssey. His well-sculpted talent was born into strings then grew into woodwinds and would ultimately progress to brass. Early recognition and acknowledgement of his skills came when he was asked to join the NY All-State trumpet ensemble.
While refining his trumpeting and studying musical theory, Ryan never lost touch with his Armenian heritage, instinctually drawn to exploring many Mediterranean/Middle Eastern instruments (particularly a percussion instrument named the doumbek). While playing percussion at local church festivals, he was able to form a connection with this culturally significant hand drum and, more importantly, master unconventional rhythms and time signatures, uncommon to mainstream American music at the time.
Ryan's instinctive ear for minor keys and an innovative approach to music drove him directly to Progressive Rock. With his musical education still unfolding, Ryan first picked up a microphone with the acoustic band "Project Plan B," where he formed a drum-tight bond with guitarist Greg Bolomey. The rest is history... still being composed.
Greg Bolomey first picked up a guitar at the formative age of 16. One fateful day, a neighbor stopped by Greg's house and proceeded to play a Metallica riff that he’d just learned. Greg was instantaneously hooked. Kirk Hammett is the reason Greg strived to become a guitarist. He took-off with forceful passion and never looked back. Inspired by the artistic expression of the likes of John Petrucci, Dimebag Darrell, Alex Skolnick, Buckethead, Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert, Greg taught himself anything, and everything, he could.
Older and more mature, he began to seek new ways to expand, enhance and enrich his musical acumen. He added formal training to his naturally talented ear by acquiring a BS in Audio Engineering as well as a Masters Degree in Music Performance. His well-cultivated knowledge, perpetual devotion and ever-growing musical prowess have come to define who he is as a musician – not least of which is a passion to teach. Greg continues to nurture his musical education with ongoing formal training in music theory, analysis and composition, while immersing himself in the timeless contributions of the masters: greats like Bach, Schoenberg, Cage and Stravinsky.
Progressive music serves as the ideal medium to allow Greg to grow through experimentation with challenging musical forays and techniques. A mutual love for Progressive music, and the conviction to put their prolific talents into tangible, lasting work, led Greg and Ryan on their quest to find a bassist and drummer. S.T.E.M. soon came to be.
Jeff Romano was born in Patchogue, Long Island, but spent most of his childhood residing overseas in such impactful, life-informing locations as Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. His family traveled the world over, exposing Jeff to many different cultures and styles of music. His own uniquely blended heritage of Italian, Puerto Rican and Native American descent is a telling indicator for the versatility of his music.
The musical bug first bit Jeff at the tender age of 9, while playing stand-up bass in music class. He had a true knack and really enjoyed it, but due to the overbearing heft of the instrument, he chose to downsize with a Cello. His attention to music may have been distracted at times but, thankfully, he never lost his touch. Eventually, with a newfound motivation, he picked up an electric bass in 1996.
Since then, Jeff has made playing and practicing his religion and he is one faithful follower. He found guidance and inspiration in the music of a plethora of influential artists, including Jaco Pastorius, Chris Squier of Yes, Flea of the RHCP, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Geddy Lee of Rush, Les Claypool, The Mars Volta, Tool, Mudvayne and many others.
Jeff spent many a year in and out of multiple working projects, eventually landing in and committing to S.T.E.M. Their project focused heavily on pushing past the imaginary limits and boundaries of the band’s personal and collective talents to create a new brand of progressive music experience; Jeff loved this challenge. Now all the trio needed was a drummer to follow suit.
Tony Consalvo, was born and bred in Bayside, Queens. Tony began learning to play guitar at age 7, shortly after a move out to St. James, Long Island, in 1990. He was first drawn to Classical and Country Music because of the acoustic guitar work. However, he switched to Rock soon thereafter, ultimately identifying with Progressive Rock after picking up the drumsticks in 1997. His transition was a smooth one, never missing a beat.
Incredibly, his first opportunity to perform came only 3 months later, playing two original tracks for a crowd of over 1,500 people. His music theory education continued throughout middle and high school, where he picked up trumpet and played in the concert band.
Now, with over a decade of experience under his belt, Tony has chosen to concentrate on the more technical aspects of drumming and music theory, with a style that can be considered a Rosetta Stone for most Progressive Rock/Metal bands today. On the drums, Tony is self-taught, developing his unique style from attending drum clinics, watching drum videos and listening to tracks from his favorite players. His primary influences dating back to his first days of drumming are Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, Neil Peart of Rush and Danny Carey of Tool.