40 Grit Bio
James Santiago - Vocals, Guitar
Chris Anderson - Guitar
Kevin Young - Bass
Mike Bennett - Drums
In a day and age of savvy marketing campaigns, manufactured pop icons and force fed hum until you bleed choruses, it is rare that a band can emerge truly by word of mouth and the sweat of their brow. The San Francisco East Bay's 40 Grit is that band.
Emerging in early 1997, word on 40 Grit spread like a New Mexican wildfire. Carving it's own unique sound in the burgeoning San Francisco scene rich with hard rock history, the band embraced what has become known as the "Bay Area sound", and brought it the element it is so deservedly needed - songs, while remaining true to their metal ethic. With the train moving full steam ahead, guitarist Chris Anderson is realistic; "our music now has to take us further".
The bands now infamous, explosive, live performances established 40 Grit as contenders with now legendary shows with Meshuggah, Testament, Stuck Mojo and Puya. The gigs left an indelible mark, keeping folks coming back for more. This
combination of the sometimes haunting and intense vocals, a thundering, rhythmic and hypnotic bottom end and drums that pulse like a beating heart, set the mode for audience participation. Couple this with team of awesome guitarists made people take notice and realize 40 Grit is a band to be reckoned with. Early accolades from the worldÕs metal press came fast. Germany's Rock Hard magazine dubbed them the "Best Unsigned Band". Stateside coverage in Metal Maniacs as well as England's Kerrang! and Terrorizer followed --all without the benefit of a record deal.
On what seems to be a meteoric rise, frontman James modestly puts it, "We keep maturing with every song we write. We just never give up. "
That climb to the top continues. With each show, the band expanded its area of influence. By June of 1998, 40 Grit was a highly sought after opening act, garnering an invitation to perform at the Milwaukee Metalfest. In December of that year, veteran noisemakers, S.O.D., invited 40 Grit to come and perform at their huge hometown show in New York City. This was the band's chance to make themselves known on the East Coast. That following February, vocalist James (Santiago) and bassist Kevin Young performed vocals with vocalist Billy Milano on S.O.D.'s return album, "Bigger than the Devil." Stints at the world famous Dynamo Festival in Eindhoven (almost unheard of for an unsigned band), Holland in 1999 made it official: 40 Grit are now an international force.