Born: 10.09.1979, Boise, Idaho, USA
Drums, Bass, Synthesizer, Organ, Vocals
Stephen Baldassarre was born in 1979 from a musical family in Boise, Idaho. His mother, a concert violist and father, a classically trained guitarist, were eager to enrich Stephen's musical life despite their busy schedules. He showed interest in playing music himself but didn't actively take part till he was fifteen, when he started taking drum lessons. In only a couple of months, he was playing his first paying shows doing jazz, country, oldies and classic rock among others. A year later, he was permanently in a band, Bentley's Golden Clam Machine, doing a combination of original and covers of hit rock and grunge. All the while, he took an interest in playing bass in the vein progressive rock legends like Geddy Lee, Chris Squire and psycho-funk bassist Les Claypool.
Bentley's GCM didn't go far, but it served as a stepping stone into recording. Armed with only a couple of inexpensive mics and a 4-track cassette, Stephen started recording the band's songs as means of helping develop them further. Never satisfied with the sound on their musical sketchpad, he was always trying to find ways to improve matters. Before too long, people were asking Stephen to record their bands in his make-shift studio that eventually grew into Golden Clam Machine Studio. Stephen was fascinated by the aspect of mastering. It was (and still is) a highly misunderstood process and not many seemed to focus on it, so he made it his.
Stephen continued playing in various bands like The Fabulous Chancellors and doing one-time sessions as a musician while mastering acts such as Mitch Ryder. At this point, Steve Scwharz contacted him about mastering his latest opus, Insanity. It was still very much a work in-progress, but wanted input on his home recordings before getting to deep into it. It was clear that recordings were fine, but were crying for the distinctive sound of Frank Fisher's mixing skills. Schwarz was growing ever more dissatisfied by his programmed drum samples in light of the extra edge brought by Fisher's work, so Baldassarre was contacted again to play drums on the album. They were tracked in between other endeavors over the course of several weeks before all was said and done. The rest of course, is history.