It seems it all started with a plastic guitar at the ripe young age of 6 years old for Kevin Strom. His older brothers already playing bass and drums, convinced him to learn the instrument so they could mimic their heroes, Canada’s own – Rush. Graduating from that plastic guitar to acoustic guitar, Strom taught himself how to play by ear, lifting riffs and solos from all of his favourites, especially Alex Lifeson of Rush.
Entering into his teens he started to take the guitar more seriously. Eventually upgrading his instrument, gear and musical influences, he started to explore into the realm of instrumental guitar music. This was by far one of the major turning points in his life. Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen are just a few that influenced Strom to spend hours upon hours practicing and getting better. This inspired him to start writing and recording his own music as well as perform it with his high school band. During the summer of 1991, Strom joined a Bryan Adams tribute band “Summer of 69” (requiring a letter from his parents authorizing him to enter bars and clubs underage) and toured across Ontario and Quebec where he was able to get a taste of what a real live audience was like. That summer helped him grow as a performer as well as convince him to continue his dream.
In 1994 Strom attended the Atlanta Institute of Music where he graduated with honours. Armed with a new guitar and a wealth of knowledge, he returned and continued to write and record his originals. During that time he was offered a touring deal with an upcoming artist. Due to immigration work laws in the U.S. he couldn’t accept the position and sought out to form a new band of his own Faith Is Cracking, a progressive rock/pop band. Faith Is Cracking played around Toronto for a number of years and recorded 2 CDs before disbanding in the late 90’s.
With the original idea behind him, Strom was looking for something different and completed the missing piece in Elevation – The International U2 Tribute Show www.u2tributeband.com. Trying to recreate the U2 guitar sound was very challenging however over time he obtained the guitars and gear to replicate The Edge’s signature sound. 20 years and 15 countries later, Elevation is still one of the most successful U2 Tribute bands ever, and still going strong. The experience and exposure is something he never would have expected.
Over the years Strom has showcased his talents by filling in for many bands, participating in session work and writing and recording guitar parts that have appeared on various compilations – Most noted Elevation front man Shawn Brady’s debut CD – Electric Blood. www.shawnbrady.com
If he’s not playing with Elevation you can catch him with Neon Nostalgic – an 80’s/90’s retrospective which is billed as a “Live Video Dance Party” with synced music videos while the band performs. This has quickly become an event every time the band plays that has people talking around the world with performances in Bermuda, Dominican Replublic and the Bahamas to name a few. www.neonnostalgic.com
As of late Strom has written several jingles for a variety of podcasts, most noted the Fansided Network affiliates for the Toronto Blue Jays (Jays Journal Podcast), Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Montreal Canadiens (HabsFan versus LeafsFan).