Phil Cristee - Lead Vocals and Guitar
Chip Marshall - Bass and Vocals
Bryan Kelley - Lead Guitar and Vocals
Tommi Stewart - Drums and Vocals
"If we had only formed about 5 years earlier than we did in 1990......we could've been a contender" say the members of CRISTEEN collectively.....and truth be told, those words have been agonized and thought about over and over, and told to friends and family who have come into their lives way after the leather pants were retired and the hair had been cut off. "I can't believe you used to look like that, and I can't believe you guys never made it....you were REALLY GOOD!" is a common reaction I get whenever I show someone our video we shot back in 1992 for 'Way Back Home' on YouTube" says drummer Tom Stewart today. "We had the songs, the look, the stage presence, the management, the drive and desire, but by 1993, it was over for bands like us, and since we were not going to wear flannel shirts, stare at the floor on stage, and become grunge posers to get a record deal, we drifted apart and never officially broke up, but it didn't need to be said-we were done".
The seed for CRISTEEN started back in 1985, when seventeen year old songwriter Phil Cristeen formed Missing Link, a musically average band with no real cohesive image to set them apart from your typical 1985 wanna-be band. Early versions of CRISTEEN songs like "Looking For You", "Don't Leave Me Lonely" and "Get Off On Me" were part of the Missing Link repertoire. After one gig at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ opening up for Zyrus, (featuring a then undiscovered Zakk Wylde), Phil split the band up, began writing songs with more of a vision in mind, and began the search for like-minded band members. In the meantime, Phil rallied some Lansdale, PA area friends of his, namely Mike Natalini (Drums) and Dave Wakley (bass) from local legends Teeze, who had just changed their name to Roughouse and were on the verge of signing with Columbia Records. The trio went into the studio and banged out demos for early CRISTEEN songs like "Only You", "I Don't Need Your Problems" and others that eventually made their way into the live sets. Guitarist John Buday helped out on the sessions as well. But back to the search.....
The first piece of the puzzle came in the form of bass player Chip Marshall, who had just come off a short stint with novelty act/guitar virtuoso The Great Kat, who you may remember played up a gimmick in the press of being impossible to work with and completely nuts. Chip was looking for something a bit more "normal" and in line with his desire to play catchy, yet gritty rock. Also a childhood fan of the original KISS……..
(The rest of the story on this highly under-rated band is available inside the six page booklet touching on subjects from Paul Stanley of Kiss, Cinderella, Kix, Britney Fox and many more).
So here it is, 2012/2013, and the music is still solid, well-written, and energetic – and it has value – and a place in the history books. Perhaps just a footnote, but the fans still want it! So thanks to the evolution of great hard rock labels like FnA Records, who approached us in 2012, we decided to give Cristeen’s music not just one, but two official releases: “Resurrection” & “Red, White, Black & Blue”. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed performing it!!!