Who are the Altar boys?
The Altar Boys is an Orange County California based guitar driven power punk group with a message and sense of urgency that is hard to miss. The group came together in 1981 and was founded by both Mike Stand his cousin Jeff Crandall. Guitarist Steve Pannier and bassist and songwriter Ric Alba (later Mark Robertson replaced Ric on bass) rounded out the group.
As Altar Boys' chief songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, Mike led the band to produce five hit records: Altar Boys, When You're A Rebel, Gut Level Music (GLM), Against The Grain, Forever Mercy, (in addition to three compilation albums, The Collection and now No substitute). Together they film countless videos, including the package, Mercy Is What We Cry for and toured the globe. Although Mike was very much the driving force of the group, it is important to note that The Altar Boys were very much a "band of brothers," where the sum of the parts were greater than the whole.
In 1988, while simultaneously continuing with the Altar Boys, Mike released his first solo effort, Do I Stand Alone. He followed this up with the 1990 release Simple Expression.
After 10 1/2 years of continually touring and recording, Mike and the other band members felt that the Altar Boys had accomplished their goals and mission. It was time to move on. Many of the band members, along with Mike, decided to finish college.
In early 1991 the group began planning a 6th release and commenced work on a new project titled “No Substitute. The band incorporated a number these songs from the new project into their live set were they were well received. In July 1991 a photo shoot for the album was completed and Mike Stand recorded a “very detailed and meticulous” recording of 7 of the songs. Try as they could, The Altar Boys were never able to release this project, and it was indefinitely shelved as the band went on a permanent hiatus and parted ways on New Years Eve 1992. For the sake of posterity, another set of songs for “No Substitute” was recorded in early 1993 as a sort of tribute to what could have been. By late 1993 many of the songs for “no substitute” were doled out to Mike’s latest project Clash of Symbols (2 to be exact).
Nevertheless, the majority of the tunes sat on the scrap heap begging for just one more listen and opportunity to be heard. In late 2017, through a series of unbelievable events, Mike and the band revisited the songs from “no Substitute.” What they discovered was a perfect “time capsule” that just needed a little more TLC. They all felt it was time to finish what they had started in 1991 and all agreed that they had been given a “window of opportunity” to complete this long lost project. With the help and encouragement of family, and friends the band has done the impossible, and by the grace of God have completed what was started so many years ago.
On “No Substitute” the heart legacy, vision and message of the Altar Boys continues to punch through with an edgy and distinct musical direction that is a nod and hearty salute to the band’s earlier recordings.
A thousand miles
2005 Broken Concert | Live at Mariners in Irvine, CA