heavy metal

Short Of Breath Bio

Short Of Breath
Band members
Bill Bilson - drums
Mike Hatalak - guitar
Josh Strasburg - vocals
Paul Yates - bass


Short of Breath formed in the summer of 1999 when guitarist Mike Hatalak called up vocalist Josh Strasburg and asked him to come join a jam session with guitarist Rich Spalla, bassist Paul Yates, and a drummer that they knew. Prior to this, Josh, Mike, and Paul had been playing together in a short-lived band called Stricture, but the energy of that random jam session led them to form what later became known as Short of Breath. The new group immediately started writing original material but were stalled by the lifestyle habits of their then drummer. They didn't hesitate in finding a replacement with 16-year old drummer Bill Bilson. Bilson had only been drumming for less than a year by the time he joined Short of Breath but his inexperience as a drummer was quickly outweighed by his raw talent and rigorous practice regime.

The band soon started playing a few odd shows in their hometown of Niagara Falls, New York and rapidly started making a name for themselves. Thanks to their inexhaustible networking skills, Short of Breath easily made the crossover to playing regular shows in the metropolitan Buffalo area, immersing themselves in a scene rich with well-known and well-respected bands.

As will happen, however, conflicts arose when the band started experiencing greater heights of success and Rich left to pursue an opening in another popular local act, Stemm. It was at this low point that Paul also left the group, taking a leave of absence, and was temporarily replaced by bass player Geoff Barone. Facing forward, the band headed into new territory with their music and became much more heavily involved in the writing process than ever before. They began writing material as a four-piece for what would be their first full-length release and continued to play numerous shows all over Western New York. Armed with a set of hard-hitting new songs, which elicited a more positive response than any of their previous work, Short of Breath spent the summer of 2000 honing and refining their skills both as musicians and perfomers.

With the return of Paul on bass, the band took a short hiatus from live performances and prepared to enter the infamous Watchmen Studios in October 2000 to record their first album, Room to Breathe. They layed down 10 solid tracks and released a "DIY version" of the album less than a month later, which sold out its entire first pressing at the CD release show alone. Emboldened by the excited feedback from local fans, they wasted no time in writing even more new material and jumping back into the scene with renewed conviction. What the future holds for Short of Breath is uncertain, but they are determined to make the most of it.

Click here to update bio