The Rat Bastard Syndicate is the culmination of Steve Theado and Keith Pickens' long association as band mates. Together they've written hundreds of songs and toured the world many times over. Lennard James compliments this association with a thundering low-end and wide vocal range. Rounding out the lineup is Vinnie Salvatore, who also shares a history of writing, recording and touring the world with Steve Theado. This band is LOUD, DIRTY and REAL. What you see/hear is what you get. Uncompromising, generally ill-behaved and too stubborn to give up. This is The Rat Bastard Syndicate!
Steve Theado (guitars and vocals) hails from parts unknown. He was a member of American Dog from 1997 until their dissolution in 2015. He has written hundreds of songs and toured the world a dozen times over, most often with Keith Pickens laying down the beat. His sound is instantly identifiable, incorporating dangerous vibrato and swampy slide work, a rare commodity in today's insipid rock music scene, earning him great respect among his peers, fans and friends - and there are many. Steve truly is The Rat Bastard Syndicate!
Hailing from the musical wasteland of NW Ohio, Lennard James (bass and vocals) is a Rat Bastard of the highest order. Previous endeavors include early power groove pioneers Fatal Touch, Stages, and working the club circuit with a local favorite Level 7. Known for an aggressive playing style complimented by bombastic vocals, mayhem usually ensues with his live performance. Lennard's weapons of choice are Gibson and Epiphone basses , Orange and Hartke Amplifiers, Tech21 NYC, Malekko Heavy Industrial effects, Shure microphones and Mari strings. "It's not what you say, it's what you do!"
Keith Pickens (drums and percussion) hails from Baltimore, Ohio. He was a member of American Dog from 1997 until 2010, where he co-wrote and recorded five studio albums alongside his bandmates and toured the world extensively. Keith is highly sought-after for studio work and can play any style of music. But make no mistake, he is probably best known as one of the hardest hitting straight-ahead rock drummers anyhere. Keith is endorsed by Sonor Drums, Axis Pedals and Percussion, and Regal Tip/Calato Drumsticks.
Vinnie Salvatore (guitar and backing vocals) has been recording and releasing music under the name Skid Baxter since 1995, and brings a reputation as a solid multi-instrumentalist to the RBS camp. He met the American Dog guys in 2003 and became friends with Steve Theado over a shared interest in craft beer as well as collecting beer cans and related memorabilia. Vinnie recorded and toured with The Godz from 2009 until 2013 when he joined American Dog, recording and touring the world with them in their final years as a band.