Battalion was formed in 1990 with Rob Kay as the drummer and lead singer, Les Rouse as lead guitar, Arron Pabst on rhythm guitar, and Kjell Hatlevig on bass guitar. Rob Kay had an amazing voice coupled with a hard driving rock and roll drum style that really stood out. Les Rouse had a gritty guitar sound and the ability to write songs with a catchy hook that left you looking forward to what was going to be played next. Ultimately Battalion had a truly awe inspiring heart for the lost and an uplifting message in every song they performed which made this group tend to stand out. This original group began writing songs and playing live shows in and around local venues that opened many new and exciting doors in a short amount of time.
With Rob Kay singing lead vocals and playing drums at the same time it left the stage somewhat lacking with no official front man. It was decided early on to find another vocalist and that is when the sound man for the group stepped up to the task and began singing for Battalion. That guy was Brad Lundstrom. Brad was raw and original in his vocal attack and grabbed the front man position with both horns. Rob, Les, Brad and Kjell were able to incorporate some fairly striking harmonies into the song writing style and Les was able to write some cutting edge riffs that just worked great for this foursome. At that time no one had any idea how fast Battalion would start hitting the stage on a regular basis and soon be writing all new songs with studio recording projects just around the corner.
Rob, Brad, Les, and Kjell worked very hard to record a demo tape in 1991 at Wave Digital studio which would soon land Battalion into a small US tour and another recording project at Wonderland studio in 1993. Rob Kay’s sister Audrey Kay helped with keyboard additions and pushed some of the songs to a new level. Member changes unfortunately began to haunt Battalion even during the recording process at Wonderland. Rob Kay stepped down and Joe Siegel began drumming for Battalion. Kjell Hatlevig left and Jay Curatolo took over the bass spot. Jay and Joe were fired up and really came through as the rest of the recording work at Eclipse studio was finalized in Omaha, Nebraska. Jay was only able to help with the recording process at that time. Battalion ads were now being featured in many Heavens Metal magazine issues along with the CD “Runaway” packaged and sent across the US with Sun Coast Distributions, under Moonlight Productions, and Direct National Runaway Switchboard Hotline incorporated into the booklet. The group was now set to finish up the US tour and start working on new songs for future recording projects. Everything looked as if something big was about to happen.
Once Battalion went back out into the live show arena Jamie Yonk took over the bass guitar spot and Matt Lombard joined the group as the rhythm guitarist. Matt and Jamie brought a much heavier music style into the group but the writing style and vocal intensity stayed true to the original sound. By 1994 Battalion was now writing a whole new set of songs and working toward a second recording project in hopes to work with Rugged Records. That project was never finished as the group parted ways before anything could be finalized.
Battalion did re-unite for a small show in their hometown in 1996 with Rob Kay, Kjell and Chad Hatlevig, Les Rouse and Brad Lundstrom playing some old and new material which would end up being the last time Battalion was able to perform live.
Thank you to all who were involved in any and all endeavours that Battalion was a part of. We thank God for the memories, friendships, and fellowship that came from this union.
Brad Lundstrom, 2011