Hard rock/heavy metal band Crossfade is based in Columbia, SC, where its members reside. The group came together in the late '90s with the merging of singer/guitarist Ed Sloan with bassist/backup singer Mitch James and drummer Brian Geiger as the power trio the Nothing. Sloan, a Columbia native, had begun taking piano lessons at eight and been attracted to grunge and heavy metal music, joining his first band, Darkchilde, in the eighth grade. By the time he began attending the University of South Carolina and majoring in computer science, however, he was looking for new musicians to play with. Geiger, also a native of Columbia, had played drums since his childhood and was a member of another local band, Celestian Slant. For James, who took up the bass after becoming enamored of the instrument at a David Lee Roth concert, the Nothing was his first band. The group added singer and club DJ Tony Byroads, who had grown up in Buffalo, NY, playing in a band called Final Wave in high school, then moved to Columbia after graduation.