Product 19

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Product 19 was a punk band from mid-to-late 80s. It featured Bill Stephens before he went on to greater fame in Naked Raygun.


  • Len Ayola - Vocals
  • Carl Schulz - Bass
  • Bill Stephens - Guitar
  • Bill Schneider - Drums


Two skate buddies from Wheeling Illinois (Len and Schneider)decided they needed to start a band to "pick up chicks". The two ran adds in IE which Carl answered, then joined the band. For the first few months, the band put together songs as a three piece with Len playing guitar and singing. After a few songs were more or less complete, the band actively recruited the original lead guitarist and recorded a five song cassette under its original name, Violence Ward with Len singing and on rhythm guitar. The demo was received well, especially by WNUR who regularly played one of the songs, Police Stories and had the band come in for a live interview. After the interview, someone at the station suggested that the band should change their name.

Having not played any live shows and unhappy with the current lead guitarist who was let go, the band added Bill Stephens through a mutual High School friend of Carl's. During this time, the band went ahead and change their name from Violence Ward to Product 19, yes the cereal.

After Bill Stephens joined, Len put the guitar down and band was quickly able to put together enough songs to start playing out. Money earned playing gigs was used to fund the second demo, self titled Product 19. This demo was also well received and earned the band gigs at more popular venues like the Metro and playing openers for some national acts like Hüsker Dü and Naked Raygun.


Violence Ward Demo.jpg

First demo released under Violence Ward with original lineup - December 1984

Product 19 Self Titled Front.jpg

Second demo released under Product 19 with original lineup (front cover) - Summer 1985

Product 19 Self Titled Back.jpg

Second demo released under Product 19 with original lineup (back cover) - Summer 1985

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