The Apex Theory came together because of an ethnic bond. Frontman Andy Khachaturian, guitarist Art Karamian, and bassist David Hakopyan are of Armenian descent.
While growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, each of them was exposed to various genres of world music as well as pop music, jazz, and classical. Drummer Sammy J. Watson, who is not of Armenian background, grew up in Chimacum, WA, and hooked up with Khachaturian, Karamian, and Hakopyan after the Apex Theory failed to find a committed, determined drummer for the band. After one audition, Watson made the Apex Theory official in 1999, allowing the band to build a name around their infectious live shows in and around West Hollywood. They self-released the Extendemo EP in 2000 while major-label representatives chomped at the bit to sign the band. The Apex Theory wasn't exactly concerned with making it with a major label; they just wanted to play live. DreamWorks won them over, however, and the Apex Theory landed a deal in early 2001 and producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Pearl Jam, Sugar Ray) signed on for their first proper EP, a self-titled effort issued later that year. A main-stage gig with Vans' Warped Tour established the Apex Theory's name among the ever-changing alt-metal/post-grunge reign, for their "heavy Mediterranean groove," a phrase coined by the band describing their music, was catching on. Debut single "Shhh...(Hope Diggy)" pushed them to co-headline the 2002 MTV2 tour with Andrew W.K., Pressure 4-5, and Lostprophets. In April of that year, the Apex Theory's first studio full-length album Topsy Turvy was released. They headed out on the road with 2002's Ozzfest tour in support of the record. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi