The Stems formed in late 1983 when Dom Mariani, formerly in the band the Go-Starts, was introduced to Richard Lane. Richard had seen Mariani in the final few gigs of the Go-Starts and asked him for some guitar lessons. The lessons turned into jams, the jams into songs, and the decision was made to start the band. A friend, Gary Chambers, was recruited to join the band on drums and bass player John Shuttleworth poached from another local band, the Pink Armadillos and some demo’s recorded. The bands debut gig was supporting The Saints and The Triffids at the Old Civic Theatre in Perth. Their sound was influenced by 60s garage acts ranging from the Electric Prunes, The Standells, The Chocolate Watch Band to The Easybeats. A local Saturday night residency at the Wizbah venue saw throwback covers and a growing list of original songs and a cult following for the band. Shuttleworth decided to leave so a final gig for the band was arranged which drew a large crowd. The success of this gig and freshly written songs saw the band recruit a new bass player, school friend Julian Matthews.
The Stems played at local legendary (and now long-gone) venues such as The Wizbah, The Old Melbourne and The Shenton Park Hotel on a regular basis, the group built up a substantial following in Perth, at a time otherwise dominated by cover bands. During this time they replaced Shuttleworth with Julian Matthews on bass.
Weed Out is a 1997 album released by House of Wax of live recordings by The Stems. This live 2 track recording features 10 live cuts from a performance at The Old Melbourne Hotel in Perth, Western Australia on April 18, 1986. As well as containing live versions of previously released favorites like "Rosebud", "Make You Mine" and "Love Will Grow" the album contains two previously unreleased songs "Does It Turn You On", "Don't Let Me" together with a cover of the Monkees' "Stepping Stone".