Michael Stanton is a Texan born musician and was the guitarist for Avant Garde.
Michael Stanton first met Rivers Cuomo (then going by Peter Kitts) at a five week Berklee Music program in Boston. Michael said he wanted to approach Rivers and his quickly formed gang of rockers, but was unsure quite how he could. One day, Michael was playing Master of Puppets on guitar. Rivers heard it, knocked on his door and the two "hit it off really well" (Stanton). "We did everything together. It was a really fun time. We'd record wicked instrumental guitar songs on a 4-track. One was called 'Plankton Frito,' and it had a mean sounding Phrygian harmonized riff" (Stanton).
The two also spent hours writing out elaborate counterpoint dual guitar solos and recording them. Other than playing guitar, Rivers, Mike and some of their friends would go out for pizza at night or take the subway around. They also saw Rocky Horror Picture Show. Together, the two honed their sense of relative pitch. Mike has stated that his favorite memory of his teenage years was spending time with Rivers in Boston.After the music program, Rivers convinced Mike to move to Connecticut to join Avant Garde.
Mike stayed at Rivers' house, where he'd hang out with Leaves and Rivers. He got a job with Rivers working at a Domino's Pizza for six hours a day. The two would also play lots of Nintendo and stay up talking about girls. Mike felt that Beverly made him feel right at home. "She's a really nice lady, and my mom and her had in common a kind of new age mentality. His stepdad was nice too, although mostly absent. Rivers didn't talk about his real dad much," said Stanton. When he learned Rivers parents were getting a divorce, he relocated to Justin's house so that he was not a burden.
When Avant Garde moved to LA, Michael and Rivers drove out together, stopping for a few days at Michael's house in Texas on the way. The other band members came out separately a few days later (Kevin, Bryn and Justin).