Steelheart started off as a usual rock band called Red Alert whose members included James Ward (bass), Chris Risola (guitars), Jack Wilkenson (drums) and after auditioning, Michael Matijevic on vocals. Frank DiCostanzo joined as a second guitarist and John Fowler replaced Jack Wilkenson on drums, after leaving the band Rage of Angels. Recording a four-track demo tape, Matijevic managed to meet artist manager Stan Poses. However, Poses wasn't interested, despite this Matijevic persevered and eventually was given a scribbled address. The next day, Stan Poses had the demo tape, within an hour of hearing it, Matijevic received a phone call confirming that "Red Alert" had just been given a contract with MCA records. Realizing that the Red Alert name was already taken, the band settled on Steelheart allegedly because of their attitude after trying to get a record deal for so long.