Interviews no image

Published on November 28th, 2001 | by Gerry Galipault

0

Transmatic: Another Internet success story

By and large, there’s a lot of throwaway music taking up valuable space on the Internet. Download it at your own peril.

Transmatic is different. More than a year ago, the Indiana rock quartet posted an MP3 of its track, “Blind Spot,” on the music Web site Loudenergy.com. Not only did it stand out above the crowd, it piqued the interest of Social Distortion bassist John Maurer, also a Loudenergy.com executive.

“I’m sure people are going to doubt and question and wonder if (Loud Energy) really had a big influence on us,” vocalist Joey Fingers said recently, “and I can assure you they did. It’s for real.

“I can’t speak for the other Internet companies that are doing similar things to Loud Energy, but I’ll tell ya, several guys at Loud Energy are for real. They really went all out for us, and we were surprised. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t. They took a real chance when they hooked us up with (producer) Brad Wood and paid for us to go up to Chicago and record.”

A five-song EP led to a deal with Virgin-distributed Immortal Records. The band’s self-titled debut album was released Nov. 6 and is quickly cutting a wide swath at rock radio.

Why did Fingers, guitarist Zack Baldauf, bassist Andy Carrell and drummer Kirk Frederickson take the risky Internet route? Simple, Fingers says.

“Hell, we were out in the middle of Indiana,” he said, laughing. “Our manager was one of three people we knew who knew someone in the business. Other than that, we were trying any angle we could to get in, and it just so happened that the Loud Energy angle is what did it for us.

“If we had been in L.A., and say, my cousin was working at Geffen and my girlfriend’s brother worked at another label, and we had all these other contacts, I’m not sure we would’ve done it this way. But when you’re out in the middle of America and you’re feeling kind of ostracized from the industry, the Internet is a good way to get your stuff out.”

Once the band got its message across, it was only a matter of time before label executives came calling.

“The A&R guy at Immortal, Jason (Markey), when we finished our EP, he was the first person to hop on a plane and come see us,” Fingers said. “We really didn’t have to think about anybody else once we met him. It felt like the right thing, sometimes you get that intuition, and so far we have no complaints.

“It’s all about songs. Songs first. I think the industry runs off of songs. We’re not good-looking guys, and I don’t think we have this incredible star charisma thing, but what we do believe in is trying to write songs people can enjoy – or some people, obviously it’s not for everyone.”

The whole recording process, led by producer Neal Avron (Everclear, SR-71, New Found Glory), was an illuminating experience, Fingers say.

“I just wanted a chance to make a record, a real record,” he said. “A full blown album with a real producer at a nice studio and not be worrying about money and time. Even though we were still worried about money and time, working with Neal and getting to record at Sunset Sound where Prince did ‘Purple Rain’ and Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin had recorded in there, it was pretty incredible.”

Even more remarkable is that Transmatic did it all without creating a huge buzz back home.

“We had a small following in Indiana, and small is the operative word there,” Fingers said, “but we didn’t even get to play out a whole lot before we got sucked into the machine. I have friends who have played with their bands for years and are struggling, and I feel kind of guilty, because we played less than 20 shows and suddenly we got a record deal. But I don’t feel too bad, because I’ve met bands out in L.A. and they’ve told me they didn’t even play one show and got a deal.”

Whether Transmatic, with its catchy, introspective songs, will rise above the crowded field of rock groups is anyone’s guess. Life’s too busy and short to worry about such things, Fingers says.

“I worked at a record store for a couple of years and I listened to a ton of music,” he said. “I got to see it come through the channel, you know, start off with a buzz about it in Billboard and seeing what got out to MTV or VH1. I was consistently amazed by what made it and what flopped. Sometimes there’s a sure thing, like that Lifehouse song (‘Hanging By a Moment’). The first time I heard it, I was like everyone else, I thought, ‘That’s a hit song.’ Every once in a while, a song like that comes along, but everything else, you never know what the public is going to buy or connect with.

“So how do I think we’re going to do? I really don’t know. I’m trying not to have any expectations. I’m just trying to enjoy it, enjoy making a record and going out and playing music at least for a year or so and have this be my life. That’s good enough for me, and whatever comes out of it, it’s beyond my control.”

THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: “I’ve got to cheat on this question. I kind of ‘borrowed’ my first record from my dad, Jim Croce’s ‘Greatest Hits’ when I was like 5 or 6 years old. I knew all the words from front to back. That was the first musical influence on me that was profound.”

THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: “I think I was 3 years old, and I do remember bits and pieces of it. My mom dragged me to a fair in Indiana, and it was Anne Murray and Kris Kristofferson. I remember being under the tent and there was a lady singing on the stage.”

THE WORST JOB I’VE EVER HAD: “I had a job in the office of a factory for about a year. The owner of the company, he and I really didn’t get along very well, so it made for a very uncomfortable situation. Of course, he fired me, which ironically at the time I hated him for it but in retrospect, he did me the biggest favor ever. I guess I just got tired of seeing him taking advantage of people. After that, every job I’ve had since, I look at work in a completely different light. I appreciate things.”

TRANSMATIC ON THE WEB: Visit him @ www.transmatic1.com.

Tags: ,


About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • BEST OF THE WEB

     

    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    April 9, 2021 » Taylor Swift, Cheap Trick, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, Merry Clayton, Fleetwood Mac, Parker Millsap, Peggy Seeger, Nick Waterhouse, Sweet Oblivion Feat. Geoff Tate, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Larry Coryell, Chris Cain, Frances, Vijay Iyer Trio, Jetty Bones, etc.

    April 16, 2021 » Paul McCartney, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, NEEDTOBREATHE, Fitz, Escape the Fate, Engelbert Humperdinck, Saint Raymond, London Grammar, Andy Stott, Midland, Liquid Tension Experiment, Julia Stone, etc.

    April 23, 2021 » Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Todd Snider, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Steve Cropper, Imelda May, Tracy Lawrence, The Immediate Family, Justin Moore, Pærish, etc.

    April 30, 2021 » Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Thomas Rhett, Birdy, MercyMe, The Dropkick Murphys, Guided By Voices, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, Róisín Murphy, Miloš Karadaglić, etc.

    More New Releases » May 7 and Beyond: Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Van Morrison, New Order, Nancy Wilson, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Aly & AJ, Travis Tritt, St. Vincent, The Black Keys, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, Alan Jackson, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Blake Shelton, Olivia Rodrigo, twenty one pilots, Gary Numan, John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band, Mat Kearney, k.d. lang, Moby, Ashley McBryde, Texas, Shannon McNally, Rise Against, Black Veil Brides, Crowded House, Liz Phair, James, Tristen, Garbage, Wolf Alice, AFI, Cold Cave, Gary Kemp, Paul McCartney, Joshua Radin, Tom Odell, John Grant, Beartooth, Laura Mvula, The Wallflowers, Ida Mae, The Wandering Hearts, Maggie Rose, Candlebox, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: Pauseandplay.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love Pauseandplay.com? We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.




  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter