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Eyeless Sentry: Firstly, introduce yourself to everyone!
Chad: Chad Murphy, Low-end Distributor for The Venting Machine (TVM).

ES: Your latest release, Diablo Demo has been well received in the metal scene; When I reviewed it, I heard a bit of melodic death and thrash with a sort of Zakk Wylde touch thrown into the mix. Would this be an accurate description of TVM’s influences?
C: Yes, that’s a fairly accurate description. We are influenced by some Death Metal and Black Metal, but most of our influences are Slayer, Old Metallica, Prong, Megadeth, Ozzy, Old Seputura, [Black Label Society], and bands of that caliber, both domestic and European.

Many American metal bands have been falling under the influence of MTV and are accused of “selling out,” with Metallica and Hatebreed being prime examples. What is your view on the whole Headbanger’s Ball phenomenon?
Well honestly, rarely do I or any of my band mates get to watch Headbanger’s Ball. Not that I don’t like the show, I just don’t have the time. Every once in a while I’ll get to see it, just to see if there is some unknown band in the scene that I hadn’t got to hear or see yet. I still don’t let a show dictate to me what I should like or listen to. I personally listen to far more music, both Metal and some other genres, than MTV could ever throw up on my screen.
Even if they dedicated a whole week's worth of air time to Metal, which we all know, they’ll never do. As far as bands selling out, well I believe that there will always be some form of that in people’s minds. Mostly because what one person defines as Metal, isn’t the next person’s definition of Metal. That can always cause heated debates. We have a saying at TVM, “No one is an authority on Metal, because Metal doesn’t recognize authority.”

(Good answer!) Is there healthy metal scene in Northern California? In your liner notes, it seems there is almost a large metal fraternity in the area.
Sadly, many of the bands that you find in our liner notes are now defunct. There is a scene here in NorCal, but I wouldn’t call it healthy. It’s O.K., but not great. There are still some great venues and some great shows, but not enough. It helps in a way though, to endure us as a band and to press our music and our careers harder.

Do TVM have any upcoming projects in the works? Gigs, etc?
Gigs? We gig all the time, about 2 to 6 times a month. We try not to overplay an area too much, but there’s still plenty of places we need to go. As far as upcoming projects, we’re 9 songs deep in new material and will probably start pre-production in March. We’ll be recording and Producing this next CD ourselves, just like Diablo Demo.

How is a TVM song created: is it a collective process or do the band contribute songs individually?
Sometimes one person in the band will have a rhythm or a beat, and we’ll go over it in practice, each of us adding our parts. Sometimes we just jam and something happens. Other times our guitarist, Jeremy, comes to practice with a song that he has already recorded on a disk. He’ll hand you the CD and say “learn your parts”.

For you personally, is music a full time occupation or more of a hobby or side-interest? Would you like to pursue a career as a musician?
Music for me is my second job that I’m trying to make my first. I like playing on stage. I also very much enjoy playing with the members of TVM. In some ways, I couldn’t think of playing with anyone else. If you’re asking me if playing music pays the bills presently, I would have to say “No”, but it is something that we, as a band, are trying to correct.

As part of a melodic death metal band, do you think there is a glut of melodic death bands out there with nothing new to offer the audience?
Melodic Death Metal? Is that what we’re called? Maybe. I dunno. I just thought that we were Metal, but you can call it whatever you want. I wouldn’t say that there is a “glut” of Metal bands. If there is a glut of anything over here, it’s a glut of “pop” music, like hip-hop and Top 40.

Which band/artist would you most like to take the stage with?
Sadly, that would’ve been Dimebag. Hands down.

My favorite tracks on your album were Graphnolagnia and Itchy Blood. Which songs were you most pleased with on the album?
My favourites are Venting Machine, Neverending, Pottymouth, and Itchy Blood. Graph and Serum are also a lot of fun to play!

The Venting Machine = Five Years from now?
Hopefully signed and doing European tours, where the “true” Metal fans reside! Although, touring the U.S. wouldn’t be bad either… We would also still be making great, definitive Metal albums. It’s in our blood.

Any thing you’d like to say to your fans?
Sure. Anytime you see us play live, come say “Hello”. We like that shit! And if you can only check us out on the web, there’s a forum at our website. Don’t be afraid to come by and check out our tunes or ask questions or anything. It’s always nice to make and meet new fans.

The Venting Machine's debut album, Diablo Demo is out now and is available from the band's website. Once again, thanks to Chad Murphy from the Venting Machine for the enlightening interview!

- Eyeless Sentry

January 17, 2005
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