Machado and Demmel would form an official band to see if their uber-technical and industrial style of music would work as well live as it did on tape. Phil recruited good friend, and the only human he could think of that could recreate the complex electronic drum beats they created, Mark Hernandez (Vio-Lence, TORQUE). He also asked long-time best friend, Brian "Shack" Snyder, to be in control of the keyboard duties. Hernandez, who was also playing with Chris Addison in a different project (unsigned and disbanded Means to an End with Mike Roberts from Skinlab and Dave Moore from Re:Ignition), was given a referral from Addison to use Chris Hanson as their engineer for their first demo. The demo was recorded and released in 2000 to mixed reviews. The 1st demo, considered by some to be too electronic and a bit lifeless, gathered some interest but ultimately floundered. Realizing that something was missing, it wasn't much longer before the band decided that a "live" bass player was needed to fill in where the sequenced bass was lacking. Through recommendations from both Hernandez and Hanson, Chris Addison was asked to fill the role, and within weeks TECHNOCRACY was playing their first live show. Although the band's influences were apparent, the final lineup was truly original in sound and scape.
Unlike many of TECHNOCRACY's counterparts, the band relied heavily on the use of more accessible melodic vocals combined with heavy electronica with what could be described as an electronically implanted organic musical center... like a machine with a pulse. Continuing with Chris Hanson, the summer of 2001 marked the release of the band's self-titled first album, with the official release party taking place the night before 2001's now legendary Thrash of the Titans benefit show. The album received amazing mostly positive reviews in many international magazines and on websites all over the world. Upon the album's release, TECHNOCRACY began gathering a lot of local attention based solely upon their "stadium-like" stage shows. Coming straight out of the gates they chose to appear as the consummate live act, equipping themselves with the most modern lighting and stage-effects, while rehearsing tirelessly to perfect their stage presence. Bigger and better shows opening for national acts, selling out local venues, mini-tours up and down the west coast, local radio airplay, interviews, and label interest continued.
TECHNOCRACY began to receive several offers from some of the more reputable metal record labels in the industry. But as they say... what goes up must come down. After the internet bubble burst and the subsequent terror attacks of 09/11/01, the deal offers were off the table. TECHNOCRACY wasn't alone. Songs and video from contemporaries were pulled from the airwaves and some bands were dropped from labels altogether.
Bands like TECHNOCRACY, whose lyrics speak of the "near-future" where the inevitable technological apocalypse and the monitoring and tracking of private citizens, suffered most. Investors wanted nothing to do with bands or music that contained this now-controversial subject matter. The music world became an entirely different place overnight, and TECHNOCRACY was no longer welcome. When that type of momentum is halted so suddenly, frustrations from within can arise. People get burnt...
they feel jaded... it's almost as if the project becomes soured and untouchable. Initial excitement over the band's final 2002 demo was soon derailed as offers from labels halted altogether. "We love it...
we think you're great... but our hands are tied" became the typical response. Finally, Mausoleum Records made a modest offer to distribute the 1st album in Europe and parts of Asia. Frustrated and longing to get the album to the rest of the world, the band begrudgingly accepted. However, once the label received the signed contract, they ceased contact with its members and continue to sell the album to this day.
To my knowledge, no one in the band has received a check from them of any kind. Soon after this, everyone got together, vented some frustrations, and decided to call it a day. Phil Demmel moved on to tie up some loose ends with Vio-Lence and ultimately blessed the metal world by joining Machine Head, helping the band achieve their most successful career to date. Chris Addison joined PRIMATE (now known as Raze the Stray, with Nick St. Denis from Systematic and Mike Roberts from Skinlab) eventually moving away to start a family. Mark Hernandez is now in Re:Ignition with members from Skinlab and has been in Forbidden.
Chris Hanson is still recording and producing albums and has started his own family. Brian "Shack" Snyder continues to support the metal community and remains one of Demmel's closest friends. Finally, Steve Machado is still alive and well in a basement somewhere… remixing old thrash metal songs for his own enjoyment, although much of his existence remains a mystery. Read more on Last.fm.
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