Systematic
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Pleasure To Burn
4/15/2003
 
Biography
YEAR FORMED: 1996
HOME TOWN: San Francisco, Ca
MEMBERS:
Tim - vocals/guitar
Adam - guitar
Phillip - drums
Nick - bass

Let's face it. With airwaves polluted by dance divas, generic instamix hit-writers and gimmick merchants, you've been wondering where to find a band that just simply, deliciously, powerfully rocks. As in 'kicks ass'. As in 'takes no prisoners'. Meet Systematic. The East Bay Area, CA based quartet, Systematic, who's debut album 'Somewhere In Between' is released under The Music Company/Elektra banner, may just be this year's fly in the generic-pop ointment. Produced by Peter Collins (Rush, Ultraspank) and mixed by Andy Wallace (Linkin Park, Nirvana, At The Drive In) in Nashville, TN in Fall 2000, 'Somewhere In Between' contains thirteen giants, complete with visceral riffs ('Mail Bomb', 'Thick Skin') memorable melodies ('Beginning Of The End', 'Glass Jaw', 'Bed Sores' ) and an edge unlike no other. "We don't 'do' gimmicks and I live, breathe and eat anti-rockstar," snorts Ruppel. "I couldn’t care less about the limousines and the labels on your coat. I care more about the music coming out of somebody's heart." "And that's really the whole deal," adds Narducci. "We wanna go out, make our bunch of noise and take over the world." Meeting in 1996, Narducci and Ruppel, the creative core of the group, are characters cut from different cloth yet bound by the same stitching. "It's definitely a yin and yang kinda thing with us," explains Narducci. "We're like fighting brothers, but we always seem to find a happy medium. It works on such a natural level that we don't bother analyzing it too much." The older Narducci, himself the son of a musician, received a drum kit at 5 and had been playing in bands since 10. The younger Ruppel had been exploring music in his bedroom since picking up the guitar at 9. Both shared influences ranging from Alice In Chains, Nine Inch Nails and Tool to Stabbing Westward, Led Zeppelin and Massive Attack. Both shared a love of passionate, emotional, fuck-you type music, sound that compromised itself for no-one. And both felt that the key to great songwriting was not rushing. "So we spent time hanging out and working songs out together," explains Narducci. "And I think it's great that we did that instead of just aimlessly grouping with some people and fucking off on tour. That's the sort of typical shit everybody else does which we were determined NOT to do." With their most important work (and initial demo) done, on resurfacing in late 1997 Systematic found things falling neatly into place. Narducci and Ruppel found St Denis, formerly guitarist in the band Pro-Pain. "Initially we were going to be a five-piece and I'd just sing," says Narducci. "But I wanted to play guitar too, so we persuaded –no begged- him to play bass because we really liked his vibe and energy!" Having found also found a drummer, Phillip Bailey, Systematic started playing more shows, and by Spring 1998 the band had a bona-fide industry buzz. Their response? Hole up in the bedroom and put a further 25 songs down on Adam's 16-track digital machine. The ensuing demo found it's way into the ears of Metallica's Lars Ulrich and quickly became obsessive listening for the co-founder of The Music Company. "A friend of mine, Ron Pifer, was working at The Plant Studios in Sausalito as a runner and he had our CD demo," says Ruppel. "Lars was in there with Metallica working on the 'S&M' album," furthers Narducci. "The guys at The Plant had been cranking our demo, he'd heard it and snatched the CD. He came to see us play live a week later in San Francisco, the gig went well, The Music Company made us an offer two weeks later and here we are." Working with producer Collins on 'Somewhere In Between' was an educational experience for Systematic. "We went to Nashville because it was where Peter wanted to work," says Narducci. "And to be honest, we saw that it wouldn't be a bad thing to pack up and get the fuck out of town. He gave us the impetus to try new things with our material, and the time to do it which many producers don't." And of Wallace's mixes, done in New York, Narducci says emphatically that, "they are the shit. He brings songs to that next level, he kept it raw and heavy and he kept it in-your-face'." Lyrically, 'Somewhere In Between' bristles with real, raw emotions. Narducci, with a childhood touched by religion, curiosity and experience, drew from both real and fictional scenarios for inspiration. "Some are from TV, some are from conversation and some are from real life," he offers. "Is it cathartic? Yeah. Probably more than I know. But I'll leave that for others to think about. And that's the thing with these lyrics, I think that most people will find some relation to them, however different their experiences have been." Soon after wrapping up 'Somewhere In Between', the band parted ways amicably with drummer Bailey and enrolled Modesto native Shaun Bannon, who Narducci notes, "is someone who hits really hard but also manages to generate a solid, heavy groove." Which brings us to this next phase in Systematic's thoroughly ascendant career. In Spring 2001, Systematic hit the road having dates lined up with the likes of Godsmack, Staind, Nothingface, and suspect that it won't be the last time they'll see the inside of an arena. "It's all about kicking everybody in the face," roars Narducci. "It's about crushing all bands, educating people on what Systematic are about and letting people know what the future of music is gonna be." The wagon's ready to leave. Catch it while you can.