Professional Murder Music

Professional Murder Music Biography

Professional Murder Music's vibe is at once foreboding and vital--and as intense as the band name suggests. The quartet's dozen-song Geffen debut provides a penetrating soundtrack to the psyche, yet within the potent sounds lies an "unerring sense of melody and structure," as one journalist raved. On PMM's self-titled bow, produced by Josh Abraham (Orgy, Powerman 5000), songs like the hypnotically upbeat first single, "Slow," to the futuristic melodicism of "Fall Again," to a cool take on the Cure's "A Night Like This," showcase the band's wide range of organic and electronic stylings. It's a distinct, signature PMM approach, based in the memorable songs, not a mere collection of striking sounds. "We wanted the album to be as multi-dimensional as the band is live: to have mellow moments, ambient sounds, plus the real aggressive, faster, heavier songs," explains singer/band co-founder Roman Marisak.

Formed by Marisak and bassist Jeff Schartoff, Professional Murder Music was a dream that took several years to perfect and realize. Schartoff was in the band Human Waste Project, touring the world as part of Ozzfest, and with bands including Tura Satana, which featured future PMM guitarist Brian Harrah. Marisak, who, at several points, was also briefly a member of Human Waste Project, worked constantly in his home studio, honing PMM's music and approach, and whenever Schartoff was off the road, the duo conspired on Professional Murder Music.

And it paid off. Completing the lineup with drummer Justin Bennett, the Los Angeles-based PMM signed with Geffen. Yet much national and international awareness of Professional Murder Music preceded their record deal. Shows with everyone from Orgy to Static-X to Fear Factory and strong press reviews piqued industry interest, though Professional Murder Music were more concerned with making music than landing a deal. In fact, in 1998, the band recorded their own EP at Marisak's Plan A Studio and sold it via the Internet, where several PMM fan sites existed. Clearly, the band couldn't stay a secret for long, and by late 1999, PMM's "Slow," a version produced by Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, Metallica), appeared on the star-studded "End of Days" soundtrack next to the likes of Korn, Guns N' Roses, Limp Bizkit and Rob Zombie. PMM's track was a standout, garnering airplay and finding its way into the bed/background music of several syndicated radio shows as well as being utilized by MTV and sports shows.

Prior to recording Professional Murder Music, the lineup landed a tour with Kid Rock and Powerman 5000. Since Schartoff had been spreading the PMM name and lore while on tour with his previous band, "a lot of people knew who we were," the bassist relates. "And we were playing 5,000-seater gigs where kids were into us even though we hadn't even recorded our major-label debut yet! Plus, musically, we were going onstage like this big dark cloud, so it was a great contrast to Kid Rock." After that tour, in March, 2000, the band's debut record was cut in L.A. with producer Josh Abraham. After its completion, PMM once again hit the road, landing a slot on the cutting-edge Tattoo the Earth tour, where they earned a strong response from the aggro masses.

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