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Tapping The Vein Biography

Last updated: 06/28/2009 12:00:00 PM

Eric Fisher - drums, sampling, & programming
Joe Rolland - bass
Mark Burkert - guitar
Heather Thompson - voice

For most bands today, it's much easier to make it by following in trails that have already been blazed.

Many bands simply add their own spin on their influences or capitalize on a current trend and too often, such efforts end up sounding forced and synthetic. Tapping the Vein will readily acknowledge any one of their influences without following them too closely. A blend of Rock, Goth, Industrial, Metal and even Jazz and Pop, together with Heather Thompson's emotionally charged vocals, creates a personal style that can't be easily labeled. If you asked someone who Tapping the Vein sounded like, the answer would probably be… after a lot of thought… like Tapping the Vein.

In November 1995, Philadelphia drummer Eric Fisher, frustrated by the failure of previous projects, decided to pick up again and begin writing on his own. During a internship in 1990 at Philadelphia's Kajem/Victory Studios, one session in particular would influence Eric heavily and come to shape his new project. The session was for new Warner Brothers signing, 9 Ways To Sunday. The band included programmer/keyboardist Charlie Clouser, now a member of Nine Inch Nails. 9 Ways to Sunday's interesting blend of dark, alt-rock songwriting and Charlie's innovative programming convinced Eric that ditching the conventional rock band instrumentation and buying a sequencer and sampler would help him become a more creative songwriter.

Dubbing the project Tapping The Vein, a reference to introspective creativity, Eric brought his ideas to guitarist/songwriter Steve Stegg and bassist Lou Louvenir. They were growing tired of the seemingly endless parade of "singers" auditioning for the band. One evening, it was Heather's turn. She had been given a tape of the material the week before and came to the audition with several finished songs. The three of them knew they had found their new singer and immediately began writing as a band. In May 1996, they independently recorded their first self-titled EP over a single weekend and began making a name for themselves on the local scene.

In late 1997, Steve and Lou decided to leave the band in order to focus on their families, leaving Heather and Eric to seek out replacements. They found them in Joe Rolland, a veteran of the local gothic scene and a dynamic bassist trained in multiple styles and techniques, and Mark Burkert, a classically trained guitarist with a penchant for hard rock. With the current line-up in place, they independently recorded and released a second EP entitled "Undone".

Tapping the Vein has built themselves up through the most effective and time-tested method, by word-of-mouth. Fans listening on their walkman, in their cars and on their radios have reported being stopped on the street by total strangers who inquire "who is THAT???". Some of their more hard-core fans have driven up to 20 hours or flown cross-country to attend shows and CD's have been ordered by fans from all over the world including Australia, Korea, China, Japan, Israel, Portugal, Russia, Romania, and most of Europe. This international recognition can be partly attributed to their sizable Internet presence, particularly through

Though pleased with their success as an independent band, Tapping The Vein welcomed the chance to push themselves to new heights with their signing to Nuclear Blast Record's new label Revolution Entertainment in the fall of 2000. Tapping the Vein's first full length recording, "The Damage" is scheduled for release world-wide on February 11, 2002.

Tapping the Vein has performed mainly on the East Coast of the Unites States but with the support of Nuclear Blast/Revolution Entertainment, they expect to be performing all over this coming year. They have opened or side-showed for such national acts as Depeche Mode, Alanis Morrisette, The Sisters of Mercy, Switchblade Symphony, the Damned, Gravity Kills, Type O Negative and VAST, and were featured at this year's Metal Meltdown III. In addition to their 2 self-released EP's, they have been featured on the compilation albums "The Unquiet Grave" (Cleopatra Records), "Diva X Machina" (COP Intl.), "Compe Noctem" (Carpe Noctem magazine), "Unheard" ( They have recently contributed their version of "Cornflake Girl" for Cleopatra Records' Tori Amos tribute album "Songs of a Goddess".