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Did Janis Joplin's ghost help Transmatic?
Janis Joplin recorded in the same studio where Transmatic put down its first album. The band ponders her role in the mix.

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Date published: 2/28/2002

THE FREE LANCE-STAR

If Transmatic's Immortal/Virgin Records debut album succeeds, the band may have the ghost of Janis Joplin to thank.

The group said the L.A. studio where it recorded its self-titled debut is haunted.

"We had some weird occurrences take place," Joey Fingers, Transmatic vocalist, told The Free Lance-Star.

Transmatic--Fingers; Zack (guitar, backing vocals); Andy Carrell (bass) and Kirk Fredrickson (drums)--has opened six sold-out Michelle Branch tour dates on the East Coast.

Janis Joplin did some recording work at the same studio just hours before she died.

"It was the last stop for Janis to do her thing before she wandered down the Sunset Strip and OD'd," Fingers said.

During Transmatic's studio work there, digitally recorded tracks inexplicably went from being in tune to out of tune and had to be redone, he said.

Maybe Joplin was doing some producing from the great beyond--maybe she didn't like the first take.

Transmatic, born in 1999 jam sessions on a pig farm near Indianapolis, has a classic modern rock sound.

Its debut album was released on Nov. 9. The first single, "Come" was the No. 1 most added at Adult Top 40 for two consecutive weeks and continues to build on radio.

In 2000, Transmatic posted an MP3 of "Blind Spot" on Loudenergy.com, where if was heard by Social Distortion bassist and Loudenergy.com exec John Maurer. He put the band together with producer Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair) to record a five-song EP. Immortal Records then signed Transmatic.

"It's been intense," Fingers said about signing with a big label. "When there's more at stake financially, I think the oven gets turned up a bit."

And that's a good thing.

"I guess I'd be lying if I didn't say a little part of my ego is wearing a smile because of all the people who told me I'd never do it," Fingers said.

"I get my little moment, but there's tons and tons of work still to be done. And still, the probability of getting a platinum record is slim to none. I knew immediately when we signed, it really didn't mean anything [yet]," Fingers said.