Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The History of IntraVenus

How It All Started
This is the story about a rotating roster of young men who strived to fulfill a dream and in the process created something no one could have dreamed of.  They were blinded by their own ambitions of fame that the dream was lost in the turmoil.  It all started around August of 2000 A.D. when Mike Cody and Joe Herbert (Herbs) were sitting around having a deep philosophical discussion about music. Herbs believed he struck gold when he got an idea to start a band.  Herbs had his own drum set and Mike taught himself how to play the guitar by watching Kids Incorporated reruns.  They quickly recruited Tony Audacious on bass and Mike’s friend Matt Leabo who just began guitar lessons.  Greg Gima was hired as manager for the band.
Greg whispering sweet nothings to secure the manager position.
The First Practice
When referencing their first practice abysmal would be overstating how well it went.   They agreed to meet at Herbs house because that’s where his drums were and the set is a paint to move.  Greg’s presence was not required for the practice because he managed and didn’t play an instrument.  They had no singer, but it didn’t seem to matter once they started playing.  It was a free for all music extravaganza of disaster.  Tony’s bass skills were far too independent; his solo skills were clearly a one man show.  He also had the insight or maybe just didn’t have the patience to try and form any type of sound with the rest of the group.  Matt had just started taking guitar lessons and really had no clue on how to play.  Herbs may have owned a drum set but it was obvious he hadn’t played a lick in years.  Mike had some extremely raw talent and was trying to get some kind of sound going with Herbs but it had proven difficult when factoring in noise of Tony’s solo performance and Matt’s one chord (even punk bands know 3 chords). 

The Name
After three hours of non-stop noise Herbs’ mom finally pulled the plug.  She literally walked over to the circuit breaker in the house and turned the power off.  From that day they were forbidden to practice whenever anyone other then Herbs was home.  While everyone was packing up their equipment Greg arrived and brought up the issue of naming the band.  Herbs then yells out “Influence of Violence.”  Matt disagreed and thought it should be something different like the Unicycles or Sweaty’s Love Children so after some arguing they settled on the initials IV.  Mike and Tony couldn’t care less about the name and Greg was down for anything that got him that sweet sweet honey. 
Herbs' mother's reaction after the bands first practice.
The following evening Mike was talking to fellow guitarist Pat Courtney about the band he’s starting up.  When Mike mentioned how they were going to call themselves IV Pat suggested that they just call themselves Intravenous. Mike liked the name and pitched the idea to Herbs and thus Intravenous was born.   One main component was still missing and that was the singer.
An initial draft of the band logo.  It looks like a T having sex with a V while resting on the base of an L.
Matt, Greg, and Joe having a discussion about the future of the band. It looks like a T having sex with a V while resting on the base of an L.

The Image Is Born

Month’s pass and the four members of Intravenous, and their manager Greg, would mention the band to everyone they met, without actually practicing or performing since that one infamous day back in August.  Mike managed to mention the band to his friend Joseph Ammendolea, founder and president of “I Like To Play With Toys” Productions.  As luck would have it Joseph needed to make a music video for a television/film production class he was taking at school.  He chose Intravenous to lip sync for the video.  They would play the part of Def Leppard and pantomime to the song Photograph from the Pyromania album.  Joseph decided to cast them as the band because they had all the music equipment required for it to appear like a real band was playing.  It took some convincing but Herbs decided to let Joseph tape the band at his house. 

About one day before the shoot Joseph called all the members of Intravenous confirming the schedule.  Mike, Matt and Joseph agreed they would all travel together to Herbs’ house.  Greg had to work so he could not attend.  Joseph left a message with Herbs’ sister Christine confirming the shoot and stated Herbs should callback if plans change. It was also Herbs responsibility to contact Tony about the shoot. 

It was a rainy Saturday night in December when Joseph, Matt, and Mike all knocked on Herbs’ door to tape.  Each person carrying their respective equipment, Mike and Matt each carried on the weight of their backs their particular Stratocaster guitars (the guitars might have been knockoffs; no one was really clear on that).  Joseph held the full arsenal of camera equipment required to ensure his vision came to fruition.  As Christine swung open the door it was if lighting struck her brain and she was given the ability of thought for the first time in her life. She immediately turned to Herbs and dictated the message that was left for him only a day ago.  Herbs had completely forgotten that the filming was scheduled for that night.  He was also supposed to call Tony and invite him over.  Herbs actually had a family engagement scheduled for that night but made the choice to honor his prior commitment for the betterment of education.  After Herbs’ parents and sister had left for their evening of familial bliss, set up for the video began.

Tony was called, luckily he had just gotten home from work; all he needed to do was change and he’d be over in mere moments.  About forty-five minutes pass when Tony finally arrives with his bass.  The original shoot was going to be where the drums were set up which was in Herbs’ fluorescently lit basement.  Herbs had the foresight to request the taping outside.  It was more spacious then his cramped basement and the halogen light against the falling rain created a visual mystique that few amateur filmmakers could shy away from if given the opportunity.  That rain fall along with a halogen light created the definitive/only band image that exists today.  Mike did the lip syncing and the others pretended to play.
The Photograph music video.
Paradise City
After the principal shooting was completed the band got jazzed up to do another pantomime number.  Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses off the Appetite for Destruction album was their song of choice.  Before the second shoot started the band insisted on a wardrobe change in order to give this performance a completely different and fresh look, especially in comparison to the video they just completed.  The concept consisted of the band stripping down to their underwear and looking like they were “jamming on the one” as if it were two.  The more definitive portion of the wardrobe change was rocked by Matt who strapped on a one of a kind Toucan Sam tighty whitey.  It gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “just follow my nose.” 
Paradise City
Joseph was left to thinking only one thing, the entire concept was brilliant! What could be funnier? A few bumps in the road occurred early on in the shoot because the CD player got wet from the rain and started skipping.  The first 1-3 minutes of the song was taped about three times.  Those issues appeared to be glitches but it was fate.  Fate was waiting for the magic to strike the band’s brain.  And it happened in the opening seconds as Herbs walked into frame while mooning the camera.  Joseph was able to get the perfect zoom just at that moment.  Gradually the rest of the band wanders into frame.  Each person takes their turn doing their best Axl persona.  They didn’t need a lead singer because they were all lead singer.  After the 5 minute runtime concluded they closed with the ever iconic Intravenous group mooning. Joseph claims to still have nightmares to this day from the event.  There are also unconfirmed rumors that the camera used in the shoot never operated quite right after that night.  All in all about two and a half hours the taping was completed and Joseph realized Intravenous possessed something supernatural.  They just needed to find a way to harness it. 
Paradise City Outtakes
One Step Closer
A week later the group reconvened to shoot yet another music video, the product of that meeting: One Step Closer by Linkin Park.  The roster was tweaked slightly for this video remake.  It had Herbs pantomiming the song with Tony on Bass, Matt on drums, and Joseph filling in for Mike on guitar.  Somehow a band that never practiced or even created the resemblance of a song had created three music videos.  Perhaps this was the future of the band.  They would be some type of hybrid cover band that lip syncs pop songs.  Following the Linkin Park shoot Joseph decided his inclusion in the pseudo band was just what they needed.  His videos defined their visual look after all.  What could be so tenacious about helping to create their sound?
One Step Closer
Round Two
There were some hiccups when it came to Joseph's inclusion in the band.  He couldn’t sing or even play a triangle at that time. He did manage to accomplish something that hadn’t occurred since the formation of the band.  He got the band to have meeting with their instruments strapped on their backs.  That moment ignited the Bunsen Burner.  Granted it was the burner that if ignited would expel poisonous deadly gas, but it was still ignited.  They became determined to get the band going, and to really start practicing.  One Sunday in early January they held another practice, the bands second practice ever.  Joseph invited himself along to try and convince them to let him join and because he had a thing for Herbs’ sister. She was a hottie in her younger years. (One dude made a boy band love tape for her but that is another story). Greg was there too because it was fun times with Intravenous

When comparing it to the first practice it was a greater disaster and success (paradox much?).  Matt had been taking guitar lessons for a few months and knew a little more about playing.  He was up to two or three chords by this time.  Tony was still playing bass like he had Asperger’s.  The true sparkle started shinning through as Mike and Herbs started creating a song.  The sound was a little rough but with a little work had potential to allow them to play in a bar on a weeknight coupled with the promise of no pay...maybe a pitcher of free beer (that would depend on how good their manager Greg could negotiate).  Joseph who was trying to find his place in the group started writing lyrics to the tune they had going.  Tony and Herbs seemed to have big problems with Joseph stepping up to the write the songs for the band.  Probably because the lyrics sucked, after all he was a visual guy not a music guy.  It was better than nothing though. 

The issue of a singer came up again and Joseph mentioned how he sung when he was younger.  Matt challenged him to sing right at that moment.  That was the first and last time Joseph brought up the point about being lead singer.
Official police evidence of Joseph singing.  Three people died instantly that night from the high pitched yelps that erupted from his mouth. Two others were treated for burst eardrums. 
Joseph and friend singing Rick Springfield's Jessie's Girl. No one watched "him with those eyes" or loved "him with that body" that night.

The Yoko Ono

After a few hours of practice the guys decided to take a break.  Greg thought it would be a cute idea to call Mike’s ex-girlfriend Kristen.  But when he called, Kristen’s sister Bernadette answered.  Bernadette had a crush on Tony during the time, so Greg immediately passed the phone to Mike, who did a perfect impression of Tony.  During their phone conversation Mike, pretending to be Tony remember, professed his love to Bernadette.  Just then Kristen picked up the phone and recognized her ex-boyfriend’s voice.  Mike in a state of panic handed the phone back to Greg who yelled into the receiver and then hung up. 

Greg than came up with the hilarious idea of hacking into Kristen’s phone and called out to everyone asking what Kristen’s cell phone password might be.  Joseph commented that it might be her birthday, not thinking it would work.  Mike, being the ever devoted boyfriend, chimed in with the date. Sure enough it worked.  Greg proceeded hack in and change the password on Kristen’s phone.  He made her outgoing message a loud yelp followed by the beep.
Greg attempting covert operations to obtain Kristen's top secret password.
A few moments had passed and Herbs’ sister Christine walked in the door.  Hearing the phone ring she instinctively answered it.  It was Kristen, she had realized someone had messed with her phone and was calling to confront them.  She proceeded to ask Christine who was over.  Christine had no clue what had happened so she gave Kristen the complete band roster including the roadies.  Kristen declared she was on her way over and hung up the phone.  Christine then asked Herbs what was going on and when she mentioned that Kristen was on her way here Herbs, Mike, and Greg immediately ran out of the house and jumped into the back of Mike’s Silverado.  That left Joseph, Tony, Matt and Christine in the house.  Matt and Tony were busy styling their hair in Herbs’ bathroom.  Matt wanted that cool spiked look that Tony always had.  Joseph was busy hitting on Herbs’ sister, he didn’t have the boy band repertoire of her other admirers but he figured there was nothing to lose by trying.
The sisters trying to move on with their lives after the tragic cell phone incident.
Ten minutes passed, the bell rang.  Christine answered the door to find Bernadette standing there.  Kristen was waiting in the car, which was coincidentally parked behind Mike’s truck where Mike, Greg, and Herbs were hiding.  It wouldn’t have been too hard to spot if someone was looking because the back window of the truck was rolled down.  At a quick glance it would be difficult to notice it was rolled down.  The back windows of the truck were illegally tinted. Couple that with a winter evening and a dark interior, missing an open window could easily be overlooked. But let’s face it, Kristen was right behind the car and the window was rolled down.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where they were.  While Bernadette was inquiring as to where the three had scurried off too the boys were busy throwing paintballs out the back window onto Kristen’s windshield.  Kristen was too focused on Bernadette’s conversation to notice the small paint splatters on the windshield or even the noise made as the material cracked open on the automobile.
The Silverado interior.
Just as Bernadette and Kristen were about to leave Matt’s mom arrived to take him home.  So Kristen’s car was blocked in for the few minutes; she had to wait for Matt to leave.  While Matt was getting in his mom’s car Greg farted in the truck where the three boys were hiding.  As Matt’s mother pulls away, Bernadette says her goodbyes to Christine stating, “if you see Greg tell him I’m going to kick his ass when I see him.” Greg’s ears perk up even more than the dead rodent that was stuck in his ass.  He jumps out the back window and replies with an astounding “what did you say?!” Soon after Herbs and Mike collapse out of the same back window gasping for air.
Bernadette witnesses Greg’s exit from the vehicle and begins to chase him down.  Kristen follows behind in her car.  Greg doubles back and ends up near the truck.  Kristen follows again, this time she gets out of the car and starts yelling at Greg, Mike, and Herbs for being such jerks and pretending to be Tony on the phone.  She also demands the new password for her cell phone.

Joseph was outside watching all of this and still hitting on Herbs’ sister.  Tony was still upstairs fixing his hair.  The argument was going nowhere and lasted for what seemed like forever.  Bernadette finally got so frustrated from arguing and trying to chase down Greg she gave up and got in the car.  Kristen followed suit.  She began to drive off and on her way down the block Greg tosses one last paintball striking the rear window of Kristen’s car.  Kristen heard it that time, the car brakes, Bernadette gets out of the car, chases Greg some more, Kristen yells out to her, she gets back in the car and drive off. 
Herbs' swollen stomach after inhaling too many powerful farts.
That was the last time the original lineup was together for a practice.  Soon after Joseph finished editing the music videos and played it in front of a small audience including Intravenous and its manager at a local church group.  It created a lot of positive press for the group.  From the small hype, Herbs, under the advisement of Greg, created an Intravenous webpage. 


Matt got involved with theater at school and Herbs made the decision to drop him from the band.  Mike who originally insisted that Matt be involved was upset at first but quickly got over it.  Tony was the next to exit.  Lastly, Greg went away to college and could no longer manage from such a long distance. 

In June 2001 (prior to the talent changes) Herbs booked a gig for the band and they had to be ready by August of the same year.  But the show fell through, and up until its URL expiration a few years ago the Intravenous website stated their next concert was to be held in August (no year specified).  Herbs decided he would sing for the band and play guitar.  Herbs wanted Greg to take up the drums but he couldn’t due to the fact he was at school.  Mike suggested Joseph should be the drummer.  He had recently started teaching himself to play the drums and his novice technique complimented the seasoned members.  Herbs enthusiastically agreed but Intravenous’ new headline with Herbs on lead vocals and guitar, Mike on guitar, and Joseph on drums didn’t last very long.  Herbs found himself ½ of a 1 whole without his best friend Greg and transferred colleges to dorm with him. 
By winter of 2002 it was Mike and Joseph that were left with the burden of starting the band up.  Even that, wasn’t meant to be though.  Personal and creative differences arose between the duo and Joseph hit the skids for what appeared to be greener pasture. 

Joseph went on to replace drummer Chris Groben in the band Idiot Squad but after only one day (surprise, surprise) conflicts arose between members Dave Rerecich and Bill Wikstrom; Joseph was let go.  Joseph then started his own band called Little Almond but it’s hard to have a band with just drums.  After all he wasn’t Blue Man Group.
Chris Groban walking away from Idiot Squad.
Dave and Bill going drummerless after a failed attempt to replace Chris with Joseph.
Upon Herbs’ return from college he reunited with Mike and Tony and attempted to recreate the band but with a new name.  They called themselves Retrograde Motion.  But they still couldn’t climb out of Herbs’ basement.  
Retrograde Motion and their manager after a coke binge or maybe they were trying to bake a cake.

The Swiiicessful Years!

As Retrograde Motion dissolved into the usual routine, Mike reconnected with Joseph.  Together they started reminiscing about Intravenous’ good old times and decided to make another go at it.  This time it would be a new line-up and new spelling.  This IntraVenus roster consisted of Mike Cody on guitar, Matthew Swiatocha (Swi) on guitar, and Joseph Ammendolea on drums. This had the longest running roster, it lasted over 2 years.  It was also the most musically successful manifestation of the rock group.  The group met once a week for a month, then once a month for 3 months and finally once every other month for the remainder of their formation.  They worked on everything from original pieces to cover songs.   Their signature cover song was Pour Some Sugar On Me which was fittingly, originally performed by Def Leppard.  They recorded 2 songs and coincidentally enough, even managed to book a public practice session in front of the same local church group where the music videos debuted. 

High In The Sky
The first practice was a test run to see how everyone meshed together.  Mike was accustomed to playing with both Swi and Joseph on separate occasions but the two had never collaborated together on any projects.  Mike and Swi traveled together to Joseph’s house.  Having pulled a Greg Brady (moving his bedroom into the attic) a few years back, his bedroom was spacious enough for their jamming needs.  Also his parents were hard of hearing which meant there would be seldom noise complaints.  The two guitarists rang Joseph’s side doorbell.  Joseph answered and redirected them to the front, so as to better transport their music gear into the house. 

Mike had upgraded his gear over the years; his axe of choice was now a Peavey Firenza, along with three unique guitar pedals which he used to create a heavily distorted sound.  Swi, who held a double major in physics and engineering from two Ivy League schools, was meticulous with his equipment.  He had a black Ibanez RG520 guitar complete with whammy bar and a homemade pedal board that supported six different effect pedals. He organized the guitar pedals on the board in such a specific sequence that each selection created a noticeable and uniquely defining rock sound.  Each of them plugged into their 50lbs 120 watt matching Crate amplifiers.  In later years whenever anyone interviewed them about the jam sessions they all agreed the hardest part of their practices was lugging the equipment up to Joseph’s room.
Swi's Ibanez RG520 complete with whammy action!
As they start to set up their assorted gear and tune their instruments, some light playing began.  As Mike was still setting up, Swi belts out with a few tunes he’d been working on.  Joseph kicks in with the drums, Swi tried to hold his composure as best he could. It was obvious to everyone in the room that he was immediately enthused by the addition of a back-beat.  Swi had only practiced with other guitarists; this was the first time he had percussions to back up his performance.  Mike finished setting up his gear and they embarked on IntraVenus’ more imaginative exploits. 

The Only Show
The confines of Joseph’s attic were proving difficult for the naturally high decibeled Mike, Swi, and Joseph.  Joseph’s attic was a decent space which entertained many musical liberties but the band could never play at their preferred decibel level.  Fate would have it that Joseph volunteered at a local church group (also the location of the infamous bumper pool incident). After some conversing with the volunteer heads Joseph would be allowed to have a band practice at the fabled auditorium.  As the band would later discover, Joseph misinterpreted the time in which the band could practice.  Joseph’s only impression was that in order to get the space, the band members would have to arrive and volunteer their time in such matters as setting up and counseling some of the high-schoolers about Jesus. 
IntraVenus "Jammin On the One" in front of the Jesus Freaks!
IntraVenus and a few friends arrived early to auditorium so as to set up their gear and have it all ready for when the church group departs.  After the opening moments of the meeting, the band is informed they can only use the space for the few hours allotted to the evangelicals. The band knew they were not ready for a public concert. A decision needed to be made and it had to be quick.  Mike and Joseph voted yes while Swi voted no.  The majority won out so the show went on.  Swi elects to keep the curtains closed so as to try to have some level or privacy while practice is being held.  He was also incredibly shy and had what could be classified as a phobia when it came to public performances. 
Swi playing a killer solo. Later that evening he patched into the electrical system and made the stage lights 14.28% more energy efficient.
The teenyboppers would have none of that though.  After much chanting from the “audience” the curtains were opened and IntraVenus debuted to the world; well five adults and thirty or so teenagers.  Whatever the audience consisted of, it was still their first concert.  A slew of young girls (four in total) immediately rush the stage to where Mike is rocking out.  They begin cheering and clapping as he plays every pop song he can think of.  Joseph is rocking out completely shocked that he could fill the entire auditorium while playing his drums, without the need for microphones.  Swi does what he can to keep up but as the public practice wears on, his nerves get the best of him. Toward the end of the run Swi tosses in the towel feeling the band was not prepared enough for such a public presentation.  Mike is surrounded by young girls and becomes enthralled in showing off his music aptitude.  Some reports claim he played Backstreet Boys while others say it was NSYNC.  Whatever the selection, it was apparent that Mike sold-out to the crowd. 
Mike rocking out, notice the groupie videotaping in the bottom right corner.  The video is believed to be eternally lost.
Joseph learned a valuable lesson that random Wednesday night. He learned that drummers don’t get the chicks.  Mike got most of them and Swi could at least claim a few girls looked his way but it seemed that Joseph would only walk away with the drum set he brought with him.  At his most disparaging moment, Joseph looked out at the crowd and sees someone he recognizes.  A girl, that in a million years he would never have thought would show up.  It was Joanna Schaumburg. 
Joseph performing a drum solo of the Who's the Boss theme song. 
Before anyone thinks this is turning into a love story let’s just summarize that their relationship was and will always be nonexistent. Joseph had a crush on her, he acted immaturely around her, she was then mean to him, a mutual hate grew between the two of them. Hate breeds honesty and from that Joseph developed a respect for her. He proceeded to apologize for his past misdeeds and asked to start fresh as friends.  They corresponded via the internet and he nonchalantly invited her to the practice never thinking her reply of maybe would turn into a yes.

So, as he looked out into the crowd and saw her, being the ever professional he is, he immediately stopped performing, jumped off the stage, ran right up to her, and began talking.  She was wearing a dark green coat that was a bit too light for the weather and black yoga pants.  She had a minimal amount of make-up on as if she was trying her best to appear unappealing to the dumb boy. But to Joseph she’d never looked more beautiful.  They chit chatted a bit and she said her hellos to the other band members.  She was just stopping by while on her way to a dance class and departed soon after that. That was the last time he ever saw her.  He never expected to see her that night, so in his mind he finished in the plus.  That hello kept Joseph’s attention span in check.  After all he was a filmmaker first and foremost and a musician second.  His devotion to the band would’ve decayed into oblivion if not for Joanna’s innocent encouragement.  Joseph carved out a new band philosophy that night; the guitarists can get all the bimbos they want, the drummer will get the girls of substance.
Joseph asking Mike if the "Keep Off The Stage Sign" will be enough of a deterrent for the adoring populous. There was never any reason for concern. 
Public practice adjourned a short while later, the crowd shuffled home and the band packed up their gear.  During the clean up Swi expressed his thoughts on the experience stating the performance was “embarrassing.”  He vowed to make changes based on the bitter experience. These changes are what steamrolled into IntraVenus’ “definitive” sound.
Mike, Joseph, Swi pictured together after a lackluster performance.
Pour Some Sugar On My Soul

The aftermath of the public practice caused unforeseen ripples to IntraVenus.  It was a random Saturday night when Joseph got the call from Mike and Swi requesting a last minute practice.  Joseph who had few friends and no life, spent most of his weekends alone in his room watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer so he was very free that night.  Swi and Mike arrive and run through the usual routine of lugging their guitar gear (with Joseph’s help of course) up the stairs to the chilly attic bedroom.  Swi arrived with a steadfast impression of determination.  It caused Joseph to inquire as to the goal of said evening’s practice.  Swi pulls out a Def Leppard songbook that includes the sheet music and guitar tablature for their greatest hits.  There was no drum music or tablature in the booklet which would mean Joseph would have to play by ear.  Something he was becoming more accustomed too as his tenure with the band had increased.  After some debate on what song would be best the band chose Pour Some Sugar On Me due to its relative musical simplicity and popular appeal. They listened to the song, read the sheet music, performed the song and stopped where needed to make adjustments.  They would review the sheet music and listen to the song again to review the problem areas.  They systematically weeded out the issues one by one.  Four hours passed and the band could play a recognizable version of Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard.  The only remaining issues were they needed a bassist and singer.  As the weeks and months wore on their band practices would encompass tweaking their one cover song and trying to create some original works.  The discussion of lead singer and bassist was explored regularly at each meeting with no set solution.

Matt and Joe’s Song
Mike was absent from a regular band meeting one Friday evening.  Swi arrived at Joseph’s home with some material he’d been working on.  Swi had a clear goal in mind.  He wanted to create and record a full song before the practice was over.  He kept it as simple as he could.  It had four parts arranged throughout the song; intro, verse, chorus, and solo. The two conceptualized how the timing and music arrangement should be.  After a few practice runs it was time to lay down the recording.  The recording device was not a professional microphone and the confined space caused the guitar jacked into a 120 watt Crate amp to be easily drowned out by Joseph’s heavy drumming. Swi came up with the solution.  He elevated his guitar amplifier and placed it right next to the microphone. He proceeded to turn the volume just high enough so the mic would pick up the guitar without sounding muffled or over modulated.   Joseph played as lightly as he could and had to avoid using the crash and ride cymbals too much because they distorted the microphone recorder. After about five tries, between adjusting music volumes and getting an acceptable play through, IntraVenus recorded its first song.  With a runtime of three minutes and two seconds it was aptly titled Matt and Joe’s Song.  After the session ended and Swi had left, Joseph proceeded to right lyrics to the song. Tragically since there was no singer or lyric approval process the words have been forever lost to the rock gods.
Matt and Joe's Song (This is an unofficial music video)

Swi’s Song
A few months passed and it was Swi’s turn to be absent from a practice session.  It occurred to Joseph that the band had not been progressing as well as they had hoped since the first song was recorded.  He decided they should record several pieces of work and post them on the popular social networking site of the time Myspace.  The goal was that the public distribution of the songs would hopefully lure in a bassist and singer.  Mike agreed and they proceeded to plan out the song the same way as Matt and Joe’s Song. After a few trial and error runs, the recording method was mirrored as before and Swi’s Song was added to the band’s library.  It was named after Swi because he developed/realized the method for original song creation.  It was no longer an orgy of noise; it was semi-listenable music if you were drunk and partly deaf.
Swi's Song (Also not officially endorsed as a music video by IntraVenus).
Not too long after that Swi just up and disappeared, he never called, he never wrote, he was just gone.  He was too old for an Amber Alert so IntraVenus was a duo yet again.  It was a dark time when Swi departed; during his tenure the band’s sound was created.  It could best be described as Def Leppard and Van Halen having a bastard love child that was never taught how to play an instrument.  All they really needed was a singer and a modest addition of motivation and they would have been ready for a real performance.


It was an unusually warm afternoon in February when Mike and Joseph were gathered together for yet another Swi-less practice.  It was a meeting of the mindless as they tried to plan their next step as a duo.  During the usual roust about jamming Joseph suggested they should move the practice outside to enjoy the unseasonably nice weather.  As they begin to move the musical equipment outside, local residents judgingly take notice.  Exuberated with such an open space Mike jacks his Crate amplifier to its maximum setting.  It only had a setting on 10, but if 11was possible, Mike would have used it for “that extra push off the cliff.” The music echoed down the residential Queens block, the noise reverberated off the walls of each house.  The neighbors oozed out of their homes to ascertain the source of the commotion.  What they discovered drew looks of disgust and confusion on their face causing most to retreat back into their uncreative little boxes of anonymity.  Others huddled together and snickering to each other regarding the ridiculousness of the situation.  The duo gets through what might be constituted as a song and a half.  Joseph’s next door neighbor Bill Dwyer shuffles out of his front door.  He walks up to the pair and jovially states “Joey, I’ve heard of garage bands, but lawn bands! Are you nuts?”  Joseph apologizes for the disruption.  The two were genuinely shocked they were loud enough to disrupt the workings of an entire street in Bellerose.  They immediately brought their gear back inside.  As the last drum piece was being brought in the house a police car drives by to investigate noise complaints.  Bill Dwyer heroically talked the officers down from investigating further and issuing a ticket.  It was the last time any version of IntraVenus ever performed for the public.  
A pamphlet left on the door of Joseph's house after the lawn concert.

The Decline
The following years were Mike and Joseph “jamming on the one,” when life permitted.  In 2006 Joseph recruited his cousin Kevin Fleischman, a teenage bass prodigy into the fold.  IntraVenus was a trio once more.  A sparkle of hope gleamed out of this line-up.  They might actually play a set somewhere.  They grooved well, they flowed well, they grooved and flowed well together.  The line-up really had potential, there was even a legitimate lead singer waiting in the wings to perform with the band.  Bill Wikstrom, lead singer from Idiot Squad and Endangered Feces was willing to step up and handle the vocals of the band.  The band wanted to secure a decent music library before the group pulled him in and created a quartet.
Some rough tracks of potential IntraVenus tunes
Bill Wikstrom performing lead vocals at CBGBS with his band Endangered Feces during the holiday season. Everyone who attended received a big brown lump of something that wasn't coal in their stocking that year.
Yet again before it came to fruition, life kicked IntraVenus right in the ass.  Joseph got all consumed with the essence draining graduate school but had vowed to continue on once his studies were complete. This placed a stall on any performance plans until about 2007/2008.  Within that time Kevin joined a real band named Bizarro Me and also went away to college. Mike tragically lost the will to play.  The music bug that bit him so many years ago finally lost its effect and after nine years he no longer had the motivation to jam.  It was as if some demon sucked the will to play right out of his soul. It was the equivalent of Marty McFly’s Rolls-Royce accident in Back to the Future II and III.

The last bits of video footage ever recorded of IntraVenus.

What happened to the rest?
Matt actually went onto a bigger and brighter endeavors doing set design for Off-Broadway and Broadway productions.  He also specializes in puppeteering and played Conky aside Paul Reubens in The Pee Wee Herman Show.           
Greg the manager actually had a tremendous talent for managing.  Although the original line-up couldn’t even get through a practice without some kind of turmoil happening, the Intravenous website had over eighty postings praising the band.  They managed to have a fan base.  One absurd posting even cited how awesome the bands performances were.  During Greg’s tenure the band never played a single show.  This was all Greg’s promotional techniques creating hype where none existed.  He currently manages an electrical company.
Herbs is married with children.
In the End
IntraVenus never sold a million records; actually, they never even sold one.  Hell, they never played a show.  It did create something in spades though.  Fun times and good memories.  Sure they didn’t have any drugged out band mates in rehab or a real singer.  But in all the times they were together and in every incarnation, they had a blast.  It was fun, from juvenile early days to the more focused music times.  The youthful exuberance was injected right into the bloodstream of those who participated in it.  That unbridled enthusiasm was the perfect fit for a band named IntraVenus

IntraVenus running toward the unknown.

Written By
Joseph Ammendolea
Some names were tweaked to protect my sanity.