The Bliss Machine

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The Bliss Machine is a post-punk/funk band founded in the early in the Spring of 1991 and went into hiatus some 18 months later in the Fall of 1992; the band re-booted 29 years later in 2021.


Derrick Thompson and Dominic Tassone had been college roommates in the Summer of 1990 in the East side dormitories of the University of Illinois at Chicago; both played guitar and enjoyed similar music. They formed the core of the new 5-piece band originally known as Proletariat Bondage and later Strey Voltage. After several personnel they evolved into a three-piece by the Fall of 1991.

The Bliss Machine played one live performance at an invite-only house party in the East Pilsen artist colony on May 29,199 - it was shut-down early by the Chicago Police due to noise concerns. Later that year, the band was forced the cancel their public debut scheduled for November 18, 1992 on Phyllis' Musical Inn when bassist Graham Stuart left the band to focus on academic studies .

Subsequent efforts to recruit a suitable replacement bassist/vocalist were unsuccessful and the project went into an extended hiatus. Co-founder Derrick Thompson continued joined Bröken Vëgas playing the drums from 1994-1996. Dominic Tassone parlayed the digital audio recording gear that he had acquired to launch Planet StarChild in 1993. Originally launched as a voicemail portal, then on a BBS and ultimately as Web database of indie music, it featured audio clips, label art and photography from musical artists. The following year he co-founded one of the first Web agency's Streams Online Media Development as general manager and audio engineer.

Co-founders Dominic Tassone and Derrick Thompson re-formed the project in the Spring of 2021 recruiting bassist and songwriter Eric Gorscak to the largely studio project.

Original 1992 Line-up

  • Graham Stuart, Bass Guitar & Vocals
  • Derrick Thompson, Drums & Backing Vocals
  • Dominic Tassone, Guitar & Vocals

Current 2022 Line-up

  • Eric Gorscak, Bass Guitar & Vocals
  • Derrick Thompson, Drums & Backing Vocals
  • Dominic Tassone, Guitar & Vocals


The band recorded developed original material and recorded a live 10-song album in May of 1992 titled "Ready to Roll."

The unreleased album consisted of six original songs

  • Telemate (Tassone)
  • Kuwait (Tassone)
  • No Control (Tassone)
  • Free Your Id (Thompson)
  • That Way (Stuart)
  • Don't Mess with a Woman (Stuart)

And four covers:

  • Peg (Steely Dan)
  • Mississippi Queen (Mountain)
  • Light My Fire (The Doors)
  • Stepping Stone (The Monkees)

Five of the original songs have been released online in 2021: Kuwait, Telemate, No Control, Free Your Id, That Way and Don't Mess with a Woman.

Kuwait was re-recorded in 2022 featuring new bassist Eric Gorscak; also released is a music video for the song.

External Links