Dawn’s Dark Music Corner: My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult- Philadelphia PA and Seattle, WA 2014

Groovie

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

groovie_mars2

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult’s long-awaited new release was unleashed in May 2014, followed by a steady 6 week tour of the United States. I was fortunate to catch their show in Philadelphia and my band opened for them in Seattle. The last Thrill Kill show I caught was in Seattle in 2012 and this new tour was a bit scaled down, lighter and warmly funky. Their support tour opener, DJ Toxic Rainbow, sets the mood for a dancier version of TKK. (DJ Toxic Rainbow won the Beatport.com THRILL KILL KULT “Kooler Than Jesus” remix contest, and has since done various remix work for the band and Groovie’s side-project DARLING KANDIE.) Amongst old TKK favorites: a remixed version of “Swine and Roses”, a fun call and response to “My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult” and my personal favorite “After the Flesh” from “The Crow” Soundtrack.

mimistar

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

The new CD is the band’s 13th certainly versatile enough to be played at any club. The influence of 70’s electro music and some spaghetti western-esque guitars grace the collection of music. My personal favorites being: “Neon Diva”, “Hell Kat Klub” and “The Way We Live Now”. The current lineup of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult is: Groovie Mann, Buzz McCoy, Mimi Star, Justin Thyme and Westin Halvorson. The band has progressed with an assortment of members over the past 25 years. Taken directly from the biography on the Official Thrill KillKult Website:

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Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

It was in the fall of 1987, in a neighborhood Chicago bar. Artist and performer Franke Nardiello met with newly transplanted Bostonian musician Marston Daley over drinks. They crafted a shocking and lurid film concept, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT. Inspired by a shared love of tabloid tales of sex, kitschy horror and exploitation films in the style of Russ Myers, the concept came naturally. The name was ripped straight from a British headline Nardiello had noted while living in London. With limited experience and resources the film was scrapped, but work on its accompanying soundtrack continued. Legendary Chicago record label Wax Trax! Records were drawn by the hard beats, distorted vocals, rich instruments and bizarre film samples. They released a three song EP in 1988. The full–length album, I SEE GOOD SPIRITS AND I SEE BAD SPIRITS, followed the same year. People seemed to love it almost instantly, and so, their dreams of celluloid became a reality on vinyl.

In the spring of 1989, Nardiello and Daley took on the names Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy (respectfully). They recruited band members from bar stools and created a back-up group of singers/dancers dubbed the BOMB GANG GIRLZ. They jammed the crew of nine into a van with musical and stage gear alike, and hit the road. The tour had a “Cabaret From Hell” vibe and it aroused the curiosity of the kids and media, establishing THRILL KILL KULT as one of America’s premier industrial/electro acts.

westin

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

They continued to fuel the underground club dance floors with tracks like “The Days Of Swine And Roses”, “Kooler Than Jesus” and “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan”. The Parents Music Resource studio album entitled: “Spooky Tricks” It is fun, interesting and Center (PMRC) was appalled. It wasn’t long before Groovie and Buzz started experimenting, combining disco bass with wah-wah guitars and dabbling in big bad burlesque brass. The result was SEXPLOSION! (1991). It was lusty and dangerous, giving them their first taste of commercial success with “Sex On Wheelz” and attracting a whole new set of fans.

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Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

The explosion of popularity found TKK on Interscope and in 1993 they released 13 ABOVE THE NIGHT. Like all of their releases, it had an overpowering cinematic quality so it wasn’t surprising when Hollywood took notice. The duo found themselves writing for an assortment of soundtracks like Paul Verhoeven’s “Showgirls” and Ralph Bakshi’s “Cool World.” They even stepped in front of the camera for a cameo in the cult classic “The Crow” to perform the song “After The Flesh”.

groovie_mars

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

In 1998 MLWTTKK signed to Rykodisc, who reissued their Wax Trax! catalog. And later, GAY, BLACK & MARRIED (2005), an homage to the 70’s disco era, and the depraved strip-lounge-rock fest, FILTHIEST SHOW IN TOWN (2007).

They have released 2 albums on their own label, SLEAZEBOX MUSIC, as well as a BOMB GANG GIRLZ cd titled A TASTE 4 TROUBLE, written and produced by Buzz McCoy. It features the formidable long time vocalist and dancer Jacky Blacque, with a guest appearance by Groovie Mann.

Still a favorite among directors who are looking for sexy sleaze, their music is frequently in both major and independent films and television, most recently in Sexy Evil Genius (Lionsgate) But it doesn’t end in with the studio, film and tv, Groovie and Buzz still take the KULT out on tour extensively along with a rotating cast of depraved characters. In 2010 they re-created their role in the “Sextacy Ball” tour along with Belgium’s outrageous Lords of Acid. In 2011 they performed at the “Wax Trax! Retrospectacle” show in Chicago, with old label mates Front 242 and Revolting Cocks. And the fall of 2012, the KULT celecrates their milestone 25th anniversary with a 7 week tour of the States.

MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT continue to morph and stretch the fabric of music as we know it, always remaining true to the KULT and true innovators.

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult on the interwebz:

www.facebook.com/thrillkillkult

http://mylifewiththethrillkillkult.com/

The new CD is a must have for your Thrill Kill collection:

http://mylifewiththethrillkillkult.com/store/

or

http://www.amazon.com/Spooky-Tricks-Life-With-Thrill/dp/B00JXCITVI

Check them out on Soundcloud, where you will also find some amazing remixes:

https://soundcloud.com/search?q=my%20life%20with%20the%20thrill%20kill%20kult

All photos courtesy of Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

Monster Mash with Xiescive

A wise man once said, “The Truth is out there.” If you like your music Truth-flavored, some music with a message, then our band this week, Xiescive, is for you. Xiescive (pronounced “zy-eh-sive”) is a one-man Industrial/Electro band based in Utah created by Trevor Weeks (aka Xon). As he put it, that means he gets “all the hassle, little glory”.

He sent us his song “Sex, Drugs & Electro” because he thought “it would be the most universally accessible to the audience since it’s a little bit gothy, a little bit industrial… sorry, just read the ‘no Donnie & Marie puns’ clause. Uh, anyway to me that song is basically about the fact that there is this front that a lot of people put up to hide or escape life and their problems, especially at a club or bar. I understand that’s the point of getting out on weekends and such, but I’m basically saying I understand and empathize with that point of view in an effort to relate and connect to my audience in a more profound way.”

As I was listening to his music and checking out his website, I couldn’t help but enjoy the X-Files-esque theme of his music and the project itself. He said, “It’s really just a name I made up to represent what the ‘powers that be’ are doing to systematically destroy us, in almost every facet of our lives. When you break down the design of how modern life actually works, you will see some very sinister patterns that are very deep seeded in our routine lives, NOT by accident or coincidence.”

About his music he said that “on the surface, it’s very aggressive and political, but delve deeper into the meaning of the lyrics, there is definitely a more sinister angle being played.” The inspiration for creating his soon-to-be-released album “Nexus”, he added, was “basically to create something that will make people move and think, depending on your mood of course. Also to do this in a way that there was enough ‘substance’ on the album to garner attention from diverse viewpoints.”

Regarding music altogether, he said, “I was classically trained on the piano as a child for a few years before giving it up, only to pick up keyboards a few years later at the age of 15. I have been playing/programming and producing steadily ever since and don’t see any signs of quitting. I’m 32 now, so about 20 years all together. I am always writing music for one thing or another and it’s always an adventure. I’m a pretty big tech-head when it comes to music, always experimenting with new technologies, so I look at music as a big learning experiment and recorded music is the result of this experimentation. I read a lot of manuals and documentation on music products and music theory to keep myself up to date. It’s nice to be able to exercise and implement those new techniques I pick up from reading and experimenting and integrate my own thoughts and feelings that manifest through them into song form, it’s really very satisfying. I’m really getting into listening to more movie scores as I’m moving parallel in that direction musically as well with Xiescive. I have just finished scoring my 1st full length indie film and hope to continue down this path for years to come, I really enjoy the work.”

He has toured with other non-industrial bands he has been in, but added that these days “I spend my time in the studio rather than venturing into disappointing bars, but am very anxious to get an opportunity to play in stronger scenes where this kind of music is admired. I have never performed live as Xiescive, so I’m not sure, but I’m confident that it will be positive as it was designed to make people shake their ass and/or use your brain.”

For other bands getting started, his biggest piece of advice is “to have thick skin, especially at first. You’re going to get a lot of feedback and I can’t say it’s going to be mostly positive. It takes quite a bit more now than it did 20 years ago to ‘wow’ a listener. You have to come with weapons locked and loaded so to speak. I actually interact with a lot of new projects and my biggest annoyance is that they think they’re done with a song after 10 or so hours of work, with musically inexperienced ears, speaking from a production point of view. Basically, spend more time perfecting the song writing and production, quality, not quantity.”

So what does the future hold for Xiescive? “I was thinking of doing something very different with the next album, but still in the same vein. I’ll just say more bombastic, less banana, lulz! Also, I’d love to start hitting up more events and shows.” His current project, the full album “Nexus” will be released this October or November, and I’m looking forward to that.

To find out more, visit Xiescive.com. From there you can find updates as well as links to other sites to buy and listen to his music. You can also find him on Facebook and MySpace, of course.