This blog is basically for my miscellaneous thoughts on the music that I’ve been passionate about for the past few decades.  It will be primarily focused on “old” stuff because, frankly, as the years roll on I find it more and more difficult to find new industrial music to get excited about.  I’m not sure if I’m just too grizzled and jaded now, or if the music has fundamentally changed to something that I’m just not that interested in.  Probably a combination of the two.

I first discovered industrial in either late 1989 or early 1990.  I was driving a friend home from high school and had an Ozzy Osbourne song playing, and my friend said, “We need to get you some real music.”  We stopped by his house and he let me borrow three cassettes:  Ministry’s “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste”, Nitzer Ebb’s “Belief”, and a Front 242 single which I believe was for “Headhunter.”  A short time later, he gave me Skinny Puppy’s “Rabies” album.

From that point on, I was hooked.  I pretty much abandoned the more mainstream stuff I’d been listening to before and put a lot of energy into learning all about the various bands in the industrial scene.  I discovered that a 2nd friend was also into this music and he made me a couple mix tapes which introduced me to Front Line Assembly, Meat Beat Manifesto, and many others.

There was a period where I would hit the local music shop a couple times a month and just go down the entire “Rock” section from A-Z, looking for the logo of the Wax Trax label.  I made a lot of blind buys in those days, and most of the time it turned out to be great stuff.  The only non-Wax Trax band I can think of that I was into back then was Skinny Puppy, but there may have been others I’m forgetting.

Eventually, I started to feel that I’d discovered most of the good stuff that Wax Trax had to offer.  The stuff I didn’t own was stuff I didn’t think I’d like, based on what I heard on mix tapes or just the opinions of friends.  But then one day I received a mix tape from a friend which included a song by Leaether Strip.  I was blown away — the sound was more aggressive, the synths more sharp and biting, and it just fresh and new.  This kicked off a second phase in my industrial growth, where I started drilling down into the catalog of the Zoth Ommog label and discovering other greats like X Marks the Pedwalk and Armageddon Dildos.  This was somewhat limited bythe fact that most of these things were imports and thus significantly more expensive than the domestic releases on Wax Trax.

By the late 1990s, both of those labels had waned in prominence and there were several other labels taking their place, such as Third Mind and Pendragon and Celtic Circle.  From that point on I didn’t really track things as much by label, since no single label seemed to dominate the sound that I liked.  Many of the labels which started up in this period no longer exist, but I have several compilations and a fair number of releases from them.

These days, my purchasing of industrial music has declined greatly.  I feel like the scene has fallen into a couple ruts with very little deviation, so every time I check out a new band it seems to sound exactly like some other band I’m already familiar with.  The thrill of discovery has really diminished because of this, so now I only occasionally pick up interesting things via iTunes.  And when I do pick up new stuff, I find that typically I don’t listen to it over and over like I used to…it just doesn’t have the same staying power.  I realize that this is partially just the fact that I’ve been in the scene a long time and I’ve just become jaded and calloused to the overall sound.

Luckily, though, for the most part I still love all that old 80s and 90s music as much as I ever did, so I have a large catalog of older releases to keep me entertained.  For a few years I ran an internet radio station at Live365 specifically to highlight this older music, since I was getting the sense that it was starting to slip into obscurity and the newer fans just weren’t that familiar with it.  I got a lot of encouragement from listeners and it became evident that there are a lot of people out there like me, who still have a passion for the old stuff and don’t think that the newer stuff packs quite the same punch.  I ended that station years ago, but I think they might actually still have my final playlist up for anyone who happens across it…I haven’t checked in a long time.  Since then, I’ve uploaded over 50 old classics to Youtube just as a way to keep up awareness and appreciation.

So this blog is basically the next step beyond that old radio station, where I can talk about the music instead of just playing it, and hopefully interact with other fans.

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