Industrial music and metal have a lot in common.
A desire to explore the underbelly of society, to make the harshest noise possible and to plummet the listener into submission.
New industrial night Dead Industries has recently started in Belfast (the next one is 12th September in the Pavilion).
Chris Owens had a chat with club main man Phil Strange.
What was your introduction to Industrial music and culture?
I first heard Cabaret Voltaire at Intermission Belfast back in 1999 & loved their raw sound & dug deeper into Industrial music & its history & picked up Skinny Puppy’s ‘Remission’ CD (still my favourite Industrial album to this day) the following weekend.
I subsequently continued to build my collection & travel across the UK & Ireland for gigs, events & festivals including Synthetic, Tower Promotions & Infest Festival UK.
What’s your overall take on Industrial music and the thinking behind it?
In my opinion Industrial music encapsulates the sounds of the Industrial age throughout the 19th & 20th century. Since the decline of Industry it has transcended the confines of its origins & has evolved & mutated into a whole host of sub-genres.
What was the inspiration for Dead Industries?
Belfast as a city was born on the back of the Industrial Revolution & I feel strongly that the whole era of noise & machinery has been forgotten through the mist of the Troubles.
Therefore, I was inspired to create Dead Industries to reinstate a piece of Belfast’s Industrial heritage both musically & visually.
What do you play in your set?
Industrial, Martial Industrial, Noise, Drone, Ambient, Industrial Metal / Rock, Neo-folk, EBM (Electronic Body Music), Aggrotech, Darkwave, Synthpop/Futurepop.
In what way does your night differ from the likes of Cornucopia?
Dead Industries differs from other alternative nights in Belfast in that it hones in on the many facets of the Industrial music genre & it explores the aspect of Industry itself through a visual medium, whereas other nights tend to play more mainstream generalized variety of alternative music.
Metal and Industrial have often made uneasy bedfellows. Do you see a difference in the two cultures?
Yes, the two cultures are very different possibly due to their beginnings. As I have elaborated on in my previous answer Industrial came from the sounds of Industry whereas Metal was one of the many progressions of Rock music.
In more recent years the two musical styles have become similar enough to allow for the emergence of ‘Industrial Metal’ which has united the Sub-cultures to a certain extent however there still seems to be a general sense of disparity and animosity between some purist fans from both cultures.
Dig Pearson (Earache Records) has said “I’ve watched the scene progress from the 80’s F242, Ministry beginnings to… NIN, and you know what- after 25 years, the genre has hardly progressed at all!! Where’s the evolution?
Whereas the once-new sampling/drum machine technology gave unbounded creative freedom to the artists who embraced it, the same reliance on such processed sounds is now its downfall, its actually restrictive, and counter-creative, in my opinion.”
Firstly I believe that its unfair to say that the genre is as stagnant as this suggests although some acts may have varied little from their original sound many other have changed completely & their most recent releases are practically unrecognizable when compared to their early works.
For example, Skinny Puppy’s ‘Weapon’ is a dramatic departure from their first EP ‘Back & Forth’ released 1982.
As well as genre founders changing their styles over the years newer & up & coming artists such as Alien Vampires, Psyclon Nine & Hocico bringing new genres to light such as Industrial Doom, Black Industrial & Harsh/Terror EBM.
What’s the scene like in Belfast for this music?
There is a devoted fan base who have grown up with this music as I have, & as with many other genres its popularity with younger generations continues to grow.
In terms of bands from Ireland, who do you rate?
Their was two Derry based bands that are sadly no longer together, Messiah Syndrome & ZeroPointZero.
As for up & coming bands I rate: Disconnect (NI) Voxillary (Ire) Shadow System (NI).
There was also Stiltwalkers, more New Wave / Darkwave but last I heard they where sadly no longer performing as Des has reformed Post Punk NI band Stage B but yeah Stiltwalkers were very good & had a lot of potential.
How would you compare the scenes North and South?
Both scenes are quite equal but the South would tend to attract international acts more easily as the North still has a slight stigma attached to it in the eyes of the world due to the troubles etc, though thankfully things are changing recently and long may it continue.
Top 10 industrial metal albums?
In no particular order, as they are all equally good.
Supercoolnothing – 16Vold
Rave The Reqviem, -Rave The Reqviem
Psalm 69 – Ministry
Clone Your Lover – Zeromancer
Transhuman – Cyanotic
REframe – Rabbit Junk
Death is the Crown of All – Wet Nurse
Utopia – Gothminister
2000 Years of Human Error – Godhead
Subsistence – Disconnect
– Interview by Christopher Owens ::: 20/08/15