What most casual Industrial Music fans think of when Chicago Wax Trax! comes up is Ministry, Front 242, and maybe Front Line Assembly, but aficionados know that such bands as My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult also defined that golden age of the Industrial Music scene. There were others, of course, and those on the edge of the scene, like the lesser known but broadly respected EBM act Blue Eyed Christ, who’s freshman release, Leaders + Followers (released while in high school no less), continues to be held as a defining album of the genre. Fast forward a couple decades, and we find the TKK and Blue Eyed Christ frontmen (Groovie Mann aka Franke Nardiello and JDN aka John D. Norten) hanging out and brainstorming together, and putting out some amazing new music. While TKK has continued to tour and release with their ever changing circle of lineups, JDN has focused on perfecting other artists’ music (like such inconsequential names as Prince, The Black EyedPeas, and Lady GaGa), which makes their collaboration even more unique. For while Groovie is the penultimate artist and creative butterfly, Norten is the consummate professional and perfectionist. The results are…well, you can watch their Official Video for their debut single, “Finger on a Trigger,” off of their yet tba EP Run 4 Your Lies!, and decide for yourself.
What makes this video even more special is that director Neil Kull utilizes manipulated and constantly morphing images of Groovie Mann’s actual paintings, which are very much in demand internationally. You can grab a free download of “Finger on a Trigger” HERE through November 23, or do it right and BUY IT on iTunes.
Hailing from Los Angeles with roots in the legendary Chicago Wax Trax! scene comes the new duo Trash Deity. Combining the chaos and energy of the classic Wax Trax! sound updated with hard and modern production, Trash Deity is Groovie Mann aka Franke N. Nardiello (My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult frontman/writer) and accomplished music producer and industrial artist JDN aka John D. Norten (Blue Eyed Christ). Their debut Single, “Finger on a Trigger”, combines classic Groovie Mann vocals and cryptic lyrics with an infectious heavy electronic/guitar groove benefitting from JDN’s studio experience mixing and engineering major artists. The accompanying Music Video is comprised entirely of manipulated shots of paintings from the twisted imagination and eccentric mind of Groovie Mann. The debut 4 song EP, Run 4 Your Lies!, will follow soon.
I think the forthcoming EP is a really exciting representation of Groovie Mann and I experimenting and discovering what our sound is as Trash Deity. It’s an eclectic EP because we weren’t locked into a sound or expectation from our previous projects. One song is electronic for the clubs with a pounding bass line and signature Groovie Mann maniacal vocal chants, then another is a sexy dirty strip club anthem. Each song has it’s own identity, but the EP still sounds totally cohesive and chaotic at the same time…just like us! – JDN
What was the earliest influence in your life that led you to a music career?
the vibrations from my mother’s record player that she kept under my crib. She was 19. – Groovie Mann
The defining moment for me was my first concert, Duran Duran, when I was in 6th grade. I looked around and thought…”That’s what I want”. It was a very powerful image at that time and age, Nick Rhodes with the Fairlight Sampling Keyboard and the futuristic sights and sounds. The music and lyrics were very mysterious inviting me into their world and I was very intrigued. – JDN
Nardiello’s informally structured and yet deeply storied career began with his first band, Special Affect, including Marti Sorenson & Harry Rushakoff (Concrete Blonde) with Al Jourgensen (Ministry) on guitar. Shortly after, he moved to London working with Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins with post-punk band Drowning Craze recording a John Peel session in 1982. While touring with Ministry in 1986, he met and began working with Buzz McCoy (Marston Daley) to write a film titled Hammerhead Housewife and the Thrill Kill Kult, which was never filmed but ultimately evolved into TKK and an EP released with Wax Trax! Records. Over the next nearly 30 years, Groovie Mann has established his iconic reputation through multiple releases with TKK and contributed songs to several movie soundtracks, even appearing in the 1994 cult classic film The Crow. He’s also established himself as an accomplished painter in the LA art community. His uniquely abstract style offers a further peak into the mind and art of Groovie Mann and are sold to fans around the world.
What would you consider to be the ‘crossroads’ that directly led to you actively pursuing a musical career?
My Insanity. – Groovie Mann
I would say my first Blue Eyed Christ record deal with KK Records in Belgium right out of High School for Leaders + Followers. It legitimized what I was doing for the first time and made me realize people outside of my bedroom studio may be interested in what I was doing. – JDN
John D. Norten also emerged from the 1990s Chicago Industrial scene as the leader of Blue Eyed Christ. The debut album Leaders + Followers was released internationally on Belgians classic EBM/Industrial label KK Records while still in his teens. Over the next few years, Blue Eyed Christ was featured on several prominent compilations and played the prestigious New Music Seminar in 1992 at the Limelight with Clock DVA and Chemlab. Blue Eyed Christ continued playing visceral live shows throughout the 90s and Norten continued recording at Chicago Trax Recording Studios working with established musicians and engineers from Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, etc. In 1996, Norten relocated to Los Angeles and has established himself as an in demand mixer and engineer for many of the biggest artists in the world including The Black Eyed Peas, Prince, CeeLo Green, and Lady GaGa.
How are you inspired to start a song and how does that develop from writing to composition, recording, and completion? What was the process for this project?
Jump into it -improvise with & without notes, laugh cry & argue with the producer.– Groovie Mann
I usually start with the drums and music, but really anything can be the creative spark. When I first met with Groovie Mann he came over and I played him a bunch of instrumental tracks I had and he choose the ones that inspired him the most lyrically. He would write to them while he paints at home and then come over with notebooks full of ideas and inspirational goodies. Once we wrote the lyrics and recorded his vocals, I’d go back in and add more music and elements and we’d arrange that into the song. The whole process was very organic. – JDN
The four tracks making up Run 4 Your Lies! ultimately reflect both their shared roots as well as their unique, individual approaches to their craft. Groovie Mann’s spontaneous and poetic lyrical reactions to JDN’s carefully constructed song productions makes for a compelling mix of something new with enough of a nod to the past sure to please the old school fans and the popular emerging newer generation as well.