In March of 2003, Pigface released "Easy Listening...For Difficult Fuckheads." To many, this is the most accessible Pigface album to date. "Easy Listening" features the musical and spoken word talents of over 30 musicians including vocalist Chris Connelly, drummer Chris Vrenna, Edsel Dope , Fallon Bowman (ex-Kitty), Steven Siebold of Hate Dept, magician Penn Jillette, plus members of the Rollins band, Godhead, Dry Cell, Chemlab and Moby , to drop just a few names and put the musical picture in context. Pigface is an ever evolving project that often renews both its sound and member roster. However, don't expect that the people that recorded the album to be on tour. After four studio releases, three remix collections, four live albums, and a double-disc collection, "The Best of Pigface," more than 200 faces have graced the Pigface musical chair roster. Two new DVDs – one documenting 1990 to 96 (a double), the other documenting the last United tour and a remix CD from the last studio album will be the latest offerings from the band.
The only consistent character in this revolving freak show is the music maestro, Martin Atkins . In the past he has played with Public Image Ltd., Killing Joke, NIN , and Ministry to name a few. In a recent e-mail interview, Atkins shed some light on the whole Pigface phenomenon. I started by asking him how he would describe Pigface to someone that had never heard of the band? Atkins replied,"An explosion of the ENERGY that really comes from MUSIC and experimentation and ten (or twenty) people on stage all aware of what they are doing. The band grew directly out of the 1989 MINISTRY (In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up tour)."
So what is the focus or goal of Pigface then? Atkins explains, "Entertainment – of ourselves and then the audience, getting to a place where we can walk across the hot coals without noticing the burning flesh? Happiness."
Ok, but in this convoluted corporate music world, what makes Pigface unique?
"12 people where 7 or 8 might do?" He chuckled in reply. "Too much junk on stage when less would do, too much machinery to enable spontaneous experimentation within a given framework, too much groovy-ness, too many people from the audience joining in and demolishing the barriers between stage and crowd, too much FUN"
How about the future of PIGFACE ?
"I really don't know," he stated. "The band/idea is 12 years old. I am very happy that we seem to be PEAKING at the moment – it is unexpected and very welcome. More gasoline on our fire!"
Atkins is also founder and owner of Invisible Records which has survived and prospered for more than a decade. Being a record producer and engineer, he has worked with numerous people in the rock, industrial, alternative rock and underground music arena from the early 90s thru present. What keeps him doing the record label? "Good question!" was the reply. "Partly my need for the machinery to exist for my own projects. Partly because it is just what I do. Partly because it's difficult to STOP!"
More recently Atkins started Underground Inc. With his experience and knowledge at the helm, this collective of a handful of independent record labels have joined forces in an effort to help reduce the costs and headaches of touring and promotion granting them larger exposure and better distribution overall. So how does Atkins view the music industry at the moment? "FABULOUS time," he remarked. "Like 1976 to complete and total crumbling of the majors, entrepreneurialism at full spread, a combination of massive advances in technology to enable ANYTHING and a snobbish punk rock disdain for that in favor of 8 bit technology – a fantastically creative time that is truly ENERGISING!"
According to the official Pigface website, the energizing lineup for this tour is Martin Atkins, Seibold (Hate Dept.), En Esch and Guenter Schulz (Slick Idiot, ex-KMFDM), JS Clayden (Pitchshifter), Fi Killpatrick (Dragster ), Charles Levi (Thrill Kill Kult), Curse Mackey (Grim Faeries), Jared Louche (Chemlab), Kamela Lise (Apocalypse Theater), Michelle Walters (VooDou), Lacey Conner (Nocturne), Anna Christine (Luxt ), Chris Vrenna (Tweaker, NIN), CandyXXX (Bozo Porno Circus), plus special guest performers (in case the stage will hold more I suppose.)
PIGFACE will be playing the tour finale Dec 14 in Milwaukee, WI at The Rave.
www.invisiblerecords.com/index1.htm (cool flash intro to invisible records)
www.invisiblerecords.com/index2.htm (underground inc home)