Ed. Note: This article was originally written by David Buchanan in 2009. It’s being reposted for #ThrowbackThursday.
Every genre of music warrants fusion, and with that fusion comes act after act with a new direction or interpretation. In the late sixties a movement began known as industrial that would change the face of the musical landscape forever by pooling elements of installation art, punk rock, and electronics. This new genre encompassed philosophical extremes inspired by great minds like William S. Burroughs or The Marquee De Sade, and the train did not stop as more artists were drawn to a rising demand for abrasive anti-establishment dynamics found in thrash metal and house music.
Today, we explore this rather complex culture of static, taboo, distortion and drums. The unfortunate truth becomes “Where does one begin, exactly?”, as digging deep enough into any musical genre will no doubt reveal unexpected influences or endless avenues of related acts. Being that industrial music takes a very DIY approach, the list of acts becomes almost infinite and constantly overlaps. It is for this reason we decided to focus on specific persons responsible for this phenomenal movement.
Welcome to the Top 11 Influential Minds of Industrial Metal… and please, don’t focus on the order.
11. Danny Lohner (Renholder)
Remixes are testy subjects that usually only come in one of two versions: the “hey, let’s add a drum beat to make this danceable” remix or the “let’s destroy this and make it better, faster, stronger!” remix. For the longest time I hated remixes because the only ones I had ever heard were simply dance cuts of really crappy ’80s songs compiled for sale on annoying infomercials in box sets — then I found Danny Lohner. There are millions of DJs on the planet, and Lohner is not the best mixer; however, he is the best remixer of industrial we’ve heard. To top this, the founding member of industrial thrash band Skrew has been involved with a ton major modern rock acts as producer and guitarist — most notably A Perfect Circle, Charlie Clouser and Clint Mansell. Under the pseudonym Renholder (re: d. lohner backwards), his remixes are standard fodder for industrial fans, and Lohner also had a hand in nearly everything for Wes Borland’s solo outing Black Light Burns. Danny Lohner becomes part of this list as essentially the next gen industrial artist and that’s that.
10. Brian Warner (Marilyn Manson)
Before the days of infamous “mall goths”, Warner’s alias Marilyn Manson was a poster child for all things rebellion. The Florida native started in journalism where he met the likes of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult which inspired Warner and early band mate Scott Putesky. Teen poetry became shock rock and Marilyn Manson was formed from the names of Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson to demonstrate the dichotomy of American society. 1989 saw the birth of Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids which soon became simply Marilyn Manson by the release of the band’s debut, 1994’s Portrait Of An American Family. Mr. Warner took on a persona that would be the center of controversy during the late ’90s and early ’00s, most notably his band’s media association to the Columbine Massacre. Live shows were ripe with costumes, lewd acts, and passages mockingly read from the Bible. The penultimate reasons for Warner’s listing? 1996’s Antichrist Superstar and a related act, the sadly short lived Jack Off Jill for whom Warner produced multiple demos.