Martin Atkins

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Martin Atkins
Martin Atkins.jpg
Background information
Birth nameMartin Clive Atkins
Born (1959-08-03) 3 August 1959 (age 59)
Coventry, England [1]
Genres
Occupation(s)Drummer / producer / record label owner / writer
InstrumentsDrums
Associated acts Public Image Ltd
Ministry
Pigface
Killing Joke
Nine Inch Nails
Murder, Inc.
The Damage Manual
Opium Jukebox

Martin Clive Atkins (born 3 August 1959) is an English drummer and session musician, best known for his work in post-punk and industrial groups including Public Image Ltd, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Pigface, and Killing Joke. He also works as a consultant, has written books, and is the music business program coordinator at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. Atkins is an honorary board member of the Chicago-based nonprofit organisation Rock For Kids.

Session musician Profession; musician hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances

Session musicians, studio musicians, or backing musicians are musicians hired to perform in recording sessions or live performances. Session musicians are usually not permanent members of a musical ensemble or band. They work behind the scenes and rarely achieve individual fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders. However, top session musicians are well known within the music industry, and some have become publicly recognized, such as the Wrecking Crew, and The Funk Brothers who worked with Motown Records.

Post-punk is a broad type of rock music that emerged from the punk movement of the 1970s, in which artists departed from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities and diverse influences. Inspired by punk's energy and DIY ethic but determined to break from rock cliches, artists experimented with sources including electronic music and black styles like dub, funk, and disco; novel recording and production techniques; and ideas from art and politics, including critical theory, modernist art, cinema and literature. These communities produced independent record labels, visual art, multimedia performances and fanzines.

Industrial music is a genre of experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music" that was "initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments and punk provocation". The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by members of Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. While the genre name originated with Throbbing Gristle's emergence in the United Kingdom, concentrations of artists and labels vital to the genre also emerged in America, namely in Chicago.

Contents

Early life

Atkins was born in Coventry, England. [1]

Career

1979–1981

Atkins' first major exposure as a drummer was with John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols band, Public Image Ltd. He joined in 1979, just in time to contribute to the song "Bad Baby" on the album Metal Box . Atkins' first live show with PiL was recorded and released as a live album Paris au Printemps and his first year with the band included appearances on The John Peel Sessions for the BBC, American Bandstand and the BBC's live Old Grey Whistle Test .

John Lydon English musician

John Joseph Lydon, also known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, is an English singer, songwriter and musician. He is best known as the lead singer of the late-1970s British punk band the Sex Pistols, which lasted from 1975 until 1978, and again for various revivals during the 1990s and 2000s. He is also the lead singer of post-punk band Public Image Ltd (PiL), which he founded and fronted from 1978 until 1993, and again since 2009. Since 2013, Lydon has held British, Irish and American citizenship.

Sex Pistols British punk rock band

The Sex Pistols were an English punk rock band that formed in London in 1975. They were responsible for initiating the punk movement in the United Kingdom and inspiring many later punk and alternative rock musicians. Although their initial career lasted just two and a half years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, they are regarded as one of the most influential acts in the history of popular music.

Public Image Ltd English rock band

Public Image Ltd are an English post-punk band formed by singer John Lydon, guitarist Keith Levene, bassist Jah Wobble, and drummer Jim Walker. The group's personnel has changed frequently over the years; Lydon has been the sole constant member.

In 1980, Atkins left Public Image Ltd to concentrate on his band Brian Brain with Pete Jones (who also played with Public Image Ltd in 1982 and 1983) on bass (in 1983 replaced by original Go-Gos' bassist Margot Olavarria) and Bobby Surgeoner on guitar (later replaced by Olavarria's husband, Geoff Smyth). Brian Brain released six singles and one LP (Unexpected Noises) on Secret Records, [3] and continued to release singles and LPs on Atkins' own Plaid Records throughout the 1980s. The band had a minor indie chart hit in 1980 with "They've Got Me in the Bottle" (#39), [4] and club hits with the singles "Jive Jive" (1981) and "Funky Zoo" (1982).

Secret Records & Films is a British independent record label based in London. The label currently specialises in live releases on CD & DVD as well as older releases ranging across a number of genres including blues, reggae, rock, rock 'n' roll, psychedelic, soul and punk. The label's roster includes releases by John Mayall, Bert Jansch, Happy Mondays, Geno Washington, The Toy Dolls, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Fastway, The Exploited, Hawkwind, Ike Turner, InMe, Lee Perry, LA Guns, Amen and many more.

1981–1985

Atkins rejoined Public Image Ltd in 1981 to contribute to The Flowers of Romance and, later, produced and co-wrote the album This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get . Atkins eventually left PiL for the last time in 1985.

<i>The Flowers of Romance</i> (album) 1981 studio album by Public Image Ltd

The Flowers of Romance is the third studio album by English experimental rock band Public Image Ltd, released on 10 April 1981 by record label Virgin.

<i>This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get</i> 1984 studio album by Public Image Ltd

This Is What You Want... This Is What You Get is a 1984 album by Public Image Ltd. It is the band's fourth official studio album and includes the single "Bad Life" and a re-recorded version of a "This Is Not a Love Song", which had been a No. 5 UK and international hit when released as a single in 1983.

1985–2005

After leaving Public Image Ltd, Atkins revived his Brian Brain project [5] and recorded an EP at Planet Sound Studios in New York for his own, short-lived label Plaid Records, [6] which was released in July 1985. [7] Throughout the late 1980s, the 1990s and early 2000s, Atkins performed with many bands, including Nine Inch Nails (appearing in the video for "Head Like A Hole"), as well as Ministry. The dual-drumming of Atkins and Bill Rieflin appears on the live Ministry album/video In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up . Atkins later joined Killing Joke, performing on 1990's Extremities, Dirt, and Other Repressed Emotions. He also managed the band for that time, and designed their live show scenery and some merchandise.

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock band

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. The band was founded by lead singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who was the band's only official member until adding English musician Atticus Ross in 2016. The band has signed with several major labels over the course of three decades, the current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.

Ministry (band) American industrial metal band

Ministry is an American rock band founded in 1981 by Al Jourgensen in Chicago, Illinois. Originally a synth-pop outfit, Ministry's sound changed as they became one of the pioneers of industrial metal in the late 1980s. The band's lineup has frequently changed throughout its history, with the exception of Jourgensen who is the band's main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. Notable musicians who have contributed to the band's studio or live activities include vocalists Nivek Ogre, Chris Connelly and Burton C. Bell, guitarists Mike Scaccia and Tommy Victor, bassists Paul Barker, Paul Raven, Jason Christopher, Tony Campos and Paul D'Amour, drummers Bill Rieflin, Martin Atkins, Rey Washam and Roy Mayorga, keyboardist John Bechdel, and rappers/producers DJ Swamp and Arabian Prince.

William Frederick "Bill" Rieflin is an American musician.

Atkins formed his industrial supergroup, Pigface, during a Ministry tour in 1989–1990. After joining Killing Joke for their 1990 recording, Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions, he went on to form Murder, Inc., a new band featuring Geordie Walker and Paul Raven from Killing Joke, and Chris Connelly, in 1992. [8] During this time, he played with the Revolting Cocks and is credited alongside Chris Vrenna in Nine Inch Nails for performing extra drums on "Wish" and "Gave Up," tracks two and six of the Broken EP (as well as the aforementioned "Head Like A Hole").

A supergroup is a musical performing group whose members have successful solo careers, are members of other groups, or are well known in other musical professions. The term is usually used in the context of rock and pop music, but it has occasionally been applied to other musical genres. For example, The Three Tenors—composed of opera superstars José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti—or Rainbow have been called a supergroup.

Pigface

Pigface is an industrial rock supergroup formed in 1990 by Martin Atkins and William Rieflin.

Killing Joke English post-punk band

Killing Joke are an English rock band formed in October 1978 in Notting Hill, London, England. The original line-up included Jaz Coleman, Paul Ferguson (drums), Geordie Walker (guitar) and Youth (bass).

In between creating albums and touring with Pigface he also formed The Damage Manual with Jah Wobble, Walker, and Connelly. Atkins later produced and released a collaborative album with Skinny Puppy's Nivek Ogre, the latter's first project outside of Skinny Puppy, under the moniker Rx. The resulting album was entitled Bedside Toxicology.

Between 2000 and 2002 he released four albums as Opium Jukebox featuring instrumental cover tunes done in a Bhangra style. [9]

2006 and onward

In October 2006, Atkins visited Beijing to discover the emerging Chinese music scene. During his stay, Atkins recorded and signed a handful of Chinese bands to Invisible Records and recorded material for a new Pigface album.

Atkins has taught at Columbia College in Chicago where he instructed the course "The Business of Touring". He is also an active guest lecturer, speaking at such institutions as the University of Southern California, the Midi School in Beijing and Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania. Atkins has since become an instructor at the Madison Media Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. Atkins has announced plans to take his lecturing further by eventually opening a school of his own. [10] He is also a former department chairman for a music business program he designed at SAE Chicago. [11] He now is the acting Music Business program coordinator at Millikin University in Decatur, IL.

Atkins has held a number of seminars at Tech Music Schools (Drumtech, Vocaltech, Guitar-X and Keyboardtech) in London, with more planned for the future.

Atkins has written what he calls, "the first real book on touring". The book Tour:Smart, featured contributions from Henry Rollins, Cynthia Plastercaster, The Enigma, the Suicide Girls, Zim Zum (formerly of Marilyn Manson), Kevin Lyman, Curse Mackey, CPA Lisa Malina and various other managers, journalists, venues, agents, sponsors, and radio personalities. [12] [13]

Atkins was on the tenth annual Independent Music Awards judging panel, and was also a judge for the seventh annual season of Independent Music Awards to support independent artists. [14]

Starting in 2015, Atkins has written and performed several podcast stories for The Martin Atkins Minute, included with the NPR All Songs Considered podcast. [15]

In 2018 Martin released Band:Smart the follow up to his Tour:Smart book. This book covers record labels, book agents, crafting a stage show, band names, social media and lots more. [16]

Related Research Articles

Prong (band) American heavy metal band

Prong is an American heavy metal band formed in 1986 by bassist Mike Kirkland and guitarist Tommy Victor, the band's sole constant member. To date, they have released twelve studio albums, one live album, four EPs, one DVD and one remix album. Prong had two independent releases — Primitive Origins (1987) and Force Fed (1989) — which attracted the attention of Epic Records, who signed the band in 1989. Their first two albums on Epic — Beg to Differ (1990) and Prove You Wrong (1991) — were released to critical acclaim and garnered attention on MTV's Headbangers Ball. The band's 1994 album Cleansing was also very successful, and included one of their well-known songs "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck". After releasing one more album, Prong disbanded in 1997, but reformed in 2002 and has continued to tour and record since then.

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Invisible Records is a Chicago based record label founded by Martin Atkins. In 2001, Invisible Records started a subsidiary label Underground Inc..

Slick Idiot band

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The Damage Manual is an industrial supergroup that originally formed in 2000. It featured Martin Atkins on drums and loops, Chris Connelly on vocals, Geordie Walker on guitar and Jah Wobble on bass. A second lineup saw Steven Seibold of the band Hate Dept. replacing both Walker and Wobble after their departure.

Paul Vincent Raven was a bassist best known for his work in the post-punk group Killing Joke. He later played in the industrial music bands Prong, Ministry, and Zilch.

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Murder, Inc. (band)

Murder, Inc. was an industrial music supergroup formed in 1991, featuring vocalist Chris Connelly, Killing Joke members Geordie Walker, Paul Raven, "Big Paul" Ferguson, John Bechdel, and former Public Image Ltd drummer Martin Atkins.

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<i>Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions</i> 1990 studio album by Killing Joke

Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions is the eighth studio album by English rock band Killing Joke, recorded in August 1990 and released in November 1990 by record label Noise. This is the only Killing Joke album to feature drummer Martin Atkins.

Meg Lee Chin taiwanese musician

Meg Lee Chin is a British singer and musician. She is best known for her work with the anarchic industrial supergroup Pigface, headed by Martin Atkins of Invisible Records. She built her own recording studio dubbed Egg, where she recorded her first album, and after appearing on Pigface's 1997 LP A New High in Low as well as its follow-up, Below the Belt, she released the solo debut Piece and Love in 1999. An album of remixes, titled Junkies and Snakes, was released the following year. Signed to Invisible for five years, she left the label in 2002.

Hyperhead were a British alternative rock band formed by former Gaye Bykers on Acid singer Mary Mary in the early 1990s.

<i>6</i> (Pigface album) 2009 studio album by Pigface

6 is the sixth studio album by the industrial rock band Pigface. It was released in 2009 on Full Effect Records. The song "KMFPF", an acronym for "Kill Mother-Fucking Pigface", is a warped allusion to the band KMFDM.

Mary Byker, is a singer, producer and DJ known for his work as the lead singer of Gaye Bykers on Acid, Pop Will Eat Itself, Pigface and Apollo 440.

References

  1. 1 2 "Martin Atkins Biography". Billboard. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  2. Kot, Greg (18 December 1998). "Sculpted Chaos : Pigface's Blistering Rock Freak Show Just Won't Quit". Chicago Tribune . Retrieved 25 May 2018. Somehow keeping it together is Martin Atkins, a British expatriate and avant-rock veteran with stints in esteemed bands such as Public Image Ltd. and Killing Joke.
  3. "PiL Discography | Brian Brain Discography". Fodderstompf. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  4. Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980–1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN   0-9517206-9-4.
  5. Freeman, Kim (25 May 1985). "Grass Route". Billboard. p. 85. Retrieved 23 November 2014. Back in New York, former Public Image Ltd. drummer/writer/producer Martin Atkins has gone solo with a new label called Plaid Records. The first project there is an EP by Brian Brain, which features Margot Olavarria, formerly of the Go-Go's.
  6. Dupler, Steven (15 June 1985). "Audio Track, New York". Billboard. p. 30.|access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. Goodman, Fred (20 July 1985). "Album Reviews". Billboard. p. 66. Retrieved 23 November 2014. Four-song EP by New York based outfit employing heavy drum sound and chant vocal arrangements. Title track is an anti-drug tune that manages to avoid becoming bogged down under the weight of its message.
  8. Harris, Chris (21 October 2007). "Ministry/ Killing Joke Bassist Paul Raven Dead At 46". MTV . Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  9. https://www.discogs.com/artist/418782-Opium-Jukebox
  10. Corelli, Richie (6 March 2007). "Aim Low, Get High: An Evening with Martin Atkins". Soundsect. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  11. Guy, Sandra (22 November 2014). "The Sitdown: Martin Atkins, ex-Public Image Ltd. drummer, educator". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  12. Emerson, Brett (8 February 2009). "Martin Atkins, Tour:Smart". The Second Supper. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  13. Emerson, Brett. "Martin Atkins - Tour:Smart". The Second Supper. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  14. "Independent Music Awards – 7th Annual Judges". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  15. "The Martin Atkins Minute". NPR. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  16. https://martinatkins.bigcartel.com/product/band-smart-success-in-the-music-business-on-your-own-terms-1