Chris Connelly, Industrial Music Pioneer
We invited Chris Connelly in to talk music among many other markers and milestones in the tenured musician’s wildly successful career. The conversation was moderated by Chicago-based musician and 15 years+ Reckless Records manager, Matt Jencik.
Chris is best known for his participation in the 80’s & 90’s industrial scene including bands such Revolting Cocks, Ministry & Pigface. He has also built an impressive discography as a solo artist and published a novel and an autobiography. Matt and Chris shared stories about what it was like to participate in such a legendary era of Chicago music & how Chris has managed to stay so vital since then.
Chris Connelly started playing and recording in 1980 at the age of 14 when he formed the band FINI TRIBE in his native Edinburgh , who evolved and grew over the years, eventually signing to the WAXTRAX label In 1986. In 1987 Chris moved stateside to Chicago where he spent the next few years on the road and in the studio, launching on a life long passion for collaboration with the likes of CABARET VOLTAIRE, KILLING JOKE, PIGFACE, as well as launching a solo career in 1994 that now boasts 15 albums. It was in 1999 that Chris joined the mighty DAMAGE MANUAL a formidable four piece, their sole album and e.p. rewrote the rules, fusing industrial and post punk with an incredible ferocity that no one had or has done since, this band was too volatile to last , but a UK and US tour happened before the band collapsed in flames.
The 2000’s saw him focusing on solo material including the 2 expansive and groundbreaking albums he made for CURRENT 93’S Durtro label “the episodes “ and “forgiveness and exile”. He also had a book published “concrete bulletproof, invisible and fried” about his tenure as a Revolting Cock by the British publisher SAF. In 2010, Chris joined forces with Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, and metal producer Sanford Parker to record as the HIGH CONFESSIONS.
Now busier than ever, Connelly is managing to balance his extremely experimental side with his industrial side as COCKSURE, an ongoing project with his old bandmate Paul Barker called “bells into machines” and his new solo album “BE MINE WHEN YOU’RE NOT MINE.”
Chris’s book is now into it’s second edition, published in November 2014. His band SONS OF THE SILENT AGE who honour exclusively the music of BOWIE played at the opening of the DAVID BOWIE IS exhibition in front of 10,000 people (including the mayor) in downtown Chicago. There is no denying that this man carries an incredible history, has made a lot of groundbreaking music and continues to do so.
This piece will be aired on KMUN Wednesday November 13th at 8:00pm
Matt Jencik is a musician and the head new music buyer for Reckless Records in Chicago. His most recent band Implodes released two albums on Kranky, Black Earth in 2011 and Recurring Dream in 2013. Jencik has been performing and recording since the early 90’s with bands such as Hurl, Don Caballero, Thee Speaking Canaries & Taking Pictures as well as playing bass on the 2007 & 2013 Slint reunion tours, guitar and bass for PAPA M from 2009-2012 & most recently bass & synthesizer for the Circuit Des Yeux live band & synth with the Wrekmeister Harmonies live group. He is releasing his first solo album on the French label Hands In The Dark in early 2017.
Producer: Alex Coleman Kime