Industrial music building an audience in Baltimore

Sound check

January 17, 1991|By Nestor Aparicio | Nestor Aparicio,Evening Sun Staff

Much like it treated rap 10 years ago, the media has ignored industrial music in its formative stages as an alternative form of music.

But, at least in Baltimore, it seems that is changing.

The industrial music scene here has spawned underground garage-type bands and clubs, and the fervent fans that frequent these establishments will converge on the unlikely rock location of Hammerjacks Saturday night for a show featuring Nine Inch Nails and Die Warzau.

For many in the industrial community, it is a coming out party.

Nine Inch Nails played to an overflow crowd of about 250 at the Grog and Tankard last summer, but Hammerjacks is expecting sold-out business of more than 1,500 people.

The Cleveland-based headliners, led by singer/writer Trent Reznor, are living off of the success of the progressive hit "Down in It."

The follow-up single "Head Like a Hole," from the album "Pretty Hate Machine," also did well.

The show's opener, Die Warzau, a Chicago band, features much of the same political music that captured Nails its fans.

But, explains Die Warzau singer Jim Marcus, don't believe that because the themes are similar that all industrial music is the same.

"The structure of almost every song is different for every band," Marcus said. "You can take the top industrial bands -- Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Front 242 -- and listen to the music and there will be virtually no pattern, nothing that could equate one with the other."

For Die Warzau, whose first album "Disco Rigido" has garnered rave reviews from the alternative media, unconventional means manufacture the dance groove.

"Anything that makes noise can be music," Marcus said. "We've built machines to make noise. We've gone out in back of the studio and beat on Dumpsters to get sound. We've blown up cars to get sound."

But sounds as drastic as destroying cars would be hard to re-create on stage without the aid of sampling.

"I play guitar and I play drums and I can tell you that it's ten times more hard work and effort that goes into doing one of our shows," Marcus said. "You almost have to be a conventional musician before you can get involved with industrial music. It would be pretty impressive if someone could start out this way."

Tickets for two big shows go sale tomorrow and Saturday.

Rapper Vanilla Ice brings his show to the Baltimore Arena March 31. Tickets will be $21.50 and go on sale at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

Seats for Neil Young and Crazy Horse, with Sonic Youth and Social Distortion, at the Capital Centre are $22.50 and go on sale Saturday at 9 a.m.

All tickets can be charged by calling 481-6000.

The Capital Centre hosts the package of Keith Sweat, Bell Biv DeVoe and Johnny Gill (Jan. 24).

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