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My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult Biography
It was in the fall of 1987, in a neighborhood Chicago bar. Artist and performer Franke Nardiello met with musician Marston Daley over drinks. They crafted a shocking and lurid film concept, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT. Inspired by a shared love of tabloid tales of sex and Satan, kitschy horror and exploitation films in the style of Russ Myers, the concept came naturally. The name was ripped straight from a British headline Nardiello had seen while living in London. With limited experience and resources the film was scrapped, but work on its accompanying soundtrack continued. Legendary Chicago record label Wax Trax Records were drawn by the hard beats, distorted vocals, rich instrumentation and bizarre film samples. They released a three song EP in 1988. The full–length album, I SEE GOOD SPIRITS AND I SEE BAD SPIRITS, followed the same year. People seemed to love it almost instantly, and so, their dreams of celluloid became a reality on vinyl.
In the spring of 1989, Nardiello and Daley took on the names Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy (respectfully). They recruited band members from bar stools and created a back-up group of singers/dancers dubbed the BOMB GANG GIRLZ. They jammed the crew of nine into a van with musical and stage gear alike, and hit the road. The tour had a "Cabaret From Hell" vibe and it aroused the curiosity of the kids and media, establishing THRILL KILL KULT as one of America's premier "electronic/industrial" acts.
They continued to fuel the underground club dance floors with tracks like "The Days Of Swine And Roses", "Kooler Than Jesus" and "A Daisy Chain 4 Satan". The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was appalled. It wasn't long before Groovie and Buzz started experimenting, combining disco bass with wah-wah guitars and dabbling in big bad burlesque brass. The result was SEXPLOSION! (1991). It was lusty and dangerous, giving them their first taste of commercial success with "Sex On Wheelz" and attracting a whole new set of fans.
The explosion of popularity found the KULT on Interscope and in 1993 they released 13 ABOVE THE NIGHT, the first album recorded with their touring band members, bassist Levi Levi, drummer Otto Matix, guitarist Trash Kavity and "Chicago House Diva" singer Shawn Christopher. For their second release with Interscope, HIT & RUN HOLIDAY (1995), they conjured up a surf-punk meets Motown sound that told the story of vixen/rebel Krystal Starlust and drifter Apollo. Like all of their releases, it had an overpowering cinematic quality, so it wasn't surprising when Hollywood took notice. The duo found themselves writing for an assortment of soundtracks like Paul Verhoeven's "Showgirls" and Ralph Bakshi's "Cool World." They even stepped in front of the camera for a cameo in the cult classic "The Crow" to perform the song After The Flesh.
In 1997 the band released A CRIME FOR ALL SEASONS on Red Ant Records. It was punk in attitude, laced with heavy synths and guitars both battling it out for sonic dominance.
The next year MLWTTKK signed to Rykodisc, who reissued their Wax Trax catalog. And later, GAY, BLACK & MARRIED (2005), an homage to the 70's disco era, and the depraved strip-lounge-rock feast, THE FILTHIEST SHOW IN TOWN (2007).
They now release through their own label, SLEAZEBOX MUSIC and the summer of 2012 will see the very first BOMB GANG GIRLZ solo album, titled A TASTE 4 TROUBLE, written and produced by Buzz McCoy. It features among others, the formidable long time vocalist and dancer Jacky Blacque, chanteuse Debbie Deathbeat, newcomer Beki Colada, and a guest appearance by Groovie Mann.
Still a favorite among directors who are looking for sexy sleaze, their music is frequently in both major and independent films, television and cable shows, most recently on Showtime's Californication and this Summer's indie flick Crazy Eyes. But it doesn't end with studio, film and TV; Groovie and Buzz still take TKK out on the road extensively along with a rotating cast of depraved characters. In 2010 they re-created their role in the "Sextacy Ball" tour along with Belgium's outrageous Lords of Acid. In 2011 they performed at the "Wax Trax! Retrospectacle" show in Chicago, with old label mates Front 242 and Revolting Cocks. This fall, the MLWTTKK will celebrate their milestone 25th anniversary with the BACK FROM BEYOND TOUR, a 7-week excursion through the US beginning September 12th.
MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT's sound has always been fearlessly experimental and has become hugely influential to many artists today. They continue to morph and stretch the fabric of music as we know it, always remaining true to the KULT and true innovators.