My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult with special guests ADULT. and KANGA at The Vogue in Indianapolis on Monday, October 23, 2023!
Hailing from Chicago’s renowned Wax Trax! Records stable of recording artists, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT has been conjuring up sonic tales of sex, blasphemy, and kitschy horror since 1987. Along with label mates such as Front 242 and Ministry, TKK (as often abbreviated), helped develop the industrial music genre, yet have consistently evolved their sound, creating one of the most diverse repertoires in modern-day music. They can be described as electronic rock, heavily influenced by both disco and punk, with the distinctive use of spoken-word samples lifted from B-movies laced throughout their songs. The band has released 14 studio albums, a slew of compilations and singles, and has appeared on a variety of soundtracks.
Artist Franke Nardiello and musician Marston Daley, two Chicago neighbors who enjoyed late-night binges watching trashy exploitation films, wanted to make their own flick to be called “My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult.” While the movie itself never came to fruition, they also wrote a few songs to be the accompanying soundtrack. Both worked at Wax Trax! Records, and when the label heard the music, they were intrigued. Taking the film title as the name for the project, the duo released a 3-song EP, and the fans overwhelmingly wanted more.
Dubbing themselves Groovie Mann (Nardiello) and Buzz McCoy (Daley), they began to focus on the band full-time, creating an occult-biker meets disco-goth look, which included a bevy of voluptuous backup singers/dancers known as the BOMB GANG GIRLZ. They released their first album I See Good Spirits And I See Bad Spirits in 1988 followed up by the hard-hitting dance floor classics “Kooler Than Jesus” and “A Girl Doesn’t Get Killed By A Make-Believe Lover ‘Cuz It’s Hot,” which included no-wave chanteuse Lydia Lunch on vocals. The New York Times wrote, “Sex, blasphemy, big beats, and go-go dancing; they’re all in a day’s work for My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult.” This attracted the attention of indie fans and the ire of religious groups in practically equal measure. By the time TKK released their second album, Confessions Of A Knife (1990), they were far and away one of the biggest-selling acts on the label.
In 1991, TKK embarked on the decadent Sexplosion tour, titled after their third LP. Alternative Press reviewed the show as “Sin-sational!” while Melody Maker described the performance as “A cabaret from Hell.” The tour was a success and the album sold so well that they signed a deal with Interscope Records shortly afterward, and the single “Sex On Wheelz” became a sizeable radio hit.
Hollywood also embraced the group, recognizing the unique cinematic aspect of their sound. MLWTTKK music has been featured in a wide range of motion pictures, and cable and network shows, including animator Ralph Bakshi’s “Cool World,” director Paul Verhoven’s saucy “Showgirls,” Gregg Araki’s “Nowhere,” the HBO series “Californication,” and the 1994 cult film classic “The Crow,” where the band makes a cameo appearance performing their song “After The Flesh.”
Groovie and Buzz continue to unleash new music via their own SleazeBox Records label (sleazebox.com), and still touring extensively with a rotating cast of musicians, dancers, and dubious characters, all the while making a reputation for themselves as one of the most notorious and controversial cult bands of their generation.
With over 23 years working and a sprawling discography to show for that labor, Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus have spent their entire career as ADULT. obscuring any defined genre or style, writing and recording albums as art for life’s sake. On their latest album, the group is back at it with some discordant, doom dance sludge to mark their 9th studio album Becoming Undone. Written between November 2020 and April 2021, the album might be the band’s most non-conformant yet. Sure there are plenty of dance bangers, but ultimately the album is riddled with impermanence, loss, and looping dissatisfaction.
In 2020, ADULT. released Perception is/as/of Deception on DAIS, an anxiety-fueled cyclone of pandemonium that only ADULT. would know how to harness. While This Behavior (2018) was recorded in the isolated snow-covered woods of northern Michigan, Perception is/as/of Deception was given life in a temporary space the duo created by painting their windowless basement entirely black, with the sole intention to deprive their senses, question their perceptions, and witness the resulting ramifications. The pieces that make up Perception is/as/of Deception might be perceived as their most punk-infused and introspective work to date. The elements of frustration and apprehension that have consistently woven throughout their material are at full mast, although augmented by a strident and more “head-on” approach. Bill Pearis of Brooklyn Vegan writes “The synths, drum machines, and vocal delivery all feel more intense, with tracks like “Second Nature” and “Total Total Damage” hurtling you through a strobe-lit tunnel with a cinderblock on the gas pedal, the brake line cut, and doors have been welded shut.”
In September of 2018, ADULT. released their seventh album, THIS BEHAVIOR on DAIS. Called “…one of the best records of their career…” by Ryan Lathan of Pop Matters, the album began as 23 demos written and recorded in a remote cabin in the woods of Northern Michigan during the dead of winter. In total isolation, and with a reduced amount of gear (a modified version of their live setup) on the cabin’s kitchen table, the duo was completely immersed in an incessant, inescapable studio of their own making – looping, repetitive analog sequences grinding away day and night.
In 2017, ADULT. released their sixth album entitled “Detroit House Guests” on MUTE Records. This project was funded through a Knight Arts grant which allowed them to collaborate with six guest artists: Dorit Chrysler (NY Theremin Society), Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum), Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens), Michael Gira (Swans), Lun•na Menoh (Les Sewing Sisters) and Douglas McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb). Philip Serburne for Pitchfork writes “On their first album in four years, the married electro duo curate a highly collaborative record that is richer and stranger than anything they’ve done before. It’s unusually electrifying.”
ADULT. has released five other full-length albums on Ghostly International, Thrill Jockey, and their own label founded in 1995; Ersatz Audio. They also released their first live album in 2017 on Third Man Records.
ADULT. has remixed the likes of LIARS, John Foxx, Barry Adamson, and Death in Vegas, to name a few. They are currently working on a collab 7” with Planet B – members Justin Pearson (The Locust) & Luke Hensaw.
KANGA is a musician and producer from Los Angeles, CA. Widely considered one of the finest underground pop purveyors, KANGA fuses post-apocalyptic pop sensibilities with body-shaking rhythms and sinuous melodies. She is currently working on her next album set to be released on Artoffact Records in Fall, 2023.
MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT WITH SPECIAL GUESTS ADULT. AND KANGA
MONDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2023
THE VOGUE THEATRE
TICKETS AT THEVOGUE.COM
THIS SHOW IS GENERAL ADMISSION AND SEATING IS NOT PROVIDED. YOU MUST BE 21+ TO ENTER THE VENUE WITH A VALID FORM OF IDENTIFICATION. ALL TICKETS ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE AND NON-REFUNDABLE. TWO FORMS OF IDENTIFICATION MAY BE REQUIRED FOR ENTRY.