BIOGRAPHY

 

   Hailing from Chicago’s renowned Wax Trax! Records stable of artists, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT have been conjuring up sonic tales of sex, blasphemy and kitschy horror since 1987. They helped develop the industrial music genre, but have continued to experiment and expand their sound, creating one of the most diverse repertoires in modern music. They can be described as electronic rock, heavily influenced by both disco and funk, yet the echoes of lounge, glam, and even surf can be heard. Spoken-word samples lifted from B-movie, laced between slithering distorted vocals gives the band their signature mark. They have released 14 albums, a slew of remix compilations, and have contributed to a variety of soundtracks and film scores, including a cameo performance in the 1994 cult movie classic The Crow.  


   Artist Franke Nardiello and musician Marston Daley, two Chicago neighbors who enjoyed late night binges watching trashy exploitation and horror flicks, wanted to make their own movie to be called “My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult”. While the project never came to fruition, they wrote some music to be the accompanying soundtrack. Both worked at the Wax Trax record store, and when label founders Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher heard the songs, they were intrigued. Using the film title as the name of the band, they released a 3-song EP in early 1988. The response was overwhelming, and it was clear fans wanted to hear more. 

   Taking the stage names Groovie Mann (Nardiello) and Buzz McCoy (Daley), they began to focus on music full time and created an occult meets leather biker image to compliment the band’s name. This included enlisting a bevy of voluptuous back-up singers/dancers known as the BOMB GANG GIRLZ. In June of ’88, the duo flew to label mate Luc Van Acker’s studio in Belgium to record their first album I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits. It was recorded in just ten days, and mixed in another ten days at Southern Studios in London. They followed that up with two hard-hitting dance floor 12”s - "Kooler Than Jesus" (1989) and 1990’s "Cuz It’s Hot", which features 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 the PMRC and conservative religious groups in practically equal measure. By the time of their sophomore album, Confessions Of A Knife (1990), they were far and away one of the biggest selling acts on the label. 

   1991 saw the release of their third album Sexplosion!, a calculated departure from their previous work. The Satanic imagery was replaced by 1950’s pin-up models, while the music turned to sleazy stripper horns and disco beats. They put together a provocative stage show, complete with spinning police lights, mirror balls and a stocked bar with bartender to serve the scantily clad musicians and dancers while they performed. Alternative Press reviewed the show as “Sin-sational!”, while Melody Maker described it as “A Cabaret from Hell”. It was a huge success, and the album sold so well (fueled by the phenomenal radio hit “Sex On Wheelz”) that the band signed a deal with Interscope Records shortly afterwards and released two more albums - 13 Above the Night (1993), and Hit & Run Holiday (1995).

   The band moved to Rykodisc in 1997 and released their entire remastered / repackaged back catalog, along with five more new studio albums, including an homage to 70’s disco era called Gay Black & Married, and the sultry and decadent Filthiest Show In Town (2007). They formed their own label Sleaze Box Records in 2001, enabling the release of a growing number of side-projects in addition to new TKK material.


   Hollywood has also embraced the KULT, recognizing the unique cinematic aspect in their sound. Most notably, the band scored five songs for animator Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World (1992) and wrote the lap dance music for director Paul Verhoven's saucy  Showgirls (1993). Comedies Baseketball and The Flintstones Movie prominently feature songs from the Hit & Run Holiday album. The group was written into the story line of the film Sexy Evil Genius which also featured the song "A Daisy Chain 4 Satan"  and recently the club hit “Kooler Than Jesus” can be heard blasting in Season 3 of the Netflix series Narcos

   Today Sleazebox.com boasts the complete THRILL KILL KULT catalog, in addition to related works like Mann’s DARLING KANDIE project, and McCoy’s self titled pieces. They continue to work with Wax Trax! Records for the purpose of re-issuing special limited edition vinyl. Buzz and Groovie still record and perform along with veteran band mates Mimi Star (bass) and Justin Thyme (drums), all the while making a reputation for themselves as one of the most notorious and controversial cult bands of their generation.