For 20 years now, JG
Thirlwell has been warping minds as the man behind FOETUS. Blame
Foetus was making industrial music
before industrial music was invented: discuss.
JG Thirlwell: "The one identifying
factor in my music is that it's hard to put a label on it. I came
up around the time the term 'industrial' was coined and I got lumped into
that category. But there's nu-metal people who are totally into Foetus,
then people in the electronic/drum 'n' bass world, then the noise crowd.
We even get eight-year-olds at our shows."
everyone from Nine Inch Nails to Megadeth to Marc Almond. Is there
anyone you've refused to work with?
JG: "There's things I've turned
down because I felt that by the time I put them through the Foetus mangler,
there'd be nothing left of them. There's a certain amount of production
work I've turned down too, because who wants to spend two months in a room
with sweaty boys interested in smelling their own bodily secretions."
Sony released your 1995 album, 'Gash'.
Did the label think they were getting NIN?
JG: "No, they thought they were
getting Foetus. You're dealing with this corporate monolith, and
the people that you're dealing with on a day to day level don't necessarily
have the final say in what goes down. Some number-cruncher in Japan
might come down and say, 'We're not going to do Foetus', which is exactly
what happened. I just didn't expect it to be a week after the album
Although you're Australian, you've
lived in New York for nearly 20 years. What's the attraction?
JG: "It's a 24-hour city.
It's got this energy and excitement and scuzziness and griminess all in
one package. It's changed a lot since I've been here. A lot
of what made it attractive to me - the urban decay - has been wiped out
You've made over 30 recordings in 14
years under 19 different identities. Will the real Jim Thirlwell
please stand up?
JG: "That's what my therapist keeps
telling me. I do talk about myself in the third person a lot, and
sometimes I wonder if in a few years time, I'll be walking down the street
having an argument with myself. But I wear a lot of different masks
and I'm not always sure where Foetus stops and JG Thirlwell begins."
FOETUS' new album, Flow,
is out now.
source: Kerrang!, July 2001, by Catherine Yates, accompanying
photo by Lisa Johnson..
© 2001 Kerrang!
ps: Foetus' Thaw
is one of Kerrang!'s essential
CD's in the "noise" genre...
28 Jul '01.