Genre/Influences: Industrial-metal, industrial-rock, EBM
Background/Info: The famous Wax Trax! Records label was originally much into new wave and punk music and was founded by Jim Nash and his partner Dannie Flesher in Denver in 1975. In 1978 the independent label moved to Chicago and became the most important record label and store/boutique for industrial music in the US that served as the headquarters of underground electronic and industrial bands in the eighties and nineties. The strong brand Wax Trax! offered record deals to the artists they liked (as fans) and also licensed European artists in America. The very impressive Wax Trax! catalogue featured well-known bands like Ministry, Front 242, Revolting Cocks, KMFDM, Front Line Assembly, Coil, Chris & Cosey and more!
Content: Industrial Accident has contributions of Al Jourgensen (Ministry/Revolting Cocks), Paul Barker (Ministry/Revolting Cocks), Chris Connelly (Ministry/Revolting Cocks), Luc Van Acker (Ministry/Revolting Cocks), Richard23 (Front 242/Revolting Cocks), Patrick Codenys (Front 242), Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Bill Leeb (Front Line Assembly), Groovie Mann (Thrill Kill Kult), David J. Haskins (Bauhaus), Sascha Konietzko (KMFDM), En Esch (KMFDM), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), Steve Albini (Big Black), Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle), Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi) and more. It explains the rise and fall of an important musical movement as well as the details and artifacts of this entire Wax Trax! Records history that was nearly lost forever.
A lot of hilarious anecdotes are explained by the contributing artists which makes it fun to watch! Al Jourgensen: “I played in Divine’s band by the way, playing guitar for Divine was … bizarre!”. Luc Van Acker, when speaking about Laibach: “How provocative can you be? It takes intelligent people to understand that! Wax Trax! created a space where we could do whatever we wanted!”. Unfortunately the label without business model (operating on trust, without contracts with their artists) declared bankruptcy in 1992 and Jim and Danny sold it to TVT Records. Jim Nash passed away on October 10, 1995 and Dannie Flesher deceased on January 10th, 2010.
+ + + : This 94 minutes (+ 75 extra minutes bonus material) documentary was directed by Julia Nash (daughter of Jim Nash) and won awards on the Santa Cruz Film Festival and Chicago Underground Film Festival. It is also available on Blu-Ray and as download on AppleTV, Amazon Prime and Google Play/YouTube Streaming.
– – – : Just one minor point: to make the circle complete, maybe an interview with some licensed European bands that were released by Wax Trax! (The Neon Judgement, The Young Gods, A Split Second, Laibach and more) would have been interesting, to hear their point of view.
Conclusion: Although it’s a huge story to tell the complete Wax Trax! history, this documentary gives a pretty good overview of what happened in the old days. Jim and Dannie “accidentally” built up the industrial scene in the US due to their passion and love for this music and bands and will never be forgotten!