Wax Trax! Records in partnership with Rooftop Films and House of Vans Brooklyn hosted a special one-night-only screening of Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records on July 28th. The event featured a DJ set from Patrick Codenys of Front 242, a panel discussion and Q&A with the filmmakers and some of the musicians interviewed in the film, including Codenys, Groovie Mann (My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult) and En Esch (formerly of KMFDM). A Wax Trax! collector's pop-up shop and traveling exhibit from the record store and label's archives was on display for fans to immerse themselves in. An explosive live performance by Youth Code closed the night, proving that the confrontational aggression of early industrial bands is very much alive and kicking today.
Wax Trax! Records began as a record store in Denver, opened by partners Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher, who shared a deep love of music and a diverse record collection. They sold the store in 1978 and moved to Chicago, where they opened a shop under the same name. Nash and Flesher expanded the retail store into a record label, which would help launch bands such as Ministry, Front 242, KMFDM, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Front Line Assembly, Revolting Cocks, Pailhead and others.
According to the film's director, Julia Nash (daughter of co-founder Jim Nash), the Wax Trax! music culture was built on unlimited creative freedom and the store offered "everything a hardcore music fan could ever want across the entire spectrum." Fostering and encouraging a safe place for outsiders and artists, the shop became sacred ground in the Midwest during the 1980s and served as a lifeline for people outside the mainstream. Along the way, Nash and Flesher helped to accidentally change music.
Industrial Accident features insightful interviews with family members, former employees and musicians who worked with or were heavily influenced by Wax Trax!, including Al Jourgensen, Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor, Paul Barker, Ian MacKaye, Steve Albini, Jello Biafra and others. The film will continue to screen at festivals and a wider release is anticipated in spring 2019, once all of the commercial licensing is in place. There's also talk of releasing a soundtrack. Updates on future screenings will be posted on the film's website.
Below, see photos of the event courtesy of Jolene Siana.