Industrial music comprises many styles of experimental music, including many forms of electronic music. The term was coined in the mid-1970s to describe Industrial Records artists. Since then, a wide variety of labels and artists have come to be called "industrial."
The Allmusic website defines industrial as the "most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music [...] initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers (pictured), sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation".
The first industrial artists experimented with noise and controversial topics. Their production was not limited to music, but included mail art, performance art, installation pieces and other art forms. Prominent industrial musicians include Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Boyd Rice, SPK, and Z'EV. While the term initially referred to musicians signed to Industrial Records, it broadened to include artists influenced by the original movement or using an "industrial" aesthetic.
Nine Inch Nails (abbreviated as NIN) is an American industrial rock act, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction. NIN's music straddles a wide range of genres, while retaining a characteristic sound using electronic instruments and processing. After recording a new album, Reznor usually assembles a live band to perform with him. The touring band features a revolving lineup that often rearranges songs to fit a live setting. On stage, NIN often employ spectacular visual elements to accompany performances, which frequently culminate with the band destroying their instruments.
Michael Trent Reznor (born May 17, 1965) is an American songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist and founder of the industrial rock musical project known as Nine Inch Nails; he was previously associated with the bands Option 30, Exotic Birds, and Tapeworm, among others. As of 2007, Reznor split his ties with Interscope Records, and is now an independent, unsigned musician. He has worked with David Bowie, Adrian Belew, Saul Williams, and Marilyn Manson (considered by some to be Reznor's protégé). In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine's list of the year's most influential Americans, and Spin magazine described him as "the most vital artist in music."
The use of self-made percussion instruments, using metal objects, scrap material, parts from machines, metal plates and tubes, empty gas containers, and oil barrels, is typical for the Belgian industrial band Militia.
Musique concrète, Fluxus movement, Performance art, Electronic music, Krautrock, Noise music, Post-punk
Ambient industrial, EBM, Electro-industrial, Glitch, Industrial metal, Industrial rock, IDM, Martial Industrial,
List of industrial bands, List of noise musicians, Post-industrial music and related fusion genres