Foetus (band)

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Thirlwell singing on stage at the Rathskeller in Boston, 1985
Thirlwell singing on stage at the Rathskeller in Boston, 1985
Background information
Also known asFoetus Under Glass
You've Got Foetus on Your Breath
Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel
Foetus Interruptus
Various others
OriginLondon, England
GenresPost-punk, experimental, avant-garde, industrial
Years active1981–present
LabelsThirsty Ear
Some Bizzare
Entopic Entertainment
Self Immolation
MembersJG Thirlwell

Foetus is a solo musical project of Australian musician JG Thirlwell.[1] The project has had many similar names, each including the word 'Foetus'.note The "members" of the project are aliases of Thirlwell; they include Frank Want, Phillip Toss, and Clint Ruin. Thirlwell occasionally collaborates with other artists, but does not consider them to be members of Foetus.

In 1981, after the breakup of PragVEC, Thirlwell started his own solo music project under the name of 'Foetus Under Glass'. After the album Thaw, Thirlwell stopped changing the name; thereafter it remained simply 'Foetus'.

In November 1983, Foetus undertook a tour with Marc Almond, Nick Cave and Lydia Lunch in the quickly dissolved 'partnership' known as The Immaculate Consumptive.[1] He has also appeared on albums recorded by The The, Einsturzende Neubauten, Nurse With Wound and Anne Hogan.[1]

In October 1985, Thirlwell made the album Nail, which became the most popular Foetus album of all time.

Gash was issued in 1995, which led to acknowledgment from music journalists of Foetus's role in the development of industrial music.[1]


Album title Year of release Band name
Deaf 1981 You've Got Foetus on Your Breath
Ache 1982 You've Got Foetus on Your Breath
Hole 1984 Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel
Nail 1985 Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel
Thaw 1988 Foetus Interruptus
Gash 1995 Foetus
Flow 2001 Foetus
Love 2005 Foetus
Vein 2007 Foetus
Hide 2010 Foetus
Soak 2013 Foetus

Conceptual themes[edit]

All full-length Foetus album titles are four-letter, one-syllable words, often with multiple connotations.[1]

The artwork of Foetus releases shows a deliberate progression of colour: the earliest releases are black-and-white, with the addition of red on the Deaf album, and further addition of yellow on Nail. Full-colour art was introduced on Gash.[2] Beginning with Flow, the artwork of primary albums reverted to black/white/red, although other releases continue in full colour.


^a Foetus in Your Bed (1981), You've Got Foetus on Your Breath (1981), Jim Foetus and the Transvestites from Hell (1983), Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel (1984), The Foetus of Excellence (1985),[3] Foetus Über Alles (1985), Foetus Flesh (1985), Foetus on the Beach (1985), Foetus Interruptus (1988), Foetus Eruptus (1989), Foetus (1995), The Foetus Symphony Orchestra (1997), Foetus Under Glass, Phillip & His Foetus Vibrations, Foetus Over Frisco, Foetus Art Terrorism, Foetus Über Frisco, The Foetus All Nude Revue, Foetus, Inc., Foetus Corruptus, Foetus in Excelsis Corruptus Deluxe


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 475. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ The Pizz (1995). "Locomotion Abortion: The Foetus Interview". Axcess Magazine. 3 (4): 99.
  3. ^ "Foetus Of Excellence, The* - The Foetus Of Excellence". Discogs.

External links[edit]