Jim Marcus

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Jim Marcus
Birth nameJames Marcus
Born (1966-03-22) March 22, 1966 (age 55)
OriginChicago, Illinois, United States
GenresIndustrial, dance, rock
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, typographer
Years active1980s–present
LabelsPulseblack Records (Owner), Fiction , Atlantic , Mercury , Polygram , WaxTrax!
Websitemyspace.com/jimmarcus

James Marcus (born March 22, 1966) is a musician, artist, political activist, and respected typographer who is best known for his work as the lead singer and founder of the industrial band Die Warzau. He is credited as engineer, remixer, vocalist, songwriter, percussionist, drummer, bass player, pianist, keyboardist or artist on albums by Die Warzau, GoFight, Sister Machine Gun, Björk, Pigface, Pansy Division, The Swans, Haloblack, Chris Connelly, KMFDM, Skrew, Machines of Loving Grace, Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills, Everplastic, Screaming Rachel, Dessau, Chemlab, The Final Cut, Testify, Mindfunk, Little Louis and various other artists across many different genres. His work can be heard on some of the most popular tracks by many of these groups, such as the Pigface's "Asphole", "Aboriginal", "Steamroller", etc., KMFDM's "Light", Sister Machine gun's "Wired", "Lung", "Nothing", etc.

Die Warzau[edit]

In the late eighties, Jim Marcus and his partner Van Christie were working as performance artists in Chicago, Illinois. Their early shows as the band kept their performance art roots and were less about music than destruction and visual mayhem, garnering attention Fiction Records, distributed in the United States by Polygram and at the time serving as home to bands like The Cure and Eat, added Die Warzau to its roster after a particularly destructive show created a minor public relations blitz in the city. In 1988 the band's first single, "I've Got to Make Sense," reached number twenty-three on Billboard's dance chart . Their next single, "Land of the Free," climbed to the top spot on the Billboard dance charts Since Fiction was an English label, the record was classified as an import release.

Despite a racy video that was banned on major media outlets and only played in clubs after midnight, the next single, "Welcome to America," reached the number twelve spot on the Billboard dance charts. Later releases have gotten various degrees of play on various stations and channels. Songs such as Funkopolis, Red All Over, Liberated, and All Good Girls mystify straightforward musical consumers even while becoming commonplace on dance floors.

Marcus has worked with all sorts of artists as well, outside of the band, including the Supergroup Pigface. On the Invisible Records Website, Martin Atkins says this:

Notes from thee Underground - A wide array of participants, as Pigface began to pick up steam. Louis Svitek of Ministry, Jim Marcus of Die Warzau, Ogre, Genesis, Flea for fuck's sake! I think one of the landmark tracks on Notes... has to be Asphole. The Pigface experience on every level, in multicolored 3D scratch-and-sniff (and then wish you hadn't). Originally called Taiko, it was just a mad, mad, afternoon out at Halsted St.'s Chicago Trax. We hired 6 Taiko drummers to ceremonially perform in the big live room, along with a backing track we created. Jim Marcus (of Die Warzau) was instrumental and catalystic in the tracks inception. I remember sitting back in one of the chairs (that always seemed to be broken) watching all these guys hammering away on the huge drums, and thinking how lucky I was to be enjoying this moment.

Politics[edit]

He leans politically far to the left and has been an outspoken proponent of gay rights and civil disobedience .(Die Warzau's first T-shirt released for the album "convenience" had the slogan "Gay Soldiers Died, Too" on the front). He is known for not playing shows sponsored by alcohol or tobacco companies and openly advocating that young men not register for the war, which Marcus considers illegal. He has spoken out openly against the death penalty[1] and organized religion and in the early 1990s collected 1200 signatures urging the Pope of the Catholic Church to disband the church due to offenses against human dignity.[1] He is a proponent of sex education as a means to promote consensuality and safety. His vast experience of adult education on the topic includes, in 2011, a guest presentation for a college-level human sexuality class at Northwestern University.[citation needed]

Discography (incomplete)[edit]

Die Warzau[edit]

1989 Disco Rigido, Polygram/Fiction
1991 Big Electric Metal Bass Face, Atlantic
1994 Engine, WaxTrax!/TVT
2004 Convenience, Pulseblack Records
2006 Supergangbang, Pulseblack Records (unreleased as of 3/31/2021)
2008 Vinyl 88, Pulseblack Records
2010 Borghild, Pulseblack Records (promo release)

GoFight[edit]

2013 Music for Military Torture, Pulseblack Records
2015 Napalm Baby, Pulseblack Records
2016 American Jihadi, Pulseblack Records
2018 Tokyo Sexwale, Pulseblack Records
2019 Anthem, Pulseblack Records
2020 MekaDisko, Pulseblack Records

Solo[edit]

2007 Wonderland, Pulseblack Records (released 2/17/2018)

Typography[edit]

Jim Marcus has designed over 100 commercially available typefaces for various foundries but has a concentration of work available through T26, a font foundry in Chicago founded by Carlos Segura of Segura Inc., with which he has been involved with since its inception in 1992. His designs, including such staple designer fonts as Aquiline, Lassigue D'Mato, and Prophecy, have been used for many book covers. He is credited with being one of the first "grunge" typographers, developing fonts such as Escalido, Glue, Airflo and Toreador that encouraged artists to step outside of comfortable design approaches and develop more uniquely troubled and chaotic works. His typefaces are used generously by artists such as Dave McKean, whose work mixes multiple media and is a good example of this sort of chaotic refinement of artistic energy.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b NINa. "Die Warzau". Fabryka Magazine. Retrieved December 24, 2005.