Rare Photos of Industrial Bands Looking Happy


This week is shaping up to be a good one for fans of industrial music — apart from the much-heralded return of Nine Inch Nails, which we reported this morning, there’s also a new album by ’80s industrial veterans KMFDM, the latest in a decade-long purple patch that followed their brief breakup and reformation under the moniker MDFMK. As a genre, industrial is rather known for its stony-faced seriousness, but occasionally its progenitors can be found cracking a smiling or even looking, y’know, happy. And so, to celebrate a week of good news, we thought we’d find some photos of genre icons looking cheery. It’s harder than it looks.


An uncharacteristically silly outtake from a very serious photo shoot.

Skinny Puppy

Cheerful and mildly terrifying! Result! And speaking of which…

Al Jourgensen, Ministry

… here’s a man who looks thoroughly intimidating no matter whether he’s happy or drugdead. Or both. And no, we have no idea what that object he’s brandishing is, either.

Throbbing Gristle

The progenitors of industrial, circa the mid-1970s. They look so wholesome!

Blixa Bargeld of Einsturzende Neubaten

Found on a page entitled “Can Blixa smile?”, which rather says it all.

Dejan Knez of Laibach

Oh, so close. So very close.

Trent Reznor

Reznor has mellowed somewhat in recent years, and is frequently sighted looking decidedly perky these days. Good for him.

Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire

Definitely happier today than in the 1980s.

Clock DVA

Early ’80s industrial icons looking very pleased about the prospect of dismantling civilization.

JG Thirlwell (and Lydia Lunch)

And finally, behold: the one and only picture on the Internet of JG Thirlwell smiling. Do you know how long it took us to find this, gentle reader?!