Pigface is a musical juggernaut like nothing else — a long running collective of rotating musicians anchored by none other than Martin Atkins. The supergroup is undertaking an extensive tour of the United States for the first time in 14 years, and the collective dropped by Baltimore Soundstage recently.
Because of the nature of the band, every tour is different. Equal amounts funky and brutal, Pigface showcases the best of the industrial genre. On Nov. 20, nearly a dozen people on the seemingly tiny stage of Baltimore Soundstage was truly chaotic (as evidenced by the tangled mass the microphone cords were by the end of the night), but the power was undeniable.
Every instrument was doubled and the diverse cast of vocalists kept each song unique, but the best moments of the show came when they all sang together.
According to Setlist.fm, Pigface drew a third of its 21-song set from Fook, a second album recorded by a Martin Atkins-led collective in 1992. They opened with that album’s “Insemination” and closed with its “Auto Hag.”
During the show, Pigface covered a couple of songs by other Atkins projects — “Murder Inc.” by the band of the same name and “Stateless” by The Damage Manual. They also covered KMFDM’s “Godlike” in the encore, which closed with “Suck,” a song famously co-written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
Stream Pigface Live at The Vic Theatre in Chicago on Dec. 1, 2001, on Spotify:
This lineup of Pigface features Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe, who is singing on the entire tour. At Baltimore Soundstage, Randy joined Martin Atkins (PiL, Killing Joke), Mary Byker (PWEI, Gaye Bykers On Acid), Curse Mackey (Evil Mothers), En Esch (KMFDM), Lesley Rankine (Silverfish, Ruby), Charles Levi (My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult), Bobdog Catlin (Evil Mothers), Bradley Bills (Chant), Orville Kline (Porn and Chicken), Greta Brinkman (Moby, Druglord), and Dirk Flanigan (77 Luscious Babes).
“I can’t believe it’s been over 14 years since we were out on tour,” Martin said prior to the tour. “If anything, it feels more powerful, more connected, more dangerous, more exciting and more important than it ever has before. For all of us; band and audience included. The fact that Randy, Danny, Lesley, Mary, En Esch, Curse, everyone, gives so readily to this thing is nothing but amazing to me on a daily basis.”
Added Randy, “I am now doing the whole tour! Getting to play with people like Gaelynn Lea is one of the reasons I love being in PIGFACE so much! Let the industrial madness begin!”
Pigface was founded three decades ago with the premise of maintaining a revolving door lineup that included the heaviest hitters in industrial and alternative music. The group released six albums between 1991 and 2006. Between recording and touring, hundreds of musicians have counted themselves as members of Pigface. Pigface has remained relatively silent since 2009, with the exception two of shows in Chicago in 2016.
Pigface are certainly back, as evidenced by our pictures. Here are some photos of Pigface performing at Baltimore Soundstage on Nov. 20, 2019, copyright and courtesy of Katherine Gaines.