Monte Cazazza, Pioneer of Industrial Music, Dead at 68

The genre got its name from Cazazza describing it as "industrial music for industrial people"

monte cazazza dead industrial music
Monte Cazazza, photo by Michelle Handelman

    Monte Cazazza, the artist and musician who coined the term “industrial” to describe aggressive electronic rock music, has died at age 68.

    Cazazza’s fellow musician and collaborator Meri St. Mary announced his death on Twitter. “It is With immense sadness and Love I had to let Monte go,” she wrote. “He was very ill & in pain so I take comfort in the fact that that part is over but I miss him already! Where ever it is we go off to I am certain He will be causing trouble in his own way RIP the One & Only Monte Cazazza.”

    Born November 13th, 1954, Cazazza began his career in California, generating an abrasive persona by creating works intended for shock value. He was expelled from the California College for Arts and Crafts after his first sculpture assignment, where he created a cement waterfall that incapacitated the main stairway of the class building.

    Cazazza most famously worked in sound collage, issuing eight solo albums throughout his career. He was an early signee to Throbbing Gristle’s Industrial Records, and his phrase “Industrial Music for Industrial People” — meant to describe the noisy, experimental sound manipulation the label specialized in — led to the naming of the genre as industrial.


    Apart from his solo works, Cazazza collaborated with the likes of Factrix, Chaos of the Night, The Atom Smashers, The Love Force, and Esperik Glare. He contributed to nine albums by Psychic TV, the collective founded by Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P-Orridge. His last album, The Cynic, arrived in 2010.

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