“I have an ability to bring people together, and that gives me the opportunity to do something very dangerous.” So says drummer Martin Atkins about Pigface, a rotating consortium of musicians conceived of thirteen years ago during a tour with industrial metal forerunners Ministry and KMFDM. Atkins, who has lent his drumming talents to Public Image Ltd., Killing Joke, and Nine Inch Nails, among others, has recently released Easy Listening, an engaging collection of music and spoken word representing the latest Pigface amalgamation.
Though Pigface was originally identified with industrial genre artists, Atkins allows the band an open-door policy on the creative front. Over thirty musicians – including Chris Vrenna, members of Kittie, The Rollins Band, and Dope – contributed to the making of Easy Listening. “The whole idea of Pigface is still evolving,” Atkins observes. “That feels so great to me.”
Atkins” many years spent as a producer and engineer have, naturally, colored the way he approaches playing the drums. “I have my own studio,” he says, “so I engineer my kit sound. If you listen to some of those massively compressed, limited, overblown drum sounds on the Pigface album, you’ll hear that I’m now more interested in the processing rather than the tuning of the kit.”
For live performances, Atkins uses a five-piece Pearl set customized with electronic triggers. “That’s just to mentally trigger a signature sound from an album track to put the listener in that moment,” he explains. “I’m very interested in recreating the “correct” energy of a song – and sometimes that means just one signature sound, like a snare drum crack’to put people in that head space.”