In the late 70’s Frankie Nardiello was known around Chicago as Franke Funn, lead vocalist for the Delerium Tremins (THE D.T.’s). The band consisted of guitarist Willie B Cool, bassist Marty Sorenson, drummer Harry Rushakoff (Concrete Blonde) and Nardiello. The group reformed a year later, changing their name to Special Affect, and replacing Cool with guitarist Tom “Atomic” Hoffman, who was subsequently replaced by Al Jourgensen - who had yet to form the industrial powerhouse Ministry.
After various projects and time in London he ended up back in Chicago in 1987 and formed My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - dubbing himself Groovie Mann and teaming up with friend Marston Daley now dubbed Buzz McCoy. The duo signed up to the now iconic Wax Trax! Records along with labelmates Ministry, KMFDM and Front 242. Right away they caused controversy with their overtly occult imagery and would create a sound that was not easily identified or categorized. My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult are currently putting the final touches on the new release for 2014 entitled Spooky Tricks and Groovie Mann has been creating a plethora of original mixed media canvas works in his spare time.
The Mann himself answered some of my questions at 5am after a busy schedule... because that's the way he is! - ADV
How did you get into painting and your style?
I have been expressive in art my whole life. As a kid I loved art class all the way through High School. It was my sanity. Hah my style? I guess we all develop into who we are by what we wear? Or wear what we are?
I just have always sort of rebelled against what was normal naturally, before punk we had glam, which was rebellion also, and disco was "fuck it - lets party!"
What are your inspirations for your paintings?
Paintings are an expression of how I feel, I have to feel ready to start them and brave enough to end them! They’re like a diary from painting to painting, though similar in style they each have their own psychic effect.
What is your favorite artwork by another artist?
Salvador Dali is my Ultimate...all works! Love Peter Max also, Diane Arbus’ photos & Duane Michals...DAGMAR!!
Do you remember being interviewed by Brian Warner aka Marilyn Manson back in the late 80's/early 90's? Apparently he was scared of you and the band at the time.
I sorta do remember him coming up to me while I was outside in the hot sun. I remember black & white striped stockings & starkness, very kool & kind. Lovely man always to me!
Thrill Kill Kult appeared in the cult movie The Crow, do you have any memories from that you can share?
Freezing cold damp. A cement factory in nowhere land Wilmington, NE. Spooky exciting! We met Brandon Lee in the office one day, nice cute smiley kinda guy. We’d seen him around having lunch with the crew and all. He had on red, white & blue sweat pants one day! His girl was there with him through the shooting. They were to wed after the film.
What happened when everyone found out about the shooting of Brandon Lee?
It was a terrible week of non-stop calls from all friends and family as all of them were still excited that we had done the film... and then the sudden death of someone that just started to gel in your mind & the experience of it all...yeah it was sad for his partner.
How has your creative process changed with music from when you first started?
I guess it’s more like a puzzle, though a collage is more spontaneous, as in the past I always described it that way, now it’s more sorted out in approach to avoid wasting energy & ideas & time ... it gets to the point faster... sometimes haha? I may have lost you? & myself! hah!
How did My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult first start?
Sharing similar ideas, playing with sound collages & religious speakers, slowing things down, cut up lyrics & catch phrases gone by.
A Daisy Chain 4 Satan and Kooler Than Jesus were major hits (still played in a lot of clubs now), how did those songs come about and how did you choose the title for
A Daisy Chain 4 Satan?
Major hits?... I guess we did chart in Rolling Stone! Hah, maybe club hits I guess they were/are slightly spun/played on some industrial? Wax Trax night events still. We are so not industrial! haha. The title - audio & visuals meet drugs & alcohol.
Al Jourgensen shared an interesting story about you in his recent autobiography (Jourgensen apparently gave Groovie a blowjob), was that story all true?
Yikes, I know “that Book" oh some of my friends told me about it... It’s sorta embarrassing but I don't care. I guess I made an impression to be mentioned? GULP!
I was puzzled why he would mention an incident like that?...
I mean who could remember all the tossin' around with people/drugs & booze poisoning back then?... Instead of all the fun things, like dressin’ "him" up for 80's chic. He was such a kid from Denver back then. Marty Sorrensen & I stared at his long hair from the couch as he played Led Zeppelin licks for his audition! (for Special Affect)... he was good though! Its funny, I was working at Fiorucci at the time, getting all this insane Italian fashion, vinyl jumpsuits! vinyl jeans! & just playing “New Wave Glam Rockstar.” It was an amazing & exciting time for ALL of us.
I've known Al since the beginning, since 1978. He's still better left alone to rule his own world - I do wish him a good rehab & a longer life to continue his reign against good.
Have you ever witnessed anything paranormal?
Maybe my whole life has been? I have felt a presence more than witnessed though. rugs can cause things to happen, or going without drugs & alcohol, then you see paranormal, like “Is... that plant breathing?” haha. Oh as
a kid we saw a rocking chair rock with no one in it, grandma said it was "the wind"!
A hotel ghost occasionally due to exhaustion... dead brides roam the halls...
What was the weirdest thing that ever happened on tour?
There has been too much, touring is weirdness. The weirdest thing? or worst? For me it was weird that someone had guns in their backpack & tried to pull them out on the bus when they got annoyed that they were asked to leave! Yikes. It was a major disappointment to have that happen, but everything goes in our present future. No one was hurt though! The Mormon capital is full of surprises that’s for sure!
What music are you listening to these days?
I had to make coffee for this one, remember its 5:52 am... & yes! - I am crazy, how else can I be me? hah okay... What have I been listening to?... not a lot... dusties/oldies!!! what do they call em now? throw outs? Well... every Sunday I go to Fairfax market to find something new to listen to, unless of course this local record buyer (who has a shop & a stall at the market) doesn't haul out a box of records before us little shoppers get a look! I have named him Mr. Greedy!
So for me, kids records are fun, but not kids... they make me laugh. Kids records that is. Religious/meditational can be fun but annoying also. Medical & political have the same effect, interesting but boring, sorta like marriage!
I like Japanese kabuki music, & soundtracks - " Privilege" a great film (Paul Jones). The original version of "Set Me Free" (Patti Smith covered the title track on her Easter LP.) Found some Chain-gang chants lately on some 10 inch EP from 1957! Fantastic! AND!!!... these other jewels!!!... Die Partei, Black Mass Lucifer/Morton Garson & der Plan, Clock DVA, Cabaret Voltaire, Current 93, Hirsuite Pursuit, Edward Kaspel/LPD. early Psychic TV, Cocksure, my newest fav Fever Ray... and of course SPOOKY TRICKS, the new Thrill Kill Kult LP that is underway "now" being arranged & mixed! - for a late Spring release, as Buzz & I pull it all together. We should have 13 new tracks for you before you know it!
To find out more about the upcoming releases, tour and new video from My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult keep an eye on the official site HERE
Interview by Adam De Ville