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Interview with Martin Bowes of ATTRITION

Attrition are an electronic music band, formed in Coventry, England in 1980 by goth Martin Bowes and Julia Niblock. The band emerged from the experimental post-punk scene of the early 1980s and, along with other groups such as Throbbing Gristle, Coil, Einstürzende Neubauten, and In the Nursery, greatly contributed to the development of industrial music in the UK.

Still active 30 years later, Attrition have been a stanchion of darkwave and industrial music, influencing many younger bands in the genres while continuously fine tuning their own distinctive sound.

Emmy recently chatted with Martin, check it out below:

Emmy: How did the name come about? Martin: Taken from “War of ATTRITION” a description of the first world war…a gradual wearing down of sides… My Grandad was wounded at Ypres on the western front in 1917 and I always had a strange fascination with that war…. I even created an album of War poetry (from all sides) which I released in 2015 – “Millions of The Mouthless Dead”… Emmy: How would you describe your genre to someone who isn't familiar with your music? Martin: Its been a long road and I have taken on many styles and experimented with many more… but the core remains of a post-punk, dark-industrial sound…. Sometimes rhythmic and danceable…other times moody soundtracks…(We have scored for a number of independent films…usually horror) Emmy" How did the band form? Martin: I started ATTRITION in 1980 after running local punk/post punk fanzine here in my hometown of Coventry since 1979…I always knew I had to make my own music rather than just write about it…the band was me on synths, drum programming, effects and vocals, Julia Waller on Vocals and bass guitar…and Ashley Niblock on Syntha and keys… for the first few years at least… Emmy: What are some of the artists that influence you? Martin: Musically I would say Punk was a big influence philosophically and for the pure attitude and drive… and more specifically the post punk bands of Joy Division and The Banshees, PIL and Magazine and Cabaret Voltaire…early Human League in there too… Emmy: If you could tour with any artist or band (still active or not) who would it be? Martin: I never care to worry about touring with other bands… not in that way….we are all doing our own thing… even if we collaborate from time to time… and yes of course I do tour with other bands… but its not a thought that ever occurs to me… Emmy: What's your favorite show you've played? Martin: There have been so many in so many places and lots are amazing for different reasons…. Some highlights… The show in Hawaii in 2017…. Couldn’t believe we were flown out for that…. The first US shows in 96… Playing in Siberia in 2008… got to travel for 3 days on the Trans Siberian express to get there (the cheap Vodka helped)… Mexico City was amazing in 2006… and we just returned from 4 shows and our first tour in Japan last December… so many more too… a wonderful life…I wouldn’t have it any other way ☺ Emmy: What's the future hold for the band? Martin: There is always a lot going on…. This year we just released our new single, The Great Derailer and are preparing the album to follow… The Black Maria. I am currently setting up shows all over the world in support of these releases…. Looking forward to our first full South American tour in June! then later in the year we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary with more releases and shows planned into 2021…. So a good time for ATTRITION…I’m pleased…. Do check out our various websites for further info, videos and sounds…. Thanks for the interview… Martin Bowes, Coventry, England. February 2020

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