The long-in-the-works documentary about the rise and fall of Chicago’s Wax Trax! Records retail shop and record label — home to Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Front 242 and more — will premiere with two special test screenings and panel discussions on April 1 in the Windy City.
And, at the moment, the Chicago screenings are the only way to see the Kickstarter-funded film in the foreseeable future, as it does not yet have, and, its director notes, may not find, a distributor.
The 90-minute “Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records” — originally announced in 2013 as “Wax Trax! Records: The Documentary,” and later dubbed the “Wax Trax! Records Monumentary” — will be shown twice at the Vic Theatre on April 1, with each screening followed by a panel discussion featuring a different lineup. Participants include Jello Biafra, Paul Barker, Chris Connelly and members of Front 242 and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult.
Full details of the screenings are presented below, and tickets are now on sale.
The film is produced and directed by Julia Nash, the daughter of Wax Trax! co-founder Jim Nash, and the current president of the Wax Trax! Records label, which she revived in 2014. It’s also a completely different film than originally created, after Nash became embroiled in a legal dispute with a vendor over the ownership of some of the footage that had been shot.
As she explained to the film’s Kickstarter backers last November:
“While attempting to resolve the issues in 2015, it became clear that WAX TRAX! was not going to get back our footage in time. Unfortunately, this footage was crucial to the story and to creating/finishing the film. This included a multitude of interviews with Kapt’n K, Connelly, Barker, Groovie Mann, Buzz, Richard 23, Luc Van Aaaacccckkker, and the list goes on. A new plan had to be created to save the project from being shelved forever.
“This is what most people don’t know and what we want to share with you… From January 2016-June 2016, we traveled across the US and into three other countries to shoot an entirely new film, conducting ALL NEW interviews to bypass the original footage. This was an ambitious (and some say crazy) plan, but I have to say the results have been amazing.”
In addition to staff who worked at the store and label, the completed film includes interviews with a who’s who of industrial music and beyond, including Al Jourgensen, Jello Biafra, Luc Van Acker, Paul Barker, Ian MacKaye, Trent Reznor, Richard 23, David J Haskins, Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Dave Grohl, Chris Connelly, Sascha Konietzko, Steve Albini, Bill Leeb and more.
The April showings are billed as “test screenings,” and Nash addresses that on the Wax Trax! website:
“Just like a test pressing, a test print or Test Dept. (okay, maybe not Test Dept.), a test screening is exactly that. It is a complete version of the film that is viewed as a test to get comments and feedback in order to make any final adjustments that might help make the official release stronger. Similar to, let’s say how the banned test pressing version of ‘Physical’ was a rare glimpse into the manufacturing process, only to be changed later, this is meant to check the quality and performance on a live audience.”
Nash also addresses the big question for the label’s fans: For those who can’t make it to Chicago in April, will there be other opportunities to see “Industrial Accident”?
“MAYBE. We will not have these panels and parties again so you will miss out on it happening here in Chicago. The film can be seen during the festival circuit most likely starting later in 2017, but there is never a guarantee that this or any film will be picked up by a distributor. So as much as I would love to point you to a DVD or streaming, we’re currently a long way from that and have to focus on the road in front of us.”
Below, the panel breakdown for the two “Industrial Accident” screenings next month.
Wax Trax! Records: “Industrial Accident” panel discussion, Q&A and test screening
When and where: April 1, Vic Theatre, Chicago
Documentary screening: 2:30 p.m.
Panel session and Q&A: 4:30 p.m.
Panel includes: Jello Biafra (Lard), Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy (My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult), Steve Knutson (Wax Trax Denver), and Andy Wombwell, Larry Crandus and Julia Nash (Wax Trax)
Documentary screening: 8:30 p.m.
Panel session and Q&A: 10:30 p.m.
Panel includes: Richard 23 and Patrick Codenys (Front 242), Paul Barker (Lead Into Gold), Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks) and Sean Joyce (Wax Trax)
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- Wax Trax! Records is back: Legendary label resurrected by co-founder’s daughter
- ‘Wax Trax! Records: The Documentary’: Watch first trailer for upcoming film
- Wax Trax! ‘Retrospectacle’: Front 242, Thrill Kill Kult, members of KMFDM, RevCo
- Dannie Flesher, co-founder of Chicago’s famed Wax Trax! Records, 1951-2010