James (Jim) Marcus (born March 22nd, 1966) is a musician, artist, political activist, and respected typographer who is best known for his work as the lead singer and founder of the Industrial band Die Warzau. He is credited as engineer, remixer, vocalist, songwriter, percussionist, drummer, bass player, pianist, keyboardist or artist on albums by Die Warzau, Sister Machine Gun, Björk, Pigface, Revenge, Pansy Division, The Swans, Haloblack, Chris Connelly, KMFDM, Skrew, Machines of Loving Grace, Stabbing Westward, Gravity Kills, Everplastic, Screaming Rachel, Dessau, Chemlab, Final Cut, Testify, Mindfunk, Little Louis and various other artists across many different genres. His work can be heard on some of the most popular tracks by many of these groups, such as the Pigface's "Asphole", "Aboriginal", "Steamroller", etc, KMFDM's "Light", Sister Machine gun's "Wired", "Lung", "Nothing", etc.
In the late eighties, Jim Marcus and his partner Van Christie were working as individual performance artists in Chicago, Illinois. Their early shows as the band kept their performance art roots and were less about music than destruction and visual mayhem, garnering attention from fans,members of the press, and police officers. Fiction Records, distributed in the United States by Polygram and at the time serving as home to bands like The Cure and Eat, added Die Warzau to its roster after a particularly destructive show created a minor PR blitz in the city. In 1988 the band’s first single, “I’ve Got to Make Sense,” reached number twenty-three on Billboard’s dance chart and topped college club charts across the country. Their next single “Land of the Free” climbed to the top spot on the Billboard dance charts and stayed on the import charts for a record thirty-six weeks (since Fiction was an English label, the record was an import release).
Despite a racy video that was banned on major media outlets and only played in clubs after midnight, the next single, “Welcome to America,” reached the number twelve spot on the Billboard dance charts.Later releases have gotten various degrees of play on various stations and channels. Songs such as Funkopolis, Red all over, Liberated, and All Good Girls mystify straightforward musical consumers even while becoming commonplace on dancefloors. The band is well known for its lack of subscription to any particular musical genre and refusal to accept label-level censorship.
"Notes from thee Underground - A wide array of participants, as Pigface began to pick up steam. Louie Svitek of Minitry, Jim Marcus of Die Warzau, Ogre, Genesis, Flea for fuck's sake!
"I think one of the landmark tracks on Notes... has to be Asphole. The Pigface experience on every level, in multicolored 3D scratch-and-sniff (and then wish you hadn't). Originally called Taiko, it was just a mad, mad, afternoon out at Halsted St.'s Chicago Trax. We hired 6 Taiko drummers to ceremonially perform in the big live room, along with a backing track we created. Jim Marcus (of Die Warzau) was instrumental and catalystic in the tracks inception. I remember sitting back in one of the chairs (that always seemed to be broken) watching all these guys hammering away on the huge drums, and thinking how lucky I was to be enjoying this moment."
He leans politically far to the left and has been an outspoken proponent of gay rights and civil disobedience (Die Warzau's first t-shirt released for the album "convenience" had the slogan "Gay Soldiers Died, Too" on the front). He is well known for not playing shows sponsored by alcohol or tobacco companies and openly advocating that young men not register for the war, which Marcus considers illegal. He has spoken out openly against the death penalty and organized religion and, in the early Nineties collected 1200 signatures urging the Pope of the Catholic Church to disband the church due to offenses against human dignity.
1989 Disco Rigido, Polygram/Fiction
1991 Big Electric Metal Bass Face, Atlantic
1994 Engine, WaxTrax!/TVT
2004 Convenience, Pulseblack Records
2006 Supergangbang, Pulseblack Records (est Oct '06)
2007 Wonderland, Pulseblack Records (pending March release)
He has designed over 100 commercially available typefaces for various foundries, but has a concentration of work available through T-26, a font foundry he has been involved with since its inception. His designs, including such staple designer fonts as Aquiline, Lassigue D'Mato, and Liefendre are visible most notably in bookstores across many different covers. He is credited with being one of the first "grunge" typographers, developing fonts such as Escalido, Glue, Airflo and Toreador, that encouraged artists to step outside of comfortable design approaches and develop more uniquely troubled and chaotic works. His typefaces are used generously by artists such as Dave McKean, whose work mixes multiple media and is a good example of this sort of chaotic refinement of artistic energy.
- The Logotype for Wikiquote is rendered in Lassigue D'mato, a font designed by Jim Marcus
- While opening for Nine Inch Nails, Marcus was frequently seen behind the sound board doing live background vocals
- Marcus did many of the Chorus Vocals on some of the original Sister Machine Gun Songs such as Wired and Lung and Why Not
- Jim reputedly used Metallica's Guitar gear for recording Pansy Division in San Francisco
- All Good Girls, a popular Die Warzau song was originally written by Marcus for the band Seven Red Seven for whom Jim sang backgrounds on occasion
- The Pigface song 'Steamroller" on which Marcus sings lead supposedly had no written lyrics at the time and a portion of it was made up while performing it
- Marcus is out of the closet as a bisexual and has been for a long time
- Marcus and his partner in Die Warzau, Van Christie wrote acid house music under various names for such labels as Serious, Needle and Traxx
- Jim Designed the font (Grenoway) used for the American Release poster for the Movie "Jeepers Creepers" as well as the one (Glue) used for the Kiss Psycho Circus Comic and the font used (Airflo) as the basis for the House of Blues Logo
- Marcus is also an accomplished photographer who has done promotional photos for artists such as Liquid Soul.
- Jim was one of the lead creatives on the truth, a large scale anti-tobacco program.
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