Monte Cazazza, industrial music pioneer, dies at 68

Monte Cazazza, who coined the term “industrial” to describe the aggressive, electronic-influenced subgenre of rock music, has died at the age of 68.

The news was confirmed by his fellow musician and collaborator Meri St. Mary on Friday (June 30).  “It is With immense sadness and Love I had to let Monte go,” she wrote on Twitter. “He was very ill & in pain so I take comfort in the fact that that part is over but I miss him already! Where ever it is we go off to I am certain He will be causing trouble in his own way RIP the One & Only Monte Cazazza.”

Cazazza began his career in California, creating artworks intended for shock value. He was expelled from the California College for Arts and Crafts after his first sculpture assignment, in which he created a cement waterfall that incapacitated the main stairway of the class building. Most of his early artworks are hard to find and considered obscene.


He was best known for working in sound collage, releasing eight studio albums. He was one of the first signees to Throbbing Gristle‘s Industrial Records and defined the name of the genre with the phrase  “industrial music for industrial people” —  to describe the noisy, experimental sound manipulation the label specialized in.

Cazzaza also collaborated with the likes of Factrix, Chaos of the Night, The Atom Smashers, The Love Force, and Esperik Glare. He contributed to nine albums by Psychic TV, the collective founded by Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P-Orridge. His last album, ‘The Cynic’, came out in 2010.