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Martin Clive Atkins
Instruments Drums

Martin Clive Atkins (born in Coventry, England on 3 August 1959), is a drummer and session musician best known for his work in post-punk and industrial groups including Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Pigface, and Killing Joke.


His first exposure as a drummer was with John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols band, Public Image Ltd.. Atkins joined in 1979, just in time to contribute to the song "Bad Baby," on the album Metal Box. Atkins' first live show with PiL was recorded and released as the classic live album Paris Au Printemps. His first year with the band included appearances on The John Peel Sessions for the BBC, American Bandstand and the BBC's live "Old Grey Whistle Test". In 1980, Atkins left Public Image Ltd. to concentrate on his band Brian Brain with Pete Jones (who also played with Public Image Ltd. in 82-83) on bass and Bobby Surgeoner on guitar. Brian Brain released six singles and one LP on Secret Records [1], and continued to release singles and LPs on Atkins' own Plaid Records throughout the 1980s. The band had had a minor indie chart hit in 1980 with "They've Got Me In The Bottle" (#39),[1] and club hits with the singles "Jive Jive" (1981) and "Funky Zoo" (1982). Atkins rejoined Public Image Ltd. in 1981 to contribute to Flowers of Romance and, later, produced and co-wrote the album This is What You Want......This Is What You Get. Atkins eventually left PiL for the last time in 1985. He formed his industrial supergroup, Pigface, during a Ministry tour in 1989–1990.

Over the next decade, he performed with many bands, including Ministry. The dual-drummer assault of Atkins and Bill Rieflin (currently with R.E.M.) is captured on the live album/video In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up. Atkins joined Killing Joke performing on 1990s Extremeties, Dirt, and Other Repressed Emotions - hailed as a return to form for the legendary band. He also managed the band for that time and designed their live show scenery and some merchandise. Atkins formed Murder, Inc., a new band featuring Geordie Walker, Paul Raven and Chris Connelly, in 1992. During this time, he is credited as being an honorary Revolting Cock and performed with Nine Inch Nails in the "Head Like A Hole" video and is credited alongside Chris Vrenna for performing extra drums on "Wish" and "Gave Up," tracks two and six of the Broken EP. In between creating albums and touring with his band Pigface he also began The Damage Manual, which combined the drum and bass feel of early PiL bass player Jah Wobble with Atkins' signature beats and production. Geordie Walker from Killing Joke and Chris Connelly were also part of the project.

Atkins produced and released a collaborative album with Skinny Puppy's Nivek Ogre, his first project outside of Skinny Puppy, under the moniker Rx. The resulting album was entitled Bedside Toxicology.

In October 2006, Atkins visited Beijing, China in order to discover the emerging Chinese music scene. During his stay, Atkins recorded and signed a handful of Chinese bands to Invisible and recorded material for a new Pigface album.

Atkins is currently teaching his fourth year at Columbia College in Chicago where he instructs the course "The Business of Touring". He is also an active guest lecturer, speaking at such institutions as the University of Southern California, the Midi School in Beijing, China and Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania. As announced via interview on the music website, Atkins plans to take his lecturing further by eventually opening a school of his own.

Atkins has held a number of seminars at Tech Music Schools (Drumtech, Vocaltech, Guitar-X and Keyboardtech) in London, with more planned for the future.

Atkins has written what he calls, "the first real book on touring." The book Tour:Smart, features contributions from Henry Rollins, Cynthia Plastercaster, The Enigma, the Suicide Girls, Zim Zum (formerly of Marilyn Manson), Kevin Lyman, and various other managers, journalists, venues, agents, sponsors, radio personalities and the like. He is currently in the studio working on a new album with The Countdown, Pigface's sixth studio album, The Religion of Marketing retrospective gallery show, and various other projects.

Atkins was the feature of the Documentary Film "Free For All" that focused on Pigface's Free For All tour.

Atkins was also a judge for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists. [2]


  1. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1999. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4. 
  2. ^ Independent Music Awards - 7th Annual Judges

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