A rivethead or rivet head is a person associated with the industrial dance music scene. In stark contrast to the original industrial culture, whose performers and heterogeneous audience were sometimes referred to as "industrialists", the rivethead scene is a coherent youth culture linked to a discernible fashion style; the scene emerged in the late 1980s on the basis of electro-industrial, EBM, industrial rock music. The associated dress style draws on military fashion and punk aesthetics with hints of fetish wear inspired by the scene's musical protagonists; the term rivethead had been used since the 1940s as a nickname for North American automotive assembly line and steel construction workers and hit the mainstream through the publication of Ben Hamper's Rivethead: Tales From the Assembly Line, otherwise unrelated to the subculture. Glenn Chase, founder of San Diego label Re-Constriction Records, is responsible for the term's meaning in the 1990s. In 1993, he released Rivet Head Culture, a compilation that contains several electro-industrial and industrial rock acts from the American underground music scene.
In the same year, industrial rock group Chemlab − whose members were close friends of Chase − had released their debut album Burn Out at the Hydrogen Bar, which includes a track called Rivet Head. Chemlab singer Jared Louche said he did not remember where the term came from, although he stated that this song title was in his mind for years; the rivethead scene is remotely related but not directly connected to the industrial music culture. Industrial music is a genre of experimental and avantgardist music, intertwined with graphical visualization; the absence of conventional song structures, such as rhythm and melody, is a main characteristic of the genre, whereas the music preferred by the rivethead scene includes several danceable and song-oriented styles that are sometimes considered "post-industrial". Like post-punk, the term post-industrial describes a musical genre that developed distinctly from its roots and turned into several strands of sound, namely electro-industrial, electronic body music, industrial rock referred to as industrial dance music.
Those styles differ from traditional industrial music regarding aesthetics and production techniques. The rivethead dress style has been inspired by military aesthetics, complemented by fashion "that mimics the grit and grime of industrial sectors in major metropolitan areas". Additionally, it borrows elements of punk fashion, such as a fanned and dyed Mohawk hairstyle, fetish wear such as black leather and PVC tops and shorts supplemented with modern primitive body modifications such as tattoos and piercings. Rivetheads emphasize a post-apocalyptic, dystopian influence inspired by movies, e.g. Mad Max, Escape from New York, Death Machine, Strange Days. Several movies, such as Hardware, Strange Days and Johnny Mnemonic, feature music tracks by Ministry, KMFDM, Stabbing Westward and other bands associated with the rivethead culture. Other influences include sci-fi archetypes such as Lupus Yonderboy of the Panther Moderns and Razorgirl from the cyberpunk literature. Below some basic characteristics of the rivethead dress style.
As a divergence from the extravagance of youth cultures such as New Romantic, goth and steampunk, the idea is to make a statement with as few fashion components as possible. The rivethead look is unadorned and epitomizes a direct reflection of the social environment. Tops: Black, gray or olive tank tops, plain t-shirts, band shirts, sleeveless shirts, tie-dye crinkle or burst pattern shirts. Pants: Cargo and BDU paratrooper pants, ripped jeans, vintage shorts but not always black or Woodland camouflage. Black leather pants and bondage pants are sometimes worn. Footwear: Combat boots, steel-toe boots or low shoes, such as Dr. Martens, Gripfasts and Underground shoes. Hair: Partially shaved, Mohawk or shaved. Sometimes long hair in combination dreadlocks. Accessories: Teashades and Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses. Battle Dress Uniform-style or military belts. Suspenders, or "braces" worn hanging off trousers or shorts. Body modification: Primarily piercings and tattoos. Rivetgirls may dress along with the femme fatale look: sexuality as power.
Common are fetish wear, such as black PVC and leather corsages, ankle-deep or knee-high stiletto heel boots. Dyed hair, long, spiked shaved or dreadlocked. On the other hand, the female rivethead fashion look may be and is identical to the tough style of the male rivetheads. Kim X, co-founder of California-based music label COP International, compared the female rivethead attitude to the Riot grrrl movement. “Women involved in the'Industrial scene' wore less makeup less elab
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