Photo Credit: Kara Hammond
We may be an immigration law firm, but our offices are nestled in the heart of the 2112 – Chicago’s first incubator focused on the development of entrepreneurs in music/entertainment, creative industries, and lifestyle brands. Needless to say, we get to meet plenty of interesting musicians and artists. We also handle immigration cases for lots of people in the music, entertainment, and arts, so McEntee Law Group and 2112 are quite the well-matched pair.
One amazing person we have gotten to know, love, and work with over the years is the legendary Martin Atkins. Hailing from Coventry, England, Martin Atkins is truly a man of many talents. He is a drummer, author, educator, producer, public speaker, museum founder and curator, and music business entrepreneur known for his work with post-punk and industrial bands.
Martin has played with many influential bands such as Public Image Ltd., Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Killing Joke, and Pigface (which he founded). He has also created several record labels and music industry education programs.
Martin began his music career in the late 1970s as the drummer for the punk band Brian Brian. He later joined Public Image Ltd. – the band led by Sex Pistols front man Johnny Rotten – and played on several of their albums. In the 1980s and 1990s, Martin became a sought-after drummer, working with bands like Ministry, Killing Joke, and later Pigface, a supergroup that he created.
In addition to his work as a drummer, Martin has also made a name for himself as a music industry entrepreneur. He founded the record labels Invisible Records and Mattress Factory, and has also started several music industry education programs, including Tour: Smart workshops and the Music Business 101 seminar series.
Martin is a strong advocate for independent music and DIY culture, and has written several books on the subject, including “Tour:Smart”, “Band:Smart”, and “Welcome To The Music Business, You’re F****d!”. He encourages musicians to take control of their careers and to explore new ways of distributing and marketing their music.
Martin has compiled his years of experiences in the industry to create valuable resources for any aspiring touring musician or band. He has seen firsthand the pitfalls that can await green musicians— everything from poor gas mileage on tour vans to getting stiffed by club managers at the end of a set — and he has memorialized basic rules that apply to touring musicians. Martin has toured both the U.S. and internationally telling bands all the things they don’t tell themselves.
One of Martin’s most notable projects is Pigface – a supergroup that he founded in the 1990s. Pigface has featured a rotating lineup of musicians from various bands, including members of Ministry, KMFDM, and Nine Inch Nails. Pigface’s music is a blend of industrial, punk, and electronic influences. From first-hand experiences, we know why Pigface’s live shows are so popular and are known worldwide for their chaotic energy, unpredictability, and fun!
Martin’s latest accomplishment is creating The Museum of Post Punk and Industrial Music. The museum, which opened in 2021, pulls from Martin’s personal collection of memorabilia, photos, and other rarities. Martin said that “Chicago was the perfect place for a museum celebrating post punk and industrial music, thanks to its rich history…” The museum is open by appointment only and you can learn more here.
There are also ongoing auctions to help benefit the Museum with lots of unique and rare items available including signed spray painted used drum heads, experience auctions like Spend the Night at the Museum, and much more!
Overall, Martin Atkins is a multifaceted and legendary figure in the music industry. Martin’s influence can be seen in so many musicians and music industry professionals who have been inspired by his work. He has had a long and varied career and continues to be a champion of independent music, DIY musical entrepreneurs, and education in the business of music.
We are honored to know Martin Atkins – The Man, British Immigrant, The Legend!
Are you an artist or entertainer who wants to come to the U.S.? The team at McEntee Law Group handles a great deal of immigration cases for musicians, dancers, band managers, actors, producers, and more! Call us at 773-828-9544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and our client coordinator will get you scheduled for a consultation. Don’t feel like talking to a person? You can book directly online too! We are looking forward to hearing from you.