Whitehouse (band)

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Whitehouse are a pioneering English power electronics band formed in 1980, largely credited for the founding of the power electronics subgenre.


History and personnel

The name Whitehouse was chosen both in mock tribute to the British morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse, and in reference to a British pornographic magazine of the same name.

The group's founding member and sole constant is William Bennett. He began as a guitarist for Essential Logic. He wrote of those early years, "I often fantasised about creating a sound that could bludgeon an audience into submission".[1] Bennett later recorded as Come (featuring contributions from the likes of Daniel Miller and J. G. Thirlwell) before forming Whitehouse in 1980. The group began performing live in 1982. In 2009, Bennett claimed that his pre-eminent inspiration was Yoko Ono: "Yoko's amazing music was by far the biggest influence on me, and Whitehouse, in the formative years (despite what some would have you believe)."[2]

Philip Best joined the group in 1982 at the age of 14, after running away from home. He has been a member on and off ever since.

The group was inactive for the second half of the 1980s. A "special biographical note" on the Susan Lawly website states, "All members of Whitehouse went to live outside London for varying reasons and pursued separate lives. There was a feeling in the group that all that could be achieved had been realised."[3]

Eventually, Whitehouse re-emerged with a series of albums, produced by the American record producer, Steve Albini, beginning with 1990s Thank Your Lucky Stars. Albini worked with the band until 1998, when Bennett took over all production duties.

Through the 1990s the most stable line-up was Bennett, Best, and the writer Peter Sotos. Sotos left in 2002, leaving the band as a two-piece.

The band had numerous other members in the 1980s including Kevin Tomkins, Steven Stapleton, Glenn Michael Wallis, John Murphy, Stefan Jaworzyn, Jim Goodall, and Andrew McKenzie, though many of these participated only at live performances, not on recordings.

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