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Martin Rev (left) and Alan Vega in Toronto in 1988
Martin Rev (left) and Alan Vega in Toronto in 1988
General information
origin New York City , United States
Genre (s) Synth Punk , Minimal Electro , New Wave , Synth Pop , Experimental , No Wave
founding 1971
resolution 2016
Founding members
Alan Vega († 2016)
Martin Rev

Suicide was an American electronic music duo from New York . Her active time spanned the 1970s and 1980s. Then some temporary reunions took place . As pioneers in the use of synthesizers and drum machines , the particular importance of Suicide lies in its role model function for subsequent bands and musicians. In 2002, American Supreme was their fifth and final studio album.

Style and demeanor

Martin Rev 2005

With singing distorted by various effects, which was only accompanied by a synthesizer and a drum computer, the two musicians created dramatic, emotionally disturbing songs in which neurotic, eerie, nightmarish moods with sometimes very poetic texts and above all with very beautiful, simple ones Melodies contrasted. At concerts, the duo presented themselves as a kind of “end-of-time theater”.

Band member Alan Vega said in an interview about a concert at the New York music club CBGBs :

“The others who played in CBGBs were telling people, 'It's hell out there on the streets of New York,' we wanted to tell them: It's actually harmless out there compared to what we're doing here. Hell is down here! "

The confrontation with the American dream and nightmare has always drawn through the lyrics of the duo. The disillusioning theme found its counterpart in disillusioning music and a provocative demeanor. Suicide did not evade the confrontation with an audience that was still largely incomprehensible in the 1970s, but some concerts had to be stopped prematurely. Even 25 years after their debut album, Suicide still played their typical style between minimal techno (Martin Rev's reduced keyboard playing) and rockabilly (Alan Vegas, among other things , singing style influenced by Elvis ), but now with references to current electronic music .

Both Suicide and Alan Vega are still named and revered by many musicians today. The musician and publisher Henry Rollins in particular made a name for himself in the memory of Suicide. Even the Rolling Stone paid tribute to the duo by the recording of their debut album in the top 500 albums of all time toll.

Singer Alan Vega died in 2016 at the age of 78. Vega and Rev had their last appearance together as Suicide in July 2015 in London. They played their last tour in 2010/11.


Studio albums

  • 1977: Suicide
  • 1980: Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev
  • 1988: A Way of Life
  • 1992: Why Be Blue?
  • 2002: American Supreme

Live albums

  • 1978: 21½ minutes in Berlin / 23 minutes in Brussels
  • 1978: 23 Minutes Over Brussels
  • 1981: Half Alive
  • 1986: Ghost Rider
  • 1997: Zero Hour
  • 2004: Attempted: Live at Max's Kansas City 1980
  • 2008: Live 1977-1978

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Sailer: Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment!
  2. Stadtrevue (12.2002): Bacteria and bombs - Suicide