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A rivethead or rivet head is a person associated with the industrial dance music scene. Unlike the original industrial movement (the members of which are sometimes referred to as "industrialists"), the rivethead scene had coherent youth culture with a discernible fashion style. The scene and its dress code emerged in the late 1980s on the basis of electro-industrial, EBM and industrial rock music. The associated dress style is militaristic with hints of punk aesthetics and fetish wear.
Initially, 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, which is otherwise unrelated to the subculture.
Glenn Chase, founder of San Diego music 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 North American underground music scene. In the same year, industrial rock group Chemlab—whose members were close friends of Chase—released their debut album, Burn Out at the Hydrogen Bar, which had a track called Rivet Head. Chemlab singer Jared Louche said he did not remember where the term came from, although he states that this song title was in his mind for years.
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 or dyed Mohawk hairstyle, and fetish wear, such as black leather or PVC tops, pants and shorts, along with modern primitive body modifications such as tattoos, piercings and scarification.
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