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A rivethead is a person associated with the industrial music scene. Although industrial music emerged in the post-punk period, the identifiable stereotype of an industrial fan emerged in the 1990s. Rivetheads are sometimes associatedith the cybergoth scene, although the development of the subculture occurred independently of goth.

Chase, founder of Re-Constriction Records, was responsible for the term's current meaning. In 1993, Chase released Rivet Head Culture, a compilation including several Industrial acts of the American underground music scene. The same year, Chemlab - whose members were close friends of Chase - released their debut album, Burn Out at the Hydrogen Bar. This record had a track called "Rivethead". Chemlab singer Jared Louche said he didn't remember where "Rivethead" came from, although he states that this song title was in his mind for years. The term had previously been used since the 1940s, as a nickname for American car factory workers, mainly those working on assembly lines.The term hit the mainstream with the publication of Ben Hamper's Rivethead: Tales From the Assembly Line.

Interesting Side-Note: The term Rivethead was used by Iron Maiden on their album Piece of Mind (1983) for their fans. This was in reference to the band mascot (Eddie) having a Lobotomized appearance, complete with Rivets in his head, post-operation.

The dress style of rivetheads is inspired by military aesthetics, complemented by modern primitive body modification (tattoos, piercings and scarification) or borrowed visual cues from goths (fetishism, morbid-themed jewelry and imagery, and black hair dye), as well as punk fashion elements such as the fanned Mohawk hairstyle. Below are some of the main characteristics of the rivethead dress style.

: Combat boots, tanker boots, Jungle boots, knee-high military dress boots, steel-toe boots (such as Dr. Martens), Transmuters (or other platform boots), Gripfasts or Grinders.

Pants: Cargo pants or Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) pants; often but not always black or urban camo, usually tucked into boots, rolled at the bottom cuffs or as cut-off shorts. Also, leather pants and bondage pants.

: Band T-shirts, black wifebeaters, flight jackets, leather jackets, bulletproof vests and trenchcoats.

Hair: Long and black, shaved bald, partially shaved (undercut), Mohawk, Bihawk, Trihawk, Death Hawk, "Velvet Acid Christ" hair, hair horns (a la Bruno from Das Ich), or in a few cases, dreadlocked.

Headgear and facegear
: Sometimes masks, such as respirators or gasmasks; helmets (usually in band promo shots rather than as streetwear) and welding or flight/military-style goggles.

: Leather gloves (sometimes fingerless); Wool or cotton fingerless gloves; BDU-style belts; spiked or studded belts; spiked or studded chokers/collars; dog tags; jewelry that incorporates industrial elements such as nails, screws, cogs, gears, computer parts or other hardware.

Female rivets may play along the femme fatalelook with sexuality as power. Common are short skirts, military wear, knee-high stiletto heel boots, vinyl, leather or PVC bustiers and corsets, and lip gloss with less makeup than goths. Colorful synthetic pony falls or hair extensions and colorful vinyl are seen, but are more known as cybergoth wear.

Rivetheads are different from goths in ideological and musical terms, as well as in their visual aesthetics. Confusion regarding the boundaries of those two youth cultures has heightened because of recent (mid-1990s onwards) hybridization, which has led some people to believe that rivetheads are a goth offshoot. The Canadian novelist Nancy Kilpatrick calls them "Industrial Goths", as does Julia Borden. Borden locates the period of crossover as beginning in the late 1980s and becoming entrenched in the mid-1990s. The rise of cybergoths, at the turn of the 21st century, further contributed to this crossing of boundaries.

As Valerie Steele puts it:

"In contrast to the old-style goth look, which was androgynous, the male industrial look was tough and military, with a sci-fi edge. Industrial men often dated goth women. The men wore goggles, band T-shirts, black trousers or military cargo pants in black, military accessories, such as dog-tags, heavy boots, and goggles. Their hair was short. Industrial women, who were fewer in number, tended to wear waist-cinching corsets, small tank tops or 'wife-beaters,' trousers, and sometimes suspenders hanging down off the pants. They also wore goggles and sometimes shaved their heads."

Goths are a romantic outgrowth of the punk subculture, while rivetheads developed from the industrial music subculture, which came to be in 1977 after Throbbing Gristle's debut album, The Second Annual Report, released in November of that year. The goth subculture developed around London's Batcave club in summer 1982. Rivethead culture is highly violent and sometimes totalitarian in its visuals, but not necessarily in practice. Goth culture is generally devoid of any appreciation for violence.The most important difference is the related types of music.

Image from Deviantart, and edited by me, info from wikipedia.

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