While attending high school in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, Jim Semonik discovered his first love: music. He became passionate about “industrial” music, which he describes as “a heavy and progressive style of avante garde music.” He was a radio DJ while studying psychology at Penn State University, and after graduation, he continued surrounding himself with music by DJing in Pittsburgh clubs, working for a local record shop, and promoting concerts.
Jim lost his father to cancer in April of 2003. Just two years later, Jim began having problems of his own, but delayed visiting a doctor because he did not have health insurance. By 2008, the pain was too much to ignore. His stage 2B colorectal cancer diagnosis led to many rounds of radiation and chemotherapy and the removal of one third of Jim’s large intestine and rectal tract.
This life-changing struggle is what prompted Jim’s idea to gather the industrial musicians that he worked with over the years and to create “Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music To Cure Cancer.” With the help and hard work of the Metropolis Records music label and 83 musicians, the 4 CD plus digital download box-set raised over $20,000 for charity in 2010.
Now, Jim is working on a second volume which will be released May 8, 2012. With contributions from over a hundred artists plus additional digital bonuses, “Electronic Saviors 2: Recurrence” will have 141 tracks in a giant 6 disc box-set. In honor of “all who have suffered with cancer as well as survivors and loved ones touched by the disease,” proceeds will be donated to The Bone Marrow Foundation and Gilda’s Club of Western PA.
Jim still finds time to promote concerts, DJ occasionally, and record with his band Rein[Forced]. He hopes to someday make a living counseling or helping individuals with cancer, a situation he knows all too well.