Violent Femmes

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Violent Femmes were an American alternative rock band that existed from 1980 to 2009, originally formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The band performed as a trio, including: singer, guitarist and songwriter Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and two drummers, Victor DeLorenzo (1980–1993/2002–2009) and Guy Hoffman (1993–2002).



Early years and first album (1981–1983)

The Violent Femmes was founded by bassist Brian Ritchie and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo following the demise of the initial wave of American punk rock, and became a full-fledged band upon the arrival of lead vocalist and guitarist Gordon Gano. In its early days, the band frequently played coffee houses and street corners. They were discovered by James Honeyman-Scott (of The Pretenders) on August 23, 1981, when the band was busking on a street corner in front of the Oriental Theatre, the Milwaukee venue that The Pretenders would be playing later that night. Chrissie Hynde invited them to play a brief acoustic set after the opening act.[1]

The band signed to the then-independent Los Angeles punk label Slash Records. They released their debut, Violent Femmes, which they had recorded in July 1982. The music was an innovative combination of American folk music and punk rock, which would much later come to be known as "folk punk". The lyrics were the common themes of yearning for love, sex and affection. The group quickly gained a following that never veered into mainstream commercialism. A few songs that gained recognition include "Add It Up", "Blister in the Sun", "Gone Daddy Gone", "Kiss Off", and "Please Do Not Go". The debut album went platinum 10 years after its release.

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