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|Origin||Olympia, Washington, United States|
|Years active||1997–2004, 2010|
|Labels||Kill Rock Stars|
|Past members||Maggie Vail, Sarah Utter, Peter David Connelly, Heather Dunn, Jesse Fox, Kyle Ermatinger|
Bangs (often erroneously referred to as the Bangs) was an American punk rock band from Olympia, Washington.
The band was formed in 1997 by the guitarist Sarah Utter, after recruiting her high-school friend Jesse Fox on drums and Maggie Vail. Vail had to learn how to play bass guitar to be in the band, as the only instruments she played before were drums, guitar, cello and clarinet.
Bangs toured with and/or played shows with bands including Sleater-Kinney, the Gossip, Unwound, Blonde Redhead, The Makers, Witchypoo, the Donnas, Shannon Wright, Murder City Devils and Karp. Vail also played bass guitar in Frenchie and the German Girls, and sang backing vocals in the famous party-band Gene Defcon. Utter played in one of the last incarnations of Witchypoo, as well as Plastique, and has since devoted herself full-time to painting with the exception of a one-off show in Los Angeles with noisemaker David Scott Stone. Fox left the band after a long U.S. tour, and Bangs went through a succession of drummers (Heather Dunn, Kyle Ermatinger) before settling with Olympia's Peter David Connelly. They recorded their last EP, Call and Response, in a frigidly cold farmhouse basement with the engineer Justin Trosper of Unwound.
Although the band had plenty of associations with the riot grrrl movement (Vail's sister is Bikini Kill's Tobi Vail), Bangs did not regard itself as a riot grrrl band. They preferred the term "rock band", crediting The Go-Go's, The Ramones, Gary Numan, Chrissie Hynde, Elvis Costello and Cheap Trick as their inspiration. All of the band's releases were on Kill Rock Stars except for one 7", which was released on the tiny Olympia label Ten-In-One Records. They toured the United States extensively, and also played shows in England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, where they were featured on the country's national news.
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Bangs broke up in September 2004 after Utter moved to Los Angeles. Their last show, at Olympia's Eagles Hall and part of Kill Rock Stars 'Yeah! Fest!' was festive and bittersweet. Vail has since relocated to Portland, Oregon, where she plays in the bands Romancing and Leti Angel. Peter David still lives in Olympia and plays in his pop band The Mona Reels as well as other groups such as The November Witch, Tumwater Video and The Devon Williams Band. Utter has since moved back to the northwest and spends her time painting pictures of animals and playing bass guitar with Craig Extine and Kris Cunningham in the band Western Hymn.
In July 2010, the band reunited for four shows. One warm up gig in Olympia was followed by three shows (Portland, Olympia, and Seattle) benefiting their friend, Natalie Cox's, cancer fund.
- Tiger Beat (1998)
- Mailorder Freaks Singles Club 7" (Kill Rock Stars 1999)
- Sweet Revenge (2000)
- Call + Response (2002)
- Turbo's Tunes
- Fields And Streams, 2 CD compilation, (Kill Rock Stars 2002)
- Mollie's Mix
- Maggie the Cat, 7" (Ten in One Records)