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Elastica in 2000.
Elastica in 2000.
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active1992–2001
Associated acts
Past members

Elastica were a British rock band formed in London in 1992 that were influenced by punk rock, post-punk and new wave music.[1] Their 1995 album Elastica produced singles that charted in the United Kingdom and United States, including its highest-charting US Hot 100 hit, "Connection." The band broke up in 2001, about a year after releasing their second LP.[2] The band's members changed several times; Justine Frischmann and Justin Welch were the only members who remained from beginning to end.


In mid-1992, ex-Suede band members Justine Frischmann and Justin Welch decided to form a group. By autumn of that year, bassist Annie Holland and guitarist Donna Matthews were added. After initially gigging under names such as "Onk," they settled on the name "Elastica" in October 1992. They released their first single, "Stutter," in October 1993, which benefited from the promotional efforts of BBC Radio 1 DJ and Deceptive Records label boss Steve Lamacq, who discovered the band earlier that year. In 1994, they released two UK Top 20 singles, "Line Up" and "Connection", and performed on numerous radio shows. Frischmann's relationship with Blur frontman Damon Albarn made tabloid headlines.[3]

Elastica's first LP, Elastica, was released in March 1995, and entered the UK Albums Chart at No. 1;[3] it became the fastest-selling debut album since Oasis' Definitely Maybe.[4] This record was held for over ten years, until it was surpassed by the Arctic Monkeys' debut Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not in 2006.[5] The album was preceded by their fourth single "Waking Up" which went to No. 13 on the UK Singles Chart, their highest placing therein.[3]

The band became subject to controversy when several bands sued them for plagiarism. Specifically, the art punk band Wire (whom Elastica counted as one of their main influences) claimed that many of the band's melodies were taken from Wire compositions, as well as by the Stranglers. Notably, Wire's "I Am the Fly" has a chorus similar to Elastica's "Line Up" and the intro synthesizer part in Elastica's "Connection" (later also repeated on guitar) is lifted from the guitar riff in Wire's "Three Girl Rhumba" and transposed a semitone, and the Stranglers also passed comment that Elastica's "Waking Up" bore a marked resemblance to their song "No More Heroes". The disputes were resolved by out-of-court settlements.[3][4]

The mid-90s witnessed another "British Invasion" in America. "Stutter" and "Connection" received airplay on modern rock radio and both charted on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at nos 67 and 53 respectively; their debut album also charted and was later certified gold). After performing at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival, the band joined the Lollapalooza tour continuing an almost solid year of constant gigs where they toured North America four times.[4] Citing exhaustion, Annie Holland quit the band in early August 1995 and was replaced for the remainder of the tour by session bassist Abby Travis. Holland was not permanently replaced until the arrival of Sheila Chipperfield in the spring of 1996. Around this time, keyboardist David Bush (ex-the Fall) was added to the line-up.[3]

After playing more shows and demoing new material in the first half of 1996, Elastica entered the studio in the later part of the year to begin work on their second album. By late 1998 Matthews had left the band. She was replaced by guitarist Paul Jones (of the band Linoleum) and keyboardist Mew. Around this time, Chipperfield was replaced by the returning Annie Holland.[3]

As a tribute to the "lost years" of the band, a self-titled six-track EP appeared in August 1999, collecting a variety of recordings from a multitude of aborted sessions. This EP marked the first new material from the band in over four years. After re-recording most of these songs in mid-1999, along with new compositions, the band played their first set of shows in years. Their second proper album, The Menace, was released in April 2000. After the release of the farewell single "The Bitch Don't Work" in 2001, the band announced their amicable break-up.[citation needed]

After the break-up[edit]

In 2005, Frischmann emigrated to Boulder, Colorado, and studied art at Naropa University. She had begun working as an artist by 2008, and later moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.[6] Matthews is a pastor in Totnes, and according to a recent[when?] BBC 6 show has been linked romantically to Lawrence Chandler of Bowery Electric.[citation needed] Holland lives in Brighton.[citation needed] Welch and Mew are married, and live in Hastings.[citation needed] Welch played drums for Lush's 2015-16 reunion shows and now plays in Piroshka, https://bellaunion.com/artists/piroshka/, releasing two albums on Bella Union. [7] Jones is the A&R man at Rough Trade joining after managing his Slogan label, which released the Fall's Fall Heads Roll. He signed the group Warpaint.[citation needed]

On 21 January 2017, the band's official Facebook page posted photos featuring three-quarters of the original line-up – Matthews, Holland and Welch – during a visit to Abbey Road Studios in London. They were working on a remaster of their debut Elastica with Mastering engineer Sean McGee. Frischmann also worked on the remaster.[8] The record was reissued in April on Record Store Day.[9]


Past members

  • Justine Frischmann – vocals and guitar (1992–2001)
  • Justin Welch – drums (1992–2001)
  • Donna Matthews – guitar and vocals (1992–1998)
  • Annie Holland – bass (1992–1995, 1999–2001)
  • David Bush – keyboards (1996–2001)
  • Sheila Chipperfield – bass (1996–1998)
  • Paul Jones – guitar (1998–2001)
  • Sharon Mew – keyboards and vocals (1999–2001)

Guest/Touring musicians



Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certificates
1995 Elastica 1 57 31 20 34 66
2000 The Menace
  • Released: 3 April 2000
  • Label: Deceptive/Atlantic

Extended Play[edit]

Compilation album[edit]


Year Song Peak chart positions Album

US Alt
US Main
1993 "Stutter" 80 41 671 101 Elastica
1994 "Line Up" 20
"Connection" 17 71 9 11 53 2 40
1995 "Waking Up" 13
"Car Song" 106 14 33
1999 "How He Wrote Elastica Man" 6 Track EP
2000 "Mad Dog God Dam" 44 The Menace
2001 "The Bitch Don't Work" 87 Non-album single
1.^ Did not chart until 1995.


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Elastica > Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
  2. ^ Damien Jones (23 January 2017). "Elastica reunite and return to the studio". nme.com.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 312–313. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
  4. ^ a b c Bloch, Sam (1 September 2003). "Artist Profile Elastica". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Stuff events - Arctic Monkeys". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  6. ^ "On my radar: Justine Frischmann's cultural highlights". The Guardian. 7 May 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  7. ^ Bonner, Michael (28 September 2015). "Lush announce first live show for almost twenty years". Uncut. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  8. ^ Marotta, Michael (21 January 2017). "'They hadn't seen each other for 20yrs': Elastica are back in the studio". Vanyaland. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  9. ^ Trendell, Andrew (17 March 2017). "Elastica respond to reunion rumours". NME. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  10. ^ a b UK chart peaks:
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 180. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  12. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) peaks:
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  14. ^ "charts.org.nz > Elastica in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
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  17. ^ "Search for 'Elastica'". British Phonographic Industry. Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  18. ^ "Canadian Certificates". CRIA. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  19. ^ "US Certificates". RIAA. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  20. ^ "Canadian Single Positions". RPM. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  21. ^ "Search Term(s): "Elastica" and "Rock/Alternative"". RPM. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  22. ^ "Billboard > Elastica Chart History > Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  23. ^ "Billboard > Elastica Chart History > Alternative Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  24. ^ "Billboard > Elastica Chart History > Mainstream Rock Songs". Billboard. Archived from the original on 7 November 2019. Retrieved 7 November 2019.