Jim Sclavunos

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Jim Sclavunos
James sclavunos.jpg
Jim Sclavunos
Background information
GenresPost-punk, alternative rock, garage rock
InstrumentsDrums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
Years active1978–present
Associated actsThe Gynecologists, Lydia Lunch, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, 8 Eyed Spy, Sonic Youth, Tav Falco's Panther Burns, Congo Norvell, the Cramps, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Gunga Din, the Vanity Set, Grinderman

James Sclavunos is an American drummer, multi-instrumentalist musician, record producer and writer. He is best known as a drummer, having been a member of two seminal no wave groups in the late 1970s (Teenage Jesus & the Jerks and 8 Eyed Spy, both alongside Lydia Lunch). He is also noted for stints in Sonic Youth and the Cramps, and has been a member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds since 1994. Sclavunos has led his own group the Vanity Set since 2000.


Sclavunos, a half-Greek and half-Italian from Brooklyn, New York (known for his exceptional height at 6'7"), was memorably described in the pages of The Wire as an "infamous elegant degenerate". He has long been a prime mover in New York City’s vibrant underground music scene, helping to kick-start the vital no wave movement in the late 1970s (with Teenage Jesus & the Jerks and 8 Eyed Spy (both with Lydia Lunch), before playing with Sonic Youth and the Cramps. He has also recorded albums with Grinderman, Sonic Youth, Tav Falco's Panther Burns and Congo Norvell as well as recording sessions with many artists including Marianne Faithfull, Iggy Pop, Beth Orton, Religious to Damn and Seasick Steve. He has also toured with Lunch, Alex Chilton and Wreckless Eric.

A key member of the Bad Seeds since 1994 and a founding member of the Bad Seeds offshoot Grinderman, he also formed his own New York-based musical ensemble the Vanity Set in 2000, releasing two studio albums to date.

Further to his work as a musician, Sclavunos has produced a wide range of bands including Gogol Bordello, the Horrors, the Jim Jones Revue, Black Moth and most notably Teenage Mothers. Lead guitarist and co-vocalist Raph Brous introduced Sclavunos to veganism and has dedicated his upcoming novel, Empire of Ants, to him. He has done several remixes, both on his own and as one half of Silver Alert (along with Vanity Set bandmate Peter Mavrogeorgis).

In 2012, Silver Alert performed "Faustian Pact" at the Perth International Arts Festival in Western Australia, a live adaptation of FW Murnau's film Faust, produced in collaboration with director/choreographer Micki Pellerano.

In 2012, Sclavunos began an ongoing collaboration with Australian performance artist/musician Michaela Davies on a composition titled "FM-2030" (named for the transhumanist philosopher Fereidoun M. Esfandiary) utilizing programmed electro-muscular stimulation of classical string players to generate involuntary playing movements. The composition premiered at the 2013 Sonica Festival in Glasgow.

Selective list of bands[edit]

Selected producer credits[edit]

Selected remix credits as Silver Alert[edit]

Selected remix credits as Jim Sclavunos[edit]

  • Breathless – "Next Time You Fall (Jim Sclavunos Remix)" (2013)
  • Depeche Mode – "Should Be Higher (Jim Sclavunos from Grinderman Remix)" (2013)
  • Warhaus - Beaches (Jim Sclavunos Remix)" (2017)


External links[edit]