Lunachicks

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Lunachicks
Lunachickspic.gif
Background information
Origin New York City, USA
Genres Punk rock, hardcore punk, riot grrrl
Years active 1988-2000, 2002, 2004
Labels Blast First, Go Kart Records
Associated acts Theo & the Skyscrapers
Bantam
Team Squid
Suicide King
Devil Kit
Blare Bitch Project
Lez Zeppelin
Toilet Boys
Past members Theo Kogan
Gina Volpe
Sidney "Squid" Silver
Sindi Benezra Valsamis
Becky Wreck
Chip English
Helen Destroy
Kate Schellenbach

Lunachicks were a punk rock band from New York City.[1] The band formed in 1987 and has been on hiatus since 2000.[2] Their music was described as "a frenzied mix of punk, metal, pop and rock".[citation needed] The band claimed influences including The Ramones, Kiss, and the MC5.

Biography[edit]

Theo Kogan, Gina Volpe, and Sydney "Squid" Silver were students at New York City's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts when they decided to form a band. Sindi Benezra, an acquaintance of Silver, was asked to join shortly after. They rehearsed and wrote material in Gina's bedroom for about a year. Their first composition, the lengthy "Theme Song", was about killing Kogan's and Silver's English teacher. The band played their first show in 1988 with Theo's then-boyfriend Mike on the drums.

Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth were amongst the audience for one of their early performances. Gordon and Moore were impressed with the band and sent a demo tape to Paul Smith in England, which landed them a deal on Smith's label Blast First. With drummer Becky Wreck (Susan Rebecca Lloyd) on board they released a self-titled four-song EP in 1989, and the full-length Babysitters on Acid, both produced by Wharton Tiers. The record was only available in Europe until it was re-released on Go-Kart Records in 2001.[3] The band later expressed their strong dislike for the album's production and the fact that they did not earn any money from Blast First.[4] The band went on to tour with The Dictators in 1991.

1992 saw the release of their second full-length, Binge & Purge.[5] Around this time drummer Becky Wreck gained slight popularity for a TV appearance on Howard Stern's Lesbian Dating Game. She left the band some time later and was briefly replaced by Luscious Jackson drummer Kate Schellenbach, before Chip English joined. During their first visit to Japan, a six-song EP entitled Sushi A La Mode, featuring a cover of Boston's "More Than a Feeling", was recorded and released in Japan in the fall of 1993.

Lunachicks were signed to New York-based label Go Kart Records, on which they released 1995's Jerk of All Trades.[6] The follow-up, 1997's Pretty Ugly, produced by Ryan Greene and Fat Mike of NOFX, features their most well-known song "Don't Want You", which was promoted with a video. Guitarist Sindi then left the band, after which the band stayed a four-piece. They released their first live album Drop Dead Live in 1998, and then their final album to date, Luxury Problem. By this time, the group had a busy touring schedule, headlining clubs in the United States, Europe, the U.K., and Japan, while opening for the likes of the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, No Doubt, the Go-Go's, Rancid, and NOFX, as well as appearing on the Vans Warped Tour. [7]

Lunachicks joined the Warped Tour in 1999, one of only three female acts along with The Donnas and Bif Naked, and again in 2000. Chip English left the band in the fall of 1999 and was replaced by then 18-year-old Helen Destroy,[8] who stayed with the band until it went inactive in the summer of 2001. The band never officially disbanded, but has been inactive since then, with the exception of two reunion shows in 2002 and 2004.[9]

Whilst being the front runner for the Lunachicks, Theo Kogan also worked on the side as a model, per request by her friends in the fashion industry.[10] She modeled for Calvin Klein, which ended up being a controversial campaign said to promote "drug use", and Burberry. In an interview with Jon Stewart, Kogan noted that music would always come before modeling and that modeling would always be a side job.[11]

Movie appearances[edit]

Besides being active in music, the band also had a fair share of movie appearances. The first was in a low-budget splatter movie entitled Blue Vengeance (shot in 1989, but not released until 1992). The band also can be seen in the 1990s riot-grrrl documentary, Not Bad For A Girl,[12] as well as Rockstar (produced in 1996, not released commercially until 2004), and High Times' Potluck (2002), both of which featured lead singer Kogan in lead roles.[13] The band also appeared in Terror Firmer, and contributed the song "Say What You Mean" to its soundtrack. Kogan and Silver starred in the movie Hair Burners.

The band has also been involved with movies and music videos in other ways, such as being on soundtracks. In 1997 Kogan danced in The Offspring's video for "I Choose". The movie Boys Don't Cry has their music video for "Don't Want You" playing in the background of a scene. The Olsen twins' movie Getting There has their song "Say What You Mean" on the soundtrack. C.J. Ramone of the Ramones has been seen wearing a Lunachicks shirt several times, most notably in the music video for "Poison Heart".

In the movie Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, Dino the naked drummer says that he had a psychic link with the Lunachicks, and shows a picture of himself holding up a Lunachicks album while masturbating.[14]

Reunion[edit]

The Lunachicks reunited for a 20-minute set at CBGB's on April 6, 2002 with Benezra on guitar and English on drums.[15] Another reunion took place at the March for Women's Lives Benefit in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 2004 as a four-piece with English on drums.

Life after the Lunachicks[edit]

Singer Theo Kogan married Toilet Böys guitarist Sean Pierce, with whom she formed the band Theo & the Skyscrapers,[16] who has released two albums to date (2006's self-titled album and 2007's So Many Ways to Die). She occasionally works as a fashion model and actress. She appeared in Bringing Out the Dead as a prostitute, Zoolander as the tattooed woman in Hansel's loft and Tadpole as a woman at the bar. In 2009, Kogan founded the company ARMOUR Beauty, which is dedicated to creating lipglosses that are durable and vegan. The lipgloss is paraben-free, gluten-free and requires no animal testing.[17] Along with establishing her own brand, Kogan also runs a tumblr page dedicated to documenting her makeup artistry, as she now works as a makeup artist full-time.[18]

Gina Volpe formed and fronted her power trio Bantam,[19]which released two records on her own label, Heavy Nose Records. [20] She also wrote the music and lyrics for Homo the Musical,[21] which was written and directed by Lola Rocknrolla.[22] She has composed music scores for several independent films, including Lola Rocknrolla's Nefertitty franchise.

Helen Destroy plays drums in the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, Lez Zeppelin.

Squid Silver used to work as a tattoo artist, and is now the proprietor of the Roebling Tea Room, a popular eatery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[23]

Becky Wreck was the drummer for the Blare Bitch Project in 2000.

Chip English plays drums for Suicide King.[15][24]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • Lunachicks Double 7" (1989)
  • "Cookie Monster" / "Complication" 7" (1990)
  • "C.I.L.L." / "Plugg" 7" (1992)
  • Apathetic EP (1992)
  • "F.D.S." / "Light as a Feather" 7" (1993)
  • Sushi A La Mode EP (1993, Japan only)
  • "Edgar" CD single (1995, promo)
  • "Don't Want You" CD single (1997, promo)

Videos[edit]

  • XXX Naked (1999, home video with video clips and interviews)

Trivia[edit]

  • The band performed several cover tunes on stage, like Blondie's "Heart of Glass" (available on the Japanese issue of Luxury Problem), The Cars' "Just What I Needed", and Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love". Bad Company was mentioned in the liner notes of Binge & Purge, which said, "No thanks to Bad Company".
  • Lunachicks was the name of the club where Hailey Nihols was working in the episode of the O.C. "The L.A."
  • Gina Volpe performed the motion capture for the Harmonix game Rock Band, doing the female guitar and bass characters. Theo Kogan also performed some of the vocal characters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lunachicks-mn0000322383/biography
  2. ^ http://www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto/Pride_stage_Theo_And_The_Skyscrapers-1800.aspx
  3. ^ http://exclaim.ca/Reviews/PopAndRock/lunachicks-babysitters_on_acid
  4. ^ http://users.erols.com/shydoll/luna_seconds.html
  5. ^ http://www.warr.org/lunachicks.html
  6. ^ http://www.trouserpress.com/entry.php?a=lunachicks
  7. ^ Deming, Mark. "Artist's Biography." All Music. N.p., n.d. Web, from http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lunachicks-mn0000322383/biography
  8. ^ Helen Destroy biography - drumsforgirls.com
  9. ^ Deming, Mark. "Artist's Biography." All Music. N.p., n.d. Web,from http://www.allmusic.com/artist/lunachicks-mn0000322383/biography
  10. ^ Jon Stewart Show. Interview by Jon Stewart. 1995: Web, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raF4GAIdvTw
  11. ^ Jon Stewart Show. Interview by Jon Stewart. 1995: Web, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raF4GAIdvTw
  12. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114001/
  13. ^ GW Hatchet - Lunachick Unhinged
  14. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDnd908VfAw
  15. ^ a b NYrock.com
  16. ^ http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/artist/Theo%20&%20The%20Skyscrapers/a/Theo%20&%20The%20Skyscrapers.htm
  17. ^ "About Page." Armour Beauty. N.p., 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015, from http://armourbeauty.com/?page_id=1002
  18. ^ Theo Kogan on Building the Best Lipgloss Brand. Perf. Theo Kogan. Beautylish. N.p., 1 Oct. 2012. Web. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_VYorvGEDc
  19. ^ Bantam
  20. ^ http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bantam
  21. ^ Homo the Musical
  22. ^ Lola Rocknrolla
  23. ^ Tattoos Down Under - Interview with Theo and Squid
  24. ^ http://www.bantamnyc.com/home.html

External links[edit]