||This article possibly contains original research. (August 2007)|
|Origin||New York, 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
Blare Bitch Project
|Past members||Theo Kogan
Sidney "Squid" Silver
Sindi Benezra Valsamis
Lunachicks were a punk rock band from New York City. The band formed in 1987 and has been on hiatus since 2000. Their music was described as "a frenzied mix of punk, metal, pop and rock". The band claimed influences including The Ramones, Kiss, and the MC5.
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's, was asked to join shortly after. They rehearsed and wrote material in Gina's bedroom for about a year. Their first ever 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 4-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. 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. The band went on to tour with The Dictators in 1991.
1992 saw the release of their second full-length, Binge & Purge. 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 6-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. 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. 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, who stayed with the band until went inactive in the summer of 2000. The band never officially disbanded, but have been inactive since then, with the exception of two reunion shows.
Besides being in active in music, the band also had a fair share of movie appearances. The first one 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, as well as Rockstar (produced in 1996, not released commercially until 2004) and High Times' Potluck (2002), two movies that featured lead singer Theo in lead roles. The band also appeared in Terror Firmer, for which soundtrack they also contributed the song "Say What You Mean". Theo and Squid starred in the movie Hairburners.
The band has also been involved with movies or music videos other ways, such as being on the soundtrack. In 1997 Theo danced in The Offsprings video "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. Also, 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 said that he had a psychic link with the Lunachicks and showed a picture of himself holding up a Lunachicks album while masturbating.
The Lunachicks reunited for a 20-minute set at CBGB's on April 6, 2002 with Sindi on guitar and Chip on drums. Another reunion took place at the March for Women's Lives Benefit in Washington, D.C. on April 24, 2004 as a 4-piece with Chip on drums.
Life after the Lunachicks
Singer Theo married Toilet Böys-guitarist Sean Pierce, with whom she formed the band Theo & the Skyscrapers, which have 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, and had 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. Helen Destroy plays drums in the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, Lez Zeppelin. Squid used to work as a tattoo artist, but now she is the proprietor of the Roebling Tea Room, a popular eatery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Becky Wreck was the drummer for the Blare Bitch Project in 2000. Chip plays drums for Suicide King. Guitarist Gina Volpe has released two albums with the power trio, Bantam.
- Babysitters on Acid (1990) (Blast First)
- Binge & Purge (1992) (Safe House)
- Jerk of All Trades (1995) (Go Kart Records)
- Pretty Ugly (1997) (Go Kart Records)
- Drop Dead Live (1998) (Go Kart Records)
- Luxury Problem (1999) (Go Kart Records)
Singles & EPs
- 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)
- XXX Naked (1999, Home Video w/ Video Clips & Interviews)
- 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.
- Helen Destroy Biography drumsforgirls.com
- GW Hatchet - Lunachick Unhinged
- Tattoos Down Under - Interview with Theo and Squid