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For the Manga, see The Rapeman.
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Post-hardcore,[1][2] noise rock, punk rock
Years active 1987–1989
Labels Touch and Go, Blast First, Au Go Go, Torso
Associated acts Big Black, Big Boys, Didjits, Flour, The Jesus Lizard, Scratch Acid, Shellac, unFact
Past members Steve Albini
David Wm. Sims
Rey Washam
Jesse Wingard

Rapeman was an American rock band founded in 1987 and disbanded in 1989. It consisted of Steve Albini (formerly of Big Black) on guitar and vocals, David Wm. Sims (formerly of Scratch Acid) on bass, and Rey Washam (formerly of Scratch Acid and Big Boys) on drums.


In an interview, Albini reported that "'Rapeman' is ... the title character in a Japanese comic book that I had come across through a friend of mine. The comic book is just a total mind-bender. There's a whole genre of comics in Japan, rape stories where women are raped in really graphic detail for whatever reason."[3] Albini and Washam became "sort of obsessed" with the comic, and named their new group after the titular antihero.

Rapeman's performances would often be the target of protesters, who felt that the band was mocking or even encouraging rape and violence against women. Albini has described such criticisms as idiotic, arguing that punk ideology is generally very sympathetic to feminism.[citation needed]

One such demonstration was at a concert with Dinosaur Jr. and Band of Susans at Leeds Poly (UK) on the 14th October 1988. The protestors had tried to persuade the venue (the student's union) to ban the event entirely. They could not due to contracts with the promoter. However, the venue provided the minimum to allow the concert to go ahead - they provided the hall and the electricity and little else - no heating, no bar, and so on. Despite this, there were only a small number of protestors outside.

The band's style at times was reminiscent of more traditional noise punk, at other times cranky art rock. Their sound gave center stage to the signature guitar style of Albini.[citation needed]

Albini launched an extensive and successful career as a recording engineer and played bass with Flour before going on to form Shellac. Sims reunited with ex-Scratch Acid vocalist David Yow to form The Jesus Lizard (with Albini recording their albums).


All originally released on Touch and Go Records in the US, Blast First! in the UK and AuGoGo in Australia unless otherwise indicated. Rapeman left Blast First! in 1990 after Albini had an argument with the label over the release of a Big Black record. Touch and Go started distributing in the UK in 1992 and re-released Rapeman's records.


  1. ^ Greene Jr., James (June 26, 2010). "The Weakest Cut: Siamese Dream". Crawdaddy Magazine. Retrieved 25 October 2010. [...]This is understandable, considering what end of the spectrum Albini hails from. The guy once fronted a post-hardcore outfit called Rapeman and has written too many scathing punk indictments of mainstream society to count. [...] 
  2. ^ "Explore: Post-Hardcore (Top Artists)". AllMusic. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Interview with Steve Albini (1994-05-06). "Steve discusses the naming of Big Black and Rapeman". Action Park, quoting Rock Names by Adam Dolgins. Retrieved 2007-05-21. 
  4. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980 - 1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4