The Aquanettas, 1990
|Origin||New York City, New York, USA|
|Genres||Post-punk, rock, alternative rock|
|Labels||IRS, Nettwerk, Giant/Rockville, Mayor Label, Prize Pagoda|
|Associated acts||Birdy, The Mike Hunt Band|
|Past members||Deborah Schwartz|
The Aquanettas were an all-female band from New York City that one New York Times writer said played "classic, basic rock-and-roll: just rugged guitar riffs and lyrics about the more bothersome aspects of romance". Their music was influenced by classic rock such as Led Zeppelin and punk bands such as X, mixed with surf rock overtones. The band was formed in the late 1980s in New York City, New York by vocalist Deborah Schwartz and Jill Richmond along with bassist Claudine Troise and drummer Stephanie Seymour. The Aquanettas toured nationally and secured a record deal with Canadian record label Nettwerk Productions who also distributed their recordings through IRS Records in the United States. They released one album for IRS/Nettwerk, two Independent EPs and release three singles before breaking up in 1995.
The Aquanettas (1987–1995)
Lead vocalist Deborah Schwartz had moved from Voorheesville to Manhattan in January 1986 after spending three months in Los Angeles, California where she met guitarist Jill Richmond. Schwartz began her career in New York with an experimental/performance art group called The Summit Ensemble. When Richmond joined her in New York one year later, they formed The Aquanettas along with bassist Claudine Troise and drummer Stephanie Seymour. It is reported that the band took their name from actress Burnu Acquanetta, who supposedly attended a Phoenix, Arizona show in 1990.
When the band played the New Music Seminar in NYC they signed a deal with Canadian record label Nettwerk Productions (who distributed their albums through IRS Records in the United States) and toured nationally, including being a support act for Nine Inch Nails. Called "a seminal all-female group from the early '90s" by some writers, singer Joan Osborne has covered their songs in concert and is a fan, so much so she would later make Deborah Schwartz her first signing on her Womanly Hips label. After being dissatisfied with the lack of promotion that IRS Records was giving the band they asked to be let go and toured Europe on their own in support of their Indy releases. Jill Richmond would later say she became fond of using a certain slang term used for describing female genitalia while on tour in Great Britain. Their single, "Mind Full of Worry" is included on the soundtrack of Hal Hartley's 1994 film, Amateur, and in 1996 a remix of their song "Beach Party" was included on the soundtrack for the feature film Kissed, which was distributed by MGM in the United States.
|Date of release||Title||Label||Type|
|March 20, 1990||Love With a Proper Stranger||IRS||LP|
|July 5, 1993||Roadhaus||Giant/Rockville||EP|
|1991||"Whoa!"||Mayor Label Records||3-song maxi-single|
|1992||"Super Absorbent"||Prize Pagoda||3-song maxi-single|
|Year||Song||Movie / album||Record label||Release type|
|1994||"Mind Full of Worry"||Amateur||Matador Records||Soundtrack|
|1996||"Beach Party" (remix)||Kissed||Nettwerk Productions||Soundtrack|
|1990||Nettwerk Sound Sampler, Vol. III||Nettwerk Productions||Compilation|
After the band
Claudine played bass with instrumental band The Vice Royals featuring Pete "The Other White Meat" Linzell, Jay Sherman Godfrey's "The Lazy Jaycees," and Nancy Sexton and the Sugar Monkeys.
Jill played with Mean Reds, with Vinny DeNunzio on drums, Kris Yiengst bass, and Elizabeth Presley on vocals. The Mike Hunt Band (Stones tribute band) was next, and is actually still going strong. Jill is Keith and Tammy Faye Starlight is Mick. Tammy and Jill are currently forming an original band called "Little T & J."
Debby was signed to Womanly Hips, Joan Osborne's Label and recorded "Wrongs of Passage", her 1998 major-label release. Currently, she sings and plays bass with P.G. Six band and sang on their 2006 Drag City release "Slightly Sorry". Debby has been a singer with Loser's Lounge since 1993. She is currently recording an album in NYC.
Stephanie joined Adam Roth's Psychic Penguin, a pop powerhouse band that featured strong melodies and wicked four-part harmonies. The members of Penguin liked to trade off instruments on stage, and Stephanie sang, played drums on a few songs, and played a lot of percussion in the band. After Penguin, she formed her own band and became lead singer and songwriter for Birdy. The band released two CDs ("Supernominal Paraphernalia" and "Quarantine") on the independent, collective, cooperative label Cropduster Records. She currently sings in The New Ugly, formed with her husband and former Winter Hours guitar player Bob Perry, and she occasionally sings in Loser's Lounge in NYC.
- Schoemer, Karen In Rocking East Village, The Beat Never Stops New York Times article. Published: June 8, 1990
- Kahn, Brenda WomanRock Archived 2008-10-10 at the Wayback Machine Interviews Debby Schwartz
- "The Saints of Festus". Desktopstudio.net. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
- Parks, Trey music-reviewer.com review of Debby Schwartz solo CD and interview. July 1998
- The Inventures overview of the band Birdy, drummer Stephanie Seymour's band after The Aquanettas.
- Farber, Jim NY Daily News Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine A Night of Full-Blown Joan in her New York Homecoming, Osborne sings Loud and Proud April 22, 1996
- Rolling StoneJoan Osborne Signs Artists To Her Label November 22, 1997
- Goldman, Andrew The New York Observer[permanent dead link] No C-Word, Please, We're American! Brits Export Last Linguistic Taboo April 4, 1999