Violent Femmes are an American alternative rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, initially active from 1980 to 1987
and again from 1988 to 2009. As of 2013, they are active again.
Violent Femmes was founded by bassist Brian Ritchie and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo following
the demise of the initial wave of American punk rock, and became a full-fledged band upon the arrival
of lead vocalist and guitarist Gordon Gano.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Alternative rock, post-punk, folk punk
1980-1987, 1988-2009, 2013-present
According to Ritchie, he came up with the name of the group as a fake band name when one of his bandmates
questioned his assertion that his brother was also in a band—he and DeLorenzo liked the name, so they used
it for the rhythm duo they played in prior to Gano joining the group
Another source states someone said they sounded like violent femmes as an oxymoronic joke.
In Milwaukee, femme is slang for feminine.
Gordon Gano (1980-present)
Brian Ritchie (1980-present)
Brian Viglione (2013-present)
Victor DeLorenzo (1980-1993, 2002-2009 and 2013)
Guy Hoffman (1993-2002)
Violent Femmes Trivia:
• The group made an appearance on the teen TV show "Clarissa Explains It All"
• You can hear their song "Fat" in the documentary "Super Size Me"
Violent Femmes Quotes
I probably have over a hundred instuments including acoustic basses, bouzouki, didgeridoo, soprano sax, xylophone, nose flute, shakuhachi, and a spate of percussion, keyboards and guitar. All of which I've used on Femmes recordings.
Our main influences are Velvet Underground, Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, Ramones, Sun Ra, Johnny Cash, Pink Floyd, Television, Hank Williams Sr., John Coltrane and about two million other people.
Nickelodeon wanted us to do a commercial for them because they are moving "Spongebob Squarepants" to prime time and they needed a fun campaign. So basically we did a couple of 30 second spots for them which you can see on Nick. It was very easy.
"We were signed to a record label that wouldn't release anything we were recording,"
"It is possible that this is the first record that doesn't have a song on it written in the '70s."