Punk architects of the early ’90s riot grrrl movement,
Bikini Kill has disbanded after more than seven
years and various EPs, singles and albums.
Since the band’s formation in 1990, its aggressive political
punk inspired a new generation of women rockers like
Sleater-Kinney, the Northwest’s new answer to
feminist punk and likely successor to Bikini Kill.
Although they stayed loyal to the independent label Kill
Rock Stars, the Olympia, Wash., natives attracted major
media hype with no-holds-barred lyrics and live shows.
Founding members Kathleen Hanna (vocals),
Kathi Wilcox (bass), Tobi Vail
(drums) and Billy Boredom (guitar) began drifting
into other projects and reportedly called it quits one month ago,
Kill Rock Stars spokeswoman Maggie Vail told
JAMTV on Tuesday.
“It’s been seven years, and I think they just decided it was
time to move on,” Vail said. “Bikini Kill wasn’t that active, but
their presence was really influential in the music world.”
Forging east, Hanna and Wilcox left their West Coast cohorts
behind in favor of new musical projects and identities. Hanna — a
former stripper — plans to release an album of solo material under
the pseudonym Julie Ruin this September for Kill
Rock Stars, which will also release a nine-song compilation of
Bikini Kill EP tracks called The Singles in June.
Although Wilcox has shipped out for Washington, D.C., she still
plans to record and perform with Vail and Boredom in their side
project band, The Frumpees, Vail said.
The call for “Revolution Girl Style Now” first rang out in 1990,
when Evergreen College students Hanna, Wilcox and Vail united to
publish a feminist magazine, coincidentally titled Bikini
Kill. The medium failed, but the message did not. After
enlisting Boredom — born William Karren — the incendiary quartet
began attracting a loyal female crowd who could mosh freely and
often take the microphone during live shows to discuss sexism and
In 1992, Fugazi’s Ian Mackaye produced the
band’s debut self-titled EP, which included the punk-rock anthem
“Suck My Left One.” That collection was followed by a 12-inch
titled Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, an EP produced by female rock
pioneer Joan Jett and two full-length albums,
which catapulted the band into international media with its
infectious riot grrrl philosophy.