L7 started up in 1985 when Donita Sparks
met Suzi Gardner
in Los Angeles
Both these women had previously played in other bands, and they decided that it
was their "destiny" to create a band together. Thus, L7 was born, the name
taken from a slang term meaning "square". In 1986, Jennifer Finch
moved to Los Angeles
from San Fransisco
, where she had been playing with the
band Sugar Babylon
. This group, incedentally, also featured Courtney Love
and Kat Bjelland
After finding drummer Roy Koutsky (a guy!) L7 started
building their reputation playing in clubs around LA. L7 was then signed to the
epitaph label by
Brett Gurewitz, the founder of the label and a guitarist for Bad Religion.
In September 1988, L7 released their first album on Epitaph, the self-titled
L7, and started their first tour.
A month later (november 1988) Roy Koutsky was replaced by Demetra Plakas AKA
"dee" as the drummer for the band. In 1989, L7 would sign with Sub Pob
records - despite not being from Seattle. They also released their second
album and began their second tour, this time with the band Cat Butt.
When L7's third album, Bricks are heavy, was released (on a new label, Slash
records), L7 got a spot on both Pop Album's and Billboard's charts. The
song Pretend that we're dead went on to become a radio hit as well.
Over the next two years, L7 preformed on several tours in the US, Japan,
Europe. and preformed "Pretend that we're dead" on the Late show with David
Letterman. In addition, the grrls played many benifit concerts for Rock For
1994 saw the release of "Hungry for Stink", the band's fourth album (coproduced
by Garth Richardson. L7 also landed a spot playing the song "Gas chamber"
in the movie Serial Mom. The band also was in 1994's Lollapalooza.
In 1997, L7 made a radical change in their release "The Beauty Process:Triple
Platinum". The album sounds more alternative or grunge than punk, and also
marked the departure of their bassist of 10 years, Jennifer Finch(who left to
earn a degree in American Studies). Although there is no bassist in the band
during this album, Gail Greenwood, former bassist for Belly, joined up for
the tour. During this year, WEA(who owns Slash records) dropped L7 from
their label as well.
L7 survived being dropped from the label, and released a live CD called "L7
live: Omaha to Osaka" on the indie label Man's Ruin Records. L7 then began
writing songs while waiting to sign with a new label. However, in 1999 they
decided to start their own label instead, called Wax Tadpole. The name of the
label came from one of their earliest songs "Bite the Waxed Tadpole". On this label, they released
the album "Slap Happy". A new bassist, Janis Tanaka, moved down to LA from
San Francisco to sign on as a full time bassist. Slap-Happy is a good album,
but it's hard to tell whether the band will survive into the future independent of a major