Multi-talented Lydia Lunch was a pioneer of the late 70s no wave music scene, having been heavily influenced by the genre when she moved into a communal house of musicians in New York at 16 years old. Though she was an originator of no wave, she also performed and wrote songs in many different musical styles to avoid categorisation. As “one of the 10 most influential performers of the 1990s”, Lunch has defied expectations, acquired international acclaim and proved herself to be one of the most unique and courageous artists of our generation.
In the mid-70s, Lunch formed the band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks with musicians James Chance, Reck, Jody Harris and Bradley Field. The band wanted their music to challenge the normative depictions of women and the rebellion of traditional rock music. After the band broke up in 1979, Lunch released her first solo debut album “Queen of Siam” in 1980, collaborating with a range of artists including Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, Cypress Grove and Thurston Moore (amongst a long list of others).
Widowspeak, Lunch’s own record label, was founded in 1984 and was home to her experimentations with spoken word (through her album “The Uncensored Lydia Lunch”). Her works appear in several books including “Paradoxia” (2007) and “Will Work for Drugs” (2009).
The band Big Sexy Noise (formed in 2009) was another one of Lunch’s many creative ventures. Featuring Lunch, James Johnston, Terry Edwards and Ian White, the band released a six track EP in June 2009 including the song “The Gospel Singer” (a song co-written by Kim Gordon).
Lunch released the album “Retrovirus” on Interbang Records (published by Widowspeak) in 2013 and performed the album’s tracks at the Bowery Electric venue in New York with band members Weasel Walter, Algis Kizys and Bob Bert. She still performs with her band RETROVIRUS and continues to undertake creative projects such as running her publishing company Widowspeak, creating controversial spoken word content and displaying her art work around the world.
Read Lydia Lunch’s interview for The Guardian here