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These are things that we’ve always had and it’s nice to continue with them.” “The Femmes have a couple of trademark sounds,” Ritchie says.“Gordon’s voice, of course, and the acoustic bass guitar.
Founded in 1981, the originally Milwaukee-based band’s remarkable three-decade-plus career has produced a series of truly iconic singles – among them such classics as “American Music,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” “Nightmares,” “Add It Up” and of course, “Blister In The Sun” – along with cumulative worldwide album sales in excess of 10 million, with 1983’s VIOLENT FEMMES awarded RIAA platinum eight years after its initial release.“Our usual way of going about things was very much get in, start doing it, and figure things out as we go,” says Gano.“See what sticks, see what’s the situation we’re in, and then decisions are made in the moment.” “We go in with an open mind” Ritchie says, “and just try to suspend any kind of judgment and do what’s best for the material.” HOTEL LAST RESORT comprises “a mix of new songs and songs that really go back quite a ways,” says Gano, with some dating back almost three decades, and others written in the weeks before recording. And now that I’ve said that, it’s also about us doing the song.The group formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the early '80s, and comprised singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie and percussionist Victor De Lorenzo; Ritchie originated the band's oxymoronic name, adopting the word "femme" from the Milwaukee area's slang for wimps.After being discovered by the Pretenders' James Honeyman-Scott, the Violent Femmes signed to Slash and issued their self-titled 1983 debut, a melodic folk-punk collection which struck an obvious chord with young listeners who felt a strong connection to bitter, frustrated songs like "Blister in the Sun," "Kiss Off" and "Add It Up." Though never a chart hit, the album remained a rite of passage for succeeding generations of teen outsiders, and after close to a decade in release, it finally achieved platinum status.