Let them go on: Violent Femmes reflect on “connection” of debut album with 40th anniversary reissue


Violent Femmes have released a reissue of their 1983 self-titled debut album in honor of its 40th anniversary. Over those 40 years, frontman Gordon Gano has seen its impact on music fans of all ages.

“There’s something in this album that really connects with people, and people of different generations,” Gano tells ABC Audio. “I think there’s something very special about that. It’s in a place with other albums, but a small club, I think, of albums that can have that kind of communication and connection with people.”

Not only has the RIAA Platinum-certified album — which spawned the signature Femmes tune “Blister in the Sun” — been a hit with listeners, but Gano also hears its influence in the music that came after it, often personally from those musicians.

“People have said — and it’s an incredible honor — that, ‘You were the biggest inspiration,"” Gano shares. “Or even to the point of, ‘I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing and having my career in music and writing songs if I hadn’t been inspired by you, or you hadn’t done what you did."”

The Violent Femmes reissue comes with a number of bonus tracks, including demos and live recordings. While demos often reveal a rawer, more stripped down version of a final, produced song, the sound of Violent Femmes already had a ramshackle feel to it. Still, Gano feels that these demos show a different side of each track.

“It’s the same people, the same instrumentation, and everything could be thought of, ‘This is the same as the recording,"” Gano says. “Well, it’s not, because it was a different day, and particularly the places where we improvise, there’s going to be a difference.”

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