Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

2. Violent FemmesViolent Femmes

Violent Femmes was a huge high-school record. I probably got it when I was 14 or 15. I just played the entire album on stage with [Femmes bassist] Brian Ritchie, Brian from the Dresden Dolls and [Bad Seed] Mick Harvey, so I found myself revisiting the record and my early experiences of it. The one thing I remembered was that when I heard that record for the first time, I thought Gordon Gano was a girl. But really sexy!

The songs were so sexy and raw and filled with beautiful, actually relatable teenage angst. The music and the production was all so immediate. My cool friends and my older brother were all listening to punk. I tried to be cool and tried to like the Sex Pistols, but I just couldn’t get into the records. There just wasn’t enough song there for me. But the Violent Femmes was like punk music that my brain could actually follow. I played that tape into the ground, just a non-stop soundtrack. Another thing I realised revisiting it was there’s just not a bad song on that record, not a single moment that isn’t essential. There’s not two seconds of filler.

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