Blonde Redhead in session for John Peel at BBC Radio 1 tonight. Recorded on June 7, 2000 and broadcast on July 18 of that year.
Blonde Redhead is an alternative rock band composed of Kazu Makino (vocals, keys, guitar/rhythm guitar) and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace (drums and lead guitar/keys/vocals, respectively) that formed in New York City in 1993. The band’s earliest albums were noted for their noise rock influences, though their sound evolved by the early 2000s with the releases of Misery is a Butterfly (2004) and 23 (2007), which both incorporated elements of dream pop, shoegaze and other genres.They have released nine regular studio albums and have toured internationally.
Amedeo and Simone Pace were born in Milan, Italy, grew up in Montreal (Saint-Léonard), but later moved to Boston to study jazz. After earning Bachelor’s degrees, they entered the New York City underground music scene. Blonde Redhead formed in New York in 1993 after Amedeo and Simone met Kazu Makino, an art student at the time, by chance at a local Italian restaurant.
Blonde Redhead’s self-titled debut album was released in 1995. Shortly afterwards, fourth member Maki Takahashi left the band and was replaced by her friend Toko Yasuda as bassist. Yasuda played on the band’s second album La Mia Vita Violenta also released in 1995.Both records appeared on the New York label Smells Like. The band continued as a trio.
Their third album, Fake Can Be Just as Good, was released through Touch & Go in 1997.The band enlisted the help of Vern Rumsey of Unwound, who filled the role of guest bassist. Subsequent albums featured Skúli Sverrisson, who the twins knew from their time in Boston.
On their fourth album, In an Expression of the Inexpressible, Guy Picciotto of Fugazi was hired as producer. Picciotto also contributed in the construction to the song “Futurism vs. Passéism Part 2” as well as lending it his vocals to the 1998 release. In 2000 Picciotto also co-produced Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons with Ryan Hadlock, an album about the relationship between Makino and Amedeo Pace.
The four-year delay between Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and Misery Is a Butterfly is attributed to Makino’s recovery time after being trampled by a horse. Much of the visual and lyrical imagery of Misery Is a Butterfly is reflective of the accident, especially in the music video for “Equus.” It was the last time Picciotto produced the band.
In June 2016 it was announced that the band would release the box set Masculin Féminin on September 30 through The Numero Group. It contains 37 tracks, which cover the first two albums, associated singles, radio sessions and unreleased demos from the period.
This is the first and only session the band did for John Peel – if you aren’t familiar, hit the play button and turn it up.