Babes in Toyland, the great Minnesota punk trio that formed in 1987 has reformed after disbanding in 2001. Above, a Pasadena City College radio video from last week in which lead vocalist and guitar player Kat Bjelland and bass player Maureen Herman made the announcement.
I emailed drummer Lori Barbero to get her take on the news. She wrote:
Plan one is to get together in the same room for the first time in 15 years. We've all seen each other, but the three of us have not been together at once. I know we all had a great time during our first bout together. We're older now, and we have done a lot, individually, over the past decade. Time to rock some more. Looking forward to it. I was in an accident, and haven't played for over a year. We'll see how it pans out. I will have to relearn how to play differently, that's for sure.
I interviewed Eric Fredricksen, who (along with Chris Skarakis and Jon Motley) co-founded an LLC called Powersniff for the purpose of pooling funds and logistics for getting the Babes together again. Eric and his partners are former band mates and music fans, and worked together with Maureen on Project Noise, a nonprofit video production foundation. (Note: I'm on the board of Project Noise.)
What is it about Babes that appealed to you?
Well, we're all fans of the band for starters, and speaking for myself, at least, I remember the unique place they had in the music scene back in the late 80s and early 90s. We're also all good friends with Maureen and have always loved the idea of her getting the band back together after all they've gone through. So, once Maureen reconnected with Kat, it was a no-brainer for us to try to facilitate them getting back together. And I'm pretty much dying to see them play together.
Me too! What are the plans so far? A new album? Videos? a tour?
Our plan to all get together in May fell apart so we're rescheduling for this summer some time, so we are in the very early stages of the reunion. So early that it hasn't even happened yet. So all that is very much an open question, but I think everyone is eager to move this along quickly as soon as the stars align. So we'll start with the band playing together, and I expect that will lead to a new song or two at least. Certainly some live shows. It'll be a lot easier to figure it all out when we're all in one room. Six-way conference calls are horrible things.
What is the next big step? Studio time?
Kat and Maureen have been relearning their old songs together some, but Lori is still in Austin, so the next step is getting them just playing together. They'll probably meet up for about a week to practice in Chris' barn. After that probably a show or two on the quiet, and we'll go from there.