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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

TRACY CHASE: FOR REAL


TRACY CHASE: FOR REAL
Interview With A Very Genuine Artist.

BY Angelo Ruggiero
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

  
"... It all just boils down to working out heartbreak and hard emotions. I guess that's probably everybody. Rock n roll is an whiny teenager at heart." 
- Tracy Chase, October 2016.



I don’t know what it is, but Tracy Chase's voice has something magical that I can't resist. Her heavenly melodies are just what everybody needs for falling in love. Tracy’s music has gone forward over the years. It has softened, it has gotten sweet, it’s been enriched by glamorous vocal harmonies. Most recently, she has written, recorded and produced all the tracks from her self-titled solo debut. Tracy Chase, a wonderful album released in 2016 on Burger Records, also available to be purchased on Bandcamp.
http://burgerrecords.11spot.com/tracy-chase-tracy-chase-cassette.html


https://tracychase.bandcamp.com/
 




Based in Glendale, California, Tracy Chase is an American rock musician, well known for her singing voice and guitar playing in the Lipstick Pickups, garage punk band from Anaheim, CA. After a successful split 7" with the Bikini Bumps, Lipstick Pickups did another 7’’ in 2003 on Kapow Records, and a 12" EP on Radio Beat. The song that grabbed me the first time I heard it was "Better Than You" from the Lipsticks Pickups single on Kapow. I felt like that voice was out of this world. Then, after that, I became a fan of the band, and of course of Tracy.


 


Following several compilation appearances, Tracy Chase came back in 2009 with a new project called Schatzi and Hazeltine, which also included Lipstick Pickups’ bassist Vanessa Gonzalez. They only released one captivating single, the Happy Birthday Baby 7’’ that mixes Tracy’s natural sensual vocals with Girl Group sounds.

 
Subsequently, Tracy and Vanessa issued possibly the best Girl Group album around, as Schlitzie in 2013 on Burger Records. 

In May of 2016, Tracy Chase's solo album was released. This event motivated me to interview her and write about her.  She was so kind to answer some of my questions. Enjoy!

ANGELO: What inspires you to compose your songs?

TRACY: Jeez, I dunno… Whenever I set out to write a song with a certain aesthetic it turns out sounding nothing like whatever I had intended… I've realized that I have no control and it's all an accident.  I think I'm going for a dark wave girl group kind of thing and all of a sudden I've got Tiny Tim tracks on my hands.  What are ya gonna do...



ANGELO: Please tell us about your writing! Where do your lyric ideas come from?

TRACY: Someday I hope to be able to say that I make music inspired by something more thoughtful or philosophical, but really it all just boils down to working out heartbreak and hard emotions.  I guess that's probably everybody.  Rock n roll is an whiny teenager at heart.


ANGELO:  Who are your favourite female singers?
 


TRACY: I have a deep and completely unironic love for Britney Spears. She's vulnerable, sincere and not that talented musically, but has a ton of style… Beyond that, my favorites are not that original… If I could have anyones voice in the world it would be a really hard toss-up between Ronnie Spector, Stevie Nicks and Chrissie Hynde. I like how all of their voices are imperfect and husky and rough and sweet at the same time.  I don't have that, but lord knows I tried to cultivate it by smoking too many cigarettes and drinking too much for way too long.  That was dumb.  It didn't work. Actually, I take it back.  If I could have anyone's voice it would be Shannon Shaw from Shannon and the Clams.  She gives me chills.  She's amazing.



ANGELO: Who is the creator of the artwork on  the Schatzi & Hazeltine single’s handmade covers?
 

TRACY: Vanessa Gonzalez and I worked on that together. She was also in Lipstick Pickups and we made the Schlitzie record together too. She's the best person and friend.  Anyway, we made the artwork together and our friend Lauren Everett- a really talented photographer- took the photos.


ANGELO: Tell us some of your musical influences, and genres of music that you prefer nowadays.
 
TRACY: That's a hard question because I have a terrible memory.  I fall in love with things and forget about them a week later.  It's a bummer… I guess I would list Shannon again.  And Seth Bogart. He's got such a solid pop sensibility and his aesthetic is weird as shit and I love it.  There's this woman named Sarah Mary Chadwick and she's incredible. Maybe she's from New Zealand… She's been in awesome bands but her solo stuff is heart breaking and dark and raw.  I think my favorite band is the Cleaners from Venus. They trigger some weird set of emotions in my brain, like a childhood I never had and can't get back to… that sounds so emo… I'm gonna go with Britney. Britney and Primus.  They are my favorite.


ANGELO: Whose is the black dog that appears on
the Schlitzie Bandcamp page?

TRACY: That was some random dog.  I'm sure he was a nice guy.  Vanessa sent me that photo from some rooftop party she was at downtown and i thought "yep. That looks about right. That looks like how I feel in most social settings… In over my head and looking for the exit sign."


ANGELO: Do you have any plan for a Lipstick Pickups reunion or a new release by them or by Schatzi and Hazeltine, and Schlitzie?

TRACY: Oh, no.  I realized I have a one-and-done pattern with projects.  I really enjoy making a thing, feeling out a mood and then moving on to something different.  I don't think that's necessarily admirable- it's pretty typical of the disposable-culture we live in I guess… also, I'm lazy and have a short attention span.  Which I guess is saying the same thing twice.

ANGELO: Do you have any 2016 touring or show
plans to support your solo album?

TRACY: No… I made that record really as a way to work through some heavy life stuff and while it feels good to have finished it and put it out, I'm more happy to put it behind me and move on to better things.


ANGELO: Your songs have eventually evolved into master pieces like the ones on your latest solo release. Please, let us know more about these beautiful recordings?

TRACY: Jeez Angelo, thank you… I think that might be too generous, but I'll take it.  I made that record in my room, recording into the built in mic on my computer.  I had intended for them to be demos and made about 30 songs over the course of a couple of years and thought I would re-record the ones I liked best.  I had been listening to a lot of Guided by Voices and Cleaners from Venus and realized how much I loved their messy lo-fi sound and then realized- I'm too lazy to relearn all of these songs… So I had my super talented friend Jesse Novak remix them and clean them up a lot and sent them to my friends at Burger.  I grew up with those fine gentlemen.  They were very kind to put it out.





ANGELO: Thanks Tracy! I really love your sincere answers.

TRACY: Thank you for all the kind words!




Wednesday, 31 August 2016

INTO THE BLACK


THE LION INTERVIEW
Featuring MIKE SPENT +
LOREN MOLINARE and TONY MATTEUCCI  of the DOGS

Article and Interview by Angel Spent
August 31, 2016.




"I had a blast with Richard, we got to play the middle solo in section just like Steve Hunter & Dick Wagner with Alice Cooper...  I guess we live in a time warp of when music could change the world and move people. " - Loren


From Left to Right: Loren Molinare, Mike Spent, Richard Duguay, Tony Matteucci, and Diane Nile, August 2016.












Based in Los Angeles, CA, Mike Spent Black Belt is the new project by Carlsbad punk icon, and original Spent Idols’ founder Mike Spent. This time, he has been produced by the Dark Lord Richard Duguay of Personality Crisis and the Hellhounds. Spent City Unlimited has just released the band’s debut single, I Am A Lion, which is available on Bandcamp. Everyboby can't help liking these songs!

 

     

Mike Spent Black Belt is composed of Mike on vocals, Richard on guitar, Loren Molinare on guitar, Diane Nile on bass, and Tony Matteucci on drums. Loren and Tony come from legendary Detroit’s punkers the Dogs, who have given the band a compact killer sound, perfected and polished by the natural talents of Richard Duguay. Recently, I interviewed some members of the band on the making of the I Am A Lion single. Enjoy! 




What inspired you to write such a great songs as “I Am A Lion” and “Sun Goes Grey”? 

MIKE SPENT:  Well, it's a team effort between us, all over 200 years of experience in Punk and Rock n roll. I got to collaborate with musical Black Belts! This took months to complete and I'm very pleased with its outcome. 



What can you tell me about the Into The Black recording session for "I Am A Lion" and “Sun Goes Grey”?

MIKE SPENT: Ok Angel,  “I Am A Lion" was written by myself and Rich [Duguay]. Richard is a well known Canadian musician who started in the band Personality Crisis, and he owns a platinum record from Guns and Roses for his work on the Spaghetti Incident album. It is developed, actually completely rewritten from a song by the same title that I played on tour in 2015 written by Jay Kipling, and I tweaked the lyrics to fit the Spent Idols.

As for “Sun Goes Grey,” it is a guitar riff by Loren from Detroit’s the Dogs. He wrote it over 30 years ago, and he brought it to me, and he, myself, and Diana Nile came up with the song! Loren has been playing since 1968 and is a well known Detroit rocker who moved the band finally to LA.
The lyrics to “Sun Goes Grey” came out of the ether, they came too me. It's a twisted version of a 1960s garage song.  

LOREN MOLINARE: Hi Angel! Great hearing from you! Well I have known Mike for awhile from gigging with his band the Spent Idols and the Dogs down in San Diego. We became friends and shared a lot of the same musical influences. We talked about writing some songs and the whole thing was very organic how it happened.
I introduced him to my good friend Richard Duguay from Canada, who is guitarist, writer, and producer. Mike and Richard did a re-write of Mike’s tune “I'm A Lion,” which Mike had done years ago. Richard gave it a cool refresh to the music. I was asked to add the 2nd guitar part in it. I had a blast with Richard, we got to play the middle solo in section just like Steve Hunter & Dick Wagner with Alice Cooper.


The song "Sun Goes Grey," Mike and myself wrote this one. I had an idea to write a song in the fashion of the great short moody songs that were written in the 60's by the Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, or the Yardbirds. So I showed Mike the riff and he came up with the moody lyrics and title, which I thought were perfect. I guess we live in a time warp of when music could change the world and move people. In the studio, Richard came up the great counterpart guitar line against the vocal melody, and we also wanted a real Ann Arbor Stooges cloudy day distortion sound on my guitars to make it very late 60's garage rock sound.

TONY MATTEUCCI: With both songs I attempt to "feel" the song without analyzing what I'm playing.... to what degree I'm successful is determined by the listener.


Who's the author of the Mike Spent Black Belt logo? 



MIKE SPENT: Jed Bridges! He is a graphic artist from Carlsbad. I gave him my idea, and he developed the orange fist for me. I then gave it to my friend Skank who owns Scallywag Printing, and we further tweaked it for stickers and tshirts. I wanted it to have 1969s stooges/psyche vibe of black lights and bong water and stripped it down as I do to the basic elements. I made it lousy! In my lousy Rock n roll tradition!



Given the songs’ slower rock tempo, was there any special feeling you wanted to give to this single?


TONY MATTEUCCI: When we recorded SGG [“Sun Goes Grey”], I tried to capture the dark mood of the lyrics...yes, it's a slower tempo, but I think that and the simplicity of the drums create the proper mood.... at the end of the day, I hope the song creates a feeling suggested by the lyrics.


MIKE SPENT: Yes it's a departure of my musical style! Finally after 35 years, I allowed myself to be produced, I want the songs to be anthems sing alongs at your local watering hole.








Sunday, 17 July 2016

MIKE SPENT BLACK BELT

I AM A LION 
BY ANGEL SPENT 



I AM A LION  Single
Mike Spent Black Belt debut single, recorded at Into The Black Studios, North Hollywood, CA, by Richard Duguay, and mastered at Pawn Shop Recording Studio, Van Nuys, CA, by Patrick Burkholder.


TRACKLIST
A  I Am A Lion (Spent, Duguay, Kipling)
B  Sun Goes Grey (Mike Spent, Loren Molinare)
© 2016 Spentcity Unlimited Publishing



LINKS
https://mikespentblackbelt.bandcamp.com/album/i-am-a-lion-single

https://soundcloud.com/spentcityunlimited/i-am-a-lion-v4 

https://soundcloud.com/spentcityunlimited/sun-goes-grey-main-mix-1

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/bands/mike-spent/


BIO
Mike Spent is an independent Punk Rock singer, songwriter and recording artist living in Burbank, CA. In 2015, he embarked upon a West Coast  tour with his re-newed Spent Idols in support of the album Land Of The Lost. 
With a marked enthusiasm for great music, Mike Spent started working with Richard Duguay in 2016 to record and mix tracks for his new project Mike Spent Black Belt. With the cooperation of his Black Belts (Richard, Loren and Tony of the Dogs, and Diane Nile), Mike completed a brilliant set of songs, two of them being released on Bandcamp in August of 2016. 






CREDITS
Vocals - Mike Spent
Producer, Guitar, Bass - Richard Duguay
Guitar - Loren Molinare
Bass – Diana Nile
Drums - Tony Matteucci
Video By - Angelo Ruggiero







CONTACT
Saturday August 27th 7-10PM
Skinny's Lounge in NOHO
4923 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, California 91601

Performances by
Fuck You Fame Whore, Richard Duguay & Paula Tiberius, R.d. Cane, Mike Spent Black Belt.





Monday, 11 April 2016

SPENT IDOLS, Land Of The Lost EP

BY ANGEL SPENT

The second co-release by Rawkunroll Records/Spentcity Records, the Land Of The Lost EP, is available on Bandcamp.

https://spentidols.bandcamp.com/album/land-of-the-lost-ep 



This is a 4-track EP that features remastered versions of "Land Of The Lost" and "Stolen Heart", taken from Land Of The Lost album, released in December of 2014. 


The first track of this digital release, "Land Of The Lost" is Mike Spent’s punk version of Land Of The Lost TV Series’ ending credits theme. It was recorded in 2003, with Blaine on guitar, D. Nile on Bass, Gordon on drums, and Mike on vocals.

D. Nile


“My take on bands like 20/20 and the Romantics, in a kinda Bouncing Souls tempo… To me it's also homage to the Ramones, and I throw in a Joan Jett reference,” commented Mike on the second track, “Stolen Heart.”

The other songs on this EP are two previously unissued tracks,  "Girl Whore" and "Pistols And Prozac" recorded live in Detroit in 1996.





Mike Spent is currently recording at Into The Black Studio for an upcoming EP to be issued as a side project, together with Richard Duguay who is producing, and also playing on the songs. Also involved in this project are Loren Molinare and Tony Matteucci of the Dogs!






Sunday, 18 October 2015

THE MIKE SPENT INTERVIEW

By Gary Heffern



The following is a 2015 MIKE SPENT interview by Gary Heffern, lead singer of the San Diego punk rock band the Penetrators. Mike Spent tells Gary about his origins, influences, and his bands.

Would you name all the bands you have played in, and if you can remember approximately what years, and any recordings?


My first band was Spent Idol. My concept started in 1978, and it took a couple years to get playing. My original guitarist joined a band prior to my band starting, so I had to find a new one that took over a year. Spent Idol started around 1980/81 and only played parties and underground bashes around north county SD, dodging police raids and equipment confiscation.

In 1992, I reformed my concept as Spent Idols, a more back to punk roots version. We played, toured and released mostly vinyl way before it was trendy, worldwide DIY, 1992-1997. 

In 1999 I joined a friend on the East Coast, and we played and released as NYW or New York Whores. We only played a couple shows on the East Coast and released 2 seven inch vinyl records (one was an EP). 

I have performed in various bands as G.I. Bleeds, Mike Spent Hour, Mystery Girls, Last Years Heros and the Spents.

What music, or life happening made your decision to play, and why? 

I grew up in Oceandise, CA, near the  pier in the 1960s, hippies were everywhere along with marines and HC bikers. A hippy chick artist turned me onto Donovan, Greatful Dead, Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly. When she moved, she gave me her records. Soon after my parents split up, and we moved back to Carlsbad, my home town. I was a surfer skater there.


Around 1976, I ran into the Dils. They were simply crossing the street (I had known about Iggy and heard about the Sex Pistols). Let's say they left an impression! In 1978, I got into a fight with my pops and he punished me by cutting off my surfer hair. I was livid, so my family sent me to Long Beach to live with my uncle. He was ad executive based in Palos Verdes, and thru him I got to meet Angie Bowie. Zed Records was walking distance from my condo, so let's say Punk Rock was on! I brought L.A. punk attitude, South and raged from Santa Barbara to Tijuana. It was on!

Was it difficult to find your first band or was it happenstance? 

Yes, very! Everyone I knew down south was a surfer  type, very laid back, etc. My one best friend JP was to be my guy, but he joined another band, so I was stomach punched, but I didn't let it stop me. I eventually found some guys!
But the police harassment, it was difficult you could actually die for being a punker back then. I'm not exaggerating, and the booze and drugs didn't help. I truly lived a life of anarchy and debauchery on a scale these kids today would never understand. The world was a much different place in the 1970s and 80s. We are the bastard fathers to these hipsters and scenesters today, and they truly do not realize it. Gary, guys like us, we paved the way for their identities today, dyed hair, strange haircuts. We spawned them, and for me, it's bittersweet pill.

Where and how did you meet?

Last Spent Idol gig.
Carlsbad, Encintas area. We use to run wild there. I came back home and helped start the scene there. By now it's 1980 and we spawned punkers. I would give crop hair cuts to rebellious surfers and it brought me together with a new crop of kids, and Spent Idol finally lived, sadly I can not recall my band members or original songs. A guy named Brian played guitar, my roommate Danny on bass briefly, is all I remember (crazy I know, but I was a very "busy man"). The song titles I recall are "Pause and Ponder," "502," and "Laughing Song." That's about it. Absolutely, no disrespect to my band, but I killed a lot of brain cells, what can I say I was a pretty nihilistic  punker and brash. 

Now after all these years looking back, any regrets? 
Cliche but Sid singing..."Regrets, I have a few, but then again, too few to mention" comes to mind from the original run. Now, once I reformed Spent Idols in 1992, there's where my regrets lie. Yes, I have some! Some are very painful.

Any feeling that your pursuit of music held you back from what you saw your friends at the same age happening (marriage careers, etc) ever make you double think what you were doing?

No, not in the sense that you reference to me fitting in, atomic households, traditional American life. I have never felt a part of our society or had typical goals. I was a freak. I simply didn't fit in, so for me punk was a perfect fit for me. In actuality a nerdy kid could become a force to be reckoned with! A new attitude and social revolution emerged and "punk was it, for me" it was THE great equalizer and for me. I never wanted kids, or a wife or stability. I honestly thought I'd be dead by 21, and lived like that! I'm a survivor. Most my icons died young and I sought that out with a vengeance. Crazy, I know, but it's how I rolled. 

Influences, influences. Influences, please!

Sure, Gary. Original Stooges, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Sex Pistols, Avengers, Saints, Vibrators, Crass, Honey Bane, Flipper, Black Flag, Consumers. I wanted stark simple, less is more biting, angry music that provoked thought and angst. I truly wanted a musical revolution. I wanted to break the corporate chains, so I kept it boxed in, simple elementary, no fluff or distractions, or egomaniac guitar riffs, etc. To me, pure punk.


What do you listen to now compared to what you were back then?
In all honesty, I listen to all types of music. Current faves I have are all the same ones I ever had. 77 punk is my fave, but I like Bossa Nova, Donovan's take on folk, and current bands like Belle and Sebastian to the Spits and other similar bands to name a couple.
  
Do you feel that your musical approach has changed and/or any  new appreciation for music that you ignored in the past.
Yes, absolutely. I'm more open, more diverse, mellowed with age. I open up more, and let more out vocally and allow more guitar freedom. 

Do you have children? What are they listening to that "you just don't get"?

I have an 8 year old girl, and she still believes in ferries and Santa. She's very interested in my music and thinks I'm a star. She like Sparks and 80s pop like Madonna and Blondie. She tells me our dog's favorite song is "Girls Just Want To Have Fun." There's lots I just don't get like Katy Perry lip synching, and people eating it up like popcorn! Not to single her out, but the whole ball of music confusion bugs me.

Are you surprised to still be alive?  
Yes, I am, and I'm greatful I have a host of health concerns today, and feel older than I actually am! I beat the crap outta myself, and I'm paying for it now! You can go into any detail that you want on this.
I covered it earlier but I should say ...physically, I'm pretty miserable, but I cover it well, and keep cheerful and positive. 

What is the worst situation you have found yourself in as far as a booking or a show?


Well, our last tour was a bomb. I'm in my 50s. I'm use to booking agents, and set up. We just powered thru 5 states in 10 days. No set up, no promotion, contracts, but hey, half of nothing is still nothing. It put a lot of stress in my current band, and it collapsed. I loved my current members but it all collapsed, and I'm taking a break before looking all over again.

What would you say to a kid that's just starting out today?
I say do it, go for it, do it ! And stay true to YOU!

Any new albums or music or art coming out now?  
A new CD came out this year, Land Of The Lost. It's available from me on FB, or in various online and independent record shops. You can find Spent Idols on Spotify, iTunes  and other digital sources. 

Thanks for your time!
Gary, thank you for including me, and my art. It's truly an honor to participate. You are a San Diego icon and not to mention, known around the world for your art, and congrats on the recent book too.


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

PUKE 'N' VOMIT












HOME TO THOUSANDS OF PUNK RECORDS,
CLOTHING, ACCESSORIES, AND  MORE

You can buy THE SPENT IDOLS - Land Of The Lost CD from
Puke N Vomit Records
http://www.pukenvomitrecords.com/ 
http://www.shop.pukenvomitrecords.com/



Also available
Spent Idols - Punk Rock 10"
Spent Idols - Throw It Away 7"
Spent Idols - Spent City Rockers CD



















or buy
Spent Idols - Land Of The Lost CD
directly
from Rawkunroll Records

https://www.facebook.com/rawkunroll 

https://www.facebook.com/thespentidols







 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

MEET A MELANIE

A very nice interview with 
MELANIE VAMMEN
of the PANDORAS, the MUFFS, and the LEAVING TRAINS
by Angelo Ruggiero


I have always had a weakness for all-female rock bands. One of my favorites, even now is the 1960s garage revivalist band the Pandoras, from Los Angeles, CA. 

Following an energetically rough 7” EP, the Pandoras issued in 1984 their debut album, It's About Time, a real masterpiece of the garage genre. However, the band’s original line-up dissolved soon after the album release, remaining vocalist/guitarist Paula Pierce, as the only original member.


Shortly, Paula put together a new version of the band, including Melanie Vammen on keyboards, Julie Patchouli on bass, and Karen Blankfeld on drums. Featuring this line-up, the band recorded the Hot Generation single, which is my loved Pandoras record. This is because of its great sound, but maybe since it was the first record by the band to feature Melanie Vammen. In fact, she’s my preferred member from the band’s second formation. Melanie is so cute and agreeable that I could not resist to ask her some questions, to which she gently answered. 

Melanie grew up in Fountain Valley, Orange County, California, and joined the Pandoras in 1984. Well, I've always been interested to know if the Pandoras were Melanie’s first band and how come she met Paula.


“Yes, the Pandoras were my first band. I was 17 years old when I joined,” replied Melanie. “I joined the Pandoras in June of 1984. I already knew Paula from the 60's garage scene I hung out in. She had asked me in the past and asked me again if I knew how to play keyboards. This time, I said I could play a little piano. She had me come try out at Rich Coffee's (Unclaimed, Thee Forgiven) house. I played "Hot Generation", "High On A Cloud" & "Haunted Beach Party". After, she asked do you want to join the Pandoras. I of course said YES! A couple of weeks later we recorded our single “Hot Generation”/"You Don't Satisfy” at Silvery Moon Studios with Greg Shaw and Gary Stern,” described Melanie, on the recording sessions for the single. 
“While recording the Miracle Workers showed up from Oregon and hung out. There are a few photos from this session.”


The Hot Generation single was released on Bomp! Records in late 1984. I own the pic sleeve version with silver labels. The A side is a great remake of a song by the Sunsets, a terrific surf band from Newcastle, Australia. The Sunsets' original version was composed by Lindsay Bjerre, and appeared in the Film Soundtrack "The Hot Generation" surf documentary, released in May 1967. The B side, ”You Don't Satisfy,” penned by Paula, is a killer garage tune that easily could have been the A side.


Julie Patchouli quit the Pandoras in the Spring of 1985. Her substitute on bass was Kim Shattuck, who joined the band in July of 1985. During the winter of that year, the reformed line-up recorded Stop Pretending, considered by many as their best album.


Melanie’s prime instrument in the 1980s was keyboards, but I was curious to know when she started playing guitar. “When I started in the Pandoras, my main instrument was keyboards. I also knew how to play Clarinet,” said Melanie, “Later on, in 1989, I started teaching myself how to play guitar. I would watch them play and that's how I picked it up.” 

After a withdrawn album for Elektra to be titled Come Inside, and more changes in the band’s line-up -Blankfeld was replaced by Kelly Dillard, and soon later, the new drummer was Sheri Kaplan- the Pandoras started taking a new direction in sound toward hard rock and metal. By July of 1990, Melanie departed from the Pandoras. She was the longest-duration Pandora other than Paula. 


In September of 1990, Kim Shattuck also left the band and started the Muffs together with Melanie. The original line-up for the Muffs consisted of Kim Shattuck on vocals and guitar, Melanie Vammen on rhythm guitar, Ronnie Barnett on bass, and Criss Crass on drums.



Since the only songwriter in the Pandoras was Paula, Melanie’s first ever composition was during her tenure with the Muffs, “My first song I ever wrote was “Eye To Eye”. I co-wrote it with Kim when we started the Muffs.” In 1992, Melanie took part in the amazing single by White Flag, “Don’t Give It Away”/"Out In The Streets", providing harmony vocals. 


Melanie left the Muffs in 1994. Later on, she joined the Leaving Trains appearing on the albums Smoke Follows Beauty, Emotional Legs, and Amplified Pillows
“I co-wrote songs with Falling James when I played in the Leaving Trains," said Melanie.

"After that, I had another band, Pointy Kitty with Sherry Koko Puder and Dennis CarlinI. I co-wrote all the songs.”





Currently, the Pandoras have reunited, and Melanie Vammen has joined them on Keyboards. The other Pandoras participating in this reunion are Kim Shattuck on lead vocals and guitar, Karen Blankfeld on bass, and Sheri Kaplan on drums. The first show with the new line-up configuration is due to take place on June 26 at the Casbah, in San Diego, CA. This will be the Pandoras’ first gig since 1990. 
Then, they’ll play at Burger Boogaloo on July 4, 2015, at Mosswood Park, in Oakland, CA. Next, on July 25, they will rock the Battle Of The Garages at Turf Club, Minnesota. European Tour dates announced on the Pandoras Official page.