Violent Femmes is an American post-punk band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, initially active from 1980 to 1987 and again from 1988 to 2009. As of 2013, the band is active again. The band has performed as a trio, including singer, guitarist and songwriter Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and four drummers: Victor DeLorenzo (1980–1993, 2002–2009 and 2013), Guy Hoffman (1993–2002), Brian Viglione (2013–2016), and John Sparrow (2016-present).
Violent Femmes have released nine studio albums and fifteen singles during the course of their career. The band found immediate success with the release of their self-titled debut album in early 1983. Featuring many of their well-known songs, including “Blister in the Sun”, “Kiss Off”, “Add It Up” and “Gone Daddy Gone”, Violent Femmes became the band’s biggest-selling album and was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA. Violent Femmes went on to become one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the 1980s, selling over 9 million albums by 2005. After the release of their third album The Blind Leading the Naked (1986), the band’s future was uncertain and they split up in 1987, when Gano and Ritchie went solo. However, they regrouped a year later, releasing the album 3 (1989). Since then, Violent Femmes’ popularity continued to grow, especially in the United States where the songs “Nightmares” and “American Music” cracked the top five on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.