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Butthole Surfers Biography


Home > Music > B > Butthole Surfers > Biography


Birth Place: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Years Active: 1981 – present
Genres: Noise Rock Avant-garde, Hardcore Punk, Psychedelic Rock


Butthole Surfers is an American alternative rock band formed by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1981. The band has had numerous personnel changes, but its core lineup of Haynes, Leary, and drummer King Coffey has been consistent since 1983. Teresa Nervosa has served as second drummer at various points in the band’s history. The band has also employed a variety of bass players, most notably Bill Jolly and Jeff Pinkus. Rooted in the 1980s hardcore punk scene, Butthole Surfers quickly became known for their chaotic and disturbing live shows, black comedy, a sound that incorporates elements of psychedelia, noise, punk rock and, later, electronica, as well as their use of sound manipulation and tape editing. The Buttholes have a well-reported appetite for recreational drugs, an evident influence on their sound.

Their debut album, “Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac,” was issued in 1984 by Touch and Go Records and Fundamental Records. This was followed in 1986 by “Rembrandt Pussyhorse.” The album was originally released on Touch and Go, and was reissued on Latino Buggerveil in 1999. It featured a cover of the Guess Who’s “American Woman.” Touch and Go issued their third album, “Locust Abortion Technician,” in 1987. “Locust Abortion Technician” is one of the heaviest Butthole Surfers albums, and it is often considered their finest to date.

“Hairway to Steven,” was released in 1988. This was drummer Teresa Nervosa's final studio recording with the Surfers. In 1991 they released “piouhgd,” on Rough Trade Records. The album was reissued on Capitol Records in 1992. The album was spelled as “piouhgd” (pronounced “pee-owed” a euphemization of “pissed off") on the original Rough Trade release. On the 1992 Capitol Records reissue, the album title was printed on the spine as “pioughd.” However, the original “piouhgd” spelling was still used on the back cover art of the Capitol release. The album has been referred to under both titles, as well as various misspellings.

Capitol released their sixth studio album, “Independent Worm Saloon,” in 1993. “Electriclarryland” followed in 1996. The album brought the Butthole Surfers their first Top 40 hit with “Pepper,” and was certified gold by the RIAA.

“Weird Revolution,” their eighth studio album, was released in 2001 on Surfdog Records and Hollywood Records. It was their most electronic album to date, and the single “The Shame of Life” peaked at #24 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Since then, the group has released two compilations on Latino Buggerveil, 2002's “Humpty Dumpty LSD” and 2003's “Butthole Surfers/Live PCPPEP.”