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L7 Biography

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Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA
Years Active: 1985-2001
Genres: Grunge, Punk Rock, Alternative Metal

L7 was an American rock band from Los Angeles, which was active from 1985 to 2000. Due to their sound and image, they are often associated with the grunge movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s. L7 was formed by Rene' Lucas on bass guitar, Donita Sparks and Suzi Gardner on shared electric guitar and shared vocals in 1985. The punk rock duo were soon joined by Jennifer Finch on bass guitar, replacing Rene' Lucas who left the band to raise a family, and Roy Koutsky on drums. Koutsky left shortly after and Demetra Plakas became their permanent drummer. The band's name derives from a 1950s slang phrase meaning “square.”

Their debut, self-titled album was released on Epitaph Records in 1988. The band then released their second LP, “Smell the Magic,” in 1990 on Seattle-based Sub Pop Records.

In 1991, the band formed Rock for Choice, a Pro-Choice women's rights group which was supported by other prominent bands of that era, including Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and Rage Against the Machine. Rock for Choice is still organizing concerts today.

Their third album, 1992’s “Bricks Are Heavy,” produced by Butch Vig, was issued on Slash Records. It featured the single “Pretend We're Dead,” which became a breakthrough hit and the band became the poster girls of grunge music. The album reached #1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart, and two weeks later it peaked at #160 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

L7's fourth album, “Hungry for Stink,” was released in July 1994 and became their second consecutive #1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. The title was taken from a personal ad that was seen by one of the band members shortly before the album was released. Finch left the band during the recording of their next album, so Sparks and Greta Brinkman played bass on their fifth album, 1997’s “The Beauty Process: Triple Platinum,” after which Gail Greenwood, (formerly of the band Belly) became the bassist.

The band's album, “Slap-Happy,” was released in 1999 and did not chart on either side of the Atlantic. Greenwood later left the band and was replaced by Janis Tanaka, formerly of the San Francisco band, Stone Fox. Tanaka would later go on to play bass for the singer Pink, while Greenwood would later play with the singer Bif Naked.

By 2001 the band was no longer touring and they soon announced an indefinite hiatus. L7 appears to be defunct for all practical purposes, as Sparks is currently pursuing her own solo career, along with Plakas, and two other guitarists in the band Donita Sparks and The Stellar Moments. Finch is working in a punk rock group, The Shocker.