Tracks: Puppenfrauen (Doll Women) / Lucernobyl / Coolness / L’Ignorance / Cellulitepunk / Squat Or Die
‘Re-Sisters’ were a radical anarcho-feminist, pro-lesbian, all-female crust band from Zürich, Switzerland: “A radical kick in the groin to male / heterosexist domination in the punk-scene.”. They were: Elianna Renner (vocals), Alex (guitar), Dani (bass), Katja (trumpet) & Lotti (drums). Elianne later played in bands such as ‘Ugly Aesthetics’ and ‘14 Inch General’. Nowadays they live in Zürich, Winterthur, Bremen and Berlin. Elianna is a multimedial artist (photo/video/film/performance/audio).
This demo was sent to me because they were touring and asked for help. They played in Antwerp, 98-07-23.
Skuld-Releases released their only 7” (Riots Not Diets – tracks: L’Ignorance / Puppenfrauen / Cellulitepunk / S.C.U.M. / Lesbisch / Intim / Traditionen) by the end of the century. Musically this is raw, aggressive punk with angry vocals (“which at times match those of ‘Contropotere’ in intensity and outrage”). The intelligent radical feminist lyrics are sung in German, Swiss, English, French & Hebrew. On their 7” these anarcha-feminists – who were known for “being a real pain in the ass for every macho in the punk-scene” – present “cutting edge punk with a trumpet & manic, sometimes disharmonic, screaming but it grows on you after a few listenings”. Live they had a big impact on the confused audience.
From the booklet that came with their 7” (Thanks to Fritze ‘Earth Citizens’!):
The ‘Re-Sisters’ exist since december ’95, when we had the idea to contribute to an all-female tape-compilation with two songs, in order to support a wimin’s squatting-group from Luzern (‘Donna Wetter’ [donnerwetter = thunder-weather] compilation, out on Rotzgör recs [Grrrl feminist political European compilation tape – benefit compilation for Emancypunx; bands: ‘Frau Mahlzahn’, ‘Punto G’, ‘Verwirrtas’, ‘Egizan’, ‘Re-Sisters’, ‘Kaffeeklatsch’, ‘Aktifist’, ‘Ananda’s Decadenz’, ‘In Nomine Discordia’, ‘Moneypulation’, ‘Dolores’, ‘Ramonas’ *** Jenni Ramme – in Sober Living For The Revolution: “I started Emancypunx around ‘97/’98 The first release was a licensed re-release of the all-girl compilation-tape ‘Donna Wetter’, originally released by Rotzgör recs, a small tape-label of the band ‘Re-Sisters’ from Switzerland. I heard that tape for the first time on an anti-nuclear women’s camp in Germany and was totally amazed. It was exciting to see so many new European all-girl bands play really angry punk rock with a radical feminist message. It was finally a loud voice resisting the traditional role of the subordinated, sweet, nice female.”] and sold out already – copy it from your aunt!).
Well, we were five different wimin (housewives, punkettes, abortionists, sqatters, ‘hammer-lesbians’, motorbikers, secretaries, bitches, chocoholics and byciclists) with thousand different ideas; when the ‘Frauenhausen’-group (wimin-squatters) got to know about us, they asked if we wanted to play a benefit-gig for them on the 96-04-11 in Luzern. This induced us to make some more songs; so we had five songs when we played for the first time… This first gig escalated to a mass brawl before we even had started playing…with the effect that this incisive event welded us together even more and from then on it was clear that we had to go on!
It was very important to us (and still is) to work on subjects like sexism and feminism, and even more so as this fucked up gig showed us the necessity to insist on this once more! We don’t want to make any other statements about that gig, though one thing is certain: it DID have some consequences for the swiss punk-/squatter-/political scene…
‘Evil Choppingboard’: bass, ‘Pyromania Trashnoodle’: guitar, ‘Lotta Continuadepressiva’: drums, ‘Östra Rollinpin’ (screaming and ‘schreckschraube’ [battleaxe?] – no adequate translation found): roaring; met twice a week to rant, discuss, exchange views, drink and make music, etc. Those meetings developed into a mixture of political group and band, subjects of all kind got analysed, taboos got broken and, if possible, the whole thing got made into music. After half a year we went on our first tour through Japan under the motto ‘Computer-state’… (Kill Your Idols – 2000 Dirty Riotgirls On Tour ‘96/97). After a few more gigs there was a short break, during which there was a change in the line-up: ‘Evil Choppingboard’ [replaced by ‘Pyromanikitschnudel’] and ‘Östra Rollinpin’ left us, but we found a new bassist: our oi-gang-sister ‘Plaguespot’ [‘Pestbeule’]. Meanwhile the four of us went on. Then in April ‘98 we toured Germany and Poland, where we started working with performances, a slide-show and noise-collages. (We quit using the noises after that tour ‘cause it was too much hassle.) Later in the year a market-gap from Eastern-Gemany came along. The G.D.R. market-gap so to say: the legendary ‘Catastropha’ playing the trumpet! We just packed her in the van on our way to our next tour through Siberia and Hollywood, what was very impressive indeed. Following that tour (to be honest it lead us through CH/D/NL/England/Scotland/B and back) we recorded the 7” that you’re holding in your hands now…
After that we just practised on ‘till spring ‘99 when we toured Germany for the last time and just came back in time for the eviction of the R.G.H. squat, where some of us lived and where our practice-room was located too… It was horrible and ended in a big squatting-hurry. We squatted two corner-houses (K16 & H30, Kaufmannweg & Habsbufgerstrasse) in Luzern, where some of us still live. But we’re still without a place to practice. But that’s probably the reason why we finally made it to ‘dedicate’ ourselves to the work on this (bloody) 7”!
This little ‘Re-Sister’ ‘history-lesson/biography’ was only written down for all those who love to ask us piles of boring, stupid questions for interviews… Now you just have to copy the answers from here!
However, this project shouldn’t just be about music. NO, our mission contains: convincing people of evil, dividing scenes with pleasure and destroying (hetero-) relationships and, of course make ourselves unpopular! Yet this is not enough, like obsessed by Lilith we jump through venues nakedly and smear our menstrual blood all over strangers. …Big Sister is watching you. So much to confirm general prejudices!
As mentioned before it is of great importance to us to enter closer into subjects such as sexism and feminism. Our lyrics are about sexuality, gender, dyke-ism, beauty-images, wimin in resistance, squatting and other political stuff. Above all we want to bring up wimin lesbian subjects publicly, still and over and over again, especially in the HC/punk-scene (but generally in the left). It’s quite sad to see how easily people use dogmas without even reflecting themselves, it’s easy to be “against” something, unless you have to criticize yourself.
The myth of the (male) anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-sexist anti-hero is usually crumbling as soon as you scratch the surface!
Feminism gets pushed back into the ‘glory days’ of wimin’s lib and thus the mere existence of feminism gets denied of its justification. According the motto “In these progressive times you’re allowed to make a career, reproduce yourselves at the same time and to become politicians too! You should be grateful, dear!”.
Patriarchy tried successfully to captivate the concerns of the seventies wimin’s movement and thus “took the wind out of wimin’s sails”. It is said that one should learn from mistakes… Which means this subject is far from being settled… The struggle against patriarchy goes on…
What probably makes it harder in our everyday lives is the sexist backlash everywhere…most painful though inside the left scene! There has been so much debating, fighting and writing about it already, without leaving many traces, so we’re tired of doing the same thing over and over again. Nevertheless it’s precarious how this subject gets dealt with even in the punk-scene. Even more ‘cause punk was one of the first ‘mixed’ movements in which wimin had a different status than being a (solely…) sex-object: she was as shocking as her brothers, if not more; as for her, it was attached to more and heavier consequences to break out of her social role, it’s (still) not decent for wimin to dress ‘like a whore’ or to have fights… She was a ‘buddy’ and an activist and could (to a certain range, of course) do whatever she wanted.
We don’t want to glorify wimin’s position, knowing that there was a lot of shit going on in the beginning of punk too! Still we will refer to it, ‘cause it’s part of our history and ‘cause many people are reveling in the ‘good old times’ and refer to the ‘cool old bands’… Isn’t it a pity how so many punx listen to ‘Crass’ repeatedly without getting down to their lyrics, probably without even reading them ever? Isn’t it embarassing, that Eve Libertine (for example) reached such a cult-status while nothing changed inside the scene during the last twenty years?
And here come the ‘Re-Sisters’ and don’t do anything new or “original”, but people react as if nobody had ever heard about the subjects mentioned above. Isn’t that just very embarassing?
…Therefore we have no choice but to shock people and to provocate them with our work, so they get their healthy dose of thinking! That’s why music won’t do as medium, why we work with performance and slides, which we will extend in the future…
And therefore: long live the menstrual blood on the walls!
Thanks a lot to all the assholes who again and again inspire us to continue! What would we be without you?
‘Re-Sisters’; November ’99.