Since forming in San Francisco in 1982, feminist punk pioneers FRIGHTWIG have been wielding joy and smashing the patriarchy. With life-changing live shows that spread revelry and revolution, Frightwig became a formative influence on the Riot Grrrl movement and paved the way for the likes of Hole, L7, and Lunachicks, among others.

The band’s cult-favorite albums Cat Farm Faboo (Subterranean Records 1984) and Faster, Frightwig, Kill! Kill! (Caroline Records 1986), plus the EPs Phone Sexy (Boner Records 1988) captured the hearts of fellow freaks and outcasts. Songs like “My Crotch Does Not Say Go,” “A Man’s Gotta Do What a Man’s Gotta Do,” and “Crazy World” upended the masculine hardcore scene by infusing it with the vicious wit of women on a tear. Tours with Flipper, Butthole Surfers, and Redd Kross saw Frightwig screaming and shredding their way through glass ceilings and unapologetically leaving behind a pile of shards.

Co-founders Deanna Mitchell (bass, vocals) and Mia d’Bruzzi (guitar, vocals) discovered a soul sister in Cecilia Kuhn (drums, vocals). The trio obliterated the stages at The Farm, Mabuhay Gardens, and the Fillmore with a level of intensity that flabbergasted audiences, critics, and fellow artists.

Over the years, the lineup featured different casts of characters — including the most recent permanent addition, Eric Drew Feldman (Captain Beefheart, Snakefinger, Frank Black, Pere Ubu, PJ Harvey, Knife & Fork), in 2012 — but the core tenets of the band never wavered. More than just a punk rock coven, Frightwig is a vehicle for art as activism and have certainly contributed to the American counterculture rooted in their hometown.

After Kuhn transcended this world in 2017, her bandmates made the decision to honor their sister’s wishes that Frightwig forge ahead. Mitchell, d’Bruzzi, Feldman, and veteran Frightwig guitarist Rebecca Sevrin returned with We Need to Talk… in 2023, a collection of 11 songs (four of which were previously released) recorded with Kuhn on drums, vocals, and accordion. We Need to Talk… was cited by KQED in their list of Best Bay Area Music 2023, and lists Frightwig as one of the 10 Bay Area Punk Bands to Know (1/17/2024). The band added new drummer Tina Fagnani to complete the lineup and continue a legacy 40 years in the making. They will be coming to share the joy with you live on tour in 2024-2025.