Kat Bjelland

Kat Bjelland
Kat Bjelland.jpg
Bjelland performing with Babes in Toyland, 2015
Background information
Birth nameKatherine Lynne Bjelland
Born(1963-12-09) December 9, 1963 (age 53)
Salem, Oregon, U.S.
GenresAlternative rock, punk rock
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, piano
Years active1982-present
LabelsDoomedelic, Treehouse, Twin Tone, Southern, Reprise, Sympathy for the Record Industry, Integrity, Rish
Associated actsThe Venarays, Sugar Babydoll, Pagan Babies, Italian Whorenuns, Babes in Toyland, Hole, Melvins, Lubricated Goat, Crunt, Katastrophy Wife
Notable instruments
Rickenbacker 425


Katherine Lynne Bjelland (given birth to Dec 9, 1963) can be an American singer, songwriter, musician and guitarist. Bjelland increased to prominence as the business lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter from the grunge music group Babes in Toyland, which produced in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1987. Bjelland acquired also been involved with musical tasks prior, including a music group known as The Venarays, aswell as the Pagan Infants, which she produced with Courtney Like in 1985. Babes in Toyland officially disbanded in 2001 after releasing 3 studio room albums, and Bjelland done several tasks before forming Katastrophy Wife, releasing two studio room albums. In 2015, Bjelland reunited with Babes in Toyland and started performing concert events.

Early life

Bjelland was created in Salem, Oregon and was raised in nearby Woodburn. Her mom was Lynne Irene Higginbotham; her dad was Lyle Bjelland. Bjelland's parents divorced when she was youthful, and she described her stepmother in old age as "abusive" and having an excellent influence on her existence. In the documentary, PRETTY GOOD for a woman (1995), Bjelland exposed this:You know, I must say i hate to speak about it because she's great now, however in my child years she was extremely abusive... like I stated, though, it most likely do help my creativeness a lot. I had been usually grounded. I hate to speak about it because Personally i think like she doesn't believe that she achieved it, but she was [abusive] and it affected my life a significant great deal.Bjelland also claimed to have already been beaten by her step-mother, and said she was told to "shut up" a whole lot and wasn't permitted to speak, which led to her outspoken character as she grew into adulthood.She attended Woodburn SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, where she was a favorite student and cheerleader. As an adolescent, Bjelland became thinking about music. Her uncle, David Higginbotham, trained her to try out guitar. Her 1st overall performance was at a little pub in Woodburn known as Airline flight 99 (right now defunct), using the band known as The Neurotics.

Music career

1982–86: Early projects

Soon after graduating from senior high school in 1982, Bjelland moved to Portland, with age 19, bought her first guitar, a Rickenbacker 425, from an area pawn look for $200, which she played through the entire 1990s and in to the 2000s.In Portland, she formed some bands, 1st The Neurotics and an all-female band called The Venarays, which Bjelland has referred to as "rock having a '60s edge." The Neurotics had been made up of Bjelland (tempo acoustic guitar); her uncle David Higginbotham (lead acoustic guitar); Marty Wyman (vocals); Brian McMillan (drums); and Laura Robertson (bass).FOLLOWING THE Neurotics I acquired this band as well as my close friends, so that it was an all-girl band. We had been known as The Venarays. The name originated from the term venary this means positively hunting out sex! We started as a means of experiencing fun with one another.The truth is, the Venarays had not been an all-girl band as drummer Dave Hummel, and later on, Jack port Rhodes, were men. The name 'Venarays' was extracted from a tv character known as Vena Ray within an early 1950s system known as Rocky Jones Space Ranger. Following the music group was called, some members from the music group discovered the term 'venary' in the dictionary and became puzzled regarding the foundation. After giving up The Venarays, Bjelland fulfilled Courtney Like in Portland, and both started a music group with bassist Jennifer Finch, known as Sugar Babydoll. Like went on to create the music group Opening, while Finch will be section of L7. Around 1985, in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Bjelland and Like formed a fresh music group called Pagan Infants with Deidre Schletter on drums and Janis Tanaka (later on in Rock Fox and L7). When Like remaining, this lineup performed beneath the name Italian Whore Nuns.

1987–2001: Babes in Toyland

In the mid-1980s, Bjelland relocated from Portland to Minneapolis, where she formed Babes in Toyland. Kat fulfilled Lori Barbero at a barbecue shortly after shifting to Minneapolis in the middle-1980s, and confident her to become drummer – a thing that Lori became talented in. The pair became a member of with bassist Michelle Leon, and Babes in Toyland was created.Babes in Toyland's debut solitary, "Dust Cake Son" b/w "Spit to Start to see the Glow" was good- received. After touring European countries with Sonic Youngsters, the band documented their debut recording Spanking Machine, which also was well- received, and was set alongside the music from the PARTY and NY Dolls.Babes in Toyland were commercially successful in the first 1990s. Bands such as for example Bikini Destroy, Bratmobile, and Sleater-Kinney possess acknowledged the group as a primary influence, while much less political rings like Jack port Off Jill, 7 Yr Bitch, and Fluffy likewise have acknowledged Bjelland and Babes in Toyland as an motivation. The band continues to be misidentified within the riot grrrl motion, despite the fact that Bjelland has refused having anything regarding the motion, which emphasized feminine domination. As she stated inside a 1992 interview:I don't experience helpless or anything. I don't feel just like I must end up like, "I'm a lady and I could do this easily want to", trigger, of course I could. I know that, and I by no means felt being woman harm anything. If anything, it helped.The band garnered more commercial success in alternative rock after touring European countries with Sonic Youth in 1991, a tour that was recorded in the film 1991: THE ENTIRE YEAR Punk Broke. Third ,, Babes in Toyland peaked in industrial success if they performed on some from the Lollapalooza tour in 1993, and released their second recording, Fontanelle. Babes in Toyland had been featured within the addresses of Entertainment Regular and USA Today.In 1993, Bjelland moved to Seattle and began a side project called Crunt with fresh husband Stuart Grey (aka Stu Spasm), previously of Lubricated Goat. Bjelland performed bass and Grey acoustic guitar, while Russell Simins of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion was the drummer. In Feb 1994, the music group released a self-titled debut, along using its 1st single, "Swine". During this time period, Bjelland also co-wrote the monitor "I BELIEVE That I'D Die" on Hole's discovery album SURVIVE This (1994) with Courtney Like and guitarist Eric Erlandson.In January 1995, Bjelland and Gray divorced and Crunt disbanded; Bjelland flipped her focus back again to Babes in Toyland, as well as the group released their third and last full-length recording, Nemesisters in 1995. Following this, she relocated to Brooklyn, NY. and contributed towards the 1997 recording Songs from the Witchblade: A Soundtrack towards the Comic Publication, for the very best Cow's comics from the same name. She made up, played and created most of tunes, with many rock and roll and metal performers like Megadeth or Peter Steele (Type O Bad). Babes in Toyland managed a loyal pursuing throughout the remaining 10 years, and in November 2001, performed their last live display within their hometown of Minneapolis. Their music contains three studio room albums, two EPs, nine compilation albums, and seven singles.

2002–2014: Katastrophy Wife

With Babes in Toyland taking part in only sporadically in the past due 1990s, Bjelland started the band Katastrophy Wife in 2000. The music group toured at locations, such as for example Ladyfest, world-wide. Katastrophy Wife possess released two albums, Amusia and everything Kneel, and a solitary Heart On around the Australian record label Rish in Apr 2007. The solitary was intended like a trailer for any forthcoming recording, Pregnant. Katstrophy Wife's vinyl fabric debut was on an unbiased label compilation known as "The Tundra Classes." Her track on the recording was "Sweetheart" and may be the 1st version of the song rather than exactly like the recording version. There is an outtake entitled "No Thing" and both tunes were documented by Tim Mac pc. although by 2011 the recording is not released. Bjelland also offers co- produced on soundtracks. Around the Katastrophy Wife site, Bjelland mentioned that "Katastrophy Wife experienced several incarnations but from right here on I'll just re-incarnate my personal." She created the recording The Seven 12 months Itch for the music group Angelica, released in 2002.

2015–present: Babes in Toyland reunion

In 2014, Bjelland reunited with former bandmates Maureen Herman and Lori Barbero and began rehearsing materials. In Feb 2015, the music group played their initial live show jointly in fourteen years in Joshua Tree, California, and performed even more shows on a global tour in 2015.


Bjelland has credited Cocteau Twins, The Magic Workers, as well as the Wipers as early affects on her behalf. She also offers acknowledged Leonard Cohen and Frightwig as vital that you her.She also offers credited Girlschool and Motörhead as influential, and in addition stated she listens to Hurry and 70s metal music group.

Personal life

Bjelland was married and divorced twice and had a child, Henry (given birth to 1999), with her second spouse. In 2007 Bjelland experienced a schizophrenic show and experienced received treatment. Bjelland commented on the function, stating: “I don’t understand how I’ve advanced musically therefore but a significant influence in my own writing was coping with my entire schizophrenia show. I in fact haven’t spoken to anyone very much about this. Coping with multiple personalities was incredibly hard because some times I didn't understand who I had been or where I had been at. I had been extremely lucky that Adrian stuck by and helped me through everything. So certainly that would affect a few of what I published about." She was later on told she's a schizoaffective disorder.In her 2010 bout of Behind the Music, Courtney Like reflected on her behalf formative years in rock and roll music in Portland, Oregon, and said, "A very important thing that ever happened certainly to me, in ways, was Kat", noting their friendship and musical collaboration. Due to Kat's closeness with Kurt Cobain, Bjelland visited Seattle soon after Kurt Cobain's loss of life in 1994. Bjelland also participated in the Behind the Music section on Love this year 2010.



Babes in Toyland Spanking Machine (1990) To Mom (1991) The Peel off Periods (1992) Fontanelle (1992) Painkillers (1993) Dystopia (1994) Nemesisters (1995) Lived (2000) Devil (2000) Viled (2000) Normal Babe Killers (2000) Minneapolism (2001) THE VERY BEST of Babes in Toyland and Kat Bjelland (2004/2005) Crunt Crunt (1994) Katastrophy Wife Amusia (2001) All Kneel (2004)