Live Preview: L7

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The Cali rockers are back for Download and some headline gigs. Guitarist/frontperson Donita Sparks checks in.

**Lumped in with grunge, you must feel that L7 were a misunderstood band? **

Oh, probably. It used to frustrate me when posters would say: ‘All-girl band’ or ‘Riot grrrl’. We cheered loudly when we went to Italy – it said: ‘Rock from the USA’.

The band never officially broke up in 2001, but went on hiatus instead.

That was because I said that we’d never reunite. I wanted to leave the door open.

How did the reunion come about?

Mainly through fan pressure. There wasn’t much demand in the States, so we said: fuck it, we’ll do Europe first. And here we are.

Is the plan to be a functioning band again, with all that entails?

For now, we’re into enjoying ourselves and reconnecting with our fans. There are no plans to make a record, but there is a documentary on the way.

Tell us about that.

It’ll be based around our own home videos and interviews with other musicians. We’ll probably call it Pretend We’re Dead [after the 1990 hit single], because it feels like we’ve been a bit forgotten. But it feels good to be strapping on the Flying V [guitar] again.

The infamous tampon-throwing incident at the Reading Festival in ’92 is the one thing that every rock fan knows about L7. Are you amused we’re still talking about it?

At the time, it bummed me out, because I didn’t want my mother to find out about it. Now it’s almost become a piece of performance art.

Could it happen again at Download?

I don’t want to answer… I’m hoping not. DL

Classic Rock 211: News & Regulars