Violent Femmes are an American folk punk band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The band consists of founding members Gordon Gano (guitar, lead vocals) and Brian Ritchie (bass, backing vocals), joined by multi-instrumentalist Blaise Garza (joined 2004), and drummer John Sparrow (joined 2016). Former members of the band include drummers Victor DeLorenzo (1980–1993, 2002–2013), Guy Hoffman (1993–2002), and Brian Viglione (2013–2016).
Violent Femmes have released ten studio albums and 15 singles during the course of their career. The band found immediate success with the release of their self-titled debut album in early 1983. Featuring many of their well-known songs, including "Blister in the Sun", "Kiss Off", "Add It Up" and "Gone Daddy Gone", Violent Femmes became the band's biggest-selling album and was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA. Violent Femmes went on to become one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the 1980s, selling more than 9 million albums by 2005. After the release of their third album The Blind Leading the Naked (1986), the band's future was uncertain and they split up in 1987, when Gano and Ritchie went solo. However, they regrouped a year later, releasing the album 3 (1989). Their fifth album Why Do Birds Sing? (1991) contains the fan favorite and concert staple "American Music". In 1993, founding drummer Victor DeLorenzo left the band, and the band released the compilation album Add It Up (1981–1993), while their 1994 album New Times introduce new drummer Guy Hoffman to the lineup. A number of albums were released with this lineup throughout the 1990s, then DeLorenzo rejoined the band in 2002 for what was to be a farewell tour. The band stopped releasing new albums, though a number of compilation albums were released in the early 2000s, along with a few one-off songs. Some controversy over the licensing of the band's songs for commercial use led to an official break-up in 2009, though the band re-formed in 2013, and have since released two more studio albums of new material: We Can Do Anything (2016) and Hotel Last Resort (2019).