Shoplifting was born in flames the fall of 2002, a collective of shedding skin and focused energy, committed to a bold reorganization of their assumptions, ethics, and everyday lives.
Hannah Blilie (drums, vocals) and Devin Welch (guitars, keyboards) have been playing together since they were twelve, collaborating in bands such as the Vogue and Soiled Doves. After those bands ended they helped, with Michelle Nolan and Adam Miller, give shape to Chromatics. This lineup released one record before parting ways, with Hannah, Devin, and Michelle forming Shoplifting with kindred spirit Chris Pugmire (vocals, guitar).
Shoplifting exploded onto the Seattle landscape in early 2003, quickly impacting a music community that (with a few exceptions) had grown stale and apolitical in the wake of the city’s gentrification, and the decreased visibility of Riot Grrrl and other similarly radical movements.
In that year Shoplifting displayed a thirst for play and experimentation, playing shows in every imaginable sort of space (from elevator shafts to basements to the lawn of the state capitol), blindfolding audiences or giving them instruments, microphones and space to share, improvising performances, and collaborating in different mediums with a diverse array of artists and friends. They also toured with Erase Errata and the King Cobra, self-released a cassette, actively organized against sexual violence in their community, and helped launch the Seattle chapter of Bands Against Bush, a national struggle of artists against the domestic and international terrorism and imperialism of the U.S. government.
In early 2004, Shoplifting recorded with Justin Trosper (Unwound) in Olympia and that summer released a 7” and an eponymous EP with Kill Rock Stars. They played shows with friends such as the Ex, Mecca Normal, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metalux, and Liars, and toured the U.S., culminating in an unforgettable protest show in Brooklyn the eve of the Republican National Convention. After the tour, Michelle left the band and relocated to the East Coast.
Chris, Hannah, and Devin spent nine months regrouping and in the summer of 2005 emerged with a new member, bassist Melissa Lock, a friend hailing from Melbourne, Australia. The new lineup quickly bonded and toured the West Coast with Spider and the Webs (Tobi Vail of Bikini Kill’s new band). They then began recording their debut album, Body Stories, with renowned producer Steve Fisk (Unwound, Beat Happening, Nirvana).
The result is astonishing. Body Stories is a supernova of rhythm, melody, and noise, combining radical gender, feminist, anarchist and queer politics with a deeply personal vision of individual and collective healing and resistance.
2006 finds Shoplifting poised for further action and exchange. Following the release of Body Stories on Kill Rock Stars, the band will tour North America and Europe (and anywhere else that will have them), continuing to help create space for radical change and community building, and continuing to grow personally, collectively, and musically.