Vixen (band)

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Vixen is an American rock band formed in Minnesota in 1980. They achieved commercial success during the late 1980s and early 1990s as part of the Los Angeles, California glam metal scene. They were sometimes described as "the female Bon Jovi." [1]

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Minnesota U.S. state in the United States

Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has many lakes, and is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles is often called by its initials L.A.. It is the most populous city in California; the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City; and the third most populous city in North America, after Mexico City and New York City. With an estimated population of nearly four million people, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean-like climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.

Contents

Vixen
Vixen Stuttgart 2018 037.jpg
Vixen in 2018
Background information
Also known asDiaper Rash (1984)
VXN (2012)
JSRG (2012–2013)
Origin St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Genres Glam metal, hard rock, pop rock
Years active1980–1992, 1997–1998, 2001–present
Labels EMI, Manhattan, CMC International, Eagle, Demolition
Associated actsLemon Pepper, Genesis, Madam X, Poison Dollys, Phantom Blue, Contraband, Bubble, Rocktopuss, Envy, Femme Fatale, Richard Marx
Website vixenofficial.com
Members Roxy Petrucci
Share Ross
Britt Lightning
Lorraine Lewis
Past members Jan Kuehnemund
Janet Gardner
Gina Stile
Jenna Sanz-Agero
Pia Maiocco
Lead guitarist Britt Lightning and lead vocalist Janet Gardner in Stuttgart, 2018 Vixen Stuttgart 2018 111.jpg
Lead guitarist Britt Lightning and lead vocalist Janet Gardner in Stuttgart, 2018
The band in 2014 Vixen 2014.jpg
The band in 2014

History

Early years

Vixen was formed in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1980 by guitarist Jan Kuehnemund after playing in the band Lemon Pepper in high school later changing the name to Genesis, which broke up in 1974. Nancy Shanks was her bandmate during that time. Six years later she formed a new all-female rock band named Vixen with a new lineup.

Saint Paul, Minnesota Capital of Minnesota

Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2018, the city's estimated population was 307,695. Saint Paul is the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Known as the "Twin Cities", the two form the core of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.6 million residents.

Jan Kuehnemund Vixen founder and guitarist

Janice Lynn "Jan" Kuehnemund was an American lead guitarist who founded the all-female hard rock/glam metal band Vixen.

Nancy Shanks was an American singer.

Alex Henderson, writing for AllMusic, said they started in 1981 in Los Angeles, [2] California. In 1984, an early version of the band with Kuehnemund, singer Janet Gardner, bassist Pia Maiocco, and rhythm guitarist/singer-songwriter Tammy Ivanov appeared in the movie Hardbodies , as the on-screen band Diaper Rash. They were a quintet at that time, playing in a pop rock style. In 1985, the band moved to the inner areas of Los Angeles to join the city's rock scene.

AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web. As of 2015, AllMusic is owned by RhythmOne.

Janet Gardner American musician

Janet Patricia Gardner is an American rock singer. She is best known as the former lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the all-female glam metal band Vixen joining in 1983. She was the band's longest serving vocalist having performed on three of the band's four studio albums. When Vixen broke up in 1992 she quit singing to pursue personal endeavors. She briefly unofficially reformed Vixen in 1997 with drummer Roxy Petrucci. She returned to Vixen in 2001, later studying to become a dental hygienist. In 2004 she took part in a Vixen reunion for a one-night-only gig as part of VH1's Bands Reunited TV show. She returned to Vixen full-time in 2012.

Pia Maiocco is an American bass guitarist and backing vocalist best known as a former member of the all-female hard rock band Vixen.

Commercial success

Lineup changes happened during the following years until the "classic lineup" of Kuehnemund, Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, and Share Pedersen was formed. This lineup of Vixen was interviewed in 1987 along with many other rock artists of the day by Penelope Spheeris for her film The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years . All members except Kuehnemund appeared in the film.

Roxy Petrucci drummer

Roxanne Dora Petrucci is the drummer for Madam X and Vixen.

Share Ross American musician

Sharon June "Share" Ross is the bass player of the female hard rock band, Vixen.

Penelope Spheeris filmmaker

Penelope Spheeris is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. She has directed both documentary film and scripted films. Her best known works include the trilogy titled The Decline of Western Civilization, each covering an aspect of Los Angeles underground culture, and Wayne's World, her highest-grossing film.

In 1988 the band was signed to EMI Manhattan, and they began recording their self-titled debut album Vixen , which was released in September 1988. Singer-songwriter Richard Marx co-wrote with Fee Waybill and arranged their signature hit, "Edge of a Broken Heart" and produced the song. Rumor was he was asked to assist the all-female band by EMI to produce their first major hit. Marx had nothing to do with their follow-up CD, since he was becoming more of a mainline singer than songwriter. Vixen spent the next year touring the world, supporting acts such as Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, and Bon Jovi, as well as headlining their own shows. The band returned to the studio in late 1989/early 1990 to record their follow-up album, Rev It Up , which was released in July 1990. A year of touring followed, including headlining their own shows and supporting acts such as KISS and Deep Purple. After the tour concluded in mid-1991, the group disbanded in 1992 due to musical differences.

Manhattan Records is an American record label, owned by Universal Music Group and operates as a branch of Capitol Music Group.

<i>Vixen</i> (Vixen album) 1988 studio album by Vixen

Vixen is the self-titled debut by the American all-female hard rock/glam metal band Vixen. It was released in 1988 in the United States and Europe, and featured the hit singles "Edge of a Broken Heart" and "Cryin'".

Singer-songwriter musician who writes, composes and sings

Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose, and perform their own musical material, including lyrics and melodies.

First reunion

In 1997, drummer Roxy Petrucci reformed Vixen, with Janet Gardner and recruited Gina Stile on lead guitar and Rana Ross on bass guitar. This lineup toured the United States in 1997, and in 1998 Gardner, Stile, and Petrucci recorded the album Tangerine , which eventually became Stile's only album and Gardner's last during their respective tenures in the band. After the release of the new album, Roxy's sister Maxine Petrucci was brought in to play bass on a US tour during 1998, but they were sued successfully for trademark infringement by Kuehnemund.

Gina Stile

Gina Stile is an American guitarist. She was lead guitar player of the reformed female hard rock band, Vixen, from 1997 to 1998 and 2013 until her departure from the band in March 2017.

<i>Tangerine</i> (Vixen album) 1998 studio album by Vixen

Tangerine is the third album by the American rock band Vixen. It was recorded without contributions from Jan Kuehnemund and Share Ross, then going by the name Share Pedersen. The line-up for this album consisted of Janet Gardner, Gina Stile, and Roxy Petrucci. Tangerine has a different sound from the music of the previous albums of the band, more similar to post-grunge than glam metal. This is the only album to have Stile as Vixen guitarist and the final studio release to feature Gardner as vocalist-guitarist during their tenures in the band; they were forced to part ways following the Tangerine tour for legal reasons. They later rejoined Vixen in 2013, along with Ross and Petrucci, after playing as the former JanetShareRoxyGina (JSRG) line-up. Stile and Gardner left the band for good in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

Trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights attached to a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any licensees. Infringement may occur when one party, the "infringer", uses a trademark which is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark owned by another party, in relation to products or services which are identical or similar to the products or services which the registration covers. An owner of a trademark may commence civil legal proceedings against a party which infringes its registered trademark. In the United States, the Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984 criminalized the intentional trade in counterfeit goods and services.

In 1999, Share Ross joined her husband's band, the Dogs D'Amour, who reformed after a long hiatus. She appeared on their 2000 albums Happy Ever After and Seconds , playing bass, keyboards, and backing vocals, later leaving that band. Share and her husband, Bam, also had their own band, Bubble, which was very popular in L.A.

Second reunion

In 2001, Vixen was reformed by Kuehnemund with a lineup consisting of herself, Janet Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, and new bassist Pat Holloway. This lineup toured the US as part of the Voices of Metal tour. Unfortunately, halfway through the tour, disagreements with management caused the band to split-up, with only Kuehnemund remaining. [3] [4] Kuehnemund quickly recruited Jenna Sanz-Agero (Jenna Piccolo), Lynn Louise Lowrey, and Kathrin "Kat" Kraft to complete the tour. They released two new albums in 2006, a live album, recorded at a live show in Sweden, called Extended Versions, and a studio album, Live & Learn .

Recent events

In 2004, VH1 approached the four members of the "classic lineup" to appear on their show, Bands Reunited . The show was recorded in August 2004, and broadcast in the US in November 2004. Following the broadcast of the VH1 show, EMI re-released the first two Vixen albums, Vixen and Rev It Up.

Vixen also won the sixth annual Independent Music Awards Vox Pop vote for Best Hard Rock/Metal Song for "I Try".

Sanz-Agero confirmed in a 2011 interview that a second album featuring the 2001 lineup was in the works and that a track called "I Understand" existed along with other new recordings and outtakes from the Live & Learn sessions. [5] There has yet to be a proper release for these recordings due to every member from that lineup either retiring from music or pursuing non-musical careers.

At the end of 2012, Jan Kuehnemund was planning to reunite the classic Vixen lineup with Janet Gardner, Share Ross, and Roxy Petrucci, who had since reunited in JSRG with guitarist Gina Stile. However, in January 2013, just days before they were about to make the official announcement of their reunion, Kuehnemund was diagnosed with cancer. The cancer diagnosis forced them to delay the announcement indefinitely, until possibly when Kuehnemund was fully recovered and cancer-free. Unfortunately, the plans of a full-fledged reunion became impossible as on October 10, 2013, after nine months battling cancer, Jan Kuehnemund died at the age of 59.

In December 2013, the three surviving classic lineup members of the band decided to carry on under the Vixen name in honor of late guitarist Jan Kuehnemund. [6]

They played several gigs in 2014 in the US, Spain, and Canada. In October 2014, drummer Roxy Petrucci told in an interview that Vixen was working on a new album, featuring one song dedicated to Jan Kuehnemund. [7]

In March 2017, Vixen parted ways with lead guitarist Gina Stile and chose Britt Lightning (b. Brittany Denaro) to succeed Stile. Lightning previously played in Jaded, another all-female band that is defunct. [8] Initially, in a June 2018 interview, Petrucci said that the band's new album will come out in 2019. [9] During 2018, Gardner's final contribution as lead singer was when Vixen went to a studio for the first time in more than 10 years and recorded two tracks for the Live Fire album, "You Ought to Know by Now" and an acoustic version of "Edge of a Broken Heart". The former is their own cover of Ray Kennedy's "You Oughta Know by Now", originally on his 1980 self-titled album.

On January 16, 2019, Gardner confirmed in a Facebook post that she definitely left Vixen [10] to devote more time to family and prioritize her solo career. The band later released a statement on their official Facebook page stating they plan to continue without Gardner and that a new studio album has been in the works for what would have been a 2019 release. [11] On January 22, they announced that Lorraine Lewis of Femme Fatale, also an all-female band from its refoundation in 2013 to its folding in late March, became their new singer, starting with a performance on February 9 in Clearwater, Florida. [12] Lewis later explained in May that the band's upcoming album will have a tentative 2020 release year. [13] If this album is released, it will become Vixen's first album of new studio material in more than a decade and it will be Lightning's and Lewis's first as the band's guitarist and vocalist respectively.

Band members

Timeline

Vixen (band)

Discography

Studio albums

Live albums

Compilation albums

Singles

TitleReleasePeak chart positionsAlbum
US US
Main
UK
[14]
"Edge of a Broken Heart"1988262451 Vixen
"Cryin'"1989222227
"Love Made Me"36
"Edge of a Broken Heart"59
"How Much Love"1990441135 Rev It Up
"Love Is a Killer"7141
"Not a Minute Too Soon"199137
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart.

Soundtrack appearances

Videography

Films

Videos

Related Research Articles

An all-female band is a musical group in popular music that is exclusively composed of female musicians. This is distinct from a girl group, in which the female members are solely vocalists, though this terminology is not universally followed. While all-male bands are common in many rock and pop scenes, all-female bands are less common.

Metal Church American heavy metal band

Metal Church is an American heavy metal band. They originally formed in San Francisco, California in 1980 before relocating to Aberdeen, Washington the following year and briefly using the name Shrapnel. Their self titled debut album was released in 1984, and their latest, Damned If You Do, was released on December 7, 2018.

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Jenna Sanz-Agero American singer

Jenna Sanz-Agero is the former lead singer of the female rock group Vixen, and a former president of Media 8. She lives and works in Los Angeles, California and serves as Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Operations for The H Collective, a motion picture company.

Viking Skull are an English hard rock band originally from Corby, Northamptonshire. Formed in 2002, the band currently features vocalist and guitarist Roddy Stone, guitarists Frank Regan and Dom Wallace, bassist Kevin "Waldie" James and drummer Jess Margera. Founded by Stone, Regan and Waldie with guitarist Darren Smith and drummer Gordon Morrison, the group were initially intended as a semi-comedic support band for Raging Speedhorn, which featured some of Viking Skull's members.

Femme Fatale was an American hard rock band. Originally from Albuquerque, the band moved to Los Angeles and released one studio album before disbanding. Lead vocalist, Lorraine Lewis, restarted the band in 2013 with an all-female line-up which lasted until 2019.

<i>Live & Learn</i> (Vixen album) 2006 studio album by Vixen

Live & Learn is the fourth studio album by the American hard rock band Vixen, released in November 2006 in Europe and January 2007 in the US. The band's line-up performing on this album was formed in 2001 with the only original member guitarist Jan Kuehnemund. This is the last studio album featuring Kuehnemund, who died in 2013, and the only studio album for this line-up as returning members Janet Gardner, Roxy Petrucci, Share Ross and Gina Stile took on the Vixen name after the remaining members negotiated the best step to take after Kuehnemund's death, which was to allow the surviving classic members to reunite.

<i>Rev It Up</i> 1990 studio album by Vixen

Rev It Up is the second album by the American hard rock band Vixen, released by EMI in 1990. It entered the UK Albums Chart at No. 20, and placed two songs inside the Billboard Hot 100. However, it did not match up to its predecessor in the US and EMI dropped the band shortly thereafter. Therefore, this album is the band's last release from a major label. The race car on the US cover belonged to local racing legend and all around hero Bobby Baldwin. The European and Japanese covers show a picture of the band, which is on the back cover for the US release.

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Britt Lightning

Brittany Denaro, better known as Britt Lightning, is the lead guitarist for the band Vixen.

References

  1. "Jan Kuehnemund, founder of pioneering all-female metal band Vixen, passes away". The Current. Minnesota Public Radio. October 11, 2013.
  2. Henderson, Alex. "Vixen". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
  3. "VIXEN Guitarist Addresses Rumors Behind Band's Split". Blabbermouth.net. March 4, 2007.
  4. Kuehnemund, Jan (October 13, 2013). "A CMS Tribute To Jan Kuehnemund (made with Spreaker)". The Classic Metal Show (Podcast). YouTube. The question is asked at 19:52.
  5. Sanz-Agero, Jenna (July 23, 2011). "Vixen – Exclusive Interview with Jenna Sanz-Agero" (Interview). Interviewed by Rock Express.
  6. "Vixen members ressurect band". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  7. Petrucci, Roxy. "Vixen recording new album" (Interview). Interviewed by Hèctor Prat and Albert Perera. Metaladies.com. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  8. "VIXEN Parts Ways With Guitarist GINA STILE, Announces Replacement". Blabbermouth.net. March 26, 2017.
  9. Petrucci, Roxy (June 9, 2018). "ROXY PETRUCCI Says A 'Classic VIXEN Record' Will Surface In 2019" (Excerpt). Totally Driven Radio (Interview). Interviewed by Bay Ragni. Blabbermouth.net.
  10. Gardner, Janet (January 16, 2019). "After much soul searching and many sleepless nights, I have decided that it's time for me to step aside and let Roxy and Share pursue their vision for the future of Vixen..." Facebook.
  11. Vixen (January 18, 2019). "To all our Vixen friends and fans..." Facebook.
  12. Vixen (January 22, 2019). ""Waiting for the Big One"!?!??! Then wait no more!". Facebook.
  13. "VIXEN Is Writing Music For 'Badass' New Album". Blabbermouth.net. May 9, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  14. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 389. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  15. Hardbodies (1984) - Soundtracks
  16. "Beverly Hills, 90210" Slumber Party (TV episode 1991) - IMDb
  17. 1 2 Vixen - IMDb
  18. "Beavis and Butt-Head" Wall of Youth (TV episode 1994) - IMDb