Bikini Kill performs in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.
A previously unreleased demo from punk rock band Bikini Kill was released today in T Magazine for the New York Times.
The song, “Ocean Song,” is among two other previously unreleased songs not included in the riot grrrl band’s first work in 1991, “Revolution Girl Style Now!” It was self-released only as a cassette on Yo-Yo Studios.
In the story, Bikini Kill singer and leader Kathleen Hanna discusses her initial nervousness upong listening to the demo tapes again, but later laughed it off, saying, “It just sounds like people who are experimenting and goofing around.” Guy Picciotto of Fugazi helped remix the songs for the reissue.
Hanna also discussed her childhood and how even then she was working on finding her identity through what she wore and did. She recalls how she wished she had been a Girl Scout, so she bought a uniform at a thrift store.
“I always wanted to be a girl scout, and I didn’t get to be a girl scout! So I went to the thrift store, and luckily, I’m 5-foot-4, so I could still fit into a large Girl Scout outfit. And I wanted to be a cheerleader, so I got a cheerleader skirt, and I mixed it with a punk rock shirt.”
Hanna talked about how she eventually merged her stage costumes from her job as a stripper and her work with Bikini Kill.
“I’m still operating in a sexist society whether I’m in a strip bar or I’m in a punk club. …. I was really trying to take my body back while I was on stage, and I used costuming as a way to do that.”
Check out the recently released “new” Bikini Kill demo “Playground,” below, and hear “Girl Soldier” from their album “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah”– that song was just released last year.
“Revolution Girl Style Now!” remastered, and with the previously unreleased songs, will be reissued Sept. 22 on Bikini Kill Records.