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Biography

Although founded in 1979 the Power-Punk-Pop cult known as the FASTBACKS claimed that only circumstance kept the core unit together. Comprising of Nathan Hale High School students vocalist / bassist Kim Warnick, vocalist / guitarist Lulu Gargiulo and THE CHEATERS credited guitarist Kurt Bloch it was really only in 1989 the band became a serious venture. For much of their career the FASTBACKS reaped critical underground praise but, despite a mid nineties swelling of appreciation due to the Grunge phenomenen, never really achieved commercial payback. Throughout the band's history Bloch has also maintained his own label imprint, No Threes Records.

The original 1979 FASTBACKS line up saw Shannon Wood on lead vocals and Bloch manning the drums but he would switch to guitar with the addition of one teenage Duff McKagan, later to find fame as bassist for GUNS N' ROSES. McKagan at the time was also holding down membership of THE VEINS, another band on Bloch's No Threes label. McKagan's debut with FASTBACKS would be on 5th December 1980 at the Gorilla Room in Seattle.

The debut FASTBACKS single 'It's Your Birthday', issued naturally enough on No Threes, surfaced in May of 1981 and saw McKagan on drums. That November their second commercial outing came with the inclusion of the song 'Someone Else's Room' on the 'Seattle Syndrome' compilation. In mid 1982, with McKagan replaced by Richard Stuverud, the 'Fastbacks Play Five Of Their Favorites' EP was delivered. A full two years elapsed before a follow up, the four song 'Everyday Is Saturday' EP, opening with a take on the GRASS ROOTS sixties hit 'Midnight Confessions'. An even lengthier hiatus ensued until the FASTBACKS, minus Gargiulo since 1987 but with Nate Johnson ensconced as drummer, signed to the Popllama label for inaugural album 'And His Orchestra'. This opus included a rendition of SWEET's 'Set Me Free'.

A live tape release, 'Bike Toy Clock Gift' incorporating covers of MOTT THE HOOPLE's 'Roll Away The Stone', RAMONES 'Swallow My Pride' and the BUZZCOCKS 'Love You More', arrived in 1988 as did a UK compilation of single tracks 'Never Works, Never Fails' on the Blaster label. The FASTBACKS also covered GREEN RIVER's 'Swallow My Pride' for the 'Sub Pop 200' collection. Despite the FASTBACKS offering a new studio album 'Very, Very Powerful Motor', again on Popllama, Bloch would take time out during 1991 to tour with side act YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS. Although not as yet a reinstated credited band member Gargiulo did make her presence felt on the 'Very, Very Powerful Motor' album by way of vocal contributions. Notably, bearing in mind obvious musical similarities, Bloch would also be active on the club circuit as part of CHEAP TRICK covers band SICK MAN OF EUROPE.

Gargiulo's return was made official for the 'Zücker' record. With Rusty Willoughby new face behind the drum kit, Warnick and Gargiulo layering on the harmonies and a take of the BEE GEES 'Please Read Me' in evidence 'Zücker' proved an unashamed Pop outing. 'Answer The Phone, Dummy', released by Sub Pop, followed the same vein. Guesting in the studio would be Kim Shattuck of THE MUFFS and, without a drummer, a series of esteemed session players. The roll call of those bashing the skins comprised Jason Finn of the PRESIDENTS OF THE USA, Dan Peters of MUDHONEY, Rusty Willoughby of FLOP, John Moen of the DHARMA BUMS and Mike Musberger of THE POSIES.

FASTBACK's 1996 album 'New Mansions In Sound', which included a cover version of the MONTROSE classic 'Space Station #5', saw drum duties delegated out to Jason Finn of the PRESIDENTS OF THE USA and former FASTBACKS man Nate Johnson.

After 23 years of stoicism frontwoman Kim Warnick broke away from the FASTBACKS in March of 2003 to create VISQUEEN with ex-HAFACAT lead vocalist/guitarist Rachel Flotard and drummer Ben Hooker.

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