Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Violent Femmes reveal details for 'Hotel Last Resort' and tour

The Violent Femmes have unveiled details of their new album Hotel Last Resort which arrives via [PIAS] on July 26. The title track featuring Television co-founder Tom Verlaine is now available at all DSPs.

Bassist Brian Ritchie - who first met Verlaine as a young rock journalist during Television's final tour in 1978 - reached out to the guitarist and received an affirmative response literally within minutes.

"We didn't really give him much instruction," Ritchie says, "but he did exactly what we hoped he'd do. He clearly has an affinity for the song. He must've really clued in on the lyrics and he really interpreted them with a guitar."

"One of the greatest thrills of a long recording career is getting Tom Verlaine to play on one of our songs," singer/guitarist Gordon Gano says. "It's just amazing to hear that sound."


Founded and fronted of course by Gano and Ritchie, the group continues to expand its body of work since the 1983 debut effort. The new album is available for pre-order now with options to purchase limited edition colored vinyl. 


Violent Femmes have expanded their ranks over the past decade-and-a-half, bringing percussionist John Sparrow and multi-instrumentalist Blaise Garza into the fold. Both longtime members of The Horns of Dilemma - the band's ever-evolving cabal of multi-instrumentalist backing musicians - the pair have joined the Femmes on tour and in the studio for the past 14 and 15 years respectively.

Sparrow's novel use of a Weber Grill as a rhythm instrument along with the extreme tones of Garza's central instrument, the massive contrabass saxophone, bring depth to the Femmes' sound. 

Besides Verlaine, the album includes a featured appearance by pro skateboarder Stefan Janoski - a lifelong Femmes fan who lends vocals to a new rendition of the band's tune "I'm Nothing," originally on their 1994 album New Times.

Janoski is also collaborating with the band as part of their newly formed partnership with Nike to create the Zoom Janoski RM "Violent Femmes" - a one-of-a-kind exclusive shoe designed by the legendary skateboarder. The inspiration for the shoe's design comes from the song "I'm Nothing," one of Janoski's favorite Violent Femmes songs, as he has always been inspired by the power of the lyrics.

The words "I'm Nothing" in Janoski's handwriting will be screen printed on the tongue of the shoe, while his artwork will be included on the custom sockliner. Chain stitched on the left shoe will be the word "VIOLENT" and on the right shoe, the word "FEMMES," with a vulc tape mirror applique in Tour Yellow.

Also on the new album are two covers - "I'm Not Gonna Cry," originally performed by Greek rock act Pyx Lax and now adapted and translated from the original Greek by Gano himself. The LP concludes with the Femmes' new arrangement of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," complete with a new interpretation of the melody by Gano, as well as an improvised free jazz coda.

"I think it's probably the best one we've made since Hallowed Ground," Ritchie says. "Which is a long time. It's just a very focused album, the songs all hold together. It's a classic album, in the sense that people should actually sit down and listen to the whole thing. It's not too long. It's short, it's punchy, it's solid, it's to the point, goes a few different directions but it always comes back to the core approach and then it's over. Hopefully you'll think 'I want to hear that again.'"

Hotel Last Resort was recorded with Grammy-winning producer Ted Hutt (Gaslight Anthem, Old Crow Medicine Show). The cover art features "Hotel," a large-scale model situated on the Eastlink motorway outside of Melbourne, created by Canadian-born, Australia-based sculptor/installation artist Callum Morton.

As for touring, Violent Femmes' live schedule includes headline dates, festival sets, and co-headline tours with both X and Ben Folds. Special VIP tickets are also available for the latter tour, including Reserve Seating, early venue access, a signed tour poster, tote bag, and more.

Additional dates - including a North American headline tour - will be announced soon. For complete details and ticket availability, please see

Tour dates:

9 - Austin, TX - ACL Live at The Moody Theater #
10 - Houston, TX - House of Blues Houston
11 - Arlington, TX - KAABOO Texas #
13 - San Antonio, TX - Aztec Theatre #
14 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom # SOLD OUT
16 - Memphis, TN - Graceland Live #
17 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant #
18 - Madison, WI - The Sylvee

28 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena **
29 - Selbyville, DE - The Freeman Stage **
30 - Washington, DC - The Anthem **

1 - New York, NY - Pier 17 **
2 - Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony Summer Stage **
3 - Boston, MA - Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion **
4 - East Providence, RI - Bold Point Park **
6 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE **
8 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre **
9 - Nashville, TN - Ascend Amphitheater **
10 - Indianapolis, IN - Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park **
11 - Rochester Hills, MI - Meadow Brook Amphitheatre **
14 - Minneapolis, MN - Surly Brewing Company **
15 - Des Moines, IA - Water Works Park **
16 - Kansas City, MO - Starlight Theatre **
17 - Lyons, CO - Rocky Mountain Folks Festival *
23 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
24-25 - Port Townsend, WA - THING *

6 - Omaha, NE - Shadow Ridge Music Festival *

* Festival Performance
# w/X
** w/Ben Folds

Track listing:

Another Chorus
I Get What I Want
I'm Nothing (Feat. Stefan Janoski)
Adam Was A Man
Not Ok
Hotel Last Resort (Feat. Tom Verlaine)
Everlasting You
It's All Or Nothing
I'm Not Gonna Cry
This Free Ride
Paris To Sleep
Sleepin' At The Meetin'
God Bless America

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