She Wants Revenge and Peter Murphy are performing at the Fillmore on Sunday, Dec. 4. Ticket information can be found here.
The seed for the co-headlining tour between She Wants Revenge and Peter Murphy (of Bauhaus and solo fame) was planted in 2005. Bauhaus was revving up for their headlining reunion at Coachella; She Wants Revenge was plotting for their first live show.
They both, coincidentally, were doing those rehearsals at a Sirius radio station studio. Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge and Daniel Ash of Bauhaus recognized one another in the halls, by way of a mutual ex-girlfriend. This led to Bauhaus watching SWR play for a few minutes.
Christopher the Minister, a deejay at Sirius and friend of Bauhaus, was there for that fateful run-in. He ended up choosing SWR’s first hit single, “Tear You Apart,” from a copy of their self-titled debut album that they gave him that day, which spearheaded their popularity.
Fast-forward years, albums and rehearsals later. She Wants Revenge is now sweetly reconnected to a band that indirectly got them discovered.
“It’s amazing, on one level, because it’s Peter Murphy of Bauhaus,” said Adam Bravin, commenting on the tour. “But now we also get to call him a friend and watch him every night. He’s just so good.”
She Wants Revenge hasn’t had another big commercial hit since their initial burst of buzz in 2007. The duo’s third album, Valleyheart, was released in May but peaked on the Billboard 200 at 153. Their debut reached 38, but that doesn’t mean anything to them.
A few songs through the years got moderate attention on satellite radio, but Bravin says that responses from stations were mostly the same: “We like it, but it’s not another ‘Tear You Apart.'” The band’s response was repetitive as well: “We’re never going to write another.”
“If you want a band that’s going to write the same song over and over just to be on the radio, we’re not going to do that,” he said.
The band does, however, think of their self-titled debut and 2007’s This Is Forever paired as “the night before, and the morning after,” because they share song styles and similar album covers. The vision was different for Valleyheart. Shake the musical influences of the past, and figure out who they were at that exact time.
“The only thing we said when we went in to the studio to make this record is: if we ever start writing a song and it sounds like anything we’ve ever done before, we’re going to stop and start over,” Bravin said. He estimates six songs were thrown out.
Valleyheart, written in only three months, is a love letter to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles where they grew up. The name of the album was stolen from a street sign. It’s one of those roads that shortcuts through town and only appears on the radar of a local. Other nods to their childhood appear in songs like “Up In Flames.”
“Lyrics in that song describe coming over the hill into the valley in a very specific way. You have to be from there to understand what he’s saying in the way that we do,” he said.
She Wants Revenge isn’t the hot and trendy band they were years ago, but that doesn’t bother them. This year they made their most original album yet and headlined Coachella against Kanye West. And now, they’re on tour with the pioneer of sexy goth-rock, Peter Murphy.
“Fortunately, we don’t define success by radio plays. We have an amazing fan base,” Bravin said. “We didn’t put out a record for a number of years, but we continue to tour and sell-out shows.”