Between 1980 to 1983, Detroit band L-Seven mesmerized those who saw them perform live in the city’s small, but passionate punk scene.
Larissa was “indescribable. She was unique, a great lyricist, a great front-person. She was what attracted a lot of us to this band.” — Steve Shelley
Although the group disbanded by 1983, with singer Larissa Strickland and partner-in-crime John Brannon forming the renowned garage rock band Laughing Hyenas, L-Seven was an important influence on Detroit’s underground music community. Though the group released only one 7” single while together, Third Man Records is giving the band its due with the release of the band’s first LP.
Click the player above to hear Shelley and Buick discuss L-Seven’s legacy with CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire.
During the early 80s, Michigan native, producer, and former Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley was a young, up-and-coming musician in Detroit. He became good friends with the members of L-Seven, even touring with the band in punk venues throughout the Midwest.
“It was a lot of fun, a lot of driving, a lot of night playing to small audiences,” Shelley says. “It was a community.”
Behind L-Seven’s mic was the powerful presence of Strickland, who brought an avant-garde edge to the band, defining them as different than the hardcore sound many Midwestern punk bands at the time were known for.
“Larissa was an incredible element of the band,” Shelley says.
Third Man Records‘ Dave Buick says by releasing this compilation of L-Seven’s material, he hopes to define the band’s legacy in Detroit and beyond.
“They weren’t afraid to do something different,” Buick says. “They didn’t sound like the Stooges, they didn’t sound like the MC5, they didn’t sound like other Detroit punk bands.”
Shelley was not only a friend of the band, he was also part of the team that produced the newly issued, self-titled L-Seven retrospective, which is available from Third Man Records on Friday, July 31st.