Kalamazoo, MI / Seattle, WA / Austin, TX
Playing old-school punk rock with an up-to-date level of snottiness and mordant humor, the Spits have enjoyed a surprisingly long and healthy career bashing out stripped-down rock tunes with equal shares of attitude, aggressive eccentricity, and muscle.
Spits founders Sean Wood (guitar and vocals) and Erin Wood (bass and vocals) are siblings who were born and raised in Allegan, Michigan and began making music in 1987 with a band called the Riot Midgets. Deciding the Allegan scene was too sleepy for them, Sean and Erin headed to Seattle, Washington in 1990, and the first lineup of the Spits was formed a year later with drummer Wayne Draves.
The band bounced around the Northwest scene for several years playing makeshift gigs before putting out its first single, "Tired and Lonely," in 1997. In 2000, Nickel & Dime Records released the band's self-titled debut album, and the Spits hit the road, developing a reputation for their wild stage show, their relentless touring schedule, and their habit of dressing up for the audience, getting decked out in anything from monks robes to homemade mummy outfits to Ronald Reagan masks.
The drummer's chair in the Spits became something of a revolving door, though Draves was one of the few timekeepers to leave and eventually return to the group, and when the Spits expanded to a four-piece with the addition of a keyboard player (in part to allow them to explore their Devo influence), the place behind the synth also tended to change on a regular basis. However, that didn't have much impact on the Wood brothers' ongoing campaign as a "band of the people," as they toured at a heady pace and released a steady stream of singles, occasionally putting out albums (most self-titled) through punk imprints like Dirtnap Records and Slovenly Records, as well as their own Thriftstore label.
In 2011, the Spits struck a deal with noted garage punk label In the Red Records, which dropped their fifth self-titled release in the same year, and in 2014 the group made a great leap forward by attaching an actual title to one of their studio efforts: their second LP for In the Red was called Kill the Kool.