Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender Bender discusses trauma, catharsis, empathy and feminist pop icons.
Le Butcherettes is the name of the band, but this confrontational Mexican garage punk outfit has always revolved around the artistic vision of founder and frontwoman Teri Gender Bender. The daughter of a Mexican mother and a Spanish father, she grew up between Denver, Colorado, and Guadalajara, Mexico. Le Butcherettes was formed in 2007 — a duo in their early stages, the band quickly attracted attention for its blazing, guitar-driven sound and Teri’s on-stage antics, which included performing in a bloody apron and employing raw meat, fake blood and a pig’s head. Simply put, there’s nothing polite about the band, but that didn’t bother Omar Rodriguez-López of At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta, who produced and contributed bass guitar to Le Butcherettes’ debut full-length album, Sin Sin Sin, and ultimately issued the record via his own label. He’s remained behind the boards for subsequent albums Cry Is for the Flies (2014) and A Raw Youth (2015), the latter of which featured guest appearances from Iggy Pop and John Frusciante. Most recently, Teri’s raw energy and poetic mind have turned the traumas of her childhood into abrasive art on bi/MENTAL, the band’s fourth studio album. In this Fireside Chat, Teri Gender Bender discusses crisis and catharsis, feminist pop icons from Posh Spice to Alice Bag and the importance of being an empathic band leader.