When the subject of women in punk and rock is broached, the usual suspects often come up: Kim Gordon, Kathleen Hanna, Patti Smith, Kim Deal and Debbie Harry. The injustice here is how punk-rock bassist Kira (born Kira Roessler) is rarely mentioned in the same breathnot that she cares much, or at all, for the accolades. After all, as Kira waxes ever so humbly, her job simply entailed being Black Flag's bass player and now (and for the last 25 years) serving as half of dos, the two-bass band she's in with her ex-husband, Minutemen/fIREHOSE/Stooges titan, Mike Watt.
Kira not only provided killer low-end groovage for one of the greatest punk bands (she joined Black Flag after bass god Chuck Dukowski's departure in 1984), she had to brave the testosterone-drenched environs of Cali's violence-thirsty punk scene and contend with the volatile, clashing personalities of guitarist Greg Ginn and mercurial loudmouth Henry Rollinswho, in his tour diary Get In the Van, once wrote of an intense hatred for Kira. (She wasn't fazed.)
Kira's melodic, booming licks held it down for BF scorch classics Slip It In, Loose Nut, Family Man and In My Head, along with Live '84, Who's Got The 10 1/2 ? and the hefty, all-instrumental experimentallic punk deconstruction The Process of Weeding Out.
After Kira got the boot from Black Flag, dos took shape. In '86, the twosome released their eponymous debut EP via Watt's New Alliance label; full-lengths in '89 (Numero Dos) and '96 (Justamente Tres) followed. Fifteen long years later, Kira and Watt have returned with the majestic bottom-end punk-jazz coil of dos y dos. We spoke to Kira by phone from California. There was a lot of catching up to do. More »