L7 rock the rafters at The Current

Indie-rock legends L7 perform their hit, "Pretend We're Dead," from their 1992 release, "Bricks Are Heavy," live in The Current studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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L7 perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:21:26
  • L7 perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 21:26
  • L7 - One More Thing (Live on The Current) 03:49
  • L7 - Pretend We're Dead (Live on The Current) 03:25
  • L7 - Dispatch from Mar-A-Lago (Live on The Current) 03:32

The structural integrity of the Bill Kling Public Media Center in St. Paul got a good test today. Los Angeles rockers L7 unloaded their instruments, opened their amps and rocked this building to its very core.

It follows the straightforward approach to rock that L7 have been taking since 1985. "We're a meat-and-potatoes rock band with a conscience and some humor," says Donita Sparks.

After having taken a hiatus for a number of years, L7 are out with new music and back on the road. In town for a show at First Avenue in Minneapolis, L7 — guitarist and lead vocalist Sparks, along with bassist Jennifer Finch, guitarist Suzi Gardner and drummer Demetra Plakas — stopped at The Current for a session hosted by Mary Lucia.

Since their inception, L7 have always maintained creative control of their music, and the results have only broadened their appeal. "There aren't many [bands like] us," Sparks says. "We're lucky because we get to play art shows, and we also get to play heavy-metal shows, so we've got this weird crossover of that world. We're not often critics' darlings, but sometimes we are."

L7 are also the subject of a 2017 documentary, L7: Pretend We're Dead, which is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime, Hulu and similar services. "We know that we couldn't top certain bands like Warrant or Mötley Crüe in certain tragedy things or in getting arrested or any of that kind of 'Behind the Music' kind of stuff," Sparks says of the documentary, "so it was really more about us as this very DIY band sort of against the powers that be. We did come against many challenges, just like many other bands do."

Now that they're back on the road, L7 have been enjoying bringing the music to rock fans from town to town. "I think there's a lot of people smiling in the audience," Sparks says. "They've got their middle fingers raised, and yet these euphoric, joyful expressions on their faces! So it's really kind of cool."

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete session.

More Video

Songs Performed


"One More Thing"
"Pretend We're Dead"
"Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago"
Songs one and two are from L7's 1992 release, Bricks Are Heavy, released on Slash Records. The third song is a new single released in September 2017.

Hosted by Mary Lucia
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

Resources

L7 - official site

14 Photos

  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    L7 perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    L7 drummer Demetra Plakas performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    L7 drummer Demetra Plakas performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    Donita Sparks of L7 performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    L7 bassist Jennifer Finch performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    L7 perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    L7 guitarist Suzi Gardner performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    Donita Sparks of L7 performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    Donita Sparks of L7 performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    Donita Sparks of L7 performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    Suzi Gardner of L7 performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    Donita Sparks of L7 performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    L7 perform in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • L7 perform in The Current studio
    Mary Lucia (top, center) poses for a portrait with L7 following their performance in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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