Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Lydia Lunch

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Birth name  Lydia Anne Koch
Record labels  ZE Records, 4AD
Name  Lydia Lunch
Years active  1976–present
Instruments  Vocals, guitar

Lydia Lunch with Federico Fiumani da Giovane

Born  June 2, 1959 (age 63) Rochester, New York, United States (1959-06-02)
Occupation(s)  Singer, songwriter, actor, self-empowerment speaker
Associated acts  Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, 8-Eyed Spy, Big Sexy Noise, Harry Crews, Sonic Youth, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Cypress Grove, Retrovirus, No Trend
Role  Singer ·
Movies  Fingered, Kiss Napoleon Goodbye, Mutantes
Music groups  Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (1977 – 1979), 8 Eyed Spy, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Pigface, Lab Report
Genres  No wave, Post-punk, Industrial music, Avant-garde music, Spoken word
Albums  Queen of Siam, Shotgun Wedding, Big Sexy Noise, Honeymoon in Red, Twin Horses
Similar People  Rowland S Howard, Richard Kern, Thurston Moore, Cypress Grove, JG Thirlwell

Lydia lunch the gospel singer from big sexy noise live

Lydia Lunch (born Lydia Anne Koch, June 2, 1959) is an American singer, poet, writer, actress and self-empowerment speaker. Her career was spawned by the New York no wave scene.


Lydia Lunch wearing a dress while holding a cigarette

Her work typically features provocative and confrontational noise music delivery, and has maintained an anti-commercial ethic, operating independently of major labels and distributors. Lunch's moniker was given to her by Willy DeVille, because she stole food for her friends. The Boston Phoenix named Lunch one of the ten most influential performers of the 1980s.

Lydia Lunch wearing a black shirt

Lydia lunch live interview big sexy noise

Early life

Lydia Lunch wearing a black shirt and a ring

Lunch was born in Rochester, New York. She moved to New York City at the age of 16 and eventually moved into a communal household of artists and musicians. Soon Willy DeVille gave her the name "Lunch" because she often stole lunches for the Dead Boys.


After befriending Alan Vega and Martin Rev at Max's Kansas City, she founded the short-lived but influential no wave band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, with James Chance. Both Teenage Jesus and the Jerks and the Contortions, Chance's subsequent band, played on the no wave compilation No New York, produced by Brian Eno. Lunch later appeared on two songs on James White and the Blacks album, Off-White.

Lunch's solo career featured collaborations with musicians such as J. G. Thirlwell, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Nick Cave, Marc Almond, Billy Ver Planck, Steven Severin, Robert Quine, Sadie Mae, Rowland S. Howard, Michael Gira, the Birthday Party, No Trend, Sort Sol, Einstürzende Neubauten, Sonic Youth, Oxbow, Die Haut, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Black Sun Productions, and French band Sibyl Vane, who put one of her poems to music.

In the mid-1980s, she formed her own recording and publishing company called "Widowspeak Productions" (also known as just "Widowspeak"), on which she continues to release her own material, from music to spoken word. Two albums published by Lunch's label were released in 2013: Collision Course & Trust The Witch, by Big Sexy Noise (released on Cherry Red), and Retrovirus (released on Interbang Records); both albums are by Lunch's musical projects.

Lunch released her studio album Smoke in the Shadows in November 2004, through Atavistic Records and Breakin Beats, after a six-year break from music. Nels Cline, the lead guitarist of alternative rock band Wilco, was featured on the album. Smoke in the Shadows was met with positive reviews by Allmusic, PopMatters, and Tiny Mix Tapes.

In 2009 Lunch formed the band Big Sexy Noise. The group features Lunch on vocals, James Johnston (guitars), Terry Edwards (organ, saxophone), and Ian White (drums). Johnston, White and Edwards are members of the British band Gallon Drunk. A six-track eponymous EP was released on June 1, 2009, through Sartorial Records, and included a cover of Lou Reed's song "Kill Your Sons," as well as "The Gospel Singer", a song co-written with Gordon. The debut, self-titled album, Big Sexy Noise, was released in 2010, followed by Trust The Witch in 2011. For both albums, Lunch and her band completed tours throughout Europe.

In 2010, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project launched We Are Only Riders, the first of a series of four albums featuring Pierce's previously-unreleased works-in-progress. The album features interpretations of Pierce's work by friends, collaborators, and admirers, including Lunch. Lunch also contributed to the second album from the project, The Journey is Long, which was released in April 2012.

Although the Pierce Sessions Project's third and final album, The Task Has Overwhelmed Us, was due for release in late 2012, the schedule was changed after the release of the second installment. Glitterhouse Records, the label producing the collection, instead released a third album titled Axles & Sockets in May 2014, on which Lunch performs "The Journey Is Long" with Pierce's recordings. The label explained that the third album has become the "penultimate" full-length release of the Project, but did not name the final album, or its release date.

Lunch released the album Retrovirus (also the name of the band Lunch plays with) in 2013 on Interbang Records and ugEXPLODE (the vast majority of the album tracks are published by Widowspeak). Together with band members Weasel Walter, Algis Kizys, and Bob Bert, Lunch performed a show following the album's release at the Bowery Electric venue in New York City, US, in May 2013.


She appeared in two films by directors Scott B and Beth B. In Black Box she played a dominatrix, and in Vortex she played a private detective named Angel Powers. During this time, she also appeared in a number of films by Vivienne Dick, including She Had Her Gun All Ready (1978) and Beauty Becomes The Beast (1979), co-starring with Pat Place. In 2011, Lunch appeared in Mutantes: punk, porn, feminism, a film directed by Virginie Despentes, also featuring Kaylee Sprinkle and Catherine Breillat She also wrote, directed and acted in underground films, sometimes collaborating with underground filmmaker and photographer Richard Kern.

Spoken word

Lunch has recorded and performed as a spoken word artist, collaborating with artists such as Exene Cervenka, Henry Rollins, Don Bajema and Hubert Selby Jr. as well as hosting spoken-word performance night "The Unhappy Hour" at the Parlour Club.


In 1997, Lunch released Paradoxia, a loose autobiography, in which she documented her early life, sexual history, substance abuse and mental health problems. Time Out New York gave it a favorable review, while Bookslut ambiguously concluded "It's to the reader to determine whether Lunch's study goes deeper than that, or if instead, it's a kind of literary and philosophical repetition compulsion, a reprisal of greatest hits from male nihilists, sexual adventurers and chroniclers of deviance." PopMatters called it a "brutal but boring and predictable circus, about which Lunch shows no emotions. Only fatigue seems to have given her pause." Other reviewers praised Lunch's candor while expressing reservations about her prose.

Additionally, Lunch has authored both traditional books and comix (with award-winning graphic novel artist Ted McKeever).

Other work

In 2007, Lunch appeared on a viral video that was recorded backstage after a Joe Rogan comedy show, in which she confronts Rogan for making jokes about "dumb women" in his comedy act. The interaction becomes inflamed when Lunch becomes confrontational, whereby she commands the comedian to make eye contact and comments: "I was going to put my cigarette up his nose, but that's okay." Lunch then withdraws from her initial approach, claiming that her cigarette comment was not serious.

In 2013, Lunch ran self-empowerment workshops in locations such as Ojai, California, US and Rennes, France. In regard to the Rennes workshop, her inaugural self-empowerment event, Lunch recalled: "Every day people would come in that would have to get a hug. I felt like mother India." In April of that year, Lunch said that she is the producer of the Emilio Cubeiro album Death of an Asshole.

Personal life

In 2004, she left the U.S. for Barcelona, which is her residence as of December 2013.


  • Queen of Siam (1980)
  • 13.13 (1981)
  • Honeymoon in Red (1987)
  • Unearthly Delights (1992)
  • Twisted (1992)
  • Matrikamantra (1997)
  • Smoke in the Shadows (2004)
  • Retrovirus (live, 2013)
  • Urge to Kill (as Lydia Lunch Retrovirus) (2015)
  • EPs
  • Drunk on the Pope's Blood/The Agony Is the Ecstacy (split with the Birthday Party, 1982)
  • In Limbo (1984)
  • Singles
  • "No Excuse" (1997)
  • Compilation albums
  • Hysterie (1986)
  • Widowspeak (1998)
  • Deviations on a Theme (2006)
  • Video albums
  • Willing Victim (The Audience as Whipping Boy) (live in Graz, Austria, 2004)
  • Teenage Jesus and the Jerks

  • Pre Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (1979)
  • Singles
  • "Baby Doll" (1979)
  • "Orphans" (1979)
  • Compilation albums
  • Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (1979)
  • Everything (1995)
  • Shut Up and Bleed (2008)
  • Appears on
  • No New York (1978)
  • Beirut Slump

  • "Try Me" (1979)
  • 8-Eyed Spy

  • 8-Eyed Spy (1981; reissued as Luncheone in 1995)
  • Live (1981)
  • Singles
  • "Diddy Wah Diddy" (1980)
  • Harry Crews

  • Naked in Garden Hills (1987)
  • Big Sexy Noise

  • Big Sexy Noise (2009)
  • Trust the Witch (2011)
  • Collaborations

  • Some Velvet Morning with Rowland S. Howard (EP, 1982)
  • The Drowning of Lucy Hamilton with Lucy Hamilton (EP, 1985)
  • Heart of Darkness with No Trend (EP, 1985)
  • The Crumb with Thurston Moore (EP, 1987)
  • Stinkfist with Clint Ruin (EP, 1987)
  • Don't Fear the Reaper with Clint Ruin (EP, 1991)
  • Shotgun Wedding with Rowland S. Howard (1991)
  • Transmutation + Shotgun Wedding Live in Siberia with Rowland S. Howard (1994)
  • The Desperate Ones with Glyn Styler (EP, 1997)
  • Champagne, Cocaïne & Nicotine Stains with Anubian Lights (EP, 2002)
  • Omar Rodriguez Lopez & Lydia Lunch with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (EP, 2007)
  • U Turn with Minox (EP, 2008)
  • Lydia Lunch and Philippe Petit – (2011)
  • A Fistful of Desert Blues with Cypress Grove (2014)
  • Twin Horses with Cypress Grove (2014) a split album with Spiritual Front
  • Under The Covers with Cypress Grove (2017).
  • Appears on

  • Off White, James White and the Blacks (1979)
  • Der Karibische Western, Die Haut (EP, 1982)
  • Thirsty Animal, Einstürzende Neubauten (EP, 1982)
  • "Boy-Girl", Sort Sol ( 1983)
  • Dagger & Guitar, Sort Sol (1983)
  • "Death Valley '69", Sonic Youth (1984)
  • A Dozen Dead Roses, No Trend (LP, 1985)
  • Death Valley '69, Sonic Youth (EP, 1986)
  • King of the Jews, Oxbow (1991)
  • 13 Above the Night, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult (LP, 1993)
  • Dirty Little Secrets: Music to Strip By, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult (LP, 1999)
  • Head On, Die Haut (1992)
  • Sweat, Die Haut (1992)
  • Unhealthy, Lab Report (1994)
  • York, The Foetus Symphony Orchestra (1997)
  • Brooklyn Bank, Here (1998)
  • OperettAmorale (compilation tribute album to Bertolt Brecht, 2005)
  • The Impossibility of Silence, Black Sun Productions (2006)
  • Ankitoner Metamars, Ankitoner Metamars (2007)
  • We Are Only Riders, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (2010)
  • The Journey Is Long, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (2012)
  • Axels & Sockets, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (2014)
  • Synthetic Love Dream, David Lackner (2014)
  • Spoken word

  • Better An Old Demon Than A New God, Giorno Poetry Systems comp. f/ William S. Burroughs, Psychic TV, Richard Hell and others (1984)
  • The Uncensored, solo (1984)
  • Hard Rock, solo (split cassette w. Michael Gira / Ecstatic Peace, 1984)
  • Oral Fixation, solo (12", 1988)
  • Our Fathers who Aren't in Heaven, w. Henry Rollins, Hubert Selby Jr. and Don Bajema (1990)
  • Conspiracy of Women, solo (1990)
  • South of Your Border, w. Emilio Cubeiro (1991)
  • POW, solo (1992)
  • Crimes Against Nature, solo spoken-word anthology (Tripple X/Atavistic, 1994)
  • Rude Hieroglyphics, w. Exene Cervenka (Rykodisc, 1995)
  • Universal Infiltrators, (Atavistic, 1996)
  • The Devil's Racetrack (2000)
  • Flood Stains, w. Juan Azulay (2010)
  • Actress

  • She Had Her Gun All Ready: Directed by Vivienne Dick (1978)
  • Guerillere Talks: Directed by Vivienne Dick (1978)
  • Rome '78: Directed by James Nares (1978)
  • Black Box: Directed by Scott B and Beth B (1978)
  • Beauty Becomes the Beast: Directed by Vivienne Dick (1979)
  • The Offenders (1979–1980): Directed by Scott B and Beth B
  • Liberty's Booty (1980)
  • Subway Riders: Directed by Amos Poe (1981)
  • The Wild World of Lydia Lunch: Directed by Nick Zedd (1983)
  • Like Dawn to Dust: Directed by Vivienne Dick (1983)
  • Vortex: Directed by Scott and Beth B (1983)
  • Submit to Me: Directed by Richard Kern (1985)
  • The Right Side of My Brain: Directed by Richard Kern (1985)
  • Fingered: Directed by Richard Kern (1986)
  • Hardcore Extended: Richard Kern (includes all movies of R. Kern with L. Lunch) (DVD / Le Chat qui Fume, 2008)
  • Mondo New York (1987)
  • Invisible Thread: Directed by Bob Balaban (1987)
  • Penn & Teller's BBQ Death Squad (198?)
  • Penn & Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends (1990)
  • Kiss Napoleon Goodbye: Directed by Babeth vanLoo (1990)
  • The Road to God Knows Where: Directed by Uli M. Schüppel (1990)
  • Thanatopsis: Directed by Beth B (1991)
  • Visiting Desire: Directed by Beth B (1996)
  • Power of the Word (1996)
  • The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things: Directed by Asia Argento (2004)
  • Kill Your Idols: Directed by Scott Crary, also known as S.A. Crary (2004)
  • Psychomentsrum (unreleased)
  • Godkiller: Walk Among Us (2010): Voice role
  • Mutantes: punk, porn, feminism: Directed by Virginie Despentes (2011)
  • Autoluminescent: Directed by Richard Lowenstein (2011)
  • Blank City: Directed by Celine Danhier (2012)
  • Writer

  • The Right Side of My Brain (1985)
  • Fingered (1986)
  • Composer

  • The Offenders (1980)
  • Vortex (1983) (with John Lurie, Adele Bertei, Pat Place, Beth B and Scott B)
  • The Right Side of My Brain (1985)
  • Goodbye 42nd Street (1986)
  • Fingered (1986)
  • I Pass for Human (2004)
  • Flood stains (2010)
  • Disturbtion (2015)
  • Subject

  • The Wild World of Lydia Lunch (1983)
  • Penn & Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends (1987)
  • Put More Blood into the Music (1987)
  • The Gun is Loaded (1988–1989)
  • The Road to God Knows Where (1990)
  • Malicious Intent (1990)
  • The Thunder (1992)
  • Totem of the Depraved (1996)
  • Paradoxia (1998)
  • Lady Lazarus: Confronting Lydia Lunch (2000)
  • Kiss My Grits: The Herstory of Women in Punk and Hard Rock (2001)
  • DIY or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist (2002)
  • Kill Your Idols (2004)
  • Narrator

  • American Fame Part 1: Drowning River Phoenix, dir. Cam Archer (2004)
  • American Fame Part 2: Forgetting Jonathan Brandis, dir. Cam Archer (2005)
  • Wild Tigers I Have Known, (Scenes Deleted), dir. Cam Archer (2006)
  • Plays

    (both written, acted, directed and produced with Emilio Cubeiro)

  • South of Your Border (1988)
  • Smell of Guilt (1990)
  • Books

  • "Adulterers Anonymous " (1982 with Exene Cervenka)
  • AS-FIX-E-8 (1990 with Mike Matthews)
  • Bloodsucker (1992 with Bob Fingerman)
  • Incriminating Evidence Last Gasp, 1992
  • Adulterers Anonymous Last Gasp, 1996
  • Toxic Gumbo (1998 with Ted McKeever)
  • Paradoxia: A Predator's Diary Creation Books, 1999
  • The Gun is Loaded Black Dog Publishing London UK, 2007
  • Will Work for Drugs Akashic, 2009
  • The Need to Feed: Recipes for Developing a Healthy Obsession with Deeply Satisfying Foods RCS MediaGroup Universe imprint, 2012
  • References

    Lydia Lunch Wikipedia