brian viglione joins the violent femmes

i couldn’t be more proud of my friend, mr. brian viglione…he’s scored a new gig as the official new drummer of the violent femmes.


we were both raised by their music, and it’s so awesome and fucking fitting that a band like the femmes, who were such a huge influence on the dresden dolls, would fill their drum-throne with The Vig Himself.

we played a festival with the femmes a long time ago in milwaukee, in around 2005 or 2006, and the whole band was very kind to us.

then we got to know brian ritchie, the femmes’ bassist, a little better through the MONA festival in tasmania (where he lives now).

if you missed it two years ago…something brilliant happened….(you can read the whole blog about it here)…the dresden dolls were scheduled to play at MONA and brian ritchie called me up a few days before, telling me that death grips had to cancel their slot due to some weird legal/visa issues. he asked if the dresden dolls wanted to play a second set. “sounds weird”, i said, “but how about we cover the entire violent femmes first album with you? we know it COLD.” and that’s what we did. with the addition of mick harvey (bad seeds) and john parrish (PJ harvey) on guitars, brian ritchie (the original femmes bassist), brian on drums, and me on vocals, we did just that. one rehearsal. and we killed it.

here’s the whole group of us post-show:

AND….footage from the ENTIRE concert is, awesomely, here on youtube….

you can hear for yourself how fucking much mister brian viglione nailed this show.
he knew every last fill and every brushstroke of every song with that magical musical-memory genius brain of his.

for those who’ve seen the dresden dolls live, you know brian is a special drummer. he doesn’t just PLAY the drums, he SPEAKS through them, he LIVES through them.
this is a fucking match made in heaven. if you want to congratulate him yourself….his facebook is HERE and he’s active on it.

and as for the dresden dolls, we will never die. i’ve said it time and time again, we will keep playing when and where it makes sense.
we love each other and love playing together and it’s like a rich dessert, needs to be the right dose at the right time.

maybe an epic femmes/dolls mega-double bill is in order, somewhere…..THE DRESDEN FEMMES? THE VIOLENT DOLLS. i’m in.

so proud.


love, love, love.


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  • lentower

    Glad for Brian, the VFs, & their fans.

    {Hopefully, they play Boston sometime! ; – }

  • ..

    Need to edit second word of blog from “could” to “couldn’t”, I think!

  • biggerontheinside

    there’s something so special about the Dresden Dolls. The music, the art, the sound. Everything comes together with the talent of two beautiful artists glueing it all up. I want to thank you, Amanda, for playing Missed Me in Brighton because it brought me back to a place I hadn’t visited since I was about 13. My brother had downloaded some Dresden Dolls song (probably illegally, sorry) and I was exploring this music, which I loved. And then I listened to Missed Me and the lyrics and the tone of it just spoke to me in a way that nothing had before, because I was being abused by a man and had been for 5 years, and I was so vulnerable and frightened and powerless. That song was one of the first things that lit the tiny spark of courage that had been lost under everything else, and eventually I turned round and said stop. don’t do this any more, I don’t want this to happen any more. I realised from that song, for the first time, that I had power in this situation, and no-one else was going to make it stop, because what child wants to dare reveal their horrible secret?

    It was a seed, or a spark, or whatever. I suppose the rest of it came from me, which I am proud of, but I don’t know how long it would have taken to get to that place without that song.

    On Saturday in Brighton in that amazing crowd I was feeling very vulnerable, and also very proud, and incredibly grateful. And then you played bigger on the inside and I felt strong again, and I walked away from the night with my head held higher than ever before. I know that song made so many people sad, but it made me happy because it gave me hope.

    And I wonder what would have happened if I had heard that song at 13. or 8. Because I might be a different person if I had. Then again, at 8 I thought the Spice Girls, the Wombles, and the Beatles were god’s gift to music..

    always loving you, and very grateful, to you and Brian

    • Peace.Love.Empathy

      Let me just start by saying you are a brave and wonderful person and I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for you. I know it’s not my place to say but I understand where you are coming from with Bigger on the Inside. I know it must have had way more impact on you than it did on me but it was beautiful how it I felt brought everyone together when Amanda played it in Manchester. It was sad but it was hopeful and it’s amazing how one song can make people feel.

      I’m not entirely sure why I wrote this but I just wanted to say I understand you and I love you.

  • Tom Steiger

    This is seriously the best news I’ve heard in a long time. A tour is definitely in order!

  • Kambriel

    Perfect. Massive congratulations to Brian!

    I can’t tell you how many mornings I spent listening to this album on a dubbed cassette tape back when I was 12 years old, getting ready for school ~ when “getting ready” meant things like bleaching Anarchy symbols into the backs of vests, painting my hair to match an outfit by mixing watercolour paints with mousse and such.

    It’s amazing how music can hit you at a certain point in your life and get into your DNA. It never leaves… You guys nailed the show.

  • kmwilliams


    • anon


  • Janelle

    I hope to see the Dolls live some day, but even as a music fan watching videos or just straight-up listening, sometimes I stop and go, “Viglione is A MOTHERFUCKING GOD.”

  • kimairs

    I am soooo happy for Brian! You both are such long time pals and I’m so proud and thrilled for this gig and the success of the both of you solo and together! Yippee!! XOXOXO

  • Paul MacFarlane

    From your first DD tour when I helped Brian tune his drums and I carried your Kurt Weil back at Frederick’s in St. Louis 2003 I’ve followed, spread the word and enjoyed every note and pixel. Long may you both rage, pound, and express your inner beauty.

  • K

    This is the most wonderful news. I think I almost fell out of my chair when I read about it last night. Really excited to watch the video, as when I was 15 or so, a good friend and I used to walk around town and randomly just sing that very album from start to finish. It’s nice to know that we weren’t alone, and that there might even be young teenagers right now who are doing the same on this sweltering night 28 years later, quite possibly because they came to the Femmes through their love of the Dresden Dolls.
    Sometimes, the world just makes me smile.

  • insignifikunt

    i squealed when i read it on his facebook page.

  • miserichik

    I had this album in college and we used to “get ready” for parties while listening to it. y’know, drinking before the party, teasing our hair (yeah it was the 80’s) and just going nuts. Rock on Vig :)

  • Ann

    Amanda, that’s fucking fantastic news! Huge congrats to Vig, we’re looking forward to hearing more of him in the future.

    This is off topic, but … well, screw it, I’m just going to chat at you like my friend, so I hope you don’t mind:

    Thanks for an awesome show in Bristol the other night. Everyone absolutely rocked; it’s hard to express how much we needed our chance to go crazy on a Monday; life’s felt more full for it, and I’m glad we managed to scrape the cash together to be there and see you.

    Please come to stay in Bristol, if you really are considering it. We’re like the Boston of the UK. I know this because I used to live in Boston before I married a British guy and moved here (sound familiar?) It’s not that other places aren’t great, it’s just that you’d love us and we’d love you (and Neil).

    Also … please don’t forget your song about Wales and Tasmania and sheep-fucking (and our cultural need to psychologically bully neighboring countries with dubious accusations of bestiality?) ‘Cause I know you wrote about being in a slump, and tour doesn’t usually help, but those were some dots I’d love to hear you connect.

    Thanks again for the infusion of life and love – you’re the prettiest thing I’ve seen all week.

  • Bonnie

    Every young musician’s dream come true. The worst people are those who take credits for the other’s successes and blame others for their own failures. Cheers!

  • aaron

    amanda, I saw you on the BBC segment & wow, you look really bad – a lot older & really unhappy. course as always you put on good show & sound great in the media. things must be pretty bad though. hope they get better.

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