The Violent Femmes was an oddball underground rock band that, against all odds, suddenly found itself all over the radio in the mid-1980s. The group was formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1980 by bassist Brian Ritchie, percussionist Victor DeLorenzo and lead singer/guitarist Gordon Gano. Due to a sparse instrumentation setup that included DeLorenzo playing a stripped-down, stand-up drum kit, the band was able to set up and break down its gear easily. As a result, the trio took to busking around street corners and coffee shops, eventually gaining the attention of James Honeyman-Scott of The Pretenders, who helped The Violent Femmes land a record contract. The group's 1983 eponymous debut captured its quirky mix of folk, punk and alternative rock fueled by a frenetic rhythm section and Gano's manic delivery. Songs like "Add It Up" and "Blister in the Sun" somehow found their way to radio stations throughout the country and the members of The Violent Femmes soon found themselves toeing the line between alternative rock stars and quirky cult artists. Future albums didn't resonate with the mainstream quite as well as the debut, yet the group remained popular with fans of its off-kilter style for years to come.