Nineties feminist punk pioneers Bikini Kill‘s catalog is finally available on streaming services. According to singer Kathleen Hanna, the decision was motivated by a desire to let more people have access to their music, despite streaming’s garbage royalty rates.
“For me, it wasn’t a decision against streaming. I know there was a while where we were pretty upset about the shoddy royalty rates that people were getting. But now, you look at it, and it’s all people just listening to your music on YouTube,” Hanna said in an interview with Tidal. “You just want to have more people know about your work and get to hear the music however they get it. That’s just become more the thing for us. Since we have an extensive back catalogue, I just don’t think it’s right that everybody can’t have access to it.”
Given the DIY nature of riot grrrl band’s old 7 inches and other releases from the early ’90s, the recording leaves something to be desired, but that’s part of their charm.
“A lot of our records were not recorded that great, but they were recorded how we had the money to record them at the time, and I want people to listen to what we made. I don’t want people to listen to the crappy third-rate version on somebody’s YouTube video,” Hanna said. “Bikini Kill was a really intense, amazing band to be in and I’m happy that the music is going to be available to more people.”
That’s convenient since Bikini Kill’s anger and urgency feels especially relevant right now. Plus, “Suck My Left One” has always felt like a particularly timeless anthem.
In addition to their discography coming to streaming platforms, Bikini Kill is also reissuing their 1998 collection The Singles on CD, and for the first time, vinyl on September 25.