To describe them simply, Bikini Kill was a feminist punk band that was active during the 1990s.
They formed in 1991 in Olympia, Washington. Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail, and Kathi Wilcox met while attending college at Evergreen State. The trio was already collaborating on a feminist zine entitled Bikini Kill. After recruiting their friend Billy "Billy Boredom" Karren to play guitar, Bikini Kill also became their band name.
At their shows, Bikini Kill aimed to create a female-friendly environment where women could feel safe and included; they would often ask men in the audience to make way for women near the stage and would pass out flyers that urged them to do so.
In 1998, the band collaborated on a few tracks with guitar goddess Joan Jett. She helped produce their singles "New Radio" and "Rebel Girl", both of which were included on their collection of singles, aptly titled The Singles.
In early 1998, Bikini Kill split up quietly.
They released four albums through the label Kill Rock Stars: two full-length albums (Pussy Whipped and Reject All American) and two compilations (The CD Version of the First Two Records and The Singles).
- Kathleen Hanna started working on a solo project called Julie Ruin while she was taking a break from Bikini Kill in 1997; she released one album under that name. After BK split up, she formed the electroclash group Le Tigre in 1998. In the summer of 2006, she married Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys. Kathleen and Kathi Wilcox are currently in a band called the Julie Ruin, and they released their first album, Run Fast, in 2013.
- Billy Karren did an album with Corrections in 1999. Since 1992, Billy, Kathi, and Tobi had a side project with Bratmobile drummer Molly Neuman called the Frumpies, and they toured up to the early 2000s. Billy is currently in the bands Ghost Mom and November Witch.
- Tobi Vail founded the band Spider and the Webs, and has worked as a freelance writer for a number of years. Check out her blog here.
- Kathi Wilcox was a member of the Casual Dots, who released their sole album in 2004. Kathi co-wrote the theme song for the kids' show Pancake Mountain. She is married to Fugazi guitarist Guy Picciotto, and they have a daughter. Kathi is currently playing bass in the Julie Ruin.