Garage punk band Le Butcherettes was founded in Mexico by vocalist/guitarist Teri Gender Bender (Denver-born and Mexican-bred Teri Suarez Cosío), who has remained the group's only constant member. Their chaotic sound bleeds the boundaries of punk to embrace everything from mariachi and funk to industrial noise and loopy, absurdist avant-rock on albums like their 2011 debut, Sin Sin Sin.
Gender Bender was born in Denver to a Mexican mother and a Spanish father. At ten, she began having recurring dreams of playing guitar and was eventually able to convince her father to buy her an instrument. Her father died when she was 13, prompting her mother to relocate the family to Mexico. At 17 years old, she and drummer Auryn Jolene formed Le Butcherettes in Guadalajara. Early live shows were outrageous and included props — such as dressing in '50s-era women's clothing and feather dusters, brooms, aprons, fake blood, flour, eggs, meat, and a real pig's head — that depicted women as slaves of the patriarchal household.
In 2008, the band issued their debut EP, Kiss & Kill. The music, combined with the power of the women's stage show, won them Best New Artist and Best Punk Record at the Indie-O Awards 2009. It was during this period, at a gig in Los Angeles, that Suarez met Omar Rodriguez-Lopez. There was a power outage in the venue that interrupted Le Butcherettes show. Undaunted, Suarez jumped into the crowd and continued singing through a megaphone. Impressed, Rodriguez-Lopez signed the group to his own label, produced, and played bass on 2011's Sin Sin Sin with drummer Normandi Heuxdaflo. In 2012, Suarez contributed lyrics and vocals to Rodriguez-Lopez's Octopus Kool Aid and starred in his film project Mi No y Esperanza. Subsequently, Suarez relocated to Los Angeles and entered into a creative partnership with Rodriguez-Lopez, forming and recording with the bands Bosnian Rainbows and Kimono Kult.
In early 2014, Le Butcherettes re-entered the studio and cut Cry Is for the Flies, for Rodriguez-Lopez's Nadie Sound label. Once more, he produced and played bass on the set, along with drummer Lia Braswell. The group pre-released three digital singles; fans who bought them were granted early-purchase access to the full-length three weeks before its release date on May 20. Gender Bender was featured as vocalist on a limited-edition, lathe-cut Melvins' single entitled "Rebel Girl" in early 2015, while the whole of Le Butcherettes shared a split-EP with the Melvins on Amphetamine Reptile a few months later. In September, Le Butcherettes released their next full-length, A Raw Youth, on Ipecac. Produced by Rodriguez-Lopez, it featured guest appearances from Iggy Pop ("La Uva") and guitarist John Frusciante ("My Half"). The album's songs examine themes of personal and social oppression and addresses the plight of victimized women, from the singular hitchhiker to women in the Middle East forced into subjugation and slavery.
Touring Europe, Mexico, and the United States, the on-stage band comprised a quartet (with drummer Alejandra Luna Robles, guitarist Rikardo Rodriguez-Lopez, and keyboardist Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez). Live, their attack ranged from mainstream arena-style rock to vanguard, anarcho-punk. In 2018, the group issued the surprise struggle/STRUGGLE EP, which wove together indie rock and post-punk. They followed it with the full-length bi/MENTAL in January of the following year with production assistance from Jerry Harrison. The album featured the title track off their struggle/STRUGGLE EP, as well as the single "spider/WAVES" featuring Jello Biafra, while ex-Bags' frontwoman Alice Bag guested on "Mother/Holds." In 2020, Le Butcherettes returned with another EP release, the seven-song project Don't Bleed. The EP explored themes of shame and revenge with its slick, sinister rock songs. ~ Thom Jurek