The Virgin Destroyers

The Virgin Destroyers

BandRockPop

The name says it all. Literally. Don't let front woman Jen Graham's diminutive size fool you. She ain't afraid to put a man in his place with her sassy, sexy, southern sound. Ronnie Lee Gipson, the Virgin D's other half, leaves 'em lusting for more of his skilled strokes. Evans is legendary.

Biography


Late one cold November night in 2007, Mobile native, Jen Graham, and Tuscaloosa's Ronnie Lee Gipson, also known as Bo, or Little Bo, met in passing in downtown Tuscaloosa. Despite the brevity of the encounter, Gipson, then 19, made a lasting impression on Graham with his larger than life persona and style. A year passed; Graham received her Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law and Gipson kept busy playing and recording with Druid City Rockers.

Bored by tedious and regimented legal writing, Graham focused her energy toward songwriting, a natural extension of her days at Vanderbilt studying poetry. She and Birmingham drummer, and longtime friend, Zach Evans, penned the band's first song, 3 years. Gipson immediately came to mind when she and Evans discussed forming a band. In February 2009, Gipson and Graham reconnected and found they shared a similar vision for the project. Gipson agreed to sign on as the band's lead guitarist.

There are several theories on the derivation of the band's name, but the bottom line is the three agreed that the name fit their defiant, restless, and provocative vibe.

The Virgin Destroyers unveiled their brand of southern grunge pop-rock to a packed house at Egan's in April 2009, and quickly gained notoriety in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, appearing regularly at Egan's in Tuscaloosa and at The Nick in Birmingham.

Evans returned to Birmingham a few months later, but Graham and Gipson's partnership continued and set out to write and record the band's debut album as a duo. The pair teamed up with David Gulliver and Evan Maddox of The Print Shop Recording Studio and began recording the band's freshman album, The Empire Strikes Back, in December 2009, with a tentative release date of July 2010.

Evans reunited with the band in February 2010, and, alongside Graham and Gipson, The Virgin Destroyers rocked The Nick right, headlining a Friday night bill in February.

When they're not out popping cherries, the trio keep busy with a plethora of creative pursuits. Gipson plays and records with several of the most respected rock and rollers in the southeast, including Black Willis Band (formerly, Vesper), Silver Lion's 20/20, and Carroll County Picture Show and has albums coming out with Black Willis Band and Silver Lions later this year.

Jen spends her time away from writing, recording, and performing with the Virgin D's perfecting the Art of Rebellion at Confederate Cycles' Birmingham shop, and is currently working on a T-shirt campaign Confederate plans to launch this fall.

Despite her busy schedule, Graham is on call whenever Anniston film-ingenue, Jason LaRay Keener asks. First collaborating in 2007, Graham found Keener's unorthodox and often eccentric filmmaking techniques a welcome and liberating change from three somewhat disillusioning years in Los Angeles. The two teamed up again in 2008 and in 2009, garnered national attention for the dark short, Hollow Porcelain Fish Chamber (HPFC), in no small part because of Graham's eerie and paradoxical personification of a solemn clown rendered euphoric by bullets cascaded upon her. Alongside their previous collaborations, HPFC was released in 2009 as part of Keener's avant-guard collection of critically acclaimed short films, A Catfish with Falcon Wings.

While Zach Evans is largely reclusive to his Trussville home these days trying to remember why we're here in the first place, the seasoned Birmingham musician turns up playing around Birmingham with some of the best around, here and again.

Evans' impressive resume is prolific and dates back to 1993, when he and childhood friend, David Hickox, started the band, Plate Six, named for a picture from a 1960's sci-fi book, The World of UFO's.

Since then, he's played and recorded with all sorts of bands and artists including Dan Sartain, Bleeding Hearts Choir, and Good Green Bus/Happy Camper, Lytebrite, Secrethairdresser, The Grenadines, and A.A. Bondy.

In 1999, Evans toured with J.P. Strohm, formerly of the Lemonheads. In 2006, his band with Daniel Duquette Johnson, Cutgrass, opened for The Strokes at Sloss Furnace to a sold out crowd. Saddle Creek recording artist, Maria Taylor, invited Evans along on her 2007 tour; he even appears in her music video, A Good Start, as well as in countless videos of live performances with Taylor and other Saddle Creek artists.

He's regarded as one of the best drummers in Birmingham, arguably one of the best anywhere, able to play anything spur of the moment without batting an eye, and a way with the ladies that has earned him a reputation worthy of a virgin destroyer many times over.

If you're still not clear on who The Virgin Ds are, just think of them as a modern, southern, superheroic, Joan Jett/Blondie inspired attack on the establishment. Guaranteed to get your rocks off or your money back.


Discography

Debut album entitled The Empire Strikes Back to be released Summer 2010.
Radio airplay on Paul Finebaum's nationally syndicated show for "Bitch Boy," airplay of demos on WVUA--University of Alabama Radio, Tuscaloosa, AL

Set List

Upbeat, straight up rock n' roll. Mainly play originals, but current set list includes three covers:

1) I Still Miss Someone (Cash) (Graham solo on electric guitar)
2) 3 years
3) Bitch Boy
4) Jumpin' Jack Flash (Jagger/Richards)
5) The Great Depression
6) Ramblin' Rose (MC5)
7) For Keeps
8) Emergency
9) Put You Down
10) Nobody's Girlfriend

set lasts from 30-45 minutes