THE GITS formed in 1986 in Ohio and moved to Seattle three years later, just as the grunge phenomenon was becoming predominant in the region. Fronted by charismatic, powerhouse vocalist Mia Zapata, THE GITS further consisted of guitarist Joe Spleen, bass player Matthew Fred Dresdner and drummer Steve Moriarty. THE GITS eventually became the hub of a rather large music and social sub-scene.
The group was known to be fiercely independent and socially active with dogged determination and grit. They booked their own shows, organized US tours and never had a manager. Passed on by the grunge label in Seattle, THE GITS organized the underground into a vibrant sub-scene of musicians, artists, punks and activists to the grunge boy bands and never looked back. The band successfully toured Europe without record label support or a booking agency – which they accomplished illegally, relying on the support of European punk squatters and musician friends across Western Europe, Scandinavia and East Germany.
During their four-year tenure in Seattle THE GITS gained a reputation for an uncompromising vision and a bluesy street punk aesthetic. Passion, a strong ironic sense and the intensity of their live shows earned THE GITS a devoted following throughout the West Coast, Europe and pockets across the US. Critics discovered THE GITS’ first album Frenching the Bully and quickly and it was well received in music press from London to L.A. It charted for weeks on the CMJ radio charts and soon it was time for a second album. The tours and local shows continued and recording of the second album was nearly complete, tours were booked in Europe and the US and THE GITS were being courted by Major Record companies when occurred the brutal murder of singer Mia Zapata July 7, 1993.
The surviving Gits carried on playing music for a time in Mia’s honor, and mixed the second GITS studio album, Enter…the Conquering Chicken. Years later members of the band compiled an album entitled Seafish Louisville which contains unreleased studio tracks, remixed versions of the band’s early recordings and live material recorded in Seattle. Surprisingly, this album is perhaps the most consistent and essential GITS release Seafish Louisville captures the dark and troubled soul of a dynamic band in their prime, and is available now on San Francisco’s Broken Rekids. The Gits have also remixed, remastered and re-released their first two albums, Frenching The Bully, and Enter The Conquering Chicken. A documentary film was produced and news media around the world has covered the arrest and conviction of the man responsible for killing Gits vocalist Mia Zapata… convicted of murder over 10 years after the fact.
Mia Zapata – Vocals
Steve Moriarty – Drums
Joe Spleen aka andy kessler – Guitar
Matt Dresdner – Bass
- Matt Dresdner of the Gits Talks about the Murder of His Friend and Bandmate Mia Zapata 10 Years Later January 16th, 2003
- INTERVIEW: STEVE MORIARTY OF THE GITS February 2009
- THE GITS drummer Steve Interviewed on Music Life Radio January 15th, 2012
- Interview with Andy Kessler & Matt Dresdner of the Gits on KBCS September 28, 2019
- On the Rocks: Steve Moriarty Interviewed! March 31st, 2020