"Monica Richards is the Original Riot Grrrl and the Fairytale Queen all rolled up into one unbelievably talented artist. She belongs in the Avante Garde of today's music, forever changing, evolving, true to herself." - J. Tomkins
Monica Richards began singing in her early teens, fronting a number of bands during the heyday of the Washington D.C. 80s' hardcore punk scene. She first performed in 1982 with Hate From Ignorance, which led to a number of gigs in support of bands including Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, and Meat Puppets. In 1983, she formed and began singing for Madhouse, a power-punk/early Deathrock outfit that had a hard time fitting in with the male-dominated bands and audiences. (Her early days are well documented in books that chronicle the harDCore scene: "Banned In D.C." [Connolly/Clague/Cheslow] and "Dance of Days" [Anderson/Jenkins].
She performed at the same time as other well-known D.C. Punk bands - Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and SOA (Henry Rollins' first band), and was one of the earliest female singers in the harDCore scene.
Spring of 1987 heralded the formation of Strange Boutique; a band which Monica, Daniel, and ex-Beefeater guitarist Fred "Freak" Smith founded with the intention of exploring an art-driven side of their musical interests. With the addition of bassist Steve Willett, the band's first EP, "Easter Island" was released in the Spring of 1989. Due to the distinct looks and on-stage energy of each band member, SB earned quite a reputation for their spirited and unusual liveshows. Strange Boutique quickly established itself as one of Washington DC's major alternative acts.
Strange Boutique, sharing the stage with such kindred spirits as PIL, Lush, Xymox, and Caterwaul, drove to Norfolk, VA in October 1992 to perform with Shadow Project. It was on this evening that Monica Richards met William Faith; the two struck an instant rapport, and began making plans for a future project together... Strange Boutique released 3 CDs on their own Bedazzled records label, performed throughout the U.S. and even in the UK in support of for Killing Joke before the band broke up in late 1993.
Monica Richards reunited with Strange Boutique for a Reunion show in Washington D.C. on July 3rd, 2004 and a Best Of CD of Strange Boutique songs was released on Metropolis Records, entitled "Strange Boutique - The Collection: 1988-1994".
Monica Richards moved to Los Angeles in December 1993 to begin work on Faith and the Muse.
Though she is best known as singer/songwriterwriter and half of Faith and the Muse, Monica has found a home for her abilities and talents with the release of her own music. Monica has just released her second solo album, NAIADES.
Her distinctive vocals have also been featured on other projects, including Jarboe, Viva Death, Collide, Matt Howden, Real Space Noise, In The Nursery, Eden House, and Lamé Immortelle. She has also sung live with Conflict and also released a CD with Anima Mundi.
Monica Richards is also an internationally known creative visual artist; her distinctive work has graced CD covers, commercial ads and brochures, websites and gallery walls. As a visual artist, her talents run the entire spectrum, from Graphic Imaging, Pen & Ink, Colored Pencil, Sculpture and traditional Fine Art paintings. She is best known for her larger-than-life expressive mythical symbolism, and her intense use of color and contrast. Monica's artwork is centered around world-wide Matriarchal mythological themes, and all the different faces and seasonal personalities they possess.
Getting her start in Washington D.C. with punk rock fliers and artwork for local business, Monica's designs have ultimately been in the artwork of Strange Boutique and Faith and the Muse: her artwork can be found on SB's Charm, and F&TM's Annwyn and Vera Causa CD covers. In 2003 and 2004, she took part in the Rawk Show in Austin, TX - a group art show featuring the works of musicians, including Mark Mothersbaugh, Exene Cervenka, Penelope Houston, and members of groups such as Hole, Atari, and L7. She is available for gallery showings, go the Art Galleries on her own website to view some of her work.
Monica is a self-published writer and poet: a graduate of the American University with honors in Literature, (and a minor in Anthropology). Her poetry, lyrics, and prose often intertwine with the same themes as her art, the feminine mythological view that guides every creative aspect of her life. She has been asked to write and/or comment about music, mythology, literature, and art for numerous periodicals.
She released her first book, "The Book of Annwyn", in Spring of 1998. The book was a fully realized creative work, packed with her poetry, essays, and re-workings of Welsh-Celtic tales, as well as art and graphic work. She has also released three books of poetry: "Garden Booke of Ghosts", "The Little Red Book of Poetry" and "The Muse Inward". Currently, she is working on a new graphic novel, based on her short stories, entitled ANAFAE. Three issues are currently available.Please go to the Books to order.
See monicarichards.com for more on her art, writing and solo music.
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