By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
In 1999 the band released Le Tigre on the North Carolina-based Mr. Lady Records and took to the road for a short tour. "Sadie felt like she really couldn't commit to such a full-time endeavor, so she left the band," says Fateman, "and then J.D., who was already becoming part of the band and had been on tour with us as our slide projectionist, joined."
The Mr. Lady EP that followed in 2001 was Samson's first-ever recording project. "I didn't play music before this," she admits. "I was actually in college for visual arts doing film and video. I mean, I had played music with my friends, but I was never in a band. It was all supernew to me. I've been learning so much ever since I started."
So what if Samson came in with barely a scrap of musical ability? Le Tigre still ascribes to the antivirtuosity of punk rock that spawned Bikini Kill, giving the finger to macho rock myths by empowering nonmusician chicks such as Samson and Benning to pick up an instrument. That's a message that comes across no matter how catchy Le Tigre's hooks or contagious the dance beats. "You hope there's a response and a dialogue," says Samson, "and you hope that it sets off ripples of positive change everywhere. Obviously you can't practice any kind of mind control, but that's just fine with us. We hope people like our music or get something out of it."