Kim Shattuck, bassist and singer from the alternative rock bands in the 80s and 90s, such as the Muffs and the Pixies, passed away on October 2, 2019. She was 56.
The sad news was announced by her husband of 16 years, Kevin Sutherland, who posted a photo from their wedding day with the caption, “This morning the love of my life Kim passed peacefully in her sleep after a two year struggle with ALS. I am the man I am today because of her. She will live with all of us through her music, our shared memories and in her fierce creative spirit. I love you forever my Kimmy. Thank you for sharing your life… ”
Melanie Vammen, her forever best friend, as well as Shattuck’s fellow bandmate in the Pandoras, the Muffs, and the Coolies, confirmed the news on Instagram. Posting the same photo as Shattuck’s husband she wrote, “My heart is forever broken.”
Shattuck, who was also a singer, songwriter, and guitarist for The Beards, was proactive in supporting ALS and finding a cure, but never revealed her illness to the public.
1. Shattuck’s Band The Coolies Used Their Platform to Help Combat ALS
With Vammen and Palmyra Delran, a former member of The Friggs, Shattuck was part of the group, The Coolies, and they announced that 100% of the proceeds from the record sales of their self-titled EP would be donated to support research for the ALS Association. Mixed by Grammy Award-winner Geoff Sanoff, they recorded their six-track record, which included the songs “Uh Oh!” and “Yeah I Don’t Know,” and delivered an album with a 3-D vinyl cover.
Shattuck told Audio Femme that the inspiration behind this record, and dedicating the sales to combat ALS was inspired “because it runs on my dad’s side of the family and I am super sick of seeing it take down my relatives without a cure! I’m always gonna do a lot more work with THE ALS Association. I will always do it!”
Vammen added, “I will always want to help in whatever way I can,” and Delran said, “We’re committed to raising awareness and donations to find treatments and a cure for ALS. Diseases can be cured and ALS is such a mystery. It’s time.”
2. Shattuck’s New Album with the Muffs Is Being Released on October 18
Shattuck and Melanie Vammen started out as members of the Pandoras in the 1980s, and in 1991, the formed the punk rock band, the Muffs. They released their first singles, “Guilty,” and “New Love,” that same year, followed up by “I Need You,” in 1992.
Signed with Warner Bros. Records, the Muffs’ self-titled album was released in 1993, which included their famous cover of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America,” which became an iconic track after making it onto the Clueless soundtrack in 1995.
The Muffs reunited recently to make their first album together in five years, No Holiday, an 18-track record which is set to be released on October 18, via Omnivore Recordings. Bassist Ronnie Barnett said of their new ambitious project, “This album is a bit more adventurous for us and has a lot of different kinds of songs on it. While we might not be especially known for our ballads they have always been a part of our band that we’re especially proud of!”
3.Shattuck’s Stint with The Pixies was Short-Lived
The multi-hyphenate artist joined the Pixies after original band member, Kim Deal, left the group. Joining Black Francis, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering, she played with the popular alt-rock band on their European tour in Fall 2013. However, by late November of that same year, she was fired by the band.
Of her sudden departure Shattuck told NME, “I was surprised. Everything had gone well, the reviews were all good and the fans were super-nice about everything. They were like, ‘We love you, New Kim!’ We said goodbye at the airport and the following morning the manager called me and said: ‘The band has made the decision to go with another bass player.’ I was shocked.”
Shattuck continued, “I get the feeling they’re more introverted people than I am. Nobody really talked about deep issues, at least out loud. There was a show at the Mayan in Los Angeles where I got overly enthusiastic and jumped into the crowd, and I know they weren’t thrilled about that. When I got offstage the manager told me not to do that again. I said, ‘Really, for my own safety?’ And he said, ‘No, because the Pixies don’t do that.’”
Paz Lenchatin of A Perfect Circle and Zwan was brought in to replace Shattuck, who said she harbored no ill will toward the band after being fired. “I would have preferred it if they told me face to face as a group, but they’re nice people. I’m still a fan of the Pixies!”
4. Shattuck Worked with NOFX, The Dollyrots & Bowling for Soup
In addition to being a founding member in numerous of her band, she regularly collaborated with other bands. She sang on NOFX’s “Lori Meyers,” as well as Bowling for Soup’s “I’ll Always Remember You (That Way).” Shattuck also worked with Kepi Ghouli on the song “This Friend of Mine” and The Dollyrots for the track, “Some Girls.”
5. Shattuck and and Sutherland Didn’t Have Children, But She was Extremely Close with Her Entire Family
Shattuck’s Instagram page is like looking through a vault of her incredible career as a musician throughout the decades, and if she wasn’t posting about her music and cheering on her fellow bandmates, she was sharing photos of her mother Betty, who had her sister Kristen Shattuck at age 16, her brother Kirk, and their respective children.
She was a beloved Auntie, sister, wife and daughter, and her passing was mourned online by not only her family, but numerous celebrities and fellow musicians.