- - Monday, May 30, 2016

The Muffs are back! The punk pop rock trio with Riot grrrl attitude and killer riffs fronted by singer/guitarist Kim Shattuck ruled the 1990s. They released four solid albums including the brilliant “Blonder and Blonder,” which featured the college rock hit “Sad Tomorrow.” Two more albums followed before The Muffs took a five-year hiatus between 1999 and 2004. The band re-emerged in 2004, but only to release one album before going away again — this time for a full decade.

In 2014 Miss Shattuck and company came back with a new CD, “Whoop Dee Doo.” The band’s catalog is now being re-issued, and Miss Shattuck, bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald are busy writing and learning new songs.

Miss Shattuck discussed the band’s return, giving birth (to songs, not babies) and the time she heckled ‘70s TV game show icon Charles Nelson Reilly.

Question: Why did The Muffs go from a quartet to a trio after the first CD?

Answer: It was just some personal stuff between us and [former guitarist] Melanie [Vammen] at the time. There was a difference of opinion, which is regrettable now that Melanie and I are great friends again. I feel like I missed 17 years of my best friend.

Q: Was it tough to be the only girl in the band?

A: No, because I’ve always gotten along great with guys. I was never a “girlie girl.” The one thing about being a three-piece is I’m always going to be the odd man out. That may be my personality more than anything. I’m stubborn.

We have fights. All of us have fought, but it’s not like we break up over it. The trick is to think or it as a family. That makes you feel loyal. Obviously we had lineup changes, but no one in the group is bigger than the group. I guess it’s kind of a socialist thing. [laughs]

Q: The band’s first CD was recently reissued with bonus tracks. How did that come about?

A: Yeah, “Omnivore” did. I think they came up to [bassist] Ronnie [Barnett] at his record store job and said, “Hey, we want to rerelease your albums.” We were like, “What?”

They are about to do our other albums. “Blonder and Blonder” is next, and then “Happy Birthday to Me” after that.

Q: Were you involved with finding the bonus material?

A: I was totally in on the conversation, and they asked me if I had any extras. Of course I did. I had to go through a bunch of cassettes. I had to buy a Tascam 4 track machine to play my old demo tapes that had been recorded on a Tacam. I had to go on eBay. And I won it!

It was supposedly in great shape. Basically, to make it not stop in the middle to make it work without having to actually fix it, I have to do “the Fonzie,” meaning I hit it. The Fonzie works. Not every time, but often.

Q: Why was the band inactive for 10 years?

A: We were just being lazy. [laughs] We hadn’t broken up or anything. We were just lazy. I decided that I would go back into photography. Because that was what I used to do. I went back to school again. I decided I didn’t want to do photography for a living. I like doing it for fun.

Q: Do you still enjoy making music?

A: Yes. I love it. It’s kind of almost addictive to write songs. When I like em, which is pretty much all the time, I think, “Oh, my God, I wrote a song. I have to write another one.” That’s what we’re doing right now with The Muffs. I’m writing a bunch of new songs and we’re learning them. We tried out four new ones at the last Muffs show we did.

Q: What was the reaction from the fans to the new material?

A: They were really nice about it. You know how sometimes they can be. They’re listening so they were very still. Then you could see a couple heads going, and then a couple more heads going. I was really nervous to play the new songs. Because they are kind of my own.

Q: It’s like you’re giving birth.

A: Yes, I’m giving birth. I’ve never had a baby, so I’m not sure what it’s like.

Q: It’s horrifying.

A: It looks horrifying. I love kids though, just not the bad part of kids. I think the stork should be real.

Q: Is it true you once heckled Charles Nelson Reilly.

A: I loved him so much. When I was a kid, some friends of mine and I went to a taping of “Match Game.” We booed him and booed him. He finally reacted. We just wanted him to notice us. I swear there has to be tape somewhere in the “Match Game” archive. He got up and looked in our direction and shouted, “Hey!” We didn’t boo him after that.

Q: Are there any classic TV stars that you have harassed?

A: When I was 13 my family went over to “The Love Boat,” which was anchored in San Pedro [near Los Angeles]. At the time anyone could walk on it, look around and hang out. We went. I had the worst, worst headache. I was there with my mom, dad and two of my friends. Me and my friends split off and we spotted Donnie Most of “Happy Days.” I don’t really care about celebrity. I always thought it was kind of stupid. And I had a headache. They were asking for his autograph. He was totally nice. He said, “Would you like one too?” I said, “No, but do you have any aspirin, because I have the worst headache ever!”

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