The Aquanettas were among the acts that were actually signed to I.R.S.-distributed Nettwerk Records. Formed by Deborah Schwartz and Jill Richmond in the late 80s, The Aquanettas derived their name from a brand of hair spray popular with "old ladies." But the story begins long before that...
Deborah Schwartz taught herself how to play guitar at age 13, in her native Voorheesville, New York. When punk & new wave started happening in the late 70s and early 80s, Deborah found herself, like many of her generation, hooked on the raw sound and pure energy of the movement. After college, on a whim, she moved to Los Angeles, home of her favorite band, X. A devoted " X-head," following gigs religiously, she met future Aquanetta Jill Richmond. But after three months in LA, Debby had had enough of the "LA Scene" and headed back to NYC in January, 1986.
A year later, Jill also moved to NYC. Together the two started co-writing the songs that would eventually fill their first album and fleshing out the line up with Claudine Troies on bass and Stephanie Seymour on drums. The Aquanettas worked very hard to become proficient, practicing at least three times a week. The efforts paid off as club gigs ensued, and they started accumulating professional experience. A performance at an annual New Music Seminar and got them signed by the Canadian label Nettwerk Productions. Nettwerk, in turn, inked a distribution deal with IRS Records, resulting in the release of the band's debut album, LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER, the title taken from a 1963 Natalie Wood/Steve McQueen film.
The music on LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER is strong in pop sensibility. But sales were not so strong and reviews were mixed. IRS was not exactly supportive and The Aquanettas were soon without a label. They put out a few singles on their own both domestically (on their own label, "Prize Pagoda") and while living in England. Back in the states, in 1993, they released one CD5 EP entitled ROADHOUSE on Giant Records/Rockville (pictured at right). They finally called it quits after seven years because, according to Debby, "we couldn't afford it any more...so we broke the band up out of friendship."
Today, they remain friends and still support each other's various projects. Debby Schwartz hooked up with Joan Osborne to record and tour and subsequently released a solo album on Mercury Records in 1998, called WRONGS OF PASSAGE, featuring Aquanettas' bassist Claudine Troies. Stephanie Seymour put the drums into storage and is singing and writing material for her own band called Birdy, which has put out a CD on Cropduster Records.
Mr Bill would like to thank Debbie Schwartz for additional input and information on this page.
Produced by Mike Landolt
Additional Production by The Aquanettas & Mike Jowett at Vancouver Studios
Mixed & Engineered by Mike Landolt with Steve Royea
Photos and Original artwork by Kharen Hill & Crystal Heald
Layout by Terry McBride
Deborah Schwartz Vocals & Guitars
Jill Richmond Guitar
Claudine Troies Bass
Stephanie Seymour Drums & back-up vocals
REVIEW COMING SOON!