Described by some as "a female Bon Jovi," Vixen is an all-female band that has specialized in very slick, commercial, and glossy hard rock and pop-metal.
Vixen was never a favorite among rock critics, whose barbs didn't prevent the band from selling millions of albums in the late '80s. Formed in Los Angeles in 1981, bandmembers Janet Gardner (lead vocals), Jan Kuehnemund (lead guitar), Share Pedersen (bass), and Roxy Petrucci (drums) payed more than their share of dues on the L.A./Hollywood club scene before signing with EMI in 1987. Vixen's self-titled debut album came out in 1988, and the CD sold millions thanks in part to the single "Edge of a Broken Heart" (which enjoyed heavy exposure on MTV). Released in 1990, Vixen's second album, Rev It Up, had its share of catchy, infectious material but wasn't the big seller EMI was hoping for. With the rise of alternative rockers like Nirvana
and Pearl Jam
in 1992 and 1993, so-called "corporate metal" bands such as Vixen suddenly found themselves out of vogue. It wasn't until 1998's Tangerine on CMC International that Vixen recorded a third album. After taking some time off, the group (with a new bassist on board) attempted a short-lived comeback but ended up splitting. Jan Kuehnemund decided to keep the name alive and recruited Lynn Louise Lowrey (bass), Kat Kraft (drums), and Jenna Sanz-Agero (vocals) to round out the band. This new version of Vixen released Extended Versions, a recording of their set at 2005's Sweden Rock Festival, and a studio album, Live & Learn, which was released in Europe in 2006. The album was nominated as Best Album: Hard Rock/Metal for the 2007 Independent Music Awards and is scheduled for release in the U.S. in early 2007. ~ Alex Henderson & Tim Sendra, Rovi