Anchored by Sleater-Kinney vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, Filthy Friends are a Northwest alternative rock supergroup for the ages.
In addition to this pair, Filthy Friends feature Kurt Bloch of the Fastbacks, Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5, and King Crimson drummer Bill Rieflin; McCaughey and Rieflin were featured players in the latter-day touring incarnation of R.E.M. While their music often reflects Tucker's passionate energy and social conscience as well as Buck's talent for full-bodied pop melodies, Filthy Friends are also steeped in blues and indie rock influences that give their music a strong personality of its own.
Originally, Filthy Friends were designed as a simple covers band, playing low-key shows in Portland beginning in 2012. The group started to gain momentum after performing a set of David Bowie tunes for Buck's annual Todos Santos Music Festival in early 2016. By October of that year, the quintet reunited to record "Despierta" for Dave Eggers' Donald Trump protest project 30 Days, 30 Songs. One song led to a few others, so the group recorded a full album. Signing with Kill Rock Stars, Filthy Friends released a single titled "Any Kind of Crowd" backed by a cover of Roxy Music's "Editions of You" in April 2017, followed by "The Arrival" in June. The full-length debut Invitation saw release in August 2017.
A tour to celebrate the release of Invitation had to be canceled when Scott McCaughey suffered a stroke that led to a three-week stay in the hospital. Filthy Friends were also forced to make changes when Bill Rieflin's busy schedule led him to drop out of the group. Thankfully, McCaughey enjoyed an unexpectedly speedy recovery, and he was back to recording and performing by mid-2018; the band found a new drummer in Linda Pitmon, a longtime member of Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 who had worked with Buck and McCaughey in the Baseball Project. Filthy Friends returned to the studio in August 2018 to begin work on their second album, and Emerald Valley as released in May 2019. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Mark Deming, Rovi