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The Donnas

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Biography

All band members were born in 1979. Brett Anderson (born May 30, 1979) is the singer of the band, Allison Robertson (born August 26, 1979) is the guitarist, Maya Ford (born January 8, 1979) is the bass player, and Torry Castellano (born January 8, 1979) plays the drums. As best friends, they formed in the eighth grade to play for their school's "Day on the Green." The only girl band in their town Palo Alto, California, they were relatively unknown until they were out of high school. They are all self-taught musicians and practiced in Castellano's garage nearly every day during high school.

Towards the end of their high school days, while they were still known as "The Electrocutes", they decided to create another band (with the same members) which they would use to play softer tunes without distorting the metal queen image of The Electrocutes. To further distinguish the difference between the two bands, they all took matching "Donna" monikers, where all of their names were Donna, and their last names were the first initial of their last name (Brett Anderson became Donna A) which they used only when performing as "The Donnas". Although they initially planned on dropping The Donnas after a while and sticking with The Electrocutes, they changed their minds after high school and stuck with the Donnas instead, while still keeping their Donna names. They are sometimes described as a punk band, but the band itself denies any kind of affiliation with the punk rock movement.

In 2002, The Donnas released Spend the Night. The album was their mainstream break through, spawning the hit single "Take it Off" and appearances on Total Request Live, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Late Show with David Letterman. In the summer of 2003, they played the main stage at Lollapalooza. In 2004, they released their sixth album Gold Medal. In February 2005, they toured Australia with the Big Day Out music festival, playing from Sydney to Perth.

The Donnas' music has also made various appearances in film and media. The band appeared in the movie Drive Me Crazy in 1999 (as the Electrocutes), and more recently appeared on the TV show "Charmed" performing the single "Fall Behind Me" at P3. They also appeared in the teen comedy Jawbreaker as the prom band, contributing two songs to the soundtrack ("Rock 'N' Roll Machine" and "Checkin' It Out"). A cover of "Roll On Down The Highway" was used in a Disney commercial. The Donnas can also be heard on Mean Girls during the end credits playing a cover of the Billy Idol song "Dancing With Myself", and they also contributed to the soundtrack of the movie Grind. The video "Too Bad About Your Girl" also features the cast of the film Grind. The song Take It Off features in the movie Dodgeball.

Up until the release of 2004's Gold Medal, the band used pseudonyms. Each member was known as "Donna" followed by the first initial of their surname (e.g. Brett was known as Donna A). They decided to drop the stage names prior to the release of Gold Medal to present an image appropriate for the more mature sound that they had adopted on the new album.



 


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