Team Dresch are a Queercore band who performed and recorded in the 1990s and made a significant impression on that movement, as well as on the independent music scene.
Donna Dresch, founder of the band, had been involved in the queercore scene in the late 1980s and early 90′s as creator of her own fanzine ”Chainsaw” and, in addition to contributing to other zines such as ”Outpunk” and ”J.D.s”, she was featured on the cover of issue five of ”Homocore” and appeared in the girl-gang film ”The Yo-Yo Gang” by G.B. Jones.
The line up of the group for their first recordings was Donna Dresch, guitar and bass; Jody Bleyle, guitar and vocals; Kaia Wilson, guitar and vocals; and Marci Martinez on drums. All were veterans of other musical outfits; Donna Dresch had previously played and recorded with such bands as Dinosaur Jr., Dangermouse, Screaming Trees, Rastro!, Fifth Column, Some Velvet Sidewalk, Lois, Mary Lou Lord and The Go Team; Jody Bleyle was simultaneously in the band Hazel while playing in Team Dresch; Kaia Wilson had been in the band Adickdid and Marci Martinez in Calamity Jane.
Their first single,”Hand Grenade”, appeared on Kill Rock Stars in 1994. ”Personal Best”, the album which followed it, appeared as a co-release on the independent labels Chainsaw Records, run by Dresch and Candy Ass Records, run by Bleyle. The next co-release by these labels was the compilation ”Free To Fight”, a double LP of all-women bands addressing issues such as harassment and rape and dedicated to self-defense. The band toured with self-defense instructor Alice Stagg, who spoke and gave demonstrations to the audience prior to the bands’ performance. The members were committed to a DIY ethic, running their own record labels and booking their own tours.
On their second recording Melissa York, previously of the hardcore punk bands Vitapup and Born Against replaced Marci Martinez. This LP, ”Captain My Captain”, also featured a guest appearance by Phranc, well known lesbian musician. As well, the song “Uncle Phranc”, written as a tribute to her, appears on this album.
After this LP Kaia Wilson and Melissa York left the band to form The Butchies, while Dresch and Bleyle continued recording with the addition of new member Amanda Kelly and Marci Martinez once again on drums. The band stopped playing in 1998, with Dresch increasingly involved in running her record label which was releasing many recordings by newer Queercore bands, including The Need, Longstocking, Sleater Kinney and many more. But in 2004, Donna Dresch returned to the stage with a new band, Davies vs. Dresch. They appeared as part of “Queercore Blitz”, a group of queer bands touring the U.S together. The same year Jody Bleyle also debuted a new band, Family Outing, which includes her brother.
The band performs and is interviewed in the documentary film ”She’s Real, Worse Than Queer” by Lucy Thane.