L-Seven was formed by ex-members of The Blind, Algebra Mothers, and Retro in 1980. The band’s sound was different than most of what was around Bookie’s Club 870 as well as the fledgling hardcore scene at the time, even though vocalist Larissa Stolarchuk was connected to that scene through her friendships with bands such as the Necros and Negative Approach. L-Seven has been referred to as “post-punk”.
Among the band’s first shows included Downtown Detroit Days, a then-twice annual event aimed at driving shoppers to downtown businesses around Hudson’s and Hart Plaza, in Spring 1981. L-Seven also played the opening of Clutch Cargo’s on New Year’s Eve 1982 and, according to bassist Frank Callis, the band was the final act at the same venue before Vince Bannon’s booking operations went to St. Andrew’s Hall in late 1982. Stolarchuk and, her then boyfriend John Brannon of Negative Approach, lived for a time in the apartments above the Woman’s City Club where Clutch Cargo’s was housed.
In a further connection between Clutch Cargo’s and the band, Callis says Detroit promoter Vince Bannon and his business partner Amir Daiza were interested in managing L-Seven but, believes a deal failed to materialize due to instability in the band.
After Michael Smith left L-Seven he went on to join Figures on a Beach with former members of Razor 1922.
Following Smith and the departure of keyboardist/reeds player Charles McEvoy, Kory Clarke and Scott Schuer from The Attitudes joined on drums and guitar. Both Rice and Callis say Clarke faced what would now be described as “bullying” from members of the local hardcore scene. In his late 20s, Callis says he didn’t feel like it was his place to get involved in the cliquish arguments he saw among members of the scene and his bandmates who were almost ten years younger than him in their late teens/early 20s.
L-Seven released one 7-inch EP, the only release on the Touch and Go – Special Forces imprint, in 1982. The side label was created as not to confuse the Touch and Go Records fanbase which has been heartily snapping up releases from the Michigan/Northern Ohio hardcore scene from bands such as The Fix, Necros, Negative Approach, and The Meatmen.
Less than a year after the release of the EP, L-Seven called it quits in 1983. Callis believes the end stemmed from several factors including Clarke’s acrimony over Stolarchuk’s interest in spending more time around the hardcore scene as well as her expressed interest in a different creative direction.
After L-Seven, Clarke started a band called The Trial and later moved out from behind the drum kit to become the frontman in the group Warrior Soul. Rice would form The Linkletters in Detroit before deciding to move California. While in California, around 1984, Rice auditioned for Public Image Limited and was considered for the group’s new touring/recording lineup. But, John Lydon scrapped the idea. Rice later formed a band called Sandy Duncan’s Eye while living in Los Angeles. Callis left music behind to focus on his career as an architect. A few years after L-Seven, using the name Larissa Strickland, Stolarchuk left the mic for a guitar and formed the band Laughing Hyaenas with John Brannon in 1985. Laughing Hyaenas put out several acclaimed albums on Touch and Go before calling it quits in 1995. Stolarchuk died in 2006. Third Man Records reissued the Laughing Hyaenas catalog on vinyl in 2018. The Metro Times published an in-depth history of the band in December 2018.
In July 2020 Third Man Records released a special edition, featuring an extra 7 inch of songs, and a standard edition of unreleased and live music by L-Seven put together with help from Steve Shelley, a fan of the band and drummer for Sonic Youth.
The Metro Times published an in-depth history of the band in August 2020.
One thought on “L-Seven”
I remember seeing L Seven at Clutch Cargos and Larissa in her torn, old 1950’s frock. To call it a frock is a sort of misrepresentation of what it was. First of all, it was see through from years of wear and tear with faded flowers.. She also wore combat boots. She was herself a faded, frail translucent flower. Her ghostly white skin and white blond hair was both ethereal and femme like a fairy from another Slavic world. She was young and old and fierce and vulnerable. Her voice still haunts me. I believe even though this band was pretty underground in many senses of the word- one that it was being largely unknown and ignored, except to the people there at this magical time. They were really different from any hard core band I ever saw. She was a true artist. Daring, complex, and isolated.
She had a real chemistry with Dave Rice who was (is) an amazing guitar player. He also had this old man thing going and seem to understand what she wanted to do always. They had this sort of innocence about them. A brother sister connection of opposites both coming from the same parentage of Detroit working class emptiness. Detroit was empty, littered with shards of broken glass and empty hollow spaces where people lived in squalor. Our response as young teenagers was to gravitate to each other and turn our frustration and anger into joy. L Seven was in my mind really the main source of creativity for NA, Violent Apathy, and many other people who had side bands and later developed into more serious musicians. She gave us all permission to be poetic, it was not just another hardcore scene.
As one of the few women hanging at out the Freezer Theater, Bookies and Nunzio’s, Larissa created respect in a virtually all-male musical scene. She wasn’t loud, her fierceness was much more powerful, much darker, and more filled with an inner rage that translated in to a pure state on stage.
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