Bitesize bio page!

from left to right:
Leslie Harrison: bass and vocals
Julia Serano: guitar and vocals
Steve "Speed" LeFevre: drums

Bitesize bio #1: the “short and sweet” version

Since the late 1990’s, the San Francisco Bay Area’s Bitesize have been bringing a little bit of sickness to indie-pop, filling their otherwise perfect two-minute long pop gems with awkward stops and starts, weird bursts of guitar noise, quirky vocals, and lots of jumping up and down. The band has released two critically acclaimed CDs (The Best of Bitesize and Sophomore Slump), received college radio airplay nationwide and have been invited to perform at high profile events such as Noise Pop, North-by-Northwest, Ladyfest Bay Area, Folsom Street Fair, Mission Creek Music Festival, bEASTfest and the San Francisco Pride Main Stage.

Bitesize bio #2:
Hear No Evil: the almost entirely true unauthorized autobiography of the band who almost changed the world

The Beatles. The Rolling Stones. Led Zeppelin. The Sex Pistols. U2. Metallica. Nirvana. Bands who changed the face of music as we know it. And then there’s Bitesize...

While not having achieved the accolades and mega-super-stardom of their aforementioned predecessors, this modest San Francisco Bay Area indie-pop trio has nevertheless captured the hearts and minds of countless individuals all across the globe. It is not all that uncommon for music fanatics, upon being asked to name their favorite bands, to mention Bitesize, only to be interrupted by that same, pesky, inevitable question: “Who is Bitesize?” Often the question is asked out of sheer ignorance. But every once in a blue moon, that question takes on a profound air. I mean, who is Bitesize, really? Where did they come from? What makes them tick? And why can’t I get their freaky-ass songs out of my mind?

In the Beginning...

Like all great relationships, Bitesize met one another through personal ads. Specifically, “muscians wanted” ads. Bassist/vocalist Leslie Harrison and guitarist/vocalist Julia Serano met one another in 1996 and were drawn to play together out of a mutual admiration of now classic indie-rock bands such as The Pixies, Pavement, Superchunk, Guided by Voices and local heroes P.E.E. (formerly known as Pee). Leslie had recently moved to San Francisco from L.A., where she worked at a famous recording studio making expressos for rock stars and amassing a seemingly endless collection of humorous music industry anecdotes. And Julia, then Tom (it’s a long story, we’ll get to it in a minute), had just moved to Berkeley from Lawrence, Kansas, where she had finished up her graduate work whilst soaking up the sounds of fantabulous mid-west bands such as Cher UK and House of Large Sizes. Julia and Leslie spent their first year working on songs that Julia had written, and languishing in “drummer hell” - that musical limbo state in which drummers are continually auditioned, yet none of them ever seem to pan out for various reasons. But then all of that changed when they met Steve...

The Mystery of “Speed”

Steve “Speed” LeFevre is an enigma wrapped in a shroud encased in an oxymoron that is topped off with whip cream and a cherry on top. We don’t know much about his personal background, except for the fact that he’s a recovering Mormon and a kick-ass percussionist. Much of his mysterious nature stems from his nickname/alias “Speed.” To this day, nobody (including Steve) seems to remember exactly where that moniker came from. Then there are the dramatic changes in his appearance over the years: sometimes sporting long hair, or short hair, or dyed hair, or facial hair, and so on. The fact that most people consider Steve to be the Bitesize member whose appearance has changed most over the years is especially remarkable given the fact that his bandmate Julia changed her sex mid-way through the band’s career.

Steve’s chameleon-like shape-shifting abilities have caused a great deal of confusion over the years, leading countless Bitesize fans, music journalists and music historians alike to posit that Bitesize has had several drummers over the course of their history when, in fact, the band has only had one. For example, renowned music historian Evan B. Shaffer vociferously argued in an article published in The Journal of Musicology that Bitesize has had precisely three drummers over the years, all of whom were named Steve, and whom he describes (in chronological order) as “hippie Steve,” “clean-cut Steve” and “punk rock Steve.” In contrast, Elle Hampton-Martelli, a distinguished professor of ethnomusicology at Harvard, has favored the intriguing theory that there were two Bitesize drummers, Steve and Speed, who were identical twins separated at birth. According to her theory (which was later adapted for the New York Times best-seller The Zyldjian Killer), Steve was the original drummer until he was killed by his evil twin Speed, at which point Speed went on to replace Steve in the band without Leslie or Julia ever noticing. But perhaps the most speculative and theoretically exciting theory to have been forwarded came from mathematician Alan. K. Franklin, who literally turned the world of musicology on its head with his Speed Null Hypothesis, in which he argued that Bitesize has never had a drummer, but rather have merely achieved the illusion of drumming via sleight of hand and fancy studio sound effects.

When Leslie and Julia first got together with Steve in 1997, they realized they had finally found the missing ingredient they had long been searching for: a drummer. Shortly thereafter, the band began working on some of the songs Julia and Leslie had been working on, as well as writing new songs together via a complex musical process known as “jamming.” The band soon dubbed themselves “Bitesize” based on the fact that their songs were really really short (many of them clocking in under two minutes) and because their frenetic energy and super-catchy back-and-forth “boy/girl” vocals simulated the hyperactivity and delirium of the intense sugar buzz one gets if they eat way too much candy in one sitting.

Bitesize quickly recorded their first demo tape - the appropriately entitled Demo Numero Uno - on Julia’s four-track cassette recorder. It included three soon-to-become-Bitesize-classics (“I Forgot My Mantra,” “Pre-med” and “Sugar Car”) and one song that nobody in the band seems to remember anymore (“Lunchdate”). The band began to shop their demo tape, along with an extraordinarily slender bio (given their complete lack of history up to that point) to many of the Bay Area’s least prestigious music venues in the hopes of landing a gig. By most accounts, the first Bitesize show took place at San Francisco’s Cocodrie in the summer of 1997 (although in recent years the band members have sometimes denied the fact that the band has really been together that long).

Eventually hard work and the semblance of talent paid off for Bitesize, as they began to slowly but surely garner fans, as well as better gigs with more established local bands such as Lunchbox, Galaga, and others. They also began to play on a regular basis with a handful of other up-and-coming local bands such as The Get-Go, Dealership, The Smarties, and (the following year) Secadora and the Gazillions. Julia would eventually dub this group of bands “the black circle,” although it should be noted that no one ever took her very seriously about that. Bitesize continued to churn out brand new reckless and infectious indie-pop tunes at a phenomenal pace, which created a dilemma for the band: how were the masses (aka, “the people”) ever going to get to hear any of their songs? Enter Packing Heat Records.

The Mystery of “Packing Heat”

If there is any aspect of Bitesize history that is more controversial, and more heavily debated, than the “Speed issue,” it would be the nebulous existence of Packing Heat Records. According to Bitesize lore, one night after playing a show at the Stork Club in Oakland, a dapper, elderly gentleman wearing a business suit, sunglasses, and sporting a fabulous moustache, approached the band about a potential record deal. When he handed them his business card, all it said was “Louie Llandillo, Packing Heat Records, A&R, C.E.O, and D.D.S.”

“I totally did not believe the guy was for real until he dropped a wad of cash on the table and barked, ‘Get your butts in the studio, pronto!’”
-Leslie Harrison

“Llandillo was the best and the worst thing that ever happened to Bitesize.”
-Steve “Speed” LeFevre

“I thought his moustache was really sexy in a Magnum P.I. sort of way. But then again I was really drunk that night, so I could be wrong...”
-Julia Serano

In early promotional material for the band’s debut release, Louie Llandillo was described an “...eccentric millionaire who instantly recognized that Bitesize would be the perfect band to center his burgeoning vanity record label around.” But it appears that the story is a bit more complicated than that. For one thing, some die-hard fans insist that they never once saw an older, moustached guy in a suit and sunglasses at any Bitesize show. Furthermore, journalist Rex Devonsen of Rolling Stone Magazine - who is working on a Bitesize biography tentatively entitled, It’s Not the Bitesize of the Wand, But the Magic That It Does - has claimed that, “...there are no records of a Louie Llandillo anywhere in North America. I’m not saying the guy doesn’t exist. I’m just saying that ‘Louie Llandillo’ is not his legal name. I mean, seriously, it sounds like a porn name or something, doesn’t it?”

Speculation regarding Louie Llandillo’s true identity dominated much of the press Bitesize received early on. For instance, there were rumors that Llandillo was a high profile Mormon dentist who Steve (and/or Speed) blackmailed in order to get him to pay for the band’s recording endeavors. Others suggested that Llandillo was really David Geffen, who secretly enjoyed Bitesize’s music and wanted others to hear it, but was too embarrassed to put it out on his own label. Then there were the unverified reports that an unspecified member of Bitesize had an ongoing romantic and/or BDSM relationship with Llandillo over several years in return for his funding of Bitesize’s recording projects. It should be stressed that these are all rumors; the truth is far from clear.

While most contemporary music historians are convinced that Louie Llandillo did exist in some capacity, some conspiracy theorists have argued that Bitesize flat-out invented Llandillo and Packing Heat Records in order to mislead a gullible public into believing that the band was signed to a record label when in reality they were not. Such conspiracy theorists typically cite the fact that Packing Heat only put out three releases, all of them by Bitesize. While musicologists are not unanimous on this issue, many have gone on record as stating that one must release music by at least two different artists before one can legitimately call oneself a “record label.” Further, on at least one occasion, the band described their records as being “self-released” - whether these were misstatements or Freudian slips is debatable, but either way such comments undoubtedly added fuel to the conspiracy theorist fire. Bitesize biographer Rex Devonsen, however, strongly disagrees with the contention that Bitesize’s records were self-released. In his words:

“These guys were making diddly-squat back then. There’s no way they could have afforded all of the recording and CD replication costs on their own. Unless, of course, they put it all on credit cards. But I really don’t believe that they were dumb enough to do that...”

Bitesize’s Star Begins to Rise

While we could argue about Louie Llandillo and Packing Heat Records until the cows come home, one thing remains uncontested: Bitesize released their first record - the red-vinyl 7-inch More Songs About Cars and Body Parts - in September of 1998. More Songs... was recorded by Greg Freeman at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone recording studios. The record contained four songs: “Headache Baby, Yeah!” “Jumpstart,” “The Bee’s Knees,” and “In the Know.” (A fifth song, “Astronomy,” was recorded during that session, and appeared on a sampler CD put out by Heyday Records). The record immediately went into regular rotation on UC Berkeley’s KALX radio station and lead to an invitation for the band to perform at the 1998 North-by-Northwest Music Conference and the 1999 Noise Pop festival in San Francisco. Between the radio-play, favorable reviews in local papers, and their growing reputation as a phenomenal live band, a “buzz” began developing around Bitesize. To capitalize on their newly found attention, the band went right back to Tiny Telephone to record their first CD: The Best of Bitesize.

Julia recalls those sessions: “I remember we were in the studio trying to think up clever names for our first CD. We had some OK suggestions, such as Freaks of Nature, Going Postal and Steve’s favorite, Slapping Myself Silly. Then I was talking about how my music-obsessed friends and I had this ongoing joke, where any conversation about any band’s music would always end in a consensus that their first record was the best one. We figured that in the future, music fans would likely reminisce that the record we were making then would be our best, so we may as well embrace that and call it The Best of Bitesize. Once we settled on that as a title, we started coming up with all these great ideas about how to make it a fake ‘Best of...’ album. For example, we listed the tracks as coming from different albums: ‘Yellow Belt’ was supposedly on Going Postal, ‘Crash Course’ was from the soundtrack to the movie Slapping Myself Silly, and ‘Cold Turkey’ was listed as being ‘previously unreleased.’ Because, of course, every ‘Best of...’ album needs one of those in order to make the die-hard fans who already have all the previous albums have to buy it anyway...”

Leslie adds: “We even had one record review where the person really believed that it was a real ‘Best of...’ album and that we had actually put out all those other albums. I’ll tell you, if there is one thing that Bitesize excels at, it would be misleading the public.”

The Best of Bitesize was recorded by Greg Freeman and mixed by Jerry Finn (who produced some of Green Day’s and Blink 182’s records). It contained ten Bitesize favorites, plus one hidden track - a silly retrospective interview of the Band’s supposed career. The songs highlighted many of the band’s strong points: perfect pop gems with awkward stops and starts, weird bursts of guitar noise, and catchy yet quirky call-and-response vocals. Many reviewers took particular note of the hilarious and unusual lyrics: songs about “sex change” operations (“Switch Hitter”); food fights (“Hand Wash Cold”); falling in love with a stranger in an elevator (“Hit H”); professional football players tackling young children in the St. Louis airport (“Crash Course”); relationships that are complicated by the dark arts (“Tarot Cards”) and cigarette addiction (“Cold Turkey”); anthems about practically nothing at all (“I Forgot My Mantra”); extraordinarily wealthy people trying to impress their less-well-off dates (“Sugar Car” and “Theme Park”); and last, but certainly not least, a one-minute rant/threat from someone who has a yellow belt in karate (“Yellow Belt”).

“The Best of Bitesize“ received rave reviews and honorable mentions on some critics’ best-records-of-1999 lists. The record also spent several weeks on UC Berkeley's KALX top ten playlist (reaching as high as #2) and miraculously charted at various college radio stations across the nation, even in places where Bitesize had never even set foot! Around this time, the band began touring up and down the west coast, in the hope that once they had conquered the “left side” of the country, they would simply work their way rightwards...

Sophomore Slump

In December 2000, the band once again went back to Tiny Telephone, this time with John Croslin (who’d worked with Spoon, Mates of State, and many others), in order to record their first (and so far only) full-length album: 2001’s Sophomore Slump.

In the words of Steve: “We actual came up with the title for the record during The Best of Bitesize recording sessions. It just made sense that if our first record was going to be our ‘best,’ that the second was inevitably going to be a sophomore slump.”

Despite the title, the album did not disappoint Bitesize fans. It was a mix of older Bitesize favorites that (due to lack of space) didn’t quite make it onto The Best of Bitesize, plus a number of new songs the band had written since their first record. In fitting with the title, a major recurring theme on the record is the awkwardness of being a teenager. While countless rock bands over the decades have expressed and incited teenage angst, many of the songs on Sophomore Slump captured the feelings that many teens have of being an outsider, of being a freak. There are songs about the embarrassment of bumping into your father at an Ozzie concert (“Father Figure”), of coming out as an eighth-grade atheist during a Christmas dinner (“X-mas”), of having a crush on a cute and popular classmate who hardly notices you (“Bee’s Knees”), a love affair between a cheerleader and an adult novelist (“Unadulterated”), about playing the role of Ophelia in an all-boys Catholic school rendition of Hamlet (“Understudy”), of turning the tables on the bully who used to pick on you during high school (“Surprise Ending”), and a true story of Steve (who had a job driving an ice cream truck as a teen) putting out an engine fire with ice cream (“Speed Demon”).

Once again, the album was well received and generated all kinds of press, from featured reviews to cover stories. And Sophomore Slump evoked even more college radio airplay than its predecessor, most notably on Seattle’s legendary KEXP, where it charted for many weeks and led to an invitation for the band to play live on the air.

Then, right in the midst of all of the accolades and attention, Bitesize surprised the world yet again when it became (by some accounts) the first moderately popular indie pop band to have its lead vocalist/guitarist change their sex mid career...

The Artist Formerly Known as Tom...

There were plenty of clues in her lyrics - from one-liners like “I’m a hermaphrodite, but that’s beside the point” (in “I Forgot My Mantra”) and “A year from now I’ll be the center of attention/After I have had my sex change operation” (from “Switch Hitter”), not to mention the song “Understudy” which was sung from the point of view of a transgender teenage thespian. Despite this evidence, many fans and friends of the band alike were taken aback when Julia announced that she was transitioning from male to female. While Julia (who up to that point was known to everyone by her birth name “Tom”) had been up front with her band-mates about being a crossdresser and having crossgender feelings, she was not publicly out as transgender. In fact, in the one interview (with “JJ” from KALX, in the station’s Spring 1999 Program Guide) where she was directly asked about the subject, she only offered a coy and vague reply. Here is an excerpt from that interview:

JJ: Well, there seem to be some reoccurring themes in your songs...

Tom: Uh-oh . . .

JJ: I was wondering if you might want to identify some of those and comment on them? (lot's of Bitesize laughter)

Leslie: You can have the floor Tom.

Tom: Okay, pick one.

JJ: I thought you might ask that...Sexual identity, hermaphrodites, sex change operations?

Leslie: Hermaphrodites are underrepresented in pop hits today...

Tom: Yeah, so I just think about things that all of us can relate to.

Editorial note: They saw this next question coming a mile away and started laughing before I could even ask the question.

JJ: And how is it that you relate to hermaphrodites and sex change operations? (Laughter all around)

Leslie: Tom?

Steve: What would Freud say about that?

Tom: What would Freud say about that? I think there's something deeper there...yeah. (more laughter)

In a more recent interview, Julia recalled what was going on in her mind during that interview:

Yeah, I guess I kind of avoided the question, but not so much because I was embarrassed about being found out - after all, I was being kind of obvious about it in my lyrics. It was mostly that I didn’t know what exactly to come out as. When I first met Leslie and Steve, I was calling myself a crossdresser. That’s pretty easy to explain: “Hey guys, sometimes I get dressed up in women’s clothes!” But by 1999, I was starting to think there was way more too it than that. I didn’t really feel like a man, but I wasn’t really sure that I was a woman either, and I definitely wasn’t ready to call myself a transsexual. It was like I was in gender limbo.

When I eventually did make the decision that I would be happier living as a woman, it was right before we were going into the studio to record Sophomore Slump. I didn’t want to create any drama, since recording is stressful enough as it is, so I waited until our first practice after recording to tell Steve and Les. I said, “Hey guys, I have something really serious to talk to you about.” And Steve kind of jokingly said, “What is it, Tom? Are you going to have a sex change?” And I just said, “Um...yeah.”

Pure Evil!

With the success of The Best of Bitesize and Sophomore Slump behind them, and the future looking bright, the band began contemplating their next record. It’s not uncommon for bands to change direction; it happens all the time. But it is uncommon for a band to turn so quickly and so fiercely to the “dark side” as Bitesize did between 2002-2004. Bitesize biographer Rex Devonsen explains:

“Sure, there are plenty of bands that flirted with the dark side before: Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Mayhem. But those bands were always pretty evil from the start. What sets Bitesize apart is the fact that they started out as primarily good, but then turned to the dark side over time. And it’s not like there was a Darth Vader out there to seduce them or anything. No. Bitesize chose to become evil. They did it on their own accord, without anyone else’s help.”

The early transition of Bitesize from chaotic good to pure evil can be seen in a press release the band put out in August 2001 to promote the release of Sophomore Slump:

BITESIZE are pioneers of the latest musical craze that's sweeping the nation: EVIL TWEE. At first, unsuspecting listeners are drawn in by charming peppy minute-and-a-half long ditties that are catchier than most children's songs. But that's how they get you! Once you've been sucked in by their candy-coated noise-pop exterior, BITESIZE will seduce you with what is best described as their “dark side“. Before you know it, you will find yourself jumping up and down naked in your bedroom while mindlessly reciting lyrics about freak love, automobile accidents, human body parts, sporting events gone awry and transgendered teenage thespians. While none of the band members claim to actually worship Satan per se, the dark lord himself has been quoted as saying: “BITESIZE makes me feel good about being bad, and bad about being good“.

[editor’s note: we have been unable to confirm whether or not the aforementioned quote from Satan is authentic, or whether it was fabricated]

But by late 2002, in a cover story about the band that appeared in the magazine West Coast Performer, the band seemed to have fully embraced their dark fate:

“Our next record is going to be called ‘Evil,’ ” explains bassist/vocalist Leslie Harrison. And Serano, an aficionado of the infamous Norwegian black metal scene, adds, “Bitesize is officially going in the black metal direction now. Because we feel like we’ve successfully conquered pop and now we’re moving on...we were a pop band and we were dabbling in evil. That’s when we were evil twee.” Serano explains. Harrison completes her thought for her, “But now we’re totally committed. We’re just evil.”

So what motivated this turn to the dark side? Steve LeFevre explains:

“Well, it was a gradual thing. First, Julia became fascinated with trepanning, which isn’t really evil per se, but it’s kind of fucked up. But then the next thing we knew, she was obsessed with the Norwegian Black Metal scene of the early 90’s, and with early Hall and Oates recordings from the 1970’s. Suddenly, the next thing we knew, during band practices, she would go into these tirades: ‘No this isn’t Emperor enough!’ or ‘John Oates would be so embarrassed by this bridge.’ It was kind of annoying, but at the same time, Leslie and I felt like she might be onto something...”

Leslie takes it from there: “Julia rented a cave, which became our new practice space. It was super cold in there, but the acoustics were great! Julia insisted that we begin each practice with a ritual, which sometimes included a sacrifice. Since she was a biologist, she felt that most sacrifices were too animal-centric and totally passe. So we sacrificed other things: carrots, fruitfly embryos, fungi, lemon meringue pies, the germs that cause morning breath, you name it. At first, Steve and I thought it was all kind of creepy. But then it all began to fell right. I think we recorded the best music we ever played in that damp, candle-lit cave...”

Early on during those recording sessions, the band decided to call their next record simply “Evil.” It would be a ten song EP, just like The Best of Bitesize, except the overall tone was much darker. Many of the songs touched on the subject of death: “Deadpan” was penned in response to a friend who seemed way too eager and excited about trying heroin for the first time; “Left for Dead” was about how paintball is a gateway drug for second amendment-embracing moderate Republicans; “Aftermath” was a dystopian post-apocalyptic ode to math rock; “Poison Sumac” sounds like it’s about death, but it’s really about love; and “I Killed Sting.” is exactly what it sounds like it’s about.

And while sex was often a theme in Bitesize songs (for instance, songs like “Bath Tub Orgasm” and “Bed and Breakfast” on Sophomore Slump), the band became even kinkier during the Evil recording sessions with songs about pony play (“Unbridled Love”), uncircumcised penises (“Turtleneck”), and losing one’s virginity a second time after having sex reassignment surgery (“Birthday Suit”).

The few people who have had the honor of hearing the “Evil sessions” recordings first-hand have called them a “masterpiece,” “groundbreaking” and “the best Woody Allen film since Hannah and Her Sisters.” But Louie Llandillo, arguably Bitesize’s most important fan, was not very happy with the album:

Llandillo is a small-minded person who doesn’t know how to deal with big, novel, important ideas.
-Julia Serano

I think Louie was disappointed because he always wanted us to be a harmless little twee band. He kept saying, “Can’t you guys write me another song like ‘Headache Baby Yeah!’ or ‘Sugar Car’? You know, something cute and sing-songy that you can hum along with?” One time when he said that, I told him that he was being really patronizing. And he replied, “Of course I am, because I’m your patron.” I guess he kind of had a point...
-Leslie Harrison

Yeah, Louie could be a total dick sometimes. But then again, Julia spent of $800,000 of Louie’s money on refurbishing the cave, not to mention the $750,000 in recording costs on top of that. So I guess I can understand why he’d be a little bit miffed...
-Steve LeFevre

Bitesize conspiracy theorists, however, believe that there is more to the Llandillo/Serano feud than misspent money or artistic differences. Specifically, they point to what they feel is an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence suggesting that the Evil record debacle resulted primarily from fallout over a personal (some say romantic, others say BDSM) relationship between Llandillo and Serano. For example, many believe that the lyrics to the Bitesize classic “Theme Park” detail the supposed couple’s initial dates, in which Llandillo tried to impress Serano by showing off his vast wealth; or that the lyrics to “Bed and Breakfast” (which Serano has publicly insisted are nothing more than a Hall and Oates tribute) recounted a BDSM scene gone awry that occurred between the soon-to-be-estranged lovers. Others believe that the supposed lovers’ quarrel had nothing to do with BDSM, but rather stemmed from Llandillo’s disappointment that Serano had changed her sex. Those who believe that Llandillo’s dissatisfaction with Serano’s transition often point to the following interview with Leslie Harrison, which appeared in the February, 2003 issue of Bass Player Magazine:

Well, I think that Steve and I have taken Julia’s transition really well. But our manager [sic] Louie Llandillo hasn’t taken it nearly as well. When Julia told him, he went into this tirade and was throwing things around the room and everything. After he calmed down, we had this band meeting where the only thing he would say was that he thought that it was a really bad career move for Julia, and the band more generally. He seemed really distant at that band meeting, like he felt he lost something really important to him. He was just really sad, as if he lost his wife or son or something...

The aftermath...

let's write a song it can be in 13/8
don't tell me E.L.O. already did that
this is art it is not classic rock
let's write a song over twenty minutes long
don't tell me that it has to have a chorus
your opinions bore us

from the song “Aftermath,” slated to be on Bitesize’s unreleased Evil album

While there is still a lot of debate as to what was going on behind the scenes, one fact remains clear: Louie Llandillo exercised a clause in Bitesize’s record contract that allowed him to permanently “can” the Evil sessions. This not only meant that Packing Heat Records would not be releasing Evil, but it further prevented Bitesize from shopping the record around to other labels. The band was devastated:

It was so sad to have put all of that work into it only to have it all taken away from us. We were all depressed. Julia wouldn’t come out of the cave for weeks...
-Leslie Harrrison

As if that wasn’t bad enough, in early 2004, rock legend and aging lutist Sting slapped Bitesize with a huge lawsuit because of their song “I Killed Sting.” In an official press release, Sting’s attorney stated that : “...the contention that my client is dead is not only patently untrue, but is liable, and could potentially have a slight negative impact on the millions of units of records my client moves every year. Furthermore, the notion that my client, who is an all-powerful mega rock star could be taken down by a lunatic cave-dwelling tranny and her indie-pop posse is downright insulting.”

The band persevered for a little while, but the stresses of the lawsuit and canned Evil sessions seemed to completely squelch all of the momentum the band once had. In February, 2005, Bitesize officially declared the band was on a “hiatus.” In the three years that followed, they have only performed live together twice: at the Gazillion’s reunion at the Stork Club in February, 2007, and at a friend’s wedding in September, 2008. Recently, however, rumors have begun to surface that the band is considering staging a “comeback.” Some fans have also found optimism in a recent rediscovery of a quatrain in Nostradamus’s Les Propheties that has been interpreted by some to allude toward an eventual Bitesize reunion in 2009:

In the year after the bush withers and dies
Three evil silhouettes will reemerge from their cave
After four years of solace
To wreak havoc on the world once again

Well, we’ll just have to see about that...

the end

Sophomore Slump, CD (2001)
The Get-Go/Bitesize "Messy Bee's" split 7-inch (2001)
The Best of Bitesize, CD (1999)
More Songs About Cars and Body Parts, 7-inch (1998)
Demo Numero Uno (1997)

House Blend (2013)
bEASTfest (2002)
bEASTfest (2001)
Heyday Records Bay Area Sampler (2000)
Bored, Lonely and a Little Pissed Off: A KALX Radio Compilation (1999)
Heyday Records Indie Sampler (1999)


NXNW 1998, 1999
Noise Pop 1999
bEASTfest 2000, 2001, 2002
Folsom Street Fair 2002, 2004
Mission Creek Music Festival 2003
San Francisco Pride 2003
LadyFest Bay Area 2004

honorable mentions:

Best 25 local CDs of 1999, SF Weekly
Featured review of the week, Splendid E-zine 1999, 2002
Maximum Rock N Roll - Ray Lujan's Top 10 of the month, Sept. 2002
cover article of West Coast Performer, November 2002

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