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The Diffs

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While the sound of L.A.'s the Diffs is clearly inspired by the first wave of West Coast punk rock as personified by bands like the Weirdos, the Germs, the Dead Kennedys, and X, the four musicians weren't checking out all-ages shows when those bands were in their heyday -- none of the Diffs had even made it out of high school yet when they first started making noise in 2003. However, guitarist Elvis Kuehn (born in 1991) and drummer Maxwell Atom Kuehn (aka Maxi Pad and born in 1992) come by their passion for punk honestly -- their father is former T.S.O.L. member Greg Kuehn -- while vocalist Richie Slick (born 1989) and bassist Pauline Liva (born in 1990) have the same enthusiasm if not the bloodlines. Eschewing the look and sound of 21st century pop-punk, the Diffs began winning a following among their heroes when they were invited to play on the set of What We Do Is Secret, a biopic about the Germs and their lead singer Darby Crash, and the band was befriended by Germs guitarist Pat Smear. In addition to attracting a growing following among L.A. teenagers, the Diffs have also shared stages with such first-wave punk bands as Youth Brigade, the Adolescents, the Weirdos, the Addicts, D.I., and Shattered Faith. The Diffs released their debut 7" in 2005, and it quickly sold out its limited-edition pressing, while their debut album, simply called The Diffs, appeared later the same year. Since then, the Diffs have gigged steadily on the West Coast, and appeared at a number of high-profile rock festivals, including Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, and the Vans Warped Tour. ~ Mark Deming

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Los Angeles, CA

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