The Muffs with Ronnie Barnett in conversation with David Eastaugh
The band started as a collaboration between guitarists Kim Shattuck and Melanie Vammen, both former members of the 1980s all-female hard rock group, The Pandoras. The Muffs started performing and recording after the addition of bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Criss Crass. The Muffs released their initial 7" EPs and singles – "New Love" and "Guilty" (1991), and "I Need You" (1992) – on the West Coast independent labels Sub Pop and Sympathy for the Record Industry. Based on the public and critical response to these early releases, the band was signed to Warner Bros. Records. They established a reputation for "straightforward pop punk". In the words of musician and critic Scott Miller, the Muffs had "an uncommon flair for simple, catchy melodies" which, he noted approvingly, were always delivered in "Kim Shattuck's almost comically sneering adolescent rasp".