Pillbox is the brainchild of Susan Hyatt (b. Seattle, Washington, USA). Raised in Los Angeles, California, her parentage is half-Persian, and during the 80s her family made front-page national news over their role in the selling of arms to Iran during the Iraq-Iran war. As a young woman she held down several jobs including organizer of ‘Lonely Hearts’ singles parties. She also dated mentally ill patients in order to report their behaviour to the UCLA Psychology Department. Her first musical experience came as part of the Pandoras. When that group collapsed (they subsequently became the Muffs) she undertook an art degree at UCLA. Upon its completion she moved to the UK in 1992, inspired by English punk. In 1994 she formed Pillbox in London, with bass player Carrie Melbourne (later a member of Babylon Zoo) and Nigel Appleton (drums), with Hyatt playing guitar and singing. Through 1995 the group supported Lush and Skyscraper before an appearance at the Reading Festival. The group began recording its debut single, ‘Invasion (What Really Turns You On?)’, for release in November 1995 on their own Ego Records. However, its release was delayed as Hyatt shuffled the line-up - bringing in Dov Skipper (the son of Pretty Things drummer Skip Alan) on drums and bass player Sean Harrington. The single was eventually released on X-Ray Records in April 1996, a new label formed by Tom Attencio (Blackstreet Records) and Marvin Scott Jarrett (publisher of rock magazines Raygun and Bikini).
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