Sonic Youth is an American rock lineup from New York City, formed in 1981. The current group consists of Thurston Moore (vox and guitar), Kim Gordon (vocals, bass, guitar), Lee Ranaldo (vocals and guitar), Steve Shelley (drums), and Mark Ibold (bass, guitar)
In their early career, Sonic Youth was associated with the No Wave art and material scene in New York City. Part of the first wave of American noise rock groups, the band carried out their interpretation of the hardcore punk ethos throughout the evolving American underground that centered more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than its specific sound. As a result, some consider Sonic Youth as pivotal in the rise of the alternative rock and indie rock movements. The band has experienced success and critical acclaim throughout the last three decades, continuing into the new millennium, including signing to major label DGC in 1990, and as the main billing act on the 1995 Lollapalooza festival.
Sonic Youth have expressed a wide variety of influences, ranging from the influential protopunk musician Patti Smith to composer John Cage. The lineup has been praised for having “redefined what rock guitar could do”, using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tunings, and preparing guitars with objects like drum sticks and screwdrivers to alter the instruments’ timbre.