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The No WTO Combo


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The No WTO Combo was a short-lived punk rock band started by Jello Biafra, formerly of the Dead Kennedys. The band consisted of Biafra; Kim Thayil of Soundgarden; and the rhythm section of Sweet 75, Gina Mainwal and Krist Novoselic (former Nirvana bassist).

They were originally scheduled to play the Showbox November 30, the night before the WTO meeting of 1999 in Seattle, but the performance was canceled because the venue’s staff could not get past the police “curfew zone”.

They rescheduled the show for the next night, December 1st, but Biafra and Novaselic played a short acoustic set that night down the street at The Central Tavern, where Biafra was approached by local record producer Mark Cavener. Cavener offered to record the album at the Showbox the next evening. The performance itself would be the first formal concert played by Thayill since the demise of Soundgarden a few years beforehand, and only the second time Biafra had played music in a planned live setting since the Dead Kennedys split in 1986.

Novoselic later asked Jack Endino to mix the recordings, resulting in the bands’ only release titled “Live from the Battle in Seattle” distributed by Biafra’s record label Alternative Tentacles.

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