The band was formed in 1978 by singer John Conte, guitarist Todd Johnson, bassist Dave Holden, and drummer Gregg Williamson. Their sound was heavily influenced by the aggressive, stripped-down punk rock of bands like The Stooges and The Ramones, but with a distinctly Seattle twist. They combined driving rhythms, catchy hooks, and gritty, raw vocals to create an energetic and rebellious sound.
The Living quickly gained a reputation as one of the most exciting and influential bands on the Seattle scene. They played at local clubs like The Bird and The Rainbow Tavern, and their live shows were known for their intensity and raw energy. They also released a string of influential singles, including Live at the Fabulous Rainbow, No Thanks, and 1982.
Despite their popularity on the local scene, The Living never achieved mainstream success. This was partly due to their uncompromising approach to music-making and commitment to staying true to their punk roots. They remained fiercely independent throughout their career, releasing their music on small DIY labels and eschewing the trappings of the mainstream music industry.
Nevertheless, The Living's impact on the Seattle punk scene cannot be overstated. They helped lay the groundwork for a generation of independent musicians in the region, and their influence can still be heard in bands like Mudhoney, Nirvana, and Soundgarden. After several years of touring and recording, The Living disbanded in 1984.
Despite their relatively short career, they left an indelible mark on the history of punk rock, both in Seattle and beyond. Their music remains a testament to the power of independent, DIY music-making and a reminder of the vital role that punk rock played in shaping the cultural landscape of the late 20th century.
In the decades since The Living's dissolution, their music has resonated with fans and critics alike. In 2002, a compilation of their early singles, entitled The Living: 1982-1984, was released on the Alternative Tentacles label. The album received critical acclaim and helped to introduce The Living's music to a new generation of punk rock fans.