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Background information
Birth name Merrill Beth Nisker
Born November 11, 1966 (1966-11-11) (age 43)
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Electroclash, dance punk, synthpunk, glam rock, Rock 'n' roll, rap
Occupations Singer, songwriter, record producer
Years active 1990–present
Labels XL, Kitty-Yo
Website ,,

Merrill Beth Nisker (born November 11, 1966), better known as Peaches, is a Canadian electronic musician and performance artist whose songs are noted for their use of sexually explicit lyrics.



Before she became Peaches, Nisker was an independent music and drama teacher. She plays her own instruments for her songs, programs her own electronic beats, and produces her own albums.

She released her first album, Fancypants Hoodlum, under the name Merrill Nisker in 1995, and subsequently developed the style and persona that would take her to international fame as Peaches. In Toronto, before rising to fame, she was a roommate of fellow recording artist Feist.[1]

Her songs have been featured in movies such as Mean Girls, Waiting..., Jackass Number Two, My Little Eye, and Lost in Translation. Her music has also been featured on television shows such as Showtime's The L Word, Ugly Betty, South Park (on the 13th season titled "Butters' Bottom Bitch"), 30 Rock (4th season episode titled "Future Husband"), and has been used for the promotion of Dirt. Peaches performed guest vocals on Pink's album Try This, on the song "Oh My God," and on the Chicks on Speed album 99 Cents, on the song "We Don't Play Guitars."

For her third album, 2006's Impeach My Bush, Peaches enlisted guest musicians Joan Jett, Greg Kurstin, Josh Homme, Samantha Maloney, Beth Ditto, Feist, Dave Catching, Brian O'Connor and Radio Sloan to perform on several of the tracks.

Peaches & Sweet Machine. Photo by Holger Talinski

The Herms (short for hermaphrodites) were formed in spring 2006 as Peaches' live backing band. They played at small and large venues alike with sex and sex related themes as the "shock factor" for the audience.[citation needed] "Herms" is a reference to 70's duo Peaches & Herb and blending of words her and him. Peaches and Herms was the opening act for Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus during the second half of their 2006 summer U.S. tour.

Peaches played live at the Parklife Festival in Australia, in the fall of 2008, with her now current German live band Sweet Machine.

Her fourth album I Feel Cream, was released on May 4, 2009 in Europe and May 5 in North America.[2] The first single from the project is a double A-side of "Talk to Me" and "More".[3]. Peaches enlisted some of her contemporaries to co-produce a number of tracks including Simian Mobile Disco, Soulwax, Digitalism and Shapemod. Long time friend and collaborator Gonzales co-wrote some of the songs on I Feel Cream and Shunda K (the voice of Yo Majesty) featured on the track "Billionaire".[4]

Peaches has been noted for her stage costumes and flamboyant sense of style. Her looks are often both nostalgic and futuristic; aggressive and glamorous; and push the limits of gender identity. Peaches and her band Sweet Machine wear costumes from a variety of designers but most notably she works closely with stylist/designer Vaughan Alexander, celebrity hairstylist Charlie Le Mindu, and a young American fashion designer by the name of John Renaud.

In 2010, Peaches and backing band Sweet Machine once again toured Australia performing at the sold out Big Day Out festivals and at a series of sideshows. Peaches was supported on this tour by Shunda K who performed their collaboration "Billionaire" at BDO festivals and at the sideshows, and was also the opening act at the sideshows.[5]

On March 14, 2010, Peaches was awarded as the 'Electronic Artist of the Year' at the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards held in Toronto, Canada.[6][7]

Notable themes

Peaches performing in August 2006.

Gender identity is one theme of Peaches' music, often playing with traditional notions of gender roles representation. Her lyrics and live shows consciously blur the distinction between male and female; for example, she appears on the cover of her album Fatherfucker with a full beard. When asked if she had chosen the title for shock value, she commented:

Why do we call our mothers motherfuckers? Why do we stub our toe and say, "Aww motherfucker!"? What is a motherfucker? ... We use it in our everyday language, and it's such an insanely intense word. I'm not one to shy away from these obscene terms that we actually have in our mainstream. Motherfucker is a very mainstream word. But if we're going to use motherfucker, why don't we use fatherfucker? I'm just trying to be even [to both sexes].[citation needed]

She disputes accusations of "penis envy," preferring the term "hermaphrodite envy,[8] since "there is so much male and female in us all."[citation needed]






  • Contributed to the UNICEF benefit song "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?" in 2005.
  • Duet with Gonzales called "Red Leather".
  • Duet with Gonzales called "The Joy of Thinking".
  • Duet with Mignon called "Casanova"
  • Contributed vocals to "Boys and Girls" and "Everybody Party" on Taylor Savvy's 2002 album Ladies and Gentleman. Frequent Peaches collaborators Gonzales and Mignon also contributed vocals to the album.
  • Duet with Pink called "Oh My God".
  • Played guitar and sang on the Chicks on Speed song "We Don't Play Guitars".
  • Contributed lyrics and vocals for "Drugs and Glamour", for Removal's single "9 of 10"
  • Collaborated with Karen O on a song titled "Backass" on the Jackass Number Two soundtrack.
  • Collaborated with Louie Austen on his song titled "Grab My Shaft."
  • Collaborated with Iggy Pop and her side project Feedom on the track ("Motor Inn") on his 2003 album Skull Ring
  • Collaborated with fellow Canadian Mocky.
  • Duet with Snax, a cover of the Prince-penned Apollonia 6 track "Oo She She Wa Wa" on his album From the Rocking Chair to the Stage.
  • Collaborated with Garbage at 2005's AmsterJam for a mash up of "Fuck the Pain Away" with Garbage's "Push It" as well as collaborated on "I Don't Give a.."
  • Toured with Marilyn Manson in 2003 and sang the song "Rock N Roll Nigger" with him.
  • Collaborated with Tommie Sunshine on his single "Dance Among the Ruins".
  • Performed vocals on Bloc Party remix of ("Helicopter") (remix by Weird Science).
  • Iggy Pop covered her song ("Rock Show") on his album Skull Ring).
  • Collaborated with Stink Mitt on a song called "Fan Etiquette" for the bonus EP for the Japanese release of Impeach My Bush
  • Collaborated on "Fine As Fuck" by Scream Club, off their 2006 album, "Life of a Heartbreaker". This song also appears as a collaboration track with French artist Electrosexual, on the 12-inch vinyl picture disc "Fine As Fuck" EP.
  • Contributed vocals to The Flaming Lips cover album of The Dark Side of the Moon (The Flaming Lips album).
  • Shunda K (Yo Majesty) and Peaches collaborated on the track "Billionaire" which features on Peaches latest album "I Feel Cream". [9]


  • The song "Fuck the Pain Away" was used in a scene in the film Lost in Translation in which Bob and Charlotte, the two main characters, find themselves in a strip club. The song does not appear on the soundtrack CD. It was also featured in Jackass Number Two, in the Old Man Balls scene, a "South Park" episode called "Butters' Bottom Bitch" and in the horror film My Little Eye.
  • "Operate" is played during the Halloween house party scene in the film Mean Girls. It also appears in Waiting...and during a wet t-shirt contest in the episode "Nevada State" of Las Vegas.
  • She performed the song "I U She" on season two of The L Word, in the episode titled "L'Chaim". The same song appeared on the show's season two soundtrack when she performed live in an episode.
  • "Boys Wanna Be Her" was played at the end of the fourth episode of season 4 of The L Word, when Katherine Moennig's character, Shane McCutcheon, modelled underwear for Hugo Boss. It also was played in the Ugly Betty episode "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", advertisements for the FX series Dirt and the soundtrack for the 2009 film Whip It!. A remix version of the song is also in the EA game Need for Speed Pro Street.(The remix is called Tommie Sunshine's Brooklyn Fire Retouch)
  • The Gap used the song "Do Ya" in their Fall 2006 TV ad campaign titled "Jeans Take Shape".
  • On The Mighty Boosh Live DVD, Bollo is singing "Fuck the Pain Away" in the tribute song to Naboo.
  • "You Love It" was played at the ending of the CSI: New York season 3 episode "Oedipus Hex".
  • Peaches' "Kick It" with Iggy Pop is on the soundtrack for Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition.
  • "Set It Off" is heard in the movie Cashback. This is the second time a Peaches song appears in a strip club scene, the other being Lost in Translation.
  • "Kick it " is featured on the commercial in Australia for the 2008 Subaru impreza.
  • The song "The Inch" was used in the film Itty Bitty Titty Committee in the scene where Shulie and Calvin are hooking up in the car while Anna and Sadie are doing the same in the motel room.
  • The song "Mud" was used in the second episode of The Vampire Diaries (episode title: The Night of the Comet) when Elena confronts Jeremy about his behavior.
  • "Show Stopper" was featured on an episode of Gossip Girl in 2009.
  • The song “Fuck the Pain Away” was used as a character’s cell phone ringtone during an episode of 30 Rock. The lyrics “Huh, What, Right, Uhh” can be heard.

Covers and samples


External links

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