For an artist your work suddenly becoming strikingly relevant again would usually be a good thing.

If, like Riot Grrrrl legends Bikini Kill, your work is rooted in railing against the sexist, misogynist culture of the early 1990s its real-world aptness in the 2020s is a little less enjoyable.

The group split in 1997 and reformed just in time to witness the Donald Trump presidency, the US Supreme Court overturning Roe vs Wade and effectively banning abortion in many states and the culture wars over so-called 'woke'.

As they return to Glasgow in the midst of a bitter election campaign stateside, their message is more relevant than ever.

Bassist Kathi Wilcox tells The Herald: "It’s a mess. That’s the thing, it seems like things are going backwards in a lot of ways – it doesn’t feel like a lot of things have gotten better.

“Trans rights are under attack, abortion rights are under attack, the whole #MeToo thing that happened – and then Trump of course, just as a person.

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“His whole being is deeply triggering for people who have been through sexual abuse or sexual assault, or really just being a woman in the world.

“The atmosphere is that we’re going to go back to the Dark Ages - it’s pretty depressing.”

While Bikini Kill wasn't the first female punk band, they were one of the few who wore their feminist politics on their sleeves.

That earned them a backlash from what was a mostly male scene, with singer Kathleen Hanna recounting how she would often by physically and verbally assaulted, as well as having to remove hecklers from the audience herself.

Wilcox says: "It didn’t feel like we were the only ones out there but it did feel like we might have been the only ones actively calling ourselves a feminist punk band.

“That made our shows a little bit different, it definitely attracted a different group of people.

“The people who responded positively to our band were a different group of people who went to those other bands, there were a lot of really young girls.

“Then there were the people who responded negatively, the men or even the women who had a problem with the word ‘feminist’, and those people would show up too.

"Early on it was pretty much a black or white reaction, either people recognised parts of their lives in the lyrics and responded really positively or were mortally offended and hated us.

The Herald: Bikini Kill perform at Way Out West Festival in Slottskogen Bikini Kill perform at Way Out West Festival in Slottskogen (Image: Rune Hellestad-Corbis/Getty Images)

"The word ‘feminist’ itself is less radioactive now than it was in the 80s and 90s, back then that was enough to cause a big fight and women in bands were always asked and felt like they had to declare themselves - or not.

“There had to be this big discussion about 'why are or aren’t you a feminist?', so maybe there’s less of that, it’s less of a big deal for a band to call themselves feminist.

“It feels like it’s more inclusive now, it feels like there are more queer bands, it feels like there are more non-binary people in music."

Bikini Kill originally operated from 1990 to 1997, releasing two studio albums, Pussy Whipped and Reject All American, as well as the Yeah Yeah Yeah LP with Huggy Bear.

Successful on the punk scene, those records have since become hugely influential. Groups like Paramore and the Linda Lindas have cited Bikini Kill as an influence, All American Rejects named their band after the group's second studio album and contemporaries Green Day namechecked it on 1997's Nimrod: "so when the smoke clears here I am/your reject all-American".

As such, Bikini Kill has arguably never been more globally recognised than they are today.

Wilcox says: "Our shows really span the generations, that’s one thing that’s different to the 90s.

“Back then it was only people our age or younger, it wasn’t seven-year-olds. Now people are bringing little kids – which I’m not totally sure I’m OK with.

“But you look out into the crowd and there are really little kids, all the way up to our age and over.

“It feels really exciting and powerful to have a room full of people all hanging out together from completely different generations, that’s definitely a different experience."

The group will embark on a UK tour in the summer, including a show at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on June 14.

The Herald: Bikini Kill performs at Way Out West Festival in Slottskogen Bikini Kill performs at Way Out West Festival in Slottskogen (Image: Rune Hellestad-Corbis/Getty Images)

If the fans in Britain have always been receptive, the same can't be said of the notoriously fickle music press.

Wilcox says: "The UK's funny.

“We toured with Huggy Bear the first time and it was this big explosive thing that was in the music press every week, then the next time we came back it was like – and you know, you live there – everything that happened one second ago has to be erased off the face of the earth.

“We came back and it was like, ‘they’re old and fat’. I think it we were 25 or something.

“The press was so insanely negative that it was like, ‘wow, OK, I guess that’s just how the UK press is’.

“The build them up and tear them down thing, they don’t really do that in the U.S. If there’s a band that people like then they still like them a couple of years later, they still write about it.

“The cyclical nature of it in the UK is really firmly entrenched, it just seems exhausting like… why?

“Something can’t be popular past some arbitrary sell-by date is odd to me."

Do they get more of a fair shake now?

“Does the music press even exist anymore? The NME, that doesn’t exist does it?

“So, I guess it's different publications now, we're talking to newspapers and things like that. So it's maybe it's just people coming at it from a different angle.”

Bikini Kill's second coming came around almost by happenstance, thanks to a book about post-punk pioneers The Raincoats, who agreed to play a show in New York to celebrate its launch.

The group reached out individually to the members of Bikini Kill and while there was some reticence  - "Kathleen just said no. Flat no" - they eventually agreed to do it.

Once the trio were back in rehearsals it was clear the magic remained.

Wilcox says: "We played the song at the show and it felt good to be able to hang out together and catch up.

“So we were thinking, ‘well, what if we did one benefit show?’

“Trump had just been elected too so it felt relevant, you know, it didn't feel like a nostalgia reunion tour or something, we were actually feeling the lyrics of these songs again in a way that we hadn't for a long time.

“We just decided to book one show, that show sold out and then we just kept adding more shows.

“After we started playing some shows it just felt good and people wanted us to play - and it felt depressingly relevant to play the songs again.”

Bikini Kill play the 02 Academy on June 14. Tickets are available here.