“Yeah, we’ve just been eating fried chicken and drinking beer all day,” says Nashville Pussy’s long-haired singer/guitarist Blaine Cartwright. Speaking from a friend’s car on Buford Highway in his hometown of Atlanta while en route to pick up lunch for the band’s lead guitarist (and his better half) Ruyter Suys, he already sounds a little tipsy. “Yep, it’s a common occurrence around here…”
Led by the husband/wife team of Cartwright-Suys, the raunch-rock band have been slinging Gibson guitars, cheap cans of beer, and a slew of bawdy double entendres and not-so-thinly-veiled declarations for nearly a decade. Over the last few years, they’ve stayed on the road, headlining clubs across the globe and opening for the likes of Marilyn Manson, Skynyrd, and Motörhead. According to the mustachioed frontman, there’s no signs of slowing down.
“We went to France for a day last week,” mentions Cartwright. “We fly over all the time — one gig, or five gigs, or a few weeks. It’s pretty crazy, man. We do way better over there. They really appreciate it and they know how good we are. We get good places to play with good slots and everything, man. It’s amazing. In Atlanta, we’ve got venues everywhere and shows all the time. Over in Europe, they only have rock shows like this once a month or something, so people come out. Plus, I think we’re really good. Nashville Pussy is one of the best bands in the world.”
Amphetamine Reptile released Nashville Pussy’s critically-lauded debut album, Let Them Eat Pussy (the album artwork said it all) in 1998. Highlights included “I’m the Man,” “Go Motherfucker Go,” and “Fried Chicken and Coffee.” When they first started making noise in clubs around Georgia and the East Coast, fans, critics, and colleagues made plenty of celebratory noise about their heavy, riff-propelled sound.
Much was made out of their fire-breathing, 6’2″ lady bassist Corey Parks, too. Parks left the group in 2000 and was replaced by Tracy Almazan (of NYC bands The Wives and Helldorado) in time for the sessions for High as Hell (TVT), which stayed on track, with such winners as “Go to Hell,” “Shoot First and Run Like Hell,” and “Piece of Ass.”
Katie Lynn “Vampire Girl” Campbell came on board for 2002’s Say Something Nasty (Artemis). A concert DVD titled Keep on F*ckin’ in Paris! appeared a year later. The band recently recruited their fourth bassist, Karen Cuda, for their most recent album, 2005’s Get Some! (Spitfire).
“I like Karen a lot, man,” says Cartwright. “I think she’s fucking great. And we get along good, which is the main thing. She’s loud, she does background vocals, and has a smarter musical ear all around. She’ll bring in ideas, which is great because the last two were too agreeable, like ‘yes men’ or something.”
The raucous, 13-song Get Some! rips and rants with nasty abandon with a mix of anthemic Southern hard rock, metallic blues, and badass, thick-skulled punk rock. Cool gems include “Atlanta’s Still Burning,” “Raisin’ Hell Again,” and a woolly cover of Ike & Tina’s funky classic, “Nutbush City Limits.”
“The last album came out over a year ago and everyone’s itching to record,” says Cartwright. “I’m writing songs like crazy. I’m in another band called Nine Pound Hammer, who have a record that’ll come out in the summer or fall. That shit was over with about three weeks ago, so I’ve been writing, going through a bag of cassettes with a ton of riffs I recorded over the years, and going back through the notebooks.
“People like what they like, so you can’t let it get you down,” he adds. “There’s no reason to cater to it. When we play out or write a record, I try to make sure that everyone in the band is happy instead of worrying about what some 14-year-old in some focus group will like. I couldn’t give a shit, man [laughs]. Fuck kids, you know?”
This Friday’s show at the Map Room marks their first time in town in quite a while. According to the lead dude, they were determined to get back in the Southeastern circuit and reconnect with old fans in small cities and towns.
“I had to have a sit-down with our manager and tell him to book us into all the places we’ve been missing. We’ve put so much emphasis on playing Europe, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. We come back and just play the outer circumference of the country … and Canada. We’re excited to get down there. We’ll be with a band called Artimus Pyldriver, who are bad-ass.”
Artimus Pyledriver have chucked the rock guitar riffs since forming in Atlanta in 2001 (the clever moniker was pulled from one of Skynyrd’s drummers). They recently signed to the DRT label and released a 10-song, self-titled album. Local punkabilly/greaser-rock trio The Defilers complete this Friday’s bill.
“Two loud Atlanta rock ‘n’ roll bands and a Charleston band … it’s gonna be fucking cool, man,” chuckles Cartwright. “We’re gonna party our ass off and have a great time. No shit.”