Nashville Pussy Galore. Grammy Nominees Have Lexington Roots

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NASHVILLE PUSSY GALORE

KINKY QUARTET KILL BLAINE CELLS ON THE ROAD BY JOHN LACY

As the moribund fire of Lexington’s bovine punkers Nine Pound Hammer waxed smoldering, a new conflagration would soon be afoot, along with a breast and a thigh or two. In early 1996, a unique musical marriage of power chords and fire-belching quasi-lesbians was christened under the easily marketable appellation of Nashville Pussy.

Featuring ex-Nine Pound Hammer guitarist Blaine Cartwright on vocals, his wife Ruyter Suys on guitar, Jeremy Thompson on drums, and bassist Corey Parks, extensive touring ensued, a major record label deal was procured, and de rigueur metal mayhem would soon rage like a straggling gap-toothed groupie, swearing vehemently that she really is eighteen. Surprisingly, to some, a Grammy nomination followed.

Meanwhile, Heavy Metal impresarios everywhere flailed their collective backsides frequently, having missed the obvious rock-and-roll appeal of quasi-lesbians breathing fire like Gene Simmons strung out on estrogen.

From the road in Texas, hot on the heels of South by Southwest, Cartwright seems happy with the current lineup, and with his new home farther south. He says, “I live in Atlanta now and there’s something always going on. The other night at the same club, Dick Dale was playing downstairs and Megadeth was playing upstairs.”

The first show of their current short tour of the states was at Stubb’s Barbeque in Austin, Texas, where the bearded clam ones played with Horton Heat, Supersuckers and Hank Williams III. Attending the show was ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, a band favorite (whom Cartwright succinctly characterizes as, “really cool and down to earth”).

Nashville Pussy. The name has a ring to it. And probably more than a few bleeps to its credit as well. “Hey, this is Carson on TRL. Coming in at number five today is Nashville BLEEP with “Go BLEEP Yourself, MotherBLEEPER.”

Sadly, but believably, the major distributor for Let Them Eat Pussy, NP’s first album, refused distribution unless the product was hermetically sealed in a super secret cloaking device so abstrusely cryptogrammed as to render it indecipherable.

The album contains twelve songs which are obviously played very fast, since the entire CD clocks in at twenty-seven minutes – one minute less than Slayer’s epic metal classic “Reign in Blood.”

It features “Fried Chicken and Coffee,” a track that was included on the soundtrack to the movie Deadman on Campus. The video for “Go Motherfucker Go,” one of the more radio-friendly cuts from Let Them Eat Pussy, had to be bleeped an estimated twenty-six times. The video credits would undoubtedly read Nashville *****, “Go Mother****** Go” Let Them Eat *****. America is not the land of milk and honey. It’s the land of asterisks.

Ruyter Suys complains that when the video for “Go Motherfucker Go” aired elsewhere, they received emails from as far away as Russia, noting that foreign audiences (even those who’d once been locked behind the Iron Curtain) were watching the uncensored version – as opposed to the heavily sanitized U.S. variety.

With a name like this, one would expect much parental ire. Controversy sells and, as the band would discover, so do scantily clad females who breathe fire and seem to have a genuine affection for each other. It is not uncommon at live shows for guitarist Ruyter Suys and bassist Corey Parks (not to be confused with Corey Hart) to so fiercely perform mouth-to-mouth on each other that a specially trained roadie with the jaws of life must be called in to facilitate prying the two vixens apart.

Consider also that Suys, subsequent to a show in Rosemont, Illinois, opening for Marilyn Manson, was arrested for battery on a security guard. She was fined $75 and released. Now that’s sex and violence.

No stranger to controversy, in an interview with Ted Nugent (appropriate, as their monker comes from Double Live Gonzo), she confessed, “I am the pussy.”

Of the current lineup, Cartwright says, “In Nine Pound Hammer I was just a guitar player. Now I’m the lead singer and have to concentrate more on that. I miss just playing guitar. Besides, in this band it’s like a three-way fight for attention on stage.”

Cartwright estimates that since the band’s inception they have played about 800 gigs, give a hallucination or ten. “The more we do it for a living, the more serious it is. It’s like a controlled party,” says Cartwright almost wistfully, but with a slight hint of pragmatism.

He’s looking forward to their European audiences, as they head to France by the end of April.

The phrase “controlled party” seems oxymoronic in the oft hedonistic animal house of rock-and-roll, especially when one considers the whispers of Nashville Pussy’s penchant for gluttonous distraction. (Their contract rider specifies food and alcohol in quantities that would make Motley Crue blush with schoolgirlish envy.) Enforced moderation during ten-month tours can only lead to one thing: Fire-breathing.

The long touring schedules are sure to continue as Nashville Pussy gears up for the May 30 release of their second album, High as Hell. Will the controversy continue? Song titles such as “Blowjob from a Rattlesnake” and “She’s Got the Drugs” point to oui, si, and da with a probable nada in terms of support from MTV and other mainstream media outlets. And for those in the don’t know, Nashville Pussy received that Grammy nomination in the best metal performance category for “Fried Chicken and Coffee,” going up against such time-tested titans as Judas Priest and Metallica, as well as Rage Against the Machine (except the one that presses CDs) and Rammstein (who?). Metallica won, of course, but only by default. It seems the whole of Jethro Tull came down with a yearlong bout of intermittent comas. Some of them regained consciousness, but who could tell?

Nashville Pussy was fairly certain they wouldn’t need a peer review session for their acceptance speech. It was, of course, an honor just to be nominated. Walking down the red carpet in the wake of the beautiful people was enough (as they made headlines for pausing to take pictures of fellow nominees on said carpet). Rubbing elbows and other assorted extremities with Yoko Ono and Sean Ono brought it all into focus. Nashville Pussy is not a band for the beautiful people. It’s a band for the people. People in the Junior Samples fan club. People who may or may not be “Southern by the Grace of God.” And By God, people who would just as soon whomp you with a knotted plow line than look at you. That’s Nashville Pussy, only a little more cosmopolitan (Suys is from Canada).

From opening for Marilyn Manson to being interviewed by Ted Nugent, Nashville Pussy have tread many a mile in their burgeoning career. Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, and all points betwixt have caught a whiff of rock-and-roll musk that wafts malodorously through fog machines and Marshall amplifiers loud enough to disintegrate the bowels. Global domination is next as fans eagerly await to see if it really is all pink on the inside.

For Nashville Pussy, the future looms…pink. Plans to be on other soundtracks, such as a film by Bob and Dave of Mr.Show, are currently in the works. Inclusion on a compilation album bringing attention to the much publicized legal plight of a trio of convicted murderers in Arkansas “known as the West Memphis Three” is also on the table. Nashville Pussy became interested in the West Memphis Three after watching the two-part HBO documentary on their case entitled Paradise Lost, a disturbing look into the vicious murders of three young boys and the prejudices and superstitions of Backwater, America. (Fashion tip: do NOT wear black in Arkansas, and don’t even THINK about sporting a “funny” hairdo.) A project already in the can is music by NP on the Sony PlayStation video game, Rogue Trip. The music can only be heard once the player has reached the fourth level, by which time said player is so profoundly in the Alpha State that he or she is being subliminally swayed to cook crack-tainted meatloaf for the entire family proper.

In its time Lexington has seen some of the biggest acts of rock pass through town, trampling bluegrass to mud and extolling all virtues too loose for the Bible Belt to wrangle. The Who, Van Halen, Kiss, the Backstreet Boys, Quiet Riot and Gordon Lightfoot have all vini, vidi, vicci’d at one time or another. Lexington’s next storm to weather will be Nashville Pussy. Will Lexington still be the same effervescent metropolis subsequent to Pussy’s departure? Probably. (Fans can still choose between an evening with them or an evening with the Judds.)

Fire-breathing lesbians. How didst thou miss that one, Malcom McLaren?


Don’t Let the Name Fool Ya

by Matt Dacey
Nashville Pussy. A rock band. No, make that a RAWK band.

Let Them Eat Pussy? An album title. Probably even more provocative than the name of the band. And proof that the bottom line in music is “sex sells.”

To appreciate Nashville Pussy is to appreciate where they came from. A decade or so ago, in the sleepy little hamlet known as downtown Lexington, a vibrant musical scene existed, centered around the now departed (and much hallowed) Wrocklage as well as still-packing-them-in-today Lynagh’s. The now defunct Jefferson Davis Inn also played a minor role in the scene.

Of the many bands who were active in the Lexington area in the late-80s/early-90s, two of the best known were Nine Pound Hammer and Black Cat Bone. Both played a brand of countrified garage rock not terribly different from what Nashville Pussy are doing today. Black Cat Bone were a bit more polished and Nine Pound Hammer a bit more beer-fueled. The bottom line was that both bands rocked. No, they RAWKED.

Today, the former members of Black Cat Bone have splintered into two distinctive camps, while Nine Pound Hammer just splintered, period.

Ex-Black Cat Boner David Angstrom went on to form Supafuzz, while the other members of Black Cat Bone, Jon McGee and Mark Hendricks went on to form Taildragger with ex-Nine Pound Hammer drummer Rob Hulsman. Both of these bands still exist, and both continue to RAWK.

Redneck rock, however, has not been exclusive to the Bluegrass Region.

From the New Bomb Turks of Long Island, to the Supersuckers of Puget Sound, redneck rock has enjoyed a steady, if cult-like following across this great land of ours.

The sound has even thrived in Europe (where it should be noted that Nine Pound Hammer enjoyed a considerable following in their heyday), as evidenced by Norway’s Gluecifer and The Hellacopters from Sweden.

Which brings us to Nashville Pussy. Featuring ex-Nine Pound Hammer guitarist Blaine Cartwright on vocals, his wife Ruyter Suys on guitar, Jeremy Thompson on drums, and bassist Corey Parks (who also is known as the sister of NBA baller and former Dookie, Cherokee Parks), Nashville Pussy have managed to achieve, in a relatively short time, a degree of notoriety which has eluded all of the previously mentioned bands.

So what set Nashville Pussy apart from the pack? In a word, sex. Suys and Parks, are, without question, the focal point of Nashville Pussy. Their slightly trashy, over-the-top, bra-baring sexuality serve as the bait to the uninitiated.

Once ensnared, Nashville Pussy’s music is the sort that beats the listener senseless (but a GOOD kind of senseless). Indeed, they RAWK, and they do so very well.

Another of Nashville Pussy’s musical compatriots would be Southern Culture On The Skids. SCOTS recipe for success included not only shit-kickin’ good tunes, but a heapin’ helping of redneck humor as well.

The humor element was obviously not lost on Nashville Pussy, and it’s only necessary to look as far as their song titles (“Fried Chicken & Coffee”; “Go Motherfucker Go”) to see that this is the case. Nashville Pussy are no mere SCOTS clones though. If SCOTS are a beat-up pickup truck, Nashville Pussy are a tricked-out, primered Firebird.

Nashville Pussy have managed to generate a considerable amount of controversy, resulting in much attention being paid to their music. The controversy can occasionally be damaging, for example, one Lexington mass-retailer does not stock Let Them Eat Pussy, and will not order it, even upon customer request.

With the release of High As Hell, due in May, the controversy surrounding Nashville Pussy shows no signs of abating. A recent headline in the humor newspaper, The Onion, stated that Sammy (“There’s Only One Way To Rock”) Hagar had found a new way to rock. Not quite. Nashville Pussy found it. And it’s called RAWK.



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