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NASHVILLE PUSSY (JUNE 2019)


Type:
INTERVIEW
Genre:
HARD ROCK
After nearly 25 years of career, the incredible Americans of Nashville Pussy are back with a new album!
DARIALYS - 17.07.2019
Created in 1996, Nashville Pussy has become, in the space of two decades, one of the leaders of the US hard rock scene. This year the quartet is releasing their new album, "Pleased To Eat You". Light on Blaine and Ruyter, the couple of American hard rockers, who came to present us their new creation.



We like to start our interviews on Music Waves with the following question: what is the question you have been asked too often?

Blaine Cartwright: "How did you start the band?", when the answer is in the biographies we send to journalists. It shows that people don't prepare interviews, or that they're lazy.

This question is understandable when asked of young bands, but in the case of Nashville, it does not seem coherent!

Blaine: The answer is everywhere! Thank you for asking me first! Sometimes we are asked to tell incredible stories that we have experienced on tour. I still have the same story, when we opened for Slayer. Someone threw up in a glass and sent it on us. It was all over the place. But when I'm asked to tell crazy things, I don't want to get people in trouble! (Laughs). And besides, I don't really have an answer!


For those who don't know you, you are a hard rock band created at the end of the 90s with a rich discography of 7 albums. This band includes you and your wife, Ruyter (Suys, ed.). How do you manage the balance between private and professional life? Isn't that difficult?


Blaine: Yes, it is, but it would be even harder to be separated from her if we didn't play in the same band. If I was on tour and Ruyter was home, it would be difficult.


So it's easier to be in the same group?

Blaine: Yes. We're going through the same things. We like to remember things we have experienced together, but if I had to tell her these stories when I came home without her having experienced them, she wouldn't know what I was talking about.


Doesn't your professional life interfere too much with your private life? Do you still have a private life?

Blaine: Yes, as much as possible! I understand your question, but it's never been very hard in reality. We share a lot of things in common.


On the other hand, isn't it difficult for the other two members of the band to work with a couple? Would that explain the fact that Nashville Pussy changed members several times?

Blaine: I think that women leave bands more easily than men. I think they get bored faster than men to get in the van, to do the same things over and over again. When you join Nashville Pussy as a member, you're quickly a rock star of sorts. At first, you get excited, then you play the same songs over and over again, and you don't make that much money. I'm not complaining, but women have a kind of internal clock that tells them to get married, have children, etc. It happened to us. Some women have left the group. It's not that it was going badly, but they were yearning for something else. We always get along with everyone, but the others are not really involved in terms of composition. 

 

How do you work in the band in terms of writing? Do you work together with Ruyter?

Blaine: I write a lot of things alone, then I show her. I record demos with my vocals. I record ideas and send them to everyone. It's easier nowadays! At the time, I had my cassette recorder, where each cassette had 45 minutes per side, and you had to find the song on the cassette! This part is easier now. I write a lot on my own. If I find myself in a place where there is nothing to do, I am able to play guitar all night long.


Bonnie (Buitrago, editor's note), joined the band in 2011 as a bass player. Was it not difficult for her to follow Corey Parks and Karen Cuda who had real personalities?

Blaine: She also has a strong personality! It is never easy to replace someone because people can have very high expectations. She's doing very well anyway!


 

Bass players have always been women. Why is that the case? Is it so that the band has a sexy side?

Blaine: That's how it started for that reason, yes. Everyone liked it, so we didn't want to change the recipe. I like working with women. I get along better with them than with men in general.


Like AC/DC, some people say that you have been playing the same things since you started. Even if you don't, do you consider that you have evolved over your 20 years of career?

Blaine: When we started out, we played punk music in the spirit of The Ramones. I played short solos while Ruyter played long solos. From the fourth album on, I enjoyed putting down my guitar and just singing simply. For someone who doesn't like rock'n' roll, what we're doing now must look like the way we started. But if you know rock'n' roll and you know us, it's completely different. My voice is much better now. The songs are still good, the lyrics are good, but we've improved. Some believe that AC/DC has not evolved. That's true, in a way, but if you compare 'Baby Please Don't Go' (cover of Big Joe Williams on their first album, "High Voltage", editor's note) to 'Highway To Hell', it has nothing to do with it. They have really improved over time.


Can we say that you have created a sound that is recognizable among all artists? When people say that AC/DC has never changed, it means they have a unique identity! They have their sound. If you're blamed for that, it probably means you've created your sound!

Blaine: When The Ramones still existed, before they split, people said they were still doing the same thing. But when they disappeared, people would say, "Oh no, the Ramones no longer exist!" Some people complain. We read columns, mainstream magazines in general, that say we always do the same thing. That's not quite true! But for them, it is. We might want to change, but if you listen to Motörhead, The Ramones, AC/DC, John Lee Hooker, they have a style! No one in the 70s thought that John Lee Hooker should make a disco album, or a reggae album! John Lee Hooker, it's John Lee Hooker! Sometimes it's excellent, sometimes it's just good, sometimes it's maybe not so good! All The Ramones and AC/DC albums are good! Some have just more energy than others, or a more raw, aggressive sound.


Speaking of aggressiveness, since the album "Up The Dosage" (released in 2014, editor's note), your music is heavier. Are you okay with that?

Blaine: It's from our drummer, from the way he plays. We wondered how to use his approach because he was a new drummer. That's how we got a heavier sound. There are songs like 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' by Led Zeppelin or 'Diamonds And Rust' by Judas Priest that have delicate lyrics, but on the contrary, the music is heavy. We wanted to do something like that. I have a friend who came to my house with his guitar and sang a song by Steeve Earle (American country guitarist, editor's note). When he played that song, it was just him and me, it captivated me! I recorded it, I sent it to the others in the group. I thought we should start from that and make it something heavier. I told the others to play whatever they wanted as long as it was heavy! It worked very well! I don't know if Steeve Earle listened to that song!


On this album, you play three well-chosen covers, and they are very well performed. Why do you play covers in this album?

Blaine:'Woke Up This Morning' was basically a bonus song for Japan or another country. And then Greg Martin, the Kentucky Headhunters guitarist came to play guitar on this track. It was only supposed to be a B-side or a bonus, but he played that song, and that's when we thought this song shouldn't be just a bonus. I was quite proud of the result. So those who say we always do the same thing, I say no! (Laughs). It's varied! We take songs from other artists and make them our own. I was very happy with the vocal lines on this track because the voices in Nazareth (the group that wrote the song 'Woke Up This Morning, ed.) are crazy. They're very high, and I did it! I did my best, and I think I was really not far away at all!



(Ruyter Suys makes his appearance)

Ruyter Suys :Hi !




Hello ! "Pleased To Eat You" (the name of their latest album released in 2018, editor's note) sounds like a real Nashville Pussy album. It's fresh! There is a wide variety of instruments: harmonica, slide guitar, Hammond organ... That was the goal, to have this variety?

Blaine: No!

Ruyter: For the harmonica, I met someone while shopping by accident!

Blaine: I had a harmonica, we kept remixing it. I had a friend who was supposed to play it on this album, but it didn't happen.

Ruyter : I was on vacation, and I was in a grocery store. Next to it, there was someone playing the piano in a piano shop. I met him. We started talking. Turns out he was playing for Bernie Marsden who was in Whitesnake. He told me he would love to play to a Nashville Pussy song and I told him we had something for him.


On this album, the production is by Daniel Rey, who has already worked with you on the album "Get Some" released in 2005. Why did you work with him again? Because he worked with The Ramones and The Misfits? Or maybe to get a dirtier sound?

Blaine: Daniel is great! He is a very good arranger and he is also a guitarist. He played guitar on the album when we were asleep! (Laughs). David Barrick recorded the album, he was the one who worked on our sound. It was a perfect combination!

Ruyter: We wanted to work with both at the same time.

Blaine: We had already made 2 albums with Daniel at the time.

Ruyter: He did a very good job, and so did David. They arrived early at the studio and left late. Everyone got along fine.


At the beginning of the interview, I asked you Blaine how you handled the mix between private and professional life with Ruyter. But when I talk to you, it now seems obvious to me that you are managing this as well as possible. There's a connection between you two.

Ruyter: When you listen to us play together, you can't really say who plays what part. I can play like him, and he can play like me. We both play differently, but in any case, we're like a moving train.


Ruyter, you're a female guitarist, it's relatively rare in this business. Wasn't it hard for you to be taken seriously?

Running: Never.
 

Do you think you're one of the precursors at that level, which makes it easier for women who would like to be guitarists in a rock band?

Ruyter: I hope I'm helping to make it easier for people to rock. There are tons of women playing the guitar. But what matters is to be good. Many men have disappointed me a lot on stage. I grew up in Canada in a visionary hippie family. I was given a relatively neutral first name, voluntarily. I grew up driving a tractor, not wearing dresses. They didn't want to stop me at that level because I was a girl. When I wanted to play the guitar, I played it.


After a 20-year career, do you consider yourself more mature, or do you think you have kept your madness of the time?

Ruyter: (Laughs) No, we're not more mature! It's just that we've practiced a lot, we're a little more tired, or more experienced!




So what is the secret of your energy?

Blaine: It's like we're on a roller coaster! As soon as you start playing on stage, you have to go! I'm giving it my all!


After touring in France last year, you are back this year! The artwork of "Up The Dosage" was made by a Frenchman. You also produced a live DVD in 2003, "Keep On Fuckin' in Paris". Do you have a particular relationship with France?

Blaine: Yes, of course.


And how do you explain that?

Running: Explain it to us, you! We don't know why!

Blaine: We've already been on Canal + three times.

Ruyter: The French seem to appreciate American music.


Lenny (Kilmister, former legendary Motörhead singer, editor's note) said you were one of the best rock bands in the world. Do you think it helped you become more popular?

Blaine: I don't know. There are bluesmen and jazzmen who are popular too!


Now that you are better known, do you have more resources, to release this album or to promote it for example?

Ruyer: The label helps us. They're straight with us and they're doing well.




Finally, we started this interview by asking you what the question you had been asked too often had been. On the contrary, what would you like me to ask you?

Blaine: "What was your first concert?". It was Kiss in 1976!


Thank you very much!

Both: Thank you!


Thanks to Childeric Thor for his contribution...



More informations on http://www.nashvillepussy.com/
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LINKED
DERNIER ARTICLE
After nearly 25 years of career, the incredible Americans of Nashville Pussy are back with a new album!

Read the article
Read all articles regarding NASHVILLE PUSSY
 
DERNIERE CHRONIQUE
Pleased To Eat You (2018)
An efficiency that never goes away and a very good song-writing ensure "Pleased To Eat You" a solid road holding.

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Read all reviews regarding NASHVILLE PUSSY

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