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Kerby' Exclusive Interview With Nashville Pussy's Ruyter Suys

By Jeff Kerby, Contributor
Tuesday, January 10, 2006 @ 1:46 PM


"C'mon you freaks, let's get o

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When Nashville Pussy dropped Get Some a couple of months ago, the band effectively unleashed a barrage of good time rock upon a nation that had been cruelly deprived of an NP record for nearly three years. Even though long time listeners of the group are bound to find the music on the new album typical of the band, they should also be aware of a musical progression of sorts that also pervades the record. Although the band’s increased cohesion and tight playing equates to a collective improvement in the skill level of the band, the group thankfully still remains true to all the usual lyrical themes and content that one associates with a Nashville Pussy release. Tales of hard liquor, misspent lives and existence one step away from the gutter abound as guitarist Ruyter Suys proves throughout the duration of the disc to be a more than proficient musician. In actuality, Get Some is evidence that the wife of band vocalist Blaine Cartwright possesses the type of six-string acumen that many of her male contemporaries can merely dream about, so for fans to ever dismiss her as a guitar toting piece of ass really isn’t very accurate and basically does a disservice to her contribution to the band. Don’t get me wrong, her trailer park Marilyn Monroe persona is a huge part of the image of the group, but it must be also be noted that there is something worth listening to here as well.

The band’s live show is also consistently energetic and pretty much worth whatever drive a fan has to endure in order to see them. Anyone who has had the opportunity to watch NP on the road with the likes of Rev. Horton Heat or Marilyn Manson can attest to the fact that Blaine is a whiling dervish of chicken grease and butane as he presides over a band that has persevered numerous types of adversity and financial instability. Of course, one source of this uncertainty has emanated from the change in bass players that has taken place in previous years, which finally appears to have ended with the group currently employing Hemi Cuda bassist Karen Cuda. Of course, regardless of the bass player, the rhythm section is always directed by the steady beat of longtime drummer Jeremy Thompson, and now, with the band supporting a record as solid as their current release, no time could be better to hit some Nashville Pussy yourself.

KNAC.COM: Do you guys have some type of Spinal Tap situation going on with the bass players or have you finally settled on the right one?

SUYS: I fuckin’ don’t know. (laughs) I’m gonna say yes though because I say that every time.

KNAC.COM: Was it an amicable split last time at least?

SUYS: It almost always is. It’s hardly ever about us, it’s usually something personal. It’s tough to be in any band. You either have the temperament for it or you don’t.

KNAC.COM: When did you decide that you had the temperament for it?

SUYS: I don’t know, man. I didn’t know that even we were all that well suited for it ourselves until we just saw all these other people fall by the wayside. Eventually, it just seemed like we practiced so much that it became easy.

KNAC.COM: So with the release of each successive album you see fewer familiar faces?

SUYS: Yeah, but at the same time, the ones who are left and have stayed strong and have continued to survive are pretty fuckin’ cool. We finally got the chance to hook up with Daniel Rey (producer Ramones, White Zombie) and that was amazing.

KNAC.COM: Do you think Get Some is the record where Nashville Pussy finally achieves the desired marriage between attitude and musicianship?

SUYS: Oh yeah. I think it has surpassed all of our expectations. You go in trying to write the best rock record every time you go into the studio. (laughs) I don’t think anybody knew it would come out this good. One of the things that happened with this though is that we hadn’t played a lot of these songs before. We wrote them straight for the record, and there’s only about three of the songs that we’ve been playing live that ended up on this. Basically, what’s on the record is the best we’ve been able to play them. They’re all really fresh.

KNAC.COM: Would you rather road test tunes beforehand or is there something to be said for this type of recording?

SUYS: The first record is basically a show that we recorded. Every song that was on there is pretty much all we knew how to play. This time it was all super fresh and new and I think it definitely adds to the excitement for us.

KNAC.COM: What were the three songs you did play live?

SUYS: Pussy Time and Snowblind and C’mon---everything else was pretty much written for the record.

KNAC.COM: How long of a span of time did it take you to complete the album?

SUYS: Once we found out when we were actually going into the studio, it came along pretty quickly. Blaine is always writing songs, and we’ll be talking, and sometimes I can tell that he’s just like staring right through my head. (laughs) He’ll just be looking off into the distance and putting words together. He does that all the time. He is constantly writing things, and we are constantly putting things in little idea books we have where we just write down like the type of retarded shit that people say at four o’clock in the morning.

KNAC.COM: That way you don’t forget the stupid shit? There have to be potential lyric ideas is in some of that too.

SUYS: Yeah, like when you come home from a tour, you find all these little gems that people said. Most of the time it’s just the way people put words together that makes you think it’s funny. We’re the most jaded people you know-- Blaine, Jeremy and soon to be Karen. Blaine’s basic goal is to make all of us and our jaded friends laugh.

KNAC.COM: Does that get progressively harder?

SUYS: I don’t know. (laughs) We spend a lot of time laughing at retarded shit though--which is pretty easy--especially if you’re sleep deprived like we usually are.

KNAC.COM: You guys definitely spend a lot of time in weird places or out of the way situations, don’t you?

SUYS: Me and Blaine definitely have what you’d call “white line fever” which means you’re addicted to driving on the fucking highway.

KNAC.COM: You don’t have much of a choice though in this business, do you?

SUYS: No, but we love it though. I think you’d have to or you’d go crazy.

KNAC.COM: What is the average length of the drive you guys have in between shows right now?

SUYS: It’s not too bad in the States, so it’s usually only about four hours, but when we’re in Canada, it’s definitely more like five, six or seven. We’ve pretty much been staring through windshields at the world for quite awhile, and I like it.

KNAC.COM: If you had to guess, how for how long would you say exactly?

SUYS: We’ve been on the road now for eight years. We took a whole year off last year in between bass players. It was really nice at that time to go home and reap the rewards of finally getting to go and take some time off. (laughs)

KNAC.COM: You mean you got to take some time to actually relax in your forty-two room mansion?

SUYS: Yeah, we finally got some time to see what was down the west wing--I never knew!

KNAC.COM: Did it take some time to reacquaint yourself with the maid and the rest of the staff?

SUYS: Now I know all of my butler’s names, but not the last names, of course.

KNAC.COM: Besides the obvious answer of “just being fans of those songs,” is there any other reason you guys chose to cover “Snowblind” and “Nutbush City Limits”? You don’t typically see them on the same record.

SUYS: Well, we’re classic rock fans, I guess pairing Ace Frehely with Ike Turner makes perfect sense. (laughs) It’s all rock and roll baby! Actually, Ike Turner may have played on the first rock and roll record ever, and we have been trying to reintroduce the world to the beginning of rock through our jaded eyes. We always try to pull out some kind of gem that like maybe people don’t know about like the Flaming Groovies or something like that. We’re always learning more about who has been rocking over the years, so we just try to turn other people onto the same shit, you know?

KNAC.COM: All that time on the road has to equal a ton of hours of listening to music--what do you guys take along?

SUYS: We all have our own MP3 players and Blaine has one that holds over a thousand songs.

KNAC.COM: C’mon, each of you having access to your own music is cheating. You should have to drive each other crazy with the tunes you select--

SUYS: Well wait, if it’s like that, then whoever is doing the driving gets to pick what gets put in the stereo.

KNAC.COM: Ok, so when it’s community time, what generally gets thrown in?

SUYS: Blaine plays a lot of funkadelic and a lot of soul. We were just listening to Ray Charles when you called. Blaine is kind of like an archivist when it comes to music, and I usually just sit back and let him make the environment cool for me wherever we go. Even if we go to a Waffle House, he’ll go and plug the jukebox to make sure we’ve got the best music to listen to. Everywhere we go, he tries to control the music. (laughs)

KNAC.COM: What do you think about Barry Manilow? I mean, he should get to follow up Ray Charles, right? He had some good songs.

SUYS: Who!?

KNAC.COM: Barry Manilow. You know, like “Mandy” or “Copacabana” or some shit.

SUYS: Who!?

KNAC.COM: You know who I’m talking about. Everyone loves Barry.

SUYS: Uh, ok.

KNAC.COM: Why couldn’t you cover one of his tunes?

SUYS: What do you mean? Like “I Write The Songs” or something? I have no idea. Maybe we can bring it up at the next band meeting. (laughs) I’m sure we could make it sound better anyway. We definitely have a list of songs we want to cover.

KNAC.COM: Was it hard narrowing that list down to two tracks?

SUYS: The truth is that we had wanted to do “Nutbush” forever, and we never really had the talent to pull it off. The three of us finally learned how to play it about two years ago though when we did a benefit for one of our roadies who had MS down in Atlanta. At the time, our bassist was up in Canada, so we just played it there with some local guy. That was the first time we had ever nailed it, and it was so fuckin’ fun that we showed it to Karen, and she figured it out in about five seconds. (laughs) She basically learned how to play it right there in the studio that day. She had never even heard it before, so we were just really impressed she was able to pull it off so quickly when it had been eluding us as a band for so long! (laughs) At one point we found out that when Brian Johnson applied for the job with AC/DC that “Nutbush” was the first song they ever jammed on together. I thought, “fuckin’ hell, we come from a long line of genius evidently.”

KNAC.COM: Do you feel like you have gotten to the point in your guitar playing where you have transcended the fact that you’re a female?

SUYS: (Starts laughing) It’s always been there,I’ve just been waiting for the rest of the world to get beyond the tits.

KNAC.COM: You don’t ever seem to be bitter about it or anything though.

SUYS: It’s opposite if anything, I think it’s kind of funny. Unfortunately, some people do get really hung up on the fact that I’m very comfortable about my sexuality, and they just can’t get beyond it. It’s like, “c’mon you freaks, let’s get on with the rock.” In the end, I do have to censor myself a little bit though or else that all some people will remember. I would absolutely love to run around on stage in a pair of shorts like Angus or a loincloth like Ted Nugent, but if I did, all I’d ever hear about is how my boob almost popped out or something. Who cares? If they’re never going to get beyond that, I’m going to have to change my approach. (laughs)

KNAC.COM: Well, how much interaction do you actually have with fans? I know with the touring schedule you guys have, there isn’t always much time to screw around, is there?

SUYS: No, well, lately we’ve been really bad about hanging out with our fans a lot. (laughs)

KNAC.COM: Is that a good thing?

SUYS: I think it’s fuckin’ fantastic. At this point, we have friends all over the world, and this is the only time we get to see them. The bad part of it is that there is a party every single night, and well, I guess that’s not really a bad part.

KNAC.COM: Is it kind of few and far between that you would encounter a fan who is acting kind of strange or behaving super erratically?

SUYS: Most of the time, what ends up happening is that it usually happens during the show, and we get them kicked out.

KNAC.COM: So generally speaking, after the show it’s pretty laid back?

SUYS: Usually, we end up partying with some really awesome people.

KNAC.COM: Hmm, nobody ever gives you a hotel key or says, “Hey baby you wanna come hang out with an insurance salesman?

SUYS: Every fuckin’ night! (laughs) That happens all the time.

KNAC.COM: What are their expectations then? Does that person think something is going to actually happen?

SUYS: I dunno, but I had some guy the other day ask me what it would take to go home with me. I’m like, “maybe a better line than that.” (laughs)

KNAC.COM: You didn’t refer him to your husband?

SUYS: Yeah, “let me go ask my husband, if he says it’s o.k., I’ll go home with you!” Really though, people do come up with all kinds of inappropriate shit to say.

KNAC.COM: You just let it roll? Just laugh about it and let it go?

SUYS: That’s been happening to me my whole life, so it’s not anything new. It just maybe happens a little more now.

KNAC.COM: What you’re saying is that you have managed to improve the ol’ guitar playing skills while also increasing your level of sex appeal? Wow, you have the best of both worlds right now, don’t you?

SUYS: See, that’s what I have been trained to do! (laughs)

KNAC.COM: Do you feel that you are at the apex right now?

SUYS: I feel like I’m about ready to graduate from high school.

KNAC.COM: I was wondering if it was ever a concern that when you got to your optimum skill level playing guitar that you would have started to slide down the really wrinkled side of life physically.

SUYS: Yeah, well, being on the road makes you a little crazy. I don’t always stay in one time period, it’s like I always slide back to feeling like a teenager.

KNAC.COM: So you’re saying that you have these little pockets of time that you slide in and out of? Is that what you’re saying?

SUYS: Yeah. (laughs)

KNAC.COM: Ok, everyone has those as well. I don’t know. I’m sure everyone has his or her own sense of time-space continuum. Speaking of past times, when we spoke during that last interview, we talked a little bit about Madonna, and I was wondering if your opinion of her has changed since then. For example, are you ever jamming “Lucky Star” in the van?

SUYS: That’s never gonna happen. Some things stay the same. (laughs)


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