The War on Drugs

Feature:

Next stop: arenas

The War on Drugs is ready for bigger stages, writes Thalia Stopa. At the Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver, July 29 2014.

read more

Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves (interview)

Perfect Pussy

Perfect Pussy are coming to a town near you. Ben Cleeton photo.

Interview – Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves

- by Ria Nevada

There are a few reasons why you may have not yet heard of noise-punk newcomers Perfect Pussy. They emerged from the Syracuse, NY underground scene just over a year ago, their X-rated name limits their discoverability on search engines – in fact, updates on their standout EP I have lost all desire for feeling would have been relegated to my spam box if half of the subject line hadn’t been blacked out. Unsurprisingly, news of their brutally honest, distorted tracks have traveled mostly via word of mouth.

But we all know that good news, or great music to be precise, travels fast. Frontwoman Meredith Graves and her cohort have already been slated as one of 2013’s bands to watch by publications like Pitchfork and Stereogum, and the band is embarking on a tour that spans most of North America.

We were able to check in with Graves via email right before they hit the road and she gave us the lowdown on what’s in store for Perfect Pussy this year. Brace yourselves for their first full LP, Say Yes to Love, which hits stores in a couple of months – just in time for the band’s March 25 Vancouver show at the Cobalt (full tour dates follow the interview).

Perfect Pussy Meredith Graves interview

Perfect Pussy. Pooneh Ghana photo.

Ria Nevada: The energy of your music, and the production values of your cassette feel very raw, DIY, stream-of-consciousness. And really, your loyal following was built from word-of-mouth. How has this all changed for you since signing on with Captured Tracks and getting a lot of blog and digital media coverage?

Meredith Graves: I don’t think much has changed, really! Letting your friends put out a record for you does not transport you to an all inclusive rock and roll resort in heaven. If we changed the way we did things, we probably wouldn’t still be doing it. We build and mail out every tape ourselves, we tour in a van and sleep on floors and I don’t think any of that is ever going to change no matter how many websites run scary photos of me.

RN: What was the first cassette you remember owning – either one you bought for yourself or someone gave to you – and was it a notable influence in your musical direction?

MG: My dad was pretty punk, and he gave me a yellow Walkman and a Best of Chuck Berry tape when I was in first grade. The first music I remember paying any attention to as a child was jazz, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. We had all the Blue Note Records cassettes. I had a tape of Herbie Hancock and Miami Sound Machine. After that, it was the Clash‘s London Calling. I had his entire tape and record collection at my disposal from birth, which was an incredible resource, except when you’re eleven and your favorite band is Stereolab all the kids at school think you’re weird. My dad is definitely my biggest influence; he still introduces me constantly to music I’ve never heard.

RN: And is your first LP in the works? Have you thought about producers you plan on collaborating with?

MG: It’s done- it will be out on March 18 on Captured Tracks. I have no idea what a producer does, really, and in terms of recording we do everything ourselves. Our keyboard player is an engineer at a really nice studio so we’re very lucky.

Video – Perfect Pussy, “3″ (live):

RN: Being a cultural theory nut, I was stoked with the Roland Barthes nod in the EP. Are there common themes, ideas, theories that often converge with your incredibly honest lyrics?

MG: Revisiting Barthes was a big influence on both the EP and the record. Lover’s Discourse is the book I’ve revisited over and over again in the last year, and it really bolstered my belief that it’s important to be vulnerable when talking about love and its misgivings.

It’s an extremely important book that gave me immense comfort when I was going through a serious breakup earlier this year. In the three months that followed I slowly read and re-read it, and by the time we were recording I realized how brave it had made me. So I wrote a breakup record, in a way. At the very least it’s a record about how love changed me, for better or worse.

Perfect Pussy 2014 North American tour dates:

01-19 Chattanooga, TN – Sluggo’s
01-20 Louisville, KY – Nachbar
01-21 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
01-22 Chicago, IL – Schubas
01-23 Grinnell, IA – Grinnell College
01-24 Detroit, MI – Trumbullplex
01-25 Toronto, Ontario – Silver Dollar
01-26 Montreal, Quebec – Casa del Popolo
02-12 Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
03-05 Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class
03-07 Memphis, TN – Buccaneer
03-09 Monterrey, Mexico – Festival Nrmal
03-10 McAllen, TX – Galaxy Z Fair
03-11 Houston, TX – Mango’s
03-12-15 Austin, TX – SXSW
<
03-16 Marfa, TX – Padre’s
03-17 Phoenix, AZ – Wall Street
03-18 San Diego, CA – Che Cafe
03-20 Los Angeles, CA – East 7th Street Warehouse
03-21 San Fransisco, CA – Rickshaw Stop
03-22 Portland, OR – Slabtown
03-23 Boise, ID – Treefort Music Festival
03-24 Seattle, WA – Vera Project
03-25 Vancouver, British Columbia – Cobalt
03-27 Calgary, Alberta – Lux Laundromat
03-29 Winnipeg, Manitoba – Dead Lobster
03-30 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry

Perfect Pussy bandcamp page

Perfect Pussy Tumblr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>