Blaine Cartwright (Nashville Pussy)
By Ray Van Horn, Jr.
Picture The Exploited or the Cockney
Rejects with a backwoods stomp and you might get an idea of what Nashville
Pussy is all about. Putting the rebel into rebellious punk, Nashville Pussy
slams the listener with its relentless, downhome hardcore fury then invites one
to join them in a brew afterwards. I had the opportunity to catch up with
singer/guitarist Blaine Cartwright as he was dropping his wife (and Nashville
Pussy lead guitarist) Ruyter (pronounced rider) Suys off at yoga.
What follows is perhaps one of the most memorable interviews of this
writers career thus far.
RV: Okay, let s talk about your sound. With
your Ramones and GBH influence and the country boogie in there, you guys have a
balls-out sound I think people should know about. I mean, a lot of people do
know about it. I guess a lot of people consider you psychobilly, but
youre actually more hardcore than psychobilly.
BC: Um, its kind of like punk rock, AC/DC,
its like a Motorhead delivery or something, you know? I think one of the
reasons we might get
I guess to someone whos into metal it might
sound a little psychobilly because its kind of riffy.
RV: Oh, yeah.
BC: But we have kind of a spectacle going on, so I
dont know, weve been called just about everything.
RV: (laughs) Thats cool. Why dont you
talk about your live performance, because I mean, your albums are just
relentless, thats why I love them so much! Its like one song to the
next, to the next, to the next, Im sure the show is like that?
BC: Always! Ah, when I was a kid, there was a Ramones
album called Its Alive
BC: And it went from one song to the next and I think
a lot of it was in Nashville Pussy to do the same. I never played, I never sang
before, so I was nervous. We go from one song to the next, plus were so
loud in between
if you have any silence between songs, its
weird, so we try to keep the energy going, especially as crazy as the shows
were at the beginning
we didnt want to give anyone time to go for a
beer or to catch a breath or think. Wed just go from one thing to
another, just bam bam bam, you know?
RV: Right. When I recently saw Southern Culture on
the Skids, they were like that. They didnt let up at all, either.
BC: Yeah, those guys wear you down
they got it
down pat too. Yeah, theyre old friends
Nashville Pussy kind of
formed in basically the living room of Southern Culture, as far as the people
RV: Oh, cool!
RV: Yeah, I know they got a new album, but I saw them
with the Reverend Horton Heat and that show was just so frickin cool!
BC: Oh cool! On tour with the Reverend, thats
RV: Yeah, I love the Reverend, he was awesome.
BC: Yeah, we toured with the Reverend for about seven
months straight, about a year-and-a-half ago. It was great!
RV: Cool, man! Well, what were the crowds like for
BC: Man, Reverend Horton Heat fans are fucking great!
I was like
theyre my favorite fucking crowds. You can talk between
songs and stuff and they listen to you. I mean, one of the reasons our songs
are bam bam bam, one to another live, is because punk rockers, man, they
dont give you any fuckin break, you know?
BC: I mean, they could think youre great and
theyll still flip you off and throw shit and you know
theyll think youre amazing and theyll still yell crap, like
Yo, play Freebird! or whatever, anytime theres a
moment of silence
BC: And then we got on with Reverend Horton Heat,
man, and his crowd, they really dug us because the music is well-played. They
didnt expect us, especially with a couple of chicks in the band, they
didnt expect us to be so
I think they thought we were a novelty, but
theyre highly mistaken. Theyd hear about the show and some shtick
or all the clever stuff that goes into our name and everything. So they think,
you guys probably cant play, but were very good musicians,
so, they really dug it. I mean, I got to make jokes between songs, I actually
said stuff that was cool and they responded really, really well and they all
bought t-shirts and they were ex-punks with jobs and stuff, you know?
They bring their wives to the show!
BC: And it was packed, too, fucking packed every
night, I mean, it was really, really fun.
RV: Cool. Because when I saw him (RHH), what I was
really fascinated with was, half the people were from the 1950s crowd,
they were doing fifties dancing and as soon as they got out of the way, the
slam-dancing would start, and theyd kind of just take turns with each
other. Very respectful of one another.
BC: Thats great, I mean, he works his ass off
for that, yeah. Theres a lot of people I know who are into metal and into
punk and they still go see that guy.
RV: Now, as far as the name Nashville Pussy, you got
that from The Nuge (Ted Nugent), right? From Wang Dang Sweet
BC: Excellent! Yeah, most people dont know
that! I mean, we put that in every interview and still, the most-asked
question, Id say is, Whered you get that name? Yeah,
its from Ted Nugent. We had a name we first started off that I
didnt like very much, I mean it was okay, but it was called
Hells Half Acre. But we found out theres three bands called that!
RV: (laughs) Sheesh!
BC: And after that, I was just walking out after we
practiced one night, down the street in Kentucky and all of a sudden I was
I started remembering the time I used to play the intro to that song,
Wang Dang Sweet Poontang, and try to freak out my little sister and her
BC: And I started thinking about it,
Nashville Pussy! And I came in and was half-joking, you know, so I
was ready to call it a joke if they shot it down, and I was like, We
should call ourselves Nashville Pussy, and everyone laughed their
RV: (cracks up)
BC: And then it was kind of like, why not, you know?
So yeah, what the fuck? I think its kinda cool.
RV: Yeah, definitely! You know whats
fascinating to me with Mercury, is that when they bought the rights to Let
Them Eat Pussy, they actually left Corey Parks (former bass player)
boobs hanging out (on the cover and foldout)!
BC: Thats because you couldnt see that
You couldnt see there was a nipple on there until it was on
vinyl, man, and we were like, Holy fucking shit! There was
that was a total fucking accident!
RV: Oh really?
BC: We didnt know it, yeah! (laughs) And
were like, Oh, shit!
BC: Yeah, we didnt see it until we got the
vinyl, you cant really see it on CD that well, and we got the vinyl and
was like, Oh, shit, look at that! Ha ha!
RV: Yeah. Well, even the foldout has it too. You can
even see it more. Again, Im surprised that Mercury let it get by.
BC: They were cool. Mercury was very cool, and that
foldout got pulled from under the rug, pulled from under us within two to three
months, and it had nothing to do with us. There was the corporate takeover and
all of our people
RV: So they just let bands go left and right
BC: They let all the bands go, but we still were on
there. We survived the cut.
RV: Oh, cool!
BC: But when we came there, it was like a hostile
environment. All these people didnt get it, but they realized they were
stuck with us, and tried to work with us a little bit, but it
wasnt like a bad relationship, they just wouldnt
work it out. They knew we knew (about the takeover atmosphere). But the initial
three months was pretty nice, it was just like (you imagine) when you get
signed. We got a bunch of money, and we got the guy who was Nirvanas
manager, who also worked for Zeppelin in the seventies, and Kiss.
RV: No kidding?
BC: He was a real smart guy, and a big fan of the New
York Dolls, and raw stuff, raw rock and roll. And the A&R guy was the one
who discovered Motley Crue and Guns n Roses and had really cool taste
like the MC5, so we were all having a good ol time, we had it all set up,
you know? (laughs) And we were like, cool, this is going to be great,
and were spending corporate money, so there was a lot to go around at
times. But then, within three months, man
all that got
everyone walked out or got fired, etcetera, etcetera, so
Yeah, so Mercury was very cool at first. We had a bunch of options, we made it
very, very, very, very clear that yeah, were not calming down and they
were like, We dont want you to, so
BC: Yeah, it was. Like I said, they were great for
three months, and then everything got fucked and after that
it was just no
RUYTER: (in background) (indecipherable)
RV: Is that Ruyter with you?
BC: Yeah, Im dropping her off at yoga.
RV: (to Ruyter) Hows it going, man?
BC: Cool. Hey, ah
BC: Her yoga teacher used to play for the Black
RV: Oh, really? When she gets back in, tell her I
think shes a badass guitarist!
BC: Oh, I will, I will! Yeah, she is, shes
fucking great! Shes gotten better, everybodys gotten better, the
bands gotten better, the last album was really good, and, you know, the
next album should be even better, so its a lot of fun, you know?
Its a really cool band.
RV: Oh, no doubt, I mean, you guys just
love about you, man, is I listen to you in the truck, and again, its like
non-stop energy, you know, to just carry you from one place to another.
BC: Well, thanks, yeah, its
planned that way, man, Im still kind of a
going to be forty years old in like four weeks, and Im still kind of a
pent-up dude, you know?
BC: Its as good as
well, even though I got
it, its still not enough, you know? Still crazy, man.
RV: Well, happy birthday in advance.
BC: Thanks, man.
RV: Yeah, no problem. Um, Fried Chicken and
Coffee surprised me that it got nominated for a Grammy!
BC: Yeah, well how that happened was, if youre
a voting member of the Academy or, like, the Grammy crap, you get this really
long list of things to choose from to shorten it down to the nominees. And our
A&R guy, Tom, the Guns n Roses, Motley Crue guy? He got our name
added to that, and he just threw Fried Chicken and Coffee on there as
he said if people see the words Nashville Pussy and
Fried Chicken and Coffee, then it would look funny! It would look
BC: Yeah, and I agreed, and it was like
could say it was a weak category that year, in metal, I dont think
were metal, but
BC: I like metal audiences a lot, and theyre my
favorite artists in the world, but, ah
so, basically we were on there with
Metallica and a couple others off soundtracks and stuff, because it was really
a category nobody gave a shit about, so we thought we could sneak in and we
did, and it was really, really cool! I mean, it was a fluke!
RV: So you didnt go, what
the fuck, or anything like that?
BC: Well, we went to the Grammys, but it was
really boring, though.
BC: The whole thing was a fluke, you know? So I think
that got us in, plus we played to death, Pussy played nonstop, and we were
around a lot of music businesspeople for about a year straight and they kept
coming to our shows, and we were real nice, we let them backstage and
whatever, you know, I might have a beer
thats how you win your voting.
RV: Ha! (laughs)
BC: Definitely paid off, though I had no intentions
of doing it like that
were just being ourselves and ya, man, come on
and hang out, you know?
RV: Do you feel that helped you take off a little
bit, you know, because people mightve seen that (the Grammy
BC: Ah, man, you know the Grammy nominations, they
dont really have sales or anything, but it helped as far as dealing with
our families and shit.
BC: Its one thing I can always drop, and say I
got nominated for a Grammy, even though a lot of shit is nominated for
Grammys, man. I mean, the Grammys are the terrible
RV: (laughs) Yeah, I hear you.
BC: I mean, theres nothing
they are so
behind the times and shit, you know. Its something people respect, but a
lot of the awards, like the Academys, the Emmys, the Oscars, whatever, the
Grammys are probably the
this industry is, like, circle jerk bullshit, but
at the same time, the fact that we were (nominated)
it was like getting an
invitation by mistake to some rich persons party! (laughs)
BC: Yeah, fuck yeah, Im gonna go crash this,
BC: But we were definitely out of our element though,
man. I mean, there was no one at the Grammys even close to what we were
like, you know?
RV: Yeah, but theres got be something kind of
quietly cool about that, like, you know, back when I was
I dunno, about
seventeen years younger, we used to go dressed up all nasty looking and walk
into Saks Fifth, you know, and
RV: And piss everyone off.
BC: Yeah, definitely! I went to The Grammys in jeans,
so did our drummer, because we couldnt
everyone was looking for
clothes and shit, and all of a sudden it was like, we were looking at these
cheesy expensive malls and malls here in Atlanta, and ah
and the girls
wore something handmade from
and they were really cool, like Evil
Keneval-looking outfits, you know
theyre real cool
theyre just leathers. Actually my wife wore something Britney
Spears wore like, three months later on the cover of Rolling Stone. The
same designer and shit, it was made for Ruyter first.
BC: And the same girl (designer) got famous since
then, so anyway, they had cool stuff, me and the drummer were like, man, we
cant compete with all these fucking
you know, people that know
what theyre doing as far as fashion. Like, Im going in jeans, man,
theyll be good jeans, but Im going with my cowboy boots and
jeans and a fucking
you know, jacket, and thats it, man. Ill
wear a fucking baseball cap in there, I dont give a shit.
RV: (laughs) There you go! Um, your sound is cock and
balls rock n roll, but whats really cool to me is that youve
got a split of sexes in the band, you know, two guys, two girls.
BC: Yeah, it works out really well like that, I
four guys is rough, man. I dont know, four guys will stick
together through anything sometimes, but it can drive you fucking crazy. Having
two women in the band always helped out a lot.
RV: And it helps that youre married to one of
BC: Yeah, that definitely helps our situation. I
mean, theres nothing worse than four or five guys in a band, plus a
couple of roadies all trying to fuck the same chick! It causes problems, you
RV: Right. (laughs)
BC: Yeah, its like no ones going
no ones got their eyes on the same person, so
there wasnt any special problems, we could all party together without
anything getting fucked up.
RV: Right on, man. So, being married to Ruyter in the
band all this time, theres not any fighting or any of that kind of stuff?
You guys just really click together, right?
BC: We get along better together as man and wife than
we do in the band. She does a great job, but like, ah
she does and shit I do
were good partners, but, you know, we have
different encouragement of styles, shes more technical, Im more
feel, I think. Its not that I want to say feel, but Im more
Im more punk rock and shes more
she grew up in
metal, I grew up in punk rock, so Nashville Pussys where we meet in the
middle. If were just home hanging out, we never fight, but on the road
and stuff, were like, not bad, were never bad, but well argue
over some things here and there. Were both pretty stubborn.
RV: (laughs) Thats pretty cool. I want to go
back to your live act again, its like, the motif is live fast, play
faster. I mean, you guys are really brutal and aggressive, to your credit, with
BC: When you say live fast,
play faster, where do you see that at?
RV: Well, thats just my interpretation.
BC: I like that!
RV: (laughs) Because
BC: I mean, thats good. Thats really
RV: Thank you! But since youre truly one of the
hardest punk, slash psycho
nah, I guess you cant say psychobilly,
but since youre punk-oriented
youre one of the fastest and
BC: Yeah, I think so. Its as fast and its
hard as I can go and still be like, rootsy rock n roll, it still has
Chuck Berry, you know, and like you said, theres the rockabilly, it still
has the country stomp in there a little bit, the Chuck Berry element to the
guitar tones and stuff like that, you know? The bands that are faster are just
straight-up thrash metal or whatever, but we definitely like playing fast,
thats for goddamn sure!
BC: As long as it doesnt get too fast and
chaotic, man, as long as you keep the beat down, I really like going fast.
RV: Right, youre not setting out to be Napalm
Death or anything like that.
BC: No, I dont really know much about those
guys, man, (but because) we play fast, because I scream and stuff, people
automatically assume that and they come up and
BC: I mean, every night you hear like, you know
Do you listen to Celtic Frost? and a lot of these really obscure
fucking death metal bands or whatever, you know? (laughs)
BC: I mean, we really tried to be Foghat and
stuff, I mean, seriously, we were trying to be like that, we were trying to be
like, Slow Ride, or something like that. (laughs)
BC: And were like a punk band, you know?
RV: Thats funny, man. Ive got a quote
from Ruyter that really cracked me up. I know its deliberately meant to
provoke: We want to unbuckle the bible belt and suck Gods
dick. I just died when I read that!
BC: That was in Penthouse, right?
RV: Uh, I got that off of your website.
BC: Nah, it was in Penthouse, okay?
BC: And it came out a few years ago and well, the
thing was, Ruy
I cant believe she said that, thats pretty
it was something funny, that we all
we had that quote and the
quotes still up, both in bold print and
by itself overtop the
picture, you know, in Penthouse, and I was like, well, I cant show
this to my family now!
BC: I mean, first she had the fortitude to be in
Penthouse, but saying something like that, and our family drove
both the drummer and I both were like, shit, our families grew up in
church, man, I was fucking
I thought they were gonna freak out, man!
BC: So I didnt tell them we were in Penthouse,
man. I thought it was brilliant, you know?
RV: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, Im a God-fearing man
like anybody else, but you still gotta appreciate it, its funny as hell.
RV: I mean, its just attacking the Bible Belt
itself more than God.
BC: Ah, she was just saying stuff to be funny,
shes practically at home in the Bible Belt, you know?
RV: Thats cool.
BC: We live in Atlanta, Georgia and she thinks
churches are cool, so if we see an old church, she thinks, oh, its
great, lets go in, lets go to church sometime!
BC: But fuck, Im not going to church!
RV: (laughs) Thanks for your time, brother! This has
been a scream!