An Interview with Ruyter Suys of Nashville Pussy
Nashville Pussy is out touring again, this time headlining the Parental Advisory Tour, and they have along supporting acts Green Jelly and Psychostick. Known for their good-time-lovin’ ways, Nashville Pussy is a self-described “rolling party.” Guitarist Ruyter Suys generously took some time out of listening to the new Airborne album in the van to chat with us via phone about touring, Nashville Pussy’s music, and a couple other random tidbits. One important thing to note is that this transcript is no substitute for the twenty minute flow of rollicking fun Ruyter gave me.
If you want to get a little closer (but not too close), check out Nashville Pussy’s Twitter Feed. Everyone has access to post pictures, and Ruyter is worried it will result in blackmail in the future, but they are going with it for now. And if you want the full experience, check out their upcoming shows.
Bloodofheroes: First, how’s it going?
Ruyter Suys: It’s going great. We are just driving through beautiful Iowa heading to Waterloo for tonight’s show. We are admiring the vast fields of nothingness. Not much to look at, but it is actually beautiful.
Bloodofheroes: You are on another long tour now and tour pretty much all the time. Does it ever get old?
Ruyter: Not really, it’s a job. We just had a show in Tromso in Norway that rocked, and there are always surprises like that that we love. Even though it seems like we have played everywhere we could play, we just don’t get tired of it.
Bloodofheroes: Where are some of the places you enjoy playing the best?
Ruyter: France is probably the best country for Nashville Pussy fans. Spain is one of the most fun countries you could ever play in. Holland, Germany, the U.K. too. If you’ve heard anything about us, we are a rolling party, and all those places are good places to party.
Bloodofheroes: So the U.S. doesn’t compare to Europe for the quality of tour stops?
Ruyter: Well the States has strange pockets. We played this boat in New York City one time. We weren’t looking forward to it, but there were 400 people and it ended up being awesome. There was no stage, we were just down on the floor playing, going by the Statue of Liberty, it was awesome. We always find strange little towns that we have a ball in. New London, Connecticut – we played there eight years back, and all these people came out of the woodwork. They shut the place down and we could have played all night.
Bloodofheroes: How is it being on tour with Psychostick and Green Jelly? How do your fans like the other bands on the tour?
Ruyter: We do have fun with them. Our fans are all over the place though, and lots of them come out late, I think, so they don’t get too drunk and miss our show.
Bloodofheroes: What is your favorite Green Jelly Song?
Ruyter: The one I hear every night, the three little pigs one! Green Jelly actually has this 17 year old girl playing drums for them right now. I didn’t know she was only 17 until someone pulled me aside and told me to stop giving her whiskey. But she was taking it no problem, so I knew right away I liked that chick. She rocks as a drummer too!
Bloodofheroes: With so much touring in Nashville Pussy’s history, there have to be a couple good shenanigans stories you can share.
Ruyter: We were on tour with Backyard Tire Fire once, and we were in Chicago and it was freezing. In the middle of the night we toilet-papered their van, and then soaked the toilet paper with water. So the van ended up being completely covered with frozen toilet paper. We sent pictures to their girlfriends before they woke up. But that’s a nice, fun story.
Bloodofheroes: It is true the mean ones are usually funnier…
Ruyter: Ok, this other time we had this roadie we didn’t like. So we stuck hot dogs in his luggage so he would get stopped by the customs dogs on the way home. We used those little Vienna cocktail wieners, and we even put one in the name tag. So it was like his name was weiner!
Bloodofheroes: Your most recent album, “From Hell To Texas,” has gotten really good reviews…
Ruyter: Yeah! It is up to number 87 on one of the Billboard Charts, which is awesome! When it came out last year, our label didn’t really promote it in the U.S. because they were doing some [internal] restructuring, so it is like it is coming out now in the States. It would be great to get some radio airplay. We do swear a lot, but they could just bleep it out and everyone would know what we meant anyway.
Bloodofheroes: What are some musical influences that aren’t so obvious to the average Nashville Pussy listener?
Ruyter: Al Green. We’ve ripped him off a bunch of times. The band Status Quo from England. They are England’s premier boogie band and might be the real live Spinal Tap. They have been around since the 1960s and had a huge influence on us, and AC/DC too. We listen to a lot of funk, R&B and soul. We take a lot of funk riffs and rock ‘em up. Like Ike & Tina, we listen to funk almost constantly.
Bloodofheroes: So you think of yourselves as a rock band instead of a metal band?
Ruyter: Oh, yes. We definitely think of ourselves as a rock band. I think a lot of people call us a metal band because it is easy to lump us in there, but we don’t see ourselves as metal. AC/DC and Motorhead also saw themselves as rock bands, by the way. We’ve played with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Marilyn Manson, so we fit into a lot of different categories. And our fans fit into a lot of different categories too.
Bloodofheroes: You are sitting on the porch, it’s a cool summer day, and you’re drinking some beers. What’s on the stereo?
Ruyter: Well it might be the new Airborne album! We just got it today and we’ve listened to it a couple times. Either that or the Allman Brothers. Blaine [vocalist & guitarist] says we only listen to bands that begin with “A,” so AC/DC, Airborne, Allman Brothers, ABBA. We move between stuff really easy.
Bloodofheroes: What is the best reason to come see one of your shows?
Ruyter: Oh man! It’s just a good old fashioned sweaty time. No pretense, just rock n’ roll. Either as a thing to do after work, or if you’ve been looking forward to it for a year, it doesn’t matter. It is a good opportunity to get your ya-ya’s out.
Bloodofheroes: Awesome. Thanks for taking the time, rock Waterloo tonight, and I’ll see you in Chicago tomorrow!
Ruyter: Thanks! See you!
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