My interview with Nashville Pussy’s Ruyter Suys

Nashville Pussy

Nashville Pussy left to right: Blaine Cartright, Karen Cuda, Jeremy Thompson, Ruyter Suys
Photo credit: Frank Mullen/Matteblack

I interviewed Nashville Pussy guitarist Ruyter Suys for FasterLouder a few weeks ago, and she was an absolute riot. Unfortunately, due to length constraints, not all of our conversation made it into the final article, so I thought I’d share some “deleted scenes” so to speak.

Read the published interview here: Nashville Pussy’s Ruyter Suys

I know Ruyter and in fact the whole of Nashville Pussy are massive Bon Scott fans, and while they’ve been to Australia a few times, they’ve always stuck to the east coast. We got to see Nashville Pussy at Wacken 2008, and they are a ton of fun live. I thought it worth mentioning the fact that Bon Scott is buried in Perth, so that perhaps they’ll include the west coast next time they come down under so we can see them again. What I found out was that the band desperately want to make the trek, but keep getting told by booking agents that it’s too far off the beaten track.

As well as the bits about the Bon Scott experience that made it into the article, Ruyter also shared this little gem:

‘For years our drummer has been using this line, it’s supposed to be like a pick up line for girls. He’s like “I got a go-kart, let’s go to Perth”. And if a girl actually gets his little joke, his reference to Bon Scott in “I’ve got a go-kart that will take us all the way to Perth” – I don’t think any girl has laughed yet, but when he finally meets the one that does, she’ll be a keeper. ‘

I also asked Ruyter about road stories.

Given the band’s reputation as rock and roll partying machine, I wonder if Ruyter has any road stories from Australia to share. She pauses to think for a moment, but it turns out she has plenty of material.

‘We tried to buy cocaine once, that was really expensive. I was like, we thought they were lying! You’re kidding me that’s how much it costs! What kind of money is this you’re talking about, it can’t be Australian dollars! That’s a good story.’

Fortunately that incident wasn’t the only memories Nashville Pussy took home from the land down under. ‘We played with [the late] Pete Wells one time, from Rose Tattoo, in Melbourne. That was fucking awesome. He came up on stage and just went up to my amplifier and rolled his hand across all the dials so everything went up to 10. And then, I think it was the same night, that we wound up partying with the bass player from Rose Tattoo, we didn’t even know he was in the band. He was just some really cool guy that we met. And we managed to get him kicked out of a pub in Melbourne. And he got kicked out of this really square sportsbar pub, with Nashville Pussy, and he was like “I haven’t been kicked out of a pub in 25 years” and I’m like “you’re partying with Nashville Pussy now!” That was pretty good.’

We talked a bit about Ruyter’s inclusion in Elle magazine’s top female guitarists list, and I asked what she would be doing for a crumb if she wasn’t a rock and roll guitar goddess.

‘I dunno man. When my husband met me I was doing bronze casting and driving a tractor.’

Driving a tractor?

‘Yeah, driving a tractor in Canada. You know, on a boring old wheat farm.’

Wow.

‘And uh, quite enjoying myself to tell you the truth.’

Ruyter laughs at the idea that tractor driving is always a skill she can fall back on. ‘Yeah exactly. As long as I can still drive in circles at 9 miles an hour, no problem.’

One of the coolest insights into the band came when Ruyter mentioned that they’d recently played a show for their 17th anniversary as Mr and Mrs Nashville Pussy.

As testament to that, they played a show in Denver on their 17th anniversary in January. ‘I saw some video from it, and it was really cool to see what a good time we have on stage,’ she says. ‘It was really nice to see both of us smiling at each other, having a really good time, and you know it’s kind of a relief that wow, 17 years and we’re still going, we still really like this, and we like each other too.’

I mention that it seems a bit odd that she has to watch a video of the show to see how it went, but Ruyter says that on stage, she goes into her own zone. ‘When I play I barely even see what’s going on around me.’ She tries to explain further. ‘It’s like I’m hypnotizing myself or something like that with the volume, and I’m just breathing in really deep and I just fill myself up with the volume. I have my eyes shut half the night and I basically see obstacles if I’m lucky, like “don’t hit your head on this” and like “don’t step in this hole in the stage” or whatever. I know where things are, but usually I just “go away”, I just disappear into the music, I don’t know what the fuck is going on while I’m up on stage, I just kinda like to… yeah I dunno what the word for it is.‘

It sounds almost like a religious experience.

‘Oh yeah. I would assume a religious experience should hopefully be as good as this.’ She laughs. ‘From what I’ve been led to believe! It’s up there with like really good sex, you know.’

Nashville Pussy were in Australia do a handful of shows on the east coast, including one at the famous Gershwin Room at the Esplanade Hotel in Melbourne, where Melbourne-based photographer “Carbie” got a ton of fantastic shots.

CarbieWarbie's shots of Nashville Pussy on Flickr

~ by goatlady on March 14, 2010.

One Response to “My interview with Nashville Pussy’s Ruyter Suys”

  1. […] next post for March was an “outtakes” post from my interview with Ruyter Suys of Nashville Pussy. FasterLouder got all “1000 words max” on my arse but she was such a fun person to interview […]

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