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Year of the Pussy: An Interview with Thunderpussy’s Whitney Petty

Seattle rockers Thunderpussy have big plans for 2018. The band that has become so popular for the rock n’ roll theatrics are on tour and months away from releasing their first full-length album. At the beginning of this month, Thunderpussy kicked off a large tour that includes dates at SXSW and ends with the release of their debut album.

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Photo from Thunderpussy’s Instagram: @thunderpussiez

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This tour also marks their first tour with new drummer, Ruby Dunphy. The band also consists of Whitney Petty, Molly Sides, and Leah Julius.

Q: I wanted to speak to you about this upcoming tour and what plans you have for this year. So let me start by asking, what are you up to right now?

A: Right now, I am sham bonging weed beverages in my underwear, but that is usually how I start my Fridays.

Q: The tour starts early March. What about that?

A: Well we’re getting ready for that. We’re getting ready for our dates; it’s our first big tour together, the four of us. We’ve gone out before but with our other drummer so it’s our first time going out with Ruby, so we’re really excited. And we’re going to SXSW in Austin. Going to play a tone of gigs down there, hopefully, make a big splash. We’re really excited to hit the road. And after that our record is going to come out- our debut record. Self-titled. We’ve been looking forward to that because it’s been a long time coming.

Q: Is there a date ready for that?

A: It’s going to be the end of May. We actually just announced our digital EP, called Greatest Tits. And it’s a collection of the first four singles from that, upcoming full-length.

Thunderpussy Greatest Tits Artwork

Q: This first branch of the tour, is it to create some hype for the album and then will you have more dates after it’s released?

A: We do! We are hoping to be very busy and we plan to keep touring all some long. The dates are coming and we plan to just keep playing shows, stay on the road.

Q: What’s it been like? Signing to the huge label last year, [Republic] and now here we are waiting for your first album, what’s it been like?

A: It’s a little surreal, honestly. It’s pretty cool. We’ve got this great team behind us. We’ve got support in our hometown and we are just being able to be creative and make art, it just feels really good.

Q: What was it like to work with Mike McCready [from Pearl Jam]?

A: Well, he basically forced us (She laughed at the joke). No, it was really cool. He was a very inspirational guitar player and person. It’s been really nice getting know him and getting to watch him make music. He’s a very encouraging and creative guy so he’s been a good role model.

Q: Being from Seattle that’s so embedded in 90’s rock and the grunge movement, what’s it like, have those been your biggest inspirations and your influences or do you go all over the board?

A: I don’t know. I describe Thunderpussy as Led Zeppelin meets Bob Fosse. There’s more theatricality in our music than anything else I think. We’re all from different places, we’re not actually from Seattle. So I think when it comes to influences, we’re aware of grunge but it wasn’t the number one for anybody in the band, I know. But it’s cool because it still has a soul and lives on, that era. And so not in a redundant or tired way, more just the community has changed and doesn’t have that much to do with the grunge sound anymore. Just that, that sense of community is still alive and well, which makes Seattle a really unique place to make music in.

Q: And how did the band get together, and with Ruby as well?

A: Honestly we were all just in the right place at the right time. We were in Seattle and found each other through the community. And very organic, it just kind of worked out.

Q: Is this [level of success] always what you envisioned for the band? Where do you see it going?

A: I try not to have expectations. That’s a dangerous game. You’re always comparing what you have to what you don’t have. I’m just grateful for every opportunity. I try to look at it with fresh eyes, as much as I can.

Q: Do you have something you want the music to say and do?

A: That has never been our intention and I don’t think it ever will be. We just want to make music. It’s something that’s inside of us and we’re trying to get it out. We’re just exorcising our demons. Of course, we are sponges that absorb the world around us so in that sense there’s going to be a reflection in whatever is happening in the world and if that’s political then so be it. But it can be many things. That’s the way we look at it.

Q: What do you [as a band] as a band, like to do to relax. to separate from music?

A: We like to play board games. Maybe a little Yahtzee. Maybe a little Parcheesi. Maybe a little hopscotch. We’re always together. Actually, I have to say, Twister, is our favorite game.

Q: Would you say [Twister] helps Molly with the theatrics of the music?

A: Oh yeah! Obviously, Molly invented Twister, I think. She should be getting a royalty from them.

By Antonio Villasenor-Baca

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