If you have not witnessed the glory that is Thunderpussy – live or otherwise – it’s time to wake up. We had a chance to glimpse their live performance tactics at this year’s Sasquatch Music Festival, and we were absolutely blown away as they upstaged the other performances going on around them. Seattle-based, this all-female band – expertly comprised of Molly Sides (Vocals), Whitney Petty (Guitar), Leah Julius (Bass), and Ruby Dunphy (Drums) – is taking their chops to the road, giving North America a taste of their high energy, brilliantly colored stage presence and gorgeous rock music. We’re about to join the party at Riot Room on Tuesday night, and we got the unique experience of asking guitar extraordinaire Whitney Petty some questions leading up to the tour. Check out the brief moment we got, as she explained finding her musical soulmate and creating tantalizing melodies.
Let’s get back to the basics. What was the first song or album you ever remember listening to, and do you think it has any impact on who you are as a performer today?
When I was 12 I bought my first Aerosmith CD, Nine Lives, it had just come out. I still know every word and nuance of each song on that record. I am still totally in love with Steven Tyler. Aerosmith are a huge influence on me.
While you’re busy “piercing the walls of Valhalla”, does anything about your conception story strike you as amazing? Was it a meet cute? Tell us about your beginnings!
Well, meeting Molly was an incredible event in my life. It’s a singular feeling when you meet your soulmate. And like I said, I love Aerosmith. I had always hoped that one day I meet my musical accomplice, like the Steven to my Joe. That’s Molly.
What is the recording process like?
It depends on the song, but there is usually always a melody first. Sometimes that melody is on the guitar, and sometimes it is with a lyric. Each song kind of has its own DNA.
You put out your s/t EP in May, and it’s absolutely captivating. Any personal or behind the scenes anecdotes from the recording process you’d like to share?
Working with Sylvia was a dream. Everyone learned so much about the process from her everyday. We should have had a film crew with us in the ‘Real World Ashland house’, as we called it. One of the highlights was recording Young and Pure very live and very stoned (as per Sylvia’s request) in the dark at the very end of the session. There is some magic on that track!
Anyone have a favorite song off of that EP, or something you prefer to perform?
There isn’t any song on there that we don’t like to perform, but some are more lively than others! Velvet Noose is always thrilling, and we all love to play Torpedo. With three distinct parts it’s always a journey…
We got the unique pleasure of witnessing you perform at Sasquatch earlier this year. How does festival life compare to your regular touring life? Is there something you prefer or dislike more?
CATERING. Is what’s up. Festivals are rad!! We love getting to meet artists and see big shows up close and personal.
And. Your OUTFITS. Are you always that bedazzled? What inspired that choice for Sasquatch? (We are in love.)
Yes!!! We love the glam;) Shout out to Pakio Galore out of Seattle, who makes a lot of our costumes. Molly is very instrumental in the vision of how we present ourselves onstage. And who doesn’t love a good color theme?!
When you need time to regroup – to conquer writer’s block or find your new sound or take a minute – where do you go? What’s your safe haven?
Molly and I love nature. We go to the mountains fairly often, in Idaho. And I love Kauai, when I can get there. But there is no place like our native Seattle!!!
Any fun pre-performance rituals?
Drink the blood of virgins, sacrifice a goat, that kind of thing…
Your rider list is probably pretty modest compared to, say, J.Lo. But if you could have anything on your rider list, what would you do?
Kittens and puppies in the green room, obv.
Something a little off-kilter… Do you believe in intuition and. the power of psychics? Why or why not?
Of course. I believe in the collective unconscious and synchronicity. I believe in Karma. I think there is a subtlety to life and events that many people perceive and many miss.
Don’t forget to head out to Riot Room on the 16th to enjoy the magic of Thunderpussy’s live performance, and keep up with them here.