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Interview with Riotgrrrl :Puss Johnson From Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons!

Puss Johnson
UK
Age 34


Photo : Paul Boyling

Puss Pussycat Johnson is the famous Feline looking vocalist of the horrorpunk/Rockabilly band Pussycat and the dirty Johnsons.
Shes the feamle punk rock version Elvis, and her attitude hits you straight in the face! Puss`s live perormances is something you will remember for life.
I saw her live at Rebellion 2016. She had the flu , and was burning up with a fever. She still delivered the best damn liveshow I`ve ever seen!
Her voice is a mix of everything! All from clean to raspy screams. Shes a real champion and I cant WAIT to hear their new upcoming album.
She`s seductive and ferousious at the same time,just like a cat. She could just be playing with you , but also bite your head off if you are a rude sexist little tool. Believe me , Ive seen her live. She will take no shit!
Besides her voice, her stage outfit is her trademark . She wears a tight leopard printed leotard , with a leopard tail , some awesome boots and for kitty ears? Her hair! And the handpainted leopard makeup completes the whole outfit. She also have her own clothing line: Puss Johnson Apparel : www.facebook.com/PussJohnsonApparel
Everything about this girl is pure purrrfection. One can tell this is her mission in life.

This riotgrrrl will be dominating the punkrock scene for a loooong time , so you better get used to it!

 

Heres the interview!

 

 

Can you remember when your interest for music started?

I've always been around music, when I was a kid my dad was always listening to old blues, jazz and 50's rock'n'roll records... and my eldest brother played guitar and was really into Jimi Hendrix, 60s R&B and Mod revival stuff. So I had a good start!

What made you choose the instruments you play?

Well, who wouldn't look at Jimi Hendrix and think 'I want to play guitar like that!' Unfortunately I can't though but I think I just about get by ok ha!


How did you learn to play your instrument/sing like you do?

My brother taught me a few basic chords on the guitar and I taught myself from there. I can't say how I learnt to sing really, just happened!
 

Do you remember the first song you learned to play/sing to?

It was probably House of The Rising Sun, standard...!
 

Which musicians have had the most impact on you ?

There are probably too many to mention as I am into lots of different types of music... But I guess the main ones would be James Brown, Elvis, David Bowie, Captain Beefheart and Iggy Pop. Jon Spencer has also had a big impact on me, amazing performer. Grace Jones as an icon made a big impression on me, I'm not into everything she's done musically but her style and fierceness is inimitable, I find her fascinating.



 

Do you have any musicians you have learned from?

I learn from everything I listen to.

 

What does playing music mean to you?

I don't know what I would do without music, playing in a band is my therapy. I'd be completely lost without it.

 

Can you remember and describe your very first instrument?

I had a little spanish guitar, I went with my brother and my dad to pick it up from whoever they bought it from, for 5! I covered the front in leopard print paper. I still have it actually, although it is all bent out of shape now, I keep it on my shelf as a memento.

 

Are you ever influenced by old records & tapes?

All the time! Well not tapes.. don't think I've listened to a cassette tape for about 10 years!

 

When did you know that music was one of your missions in life?

I think when I started writing my own songs and realised that I could express myself in a way that I found impossible to express in any other way.

 

How and when did you get your band together?

This band in the current lineup has been going for about 5 years but I've been playing in bands with Dirty Jake for about 13 years. No

exciting story really, he and his band at the time asked me if I wanted to tryout as the singer and I got in!

 

Which band have & are you in?

Pussycat and The Dirty Johnsons!

 

How would you describe your music style to other people?

This is always a difficult question, I guess essentially we're a trashy-punk-rock'n'roll band.

 

 

I know you have had alot of live shows, does it ever happen that you get nervous before a show?

I don't get nervous before playing, I actually find performing much easier than things other people consider normal, like talking to people!

 


Photo : Debbie Atwell
 

What advice would you give to beginners who wants to start a music career?

Do it because you enjoy it, not to get famous. Anything on top of the enjoyment is a bonus. Also, don't become a self-important jerk.

 

What kind of concerts do you like to go to yourself?

I most enjoy going to see Jon Spencer's bands ? The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Heavy Trash and his wife Cristina's band Boss Hog. I don't have much money to go and see bands but I never miss those bands if they're playing somewhere I can get to. Where I live there isn't much going on that is my bag, so I have to travel up to London if I want to see the bands I like. I enjoy seeing bands that are noisy and weird. I don't like going to see bands in huge venues because I like to be able to get top the front so I can be up close to the band and see everything.

 

Have you ever gotten rejected by venues because of the kind of music you play?

I can't think we've been ever been rejected but I'm sure I've been reprimanded for climbing on things, health and safety first ha!

 

As a girl, have you experienced beeing underestimated musically?

All the time! I doubt there's many female musicians who haven't been to be honest, unfortunately... A common thing I have experienced is the sound man doesn't bother putting my guitar through the pa system, or doesn't have my volume up very loud. I only find out when I see Youtube videos and I'm playing but you can't hear my guitar at all.

 

Is it difficult for you to balance your music-career with your personal-life?

As I said before I don't have much money, and there's not much going on where I live, so I don't get out much. I pretty much just stay at home doing art for my Puss Johnson Apparel stuff. Gigging gets me out and about!

 


 

What is your best music related memory?

Supporting The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion! Life goal.
 

Puss is currently working on her bands new album. Could you give us some info about it?:)

It kicks arse!

 

Listening to your recordings (Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons),
I can hear you have your own vocal sound.Is this something you have worked hard on to achieve?

Not really, I just like to sing and that's how it comes out.


Photo : Diver & Aguilar.
 

Which topics are important for you to use when writing lyrics?

Whetever I feel passionate about, what makes me angry, things that amuse me...

 

I know you have toured alot with Pussycat And The Dirty Johnsons.
Whats the best memories/ experiences you have traveling around with your band?

I don't sleep very well so all the getting up early to leave hotel rooms and travelling really takes it out of me. But the bit where I get to perform more than makes up for it. I twisted both my ankles badly on one tour, and there have been a few moments where I have diced with death, most recently I was very high up on the drum kit (which was on a huge drum riser), I went to jump off but realised that my big clumpy boot was stuck. I had to just go for it... and thankfully, cats always land on their feet.

 


Photo: Steven Tagg-Randall.

And how do you see the future for your band?

We'll just keep doing what we're doing, and enjoying it.

 

Last but not least , what goals do you wanna reach with your music?

Just for people to keep listening and coming to gigs, anything on top of that is a bonus. ;-)



Thanks to Puss for this interview!

Check out her music and clothingline here: 


http://thedirtyjohnsons.com/
http://www.pussjohnson.com/

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