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Perfect Pussy: On The Record

On The Record with Shaun Sutkus of Perfect Pussy.

Perfect Pussy

At last year’s annual SXSW music conference in Austin, Texas, New York noise punks Perfect Pussy seared themselves into the memories of fans and critics alike with a chaos and intensity that seemed to be testing the limits of what the human ear could swallow. In 2015 the quintet are coming to Oz off the back of their blistering debut LP, Say Yes To Love, and alongside Royal Blood, St Vincent and Future Islands, they settle in as one of the must-see acts at this year’s chilled-out indie music hangout, Laneway Festival. Speaking to us down a crackling phone line from the airport, keyboardist Shaun Sutkus tells us how he learned to love being abrasive and why cranking a bit of Miley always gets the party raging.

What was the first album or single you ever bought with your own money?
I think there was a single that Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey did together called “One Sweet Day” and I think that might have been the first single I bought with my own money. I don’t know how I got the money, but I know I really loved Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey – I still love them – and when I was younger I think the first show I went to was Boyz II Men too.

What one album changed your life more than any other?
There’s an album called Crimes, it’s by The Blood Brothers. That’s something that changed my life to the point where it made me realise that being abrasive and intense is something I enjoy out of life; I enjoy that principle. Most times I notice that other people interact with abrasive and intense things in a negative way; I embrace them and see them as being peaceful things. I think that’s important for me in living, just to be able to appreciate both.

What is one album or song that reminds you of your childhood?
Probably “The Beautiful People” by Marilyn Manson. I remember being a little weirdo listening to that.

What is your favourite album from your school years?
I remember when the second Taking Back Sunday record came out, I might have been out of high school at that point, maybe it was first year or maybe I was still in high school, but that record [Where You Want To Be]… I think that might be one of my favourites. I remember never being that excited about a band’s second record before and then just the first song [“Set Phasers To Stun”] when it comes on… It blew my mind. I was so excited that one of my favourite bands was making another record that I was also in love with. I don’t know if that’s happened again though.

What album instantly puts you in a good mood?
It’s not even an album, it’s a song: it’s “Party In The USA” by Miley Cyrus, and you can put that on anytime and I will throw my hands up and dance around like a fool and sing along. I love that song. It’s the best song ever written.

What is one obscure album in your collection that everyone should know about?
[Pause] I’m thinking… This one’s really hard! Probably Aus Den Sieben Tagen by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It’s a very interesting piece of music and I think everyone needs to hear it and experience it at least once or they haven’t lived.

What do you consider to be the most embarrassing album in your collection?
I’m not really embarrassed by the music I like; I wear it on my sleeve. I used to have a lot of insecurities when I was into a lot of screamo and metalcore bands and I used to feel weird about telling people I liked them. I don’t really give a shit what anyone else thinks about my musical likes and preferences anymore. At one point All’s Well That Ends Well by Chiodos would have definitely been a record that I was embarrassed to tell people I liked, and I will stand by that now without a care in the world; I really don’t give a shit ‘cos I still love it and it’s still good to me.

What is the best album to listen to when hungover on a Sunday morning?
Oh, no album. Album zero; I don’t want to hear anything [laughs]. Or Katy Perry’s Prisms, that might be a good one; I don’t know, I’ve never tried it.

It’ll just make you want to party again.
Well that’s the best cure for a hangover anyway, right?

What is the ultimate house-trashing party album?
Probably Run The Jewels 2; it’s just been released. It’s Killer Mike and El-P, they’re from Atlanta, and it’s their second record. It definitely makes me wanna smash shit.

What one album do you wish you had performed on?
Oh Aus Den Sieben Tagen because I really wish I could have been a part of that experience.

What’s one album or song you want played at your funeral?
“At Your Funeral”, that’s Saves The Day I guess, right? That’s the right answer? [Laughs]. And probably some Chopin; that sounds soothing. Chopin through a guitar amplifier turned up too loud.

What is the last album you bought and what did you think of it?
I bought Dr Dre’s Chronic 2001 today, and I love that album. I need some blunt-smoking music.

Perfect Pussy / Laneway Festival Dates

Thu Jan 29th – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Tix: www.handsometours.com.au

Wed Feb 4th – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (18+)
Tix: www.handsometours.com.au

Sat Jan 31st Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (16+)
Tix: moshtix.com.au

Sun Feb 1st Sydney College Of The Arts (SCA), Sydney
Tix: moshtix.com.au

Fri Feb 6th Harts Mill, Adelaide (16+)
Tix: moshtix.com.au

Sat Feb 7th Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC), Melbourne
Tix: moshtix.com.au

Sun Feb 8th Esplanade Reserve and West End, Fremantle
Tix: moshtix.com.au

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