Kool Kat of the Week: Madness Takes its Toll at The Earl this Saturday with New Orleans’ Swampy Mad Scientist of the Musical Variety, Quintron, and Miss Pussycat’s Puppet Pandemonium

Posted on: Jun 10th, 2015 By:

by Melanie Crewqcar_web
Managing Editor

Quintron and Miss Pussycat, hailing from the Big Easy, will be dishin’ out a night of interstellar swampy electro mischief and Technicolor puppet mayhem and pandemonium this Sat. June 13, at The Earl, along with punk rock outfits Predator and Enoch Ramone & the Ebola Boys. They’re bound to leave you mesmerized and begging for more of that garage rock spacey avant-garde swamp noise!

Quintron, mad musical scientist and inventor of his own instruments [including his patented Drum Buddy (a light activated analog synthesizer), owned by some musical notables as Laurie Anderson and Nels Cline (Wilco)], has been delivering his New Orleans “genre-defying noise and swamp tech dance music” for over 15 years. Insert Miss Pussycat, who adds her own twisted eccentricities by way of her Technicolor puppet shows, and you’ve got one helluva electrifying live performance! Quintron’s latest LP SPELLCASTER II: DEATH IN SPACE (October 2014), featuring Miss Pussycat on their garage-rock-y “Do the Raid,” was released by New Orleans’ Pizza Burglar Records and is the successor to his 1996 LP AMAZING SPELLCASTER (Live at Pussycat Caverns) (Bulb Records). And if that isn’t enough, you’ll just have to get your grimy little hands (if you can) on his other earlier releases [1994’s INTERNAL FEEDBACK 001-011– released by Bulb Records; 1996’s THE FIRST TWO RECORDS – released by Bulb Records; 1997’s PLAY 9 SONGS WITH MR. QUINTRON – released by Crypt Records; 1998’s SATAN IS DEAD – released by Bulb Records; 1999’s THESE HANDS OF MINE – released by Rhinestone Records/Skin Graft Records; 2000’s UNMASKED ORGAN LIGHT-YEAR OF INFINITY MAN – released by Bulb Records; 2001’s DRUM BUDDY DEMO VOL. 1 – released by Rhinestone Records/Skin Graft Records; 2003’s ARE YOU READY FOR AN ORGAN SOLO – released by Rhinestone Records/Skin Graft Records; 2004’s THE FROG TAPE – released by Skin Graft Records; 2005’s SWAMP TECH/ELECTRIC SWAMP (with Miss Pussycat) – released by Tigerbeat6 Records/Rhinestone Records; 2008’s TOO THIRSTY FOR LOVE – released by Rhinestone Records /Goner Records; and 2011’s SUCRE DU SAUVAGE – released by Goner Records)].

db300_webATLRetro caught up with Quintron for a quick interview about his latest album, SPELLCASTER II: DEATH IN SPACE; his long list of musical projects [Weather Warlock; First!]; and his upcoming show with Miss Pussycat at The Earl! And while you’re taking a gander at our little Q&A with Quintron, get an eye ‘n’ earful of Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s Face Down in the Gutter”!

ATLRetro: Science and puppetry! What a great combination. What’s the scoop on how you and Miss Pussycat got together to entertain the masses?

Quintron: I was touring as Quintron through New Orleans back in the day. At that point I was doing more of a power noise and percussion thing with this huge home-built drum rig and a bunch of electronics that I had built into the octopus. I booked the tour myself on the phone and so I talked to her about my show in New Orleans at her secret 9th ward club (now defunct) called Pussycat Caverns. I think I kinda fell in love with her on the phone actually. Best voice in the biz. The rest, as they say, is a footnote to actual history about wars and politics and shit.

We’ve read that the majority of your 14 full-length albums are filled to the brim with that psychedelic soul of traditional New Orleans party music. Who would you say in the realm of traditional New Orleans party music are your retro music influences?

I know that your site is called “ATLRetro” and I do not mean any disrespect here but I have always shied away from anything which attempts to blatantlyMT2 (1) Miss Pussycat recreate the past – and that is what the word “retro” (in music anyway) means to me. I do think it is important to acknowledge, appreciate, and study the past but as an artist to live in it is a form of death – and he’s my enemy.  So, just saying, I’m not really gonna play along with that word. But I think what you are asking is “Who from the past has influenced me musically in New Orleans?” That said, my biggest New Orleans influences are Ernie K-Doe, King Louie (who is actually younger than me), and Mannie FreshK-Doe was one of the all time great New Orleans R&B singers, and I had the honor to be able to play and record with him in his later years. King Louie is a punk rock god of a songwriter (Kajun SS, Exploding Hearts, Kondor, Missing Monuments, Black Rose, etc) who actually broke away from a band that, in my opinion, was so obsessed with the past that they kind of neutered themselves artistically. They were great, just not exciting to me personally. So I watched Louie break away from this band and do his own thing, and it had a huge influence on me. He started making real vital immediate punk rock that was still referencing his musical roots in Louisiana but the lyrics weren’t about ‘50s shit. Mannie Fresh is the musical genius behind all of the early Cash Money Records hits. You know him even if you don’t know you know him. I actually think he lives in ATL now. I got to jam with him once or twice too – incredible.

Photo by Gary Lavourde

Photo by Gary Lavourde

Your sound has been described as being an eccentric, artsy twist on swamp rock, which you like to call “Swamp Tech”. Can you fill our readers in on what exactly “Swamp Tech” is?

I didn’t make it up – some writer in the UK did, and I liked the sound of it. I think they mean that it is a drum machine-based take on traditional Louisiana / Texas style “Swamp Pop.”

We see that you’ve played organ on a number of other artist’s records, even having one of those albums nominated for a Grammy (Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys’ “Grand Isle”, which contained your song “Chatterbox”). What is your go-to instrument?

I was a drummer first and an organ player second, but at this point I’m much more comfortable on organ than anything. I’m also playing guitar in Weather Warlock. I’m a pretty remedial guitar player.  Actually, I’m pretty remedial on everything.

Can you tell our readers a little bit about your latest LP, SPELLCASTER II: DEATH IN SPACE?

I was commissioned to score a science fiction film soundtrack for a local filmmaker named Brent Joseph and ended up recording so much material thatquintron2014 I decided to put some of it out. The title is a reference to my second LP called AMAZING SPELLCASTER – LIVE AT PUSSYCAT CAVERNS. That album was also a soundtrack “mood” type album, and I had always wanted to make a continuation – a part 2 – and this is it.

You seem to have a lot of musical projects going at once, from your solo act to Weather Warlock and First!, which is a hardcore band consisting of you, Miss P and three other New Orleans musicians. First of all, how do you find the time?! And secondly, can you explain the method to your musical madness?

I am VERY VERY sorry to tell our Atlanta fans that FIRST! will not be performing at the show due to a death in our guitar player’s family. It totally sucks because if anyone would get FIRST!, it’s you people. FIRST! is just me and a bunch of my best friends making the most simple punk we can on instruments we are not comfortable playing, and the lyrics are of supreme importance.  It’s almost like a really, really fast poetry reading with some 8-year-olds trying to play like Fang in the background.

Weather Warlock is a heavy drone / noise / metal  improv band based on this weather controlled synth I have been building. You can listen to it online 24/7 here.

Can you tell our readers a little bit about the time you shut yourself up in The New Orleans Museum of Art for three months to create your double LP “Sucre Du Sauvage”, released by Goner Records in 2011?

I can tell your readers that I do not recommend attempting to get any actual work done in a public place full of noisy, rude children and tourists. I did most of that album at night after the doors were closed. Never again will I conduct such an idiotic experiment. Taking drugs and sleeping in the park was fun though. I got a lot of good duck recordings.

Photo by Tony Campbell

Photo by Tony Campbell

Miss Pussycat’s new album and VHS tapes are being released by Terror Vision in the near future. Can you tell our readers a little bit about her album?

The album is called ANTHROPOMORPHIZER and it’s a pretty deluxe gatefold / color vinyl thing. It’s all puppet story soundtrack stuff – like a very psychedelic kid’s record. And a bunch of her older films are being released by this label Terror Vision who only do VHS – which is kinda retro, huh? The label seems to think it will work and people will be into it.  Based on merch table sales on this tour, I would say that a lot of people got their VCRs fixed.

If you could put together a dream line-up of bands to play with [still around or not], who would it be and why?

We are on tour with NOTS from Memphis right now and I can’t think of anything more dreamy than that actually – and Hawkwind, and Keith Frank (Zydeco gangster from Lafayette), and Manatees, and Babes, and Gary Wrong, and the Willem Breuker Kollektief, and Barreracudas, and COPS, and umm – the original Ramones but with Markey AND Tommy playing drums and Andrew W.K. kinda off to the side singing but without a mic, so you can hear Joey but you can kinda see Andrew too jumping around. Oh and Brian Eno is our touring sound guy, and he has free license to do whatever the fuck he wants – like backwards phase-verb on everything – whatever!  Also, we will have at least one or two days off in between every show and all of the major museums in every city will open their doors to us at any time of day or night at no cost. Oh yea and The Black Lips would be there too, because they like to party. This is gonna be awesome.  Still working out the details with agents and stuff.

Anything special planned for your show at The Earl on June 13?

Miss P & Q

Miss P & Q

Brand new puppet show and lots of new songs! Otherwise, we are not big planners. Who knows, I might punch someone in the face or make out with a dog – but it will be totally unplanned.

What’s next for Quintron and Miss Pussycat?

Weather Warlock will be releasing a full-length this week (I will have it at the show) and will be touring in September. Miss  P is working on a new puppet film and has several releases in the can ready to come out on Terror Vision. Also a full Q and P tour of the Gulf Coast and Florida in December.

Can you tell our readers something you’d like folks to know that they don’t know already?

There is no possible way I could know what all others don’t know already and if I did know such information, why would I not have publicly disclosed it many years ago, unless it was a secret which I desired to keep to myself.

What question do you wish somebody would ask you and what’s the answer?

Q: What question do you wish somebody would ask you and what’s the answer?
A: Can you repeat the question please?

All photos courtesy of Quintron and Miss Pussycat and used with permission.

Category: Kool Kat of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kool Kat of the Week: SEX BBQ’s Kate Jan Gets Scandalous Turning Up the Heat With a Debut Album, SEX NOIR CITY, and a Saucy Shindig at the Drunken Unicorn

Posted on: Apr 1st, 2015 By:
sbbq live 003

Photo courtesy of SEX BBQ

by Melanie Crew
Managing Editor

Kate Jan, New York transplant and guitar slingin’ skateboarding badass punk rocker chick and her beloved debaucherous band and partners in crime, SEX BBQ [current lineup: Kate Jan (vocals/guitar); Steve LaBate (guitar); Rob Bellury (bass); Steve Brown (drums); and Steve Albertson (everything else)] will be shakin’ a tail feather this Saturday, April 4, at the Drunken Unicorn, with Young Rapids and MammaBear to boot! So, come on down and have a smut slingin’ hell-raisin’ ruckus with SEX BBQ at the Drunken Unicorn this Saturday at 9pm!

Kate, not your typical psych-punk space cowgirl, has been slingin’ her guitar and writing music since childhood, major influences including Riot Grrrl punk rockers, Bikini Kill, as well as the Breeders, ‘90s skate thrash punk and even Chuck Berry. In 2012, Kate voyaged to the southern underground to continue her Neuropsychology education and decided to add a little rockin’ debauchery to the mix! SEX BBQ formed shortly thereafter and have shared bills with Hospitality, Single Mothers, Beach Day, Little Tybee, Concord America, Belle & Sebastian and Warehouse, just to name a few. They’ve also been featured in several national music outlets [PunkNews.org; Under the Gun Review; Speakers in Code; and Magnet Magazine]. SEX BBQ’s first single “Locus of Control” b/w “Wake Up” was recorded by Ed Rawls and Justin McNeight (The Black Lips; The Coathangers; Those Darlins) in the summer of 2012, with both tracks appearing on their new album, SEX NOIR CITY, debuting this spring. The album’s nine new tracks, recorded by Damon Moon [Rrest; Iron Jayne] in East Atlanta, are chock full of surf riffs and garage punk elements, destined to satisfy the retro rockers in us all!

ATLRetro caught up with Kate for a quick interview about SEX BBQ’s debut album, SEX NOIR CITY; her New York City underground roots; and her take on the band being described as “garage, surf, psych, prog, metal, dream pop, indie rock, Tom Waits-style junkyard blues, B-52s-esque, Spaghetti Western weirdness!” And while you’re checking at our little Q&A with Kate, get an earful of SEX BBQ’s vintage, noir rock ‘n’ roll sound, here!

SEX BBQ  murder by T.O. Lawrence

Photo Credit: T.O. Lawrence

ATLRetro: What a cool name for a band! Sex BBQ! Can you fill our readers in on the funky story behind the name and how you got together?

Kate Jan: Thanks! Steve L. and I started playing songs together in my apartment in Atl – we just started writing, playing and having fun. We gradually found Steve #2 (drums), Steve #3 (keys and percussion), Laura Palmer (vocals and organ) and Everett (bass) through friends. The extremely talented and creative Laura Palmer introduced the name SEX BBQ to our vernacular from a satirical guide to decoding your teen’s text lingo (SBBQ). After briefly entertaining and then ignoring the possibility that we’d be set aside as a joke band or a frat-rock dad-rock sextet, we embraced it as the best combination of all words ever. And so SEX BBQ was birthed.

As a skateboarding, guitar-slingin’ neuropsychologist and rockin’ New Yorker chick to boot, what brought you to The Dirty Dirty?

I came for a Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Emory after getting my PhD, and stayed for the medium bowl at the Old 4th Ward Skatepark.

sbbq live 004

Photo courtesy of SEX BBQ

The band’s sound has been described as having a “garage, surf, psych, prog, metal, dream pop, indie rock, Tom Waits-style junkyard blues, B-52s-esque, Spaghetti Western weirdness,” which of course sounds like a helluva good time! How would you describe your sound and your live show?

That pretty much nails our sound. Thankfully we’ve got tapes and records now! Our live show is a party all around. We don’t mess around with stage banter but we play, dance and mingle while we sling those axes and sing our hearts out.

We see that you picked up a guitar pretty early on. Can you tell our readers a story about how you got started playing music?

I got two stories. My mother was a huge Joni Mitchell fan and played acoustic guitar. She played and sang for me. My Dad played piano and actually now plays church organ, which is kind of weird because we are Jewish. But, you know, when music calls it calls. When I was 6, I picked up a guitar and wrote her a song for Mother’s Day. It went something like “I Love You. You’re My Mom.”

I took a few lessons when I was 12 or so, and learned the basics, you know – songs by The Muffs, Seven Year Bitch and most of THE CROW (1994) soundtrack. After that, lying on my floor devouring mid-90s punk and – after Kurt Cobain died – listening to Nirvana day & night went hand in hand with writing my own songs.

Album cover by Steve AlbertsonYour top retro influences are listed as the B-52s, Bikini Kill, the Pixies, Pink Floyd, and even film composer, Morricone, famous for so much, including his Spaghetti Western film scores. What influenced you the most with regards to such a wide-variety of music makers?

It’s a collective list from our variety of band members. I don’t even know who Morricone is, and I always liked the Breeders WAY better than the Pixies. I cried when they broke up way back when. Like bawled.  My major influences are Bikini Kill, Blake Babies and all of 1990s’ skate and thrash punk and NY Hardcore. Recently, I’ve been heavily influenced by The Delmonas, Chuck Berry (at least I hope) and Grace Slick.

As a musician coming from New York, the metropolis of underground music, how would you rate Atlanta and its rockin’ underground music scene? And who are some of your favorite local bands?

My favorite Athens band is straight-up grit-dirty garage party rock trio Free Associates. They rock my world. In Atlanta I really dig Concord America, Todaythemoon, Tomorrowthesun and Jungol. I spent my teenage years going to CBGB, ABC No Rio and Tramps seeing bands like The Skabs, L.E.S. Stitches, Agnostic Front, Bouncing Souls and my friends’ bands. It was just way easier then – there was still punk and hardcore. I think all those clubs are closed now.  While living in Queens in the 2000s, I honestly couldn’t afford to go out. To be verrrrry honest, I spent lots of time writing electronic music on Reason in my tiny apartment. I was dating a hip-hop producer for awhile – shout out to Beatnik & K-Salaam – and got to go to shows and meet people like Talib Kweli, M1 from Dead Prez, Pharaoh Monch and Wordsworth. I almost bowled with Talib Kweli when Brooklyn Bowl first opened. I also hung out with a metal engineering crew and got to see and chill with Lamb of God and my favorite indulgence, nu metal stylies Killswitch Engage. If I had lived in Brooklyn it would have been different in terms of exploring underground/indie music, but holy rent!!

SEX BBQ sacrifice by T.O. Lawrence

Photo Credit: T.O. Lawrence

If you could put together a dream line-up of bands to play with [still around or not], who would it be and why?

Free Associates, Gun Party, Blake Babies, The Delmonas, Jefferson Airplane, Sick of it All, H2O and The Black Lips. Because they all have unique ways of playing energetic shows and they’re all really great. And the Descendents.

You’re touring in support of your debut album, SEX NOIR CITY. Can you tell our readers a little about it?

We haven’t released tour dates for this spring and summer. We are playing April 4th at the Drunken Unicorn and that’s all I can reveal now. Tehee!

Anything scandalous planned for your shakin’ shindig happening this Saturday at the Drunken Unicorn?

I could tell you, but then I’d have to involve you in our Master Plan and you might get in deep, deep shit. Seriously though, once, during a Drunken Unicorn show we created our own micro-economy by distributing SEX Bar-B-Bucks. It was the genesis of the sharing economy and our gateway to taking over the world. It was Everett and Laura Palmer’s idea. In sum, expect wizardry.

sbbq live 001

Photo courtesy of SEX BBQ

What’s next for Kate Jan and Sex BBQ?

We are SO STOKED for our release of SEX NOIR CITY, and we will have tapes and a limited run of white vinyls with hand-painted jackets for sale. I think we are even more excited about the new music that we’ve been writing in the meantime. I have a jam space and recording studio in my basement so I think we’re going to record an LP there soon in a collaboration with Jones Maintenance Revue.

Can you tell our readers something you’d like folks to know that they don’t know already?

Music and medicine are both great, but growing flowers and raising a puppy rock too.

What question do you wish somebody would ask you and what’s the answer?

Q: What does your wisest and oldest mentor say about SEX BBQ?
A:  My grandfather is 94, fought in the Royal Air Force as a pilot after escaping Poland, is wildly into classical music, and recently discovered the genius of Brian Jones and the Rolling Stones:  “Keep enjoying, Katie, the world of music, which adds a disproportionally large percentage to human happiness on this earth.”

SEX BBQ playing cards by T.O. Lawrence

Photo Credit: T.O. Lawrence

 

All photos courtesy of SEX BBQ and used with permission.

Category: Kool Kat of the Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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