Meredith Graves of Perfect Pussy Will Never Shut up, So Shut up

I met with Meredith Graves, of super-popping-off punk band Perfect Pussy. I was a little worse for wear that friday I had organized to attend the Perfect Pussy show at Death by Audio BK, but HAD to see what Perfect Pussy was all about. I’d never been to a punk show in my life, and I’m so fortunate that I had the opportunity to experience such an awesome and unique show- all supporting acts were bands from Meredith’s hometown Syracuse NY. Meredith, lead singer of Perfect Pussy, is the warmest individual who sort of held my hand as I navigated this new experience. We had an great conversation about music, but actually mostly about getting laid, how being single is awesome, dick being so easy to get, white privilege and not shutting up. Also, she stage dove for the first time- I witnessed that.

Check out a full list of tour dates here, you have to see them before you die.

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Interview by @FrankieFatGold

So, I want a little bit of back story on how Perfect Pussy was created?
I got asked by a director from LA to be in a movie that he was producing in our city with John Cusack and Emma Roberts, he wanted me to play a punk singer and I said I don’t have a band right now and he told me to make a band so I could be in this movie. So I grabbed my best friend Greg and a mutual friend who I had never met Garret our drummer, so we made a fake band, wrote up a single, recorded it, tried to play together for like a year, nothing ever really worked out. Garret, our drummer was in another band, with Ray who now plays guitar for us, their bassist moved here to New York, they didn’t have band anymore, Ray jumped on with us, Sean, our keyboard player had recorded my old band and said “Well I want to play with you too”. All of a sudden the five of us came together. So we were a fake band first and then two guys jumped on with us and now we are a real band.

How long have you guys been around?
Well, technically if you want to go by that timeline, since February of 2012 but we didn’t record anything until April of 2013. So we recorded a demo in April and started playing shows in July. We played three shows. When we started touring and actually being a real band was probably in October, so like 6 or 7 months ago. We only started showing the demo to people and playing shows in like October of 2013, so like 7 months ago.

What’s been a moment when you’ve been like “Oh my God, this is just so fucking awesome”?
NPR and SXSW. We opened the NPR party, we played with Kelis and St Vincent and Damon Albarn and I was wearing this crazy outfit, I was wearing these like weird overalls and this totally see through shirt and had all this crazy makeup on. I looked up and there were 3000 people there and I looked at everyone and I was like “I’m terrified”. It was the dumbest gut reaction, it was live broadcast on the web so my dad and all my ex boyfriends were watching at home and I got a million texts that were like, you’re not scared. But, it’s the same show if it’s 3000 people or 3. Fear tends to make you act crazy. When I see how much space I have on a stage, I size it up on terms of like a diagram, like the steps for a square dance pattern. That’s me. If I have a lot of space I am going to be in and out of that 20 ft like 700 times. I take up as much space as possible.

courtesy of Impose

courtesy of Impose

What do you fuck with outside of your genre?
I love Jazz. I grew up listening to Miles Davis and Coltrane. My dad was super into hard core rock. I fuck with a lot of Indie Rock. I love rap and hip hop. Pretty much everything. People always say they love everything but country and rap and I love country and rap. Last night I was listening to Patsy Cline and today I was listening to 36Mafia. Tomorrow it will be the Spice girls.

Do you live in New York?
I live in Syracuse, everyone just thinks I live here because I am here all the time. Our record label is in Brooklyn.

Let’s talk about boys
It’s not just boys, it’s everyone, mostly boys, but everyone.

So let’s talk about everyone and romance and sex. Do you hook up a lot on tour?
I don’t.

Do a lot of guys want to jump on you?
No, people find me disgusting. I have never been hit on at a show. Most people are terrified of me. Especially after we play, if I’m like bleeding, and like spit all over my face, Just doing all this crazy shit, and like covered in beer, nobody wants to smooch that. It’s next to impossible for me to get a date. That’s why the rock and roll fantasy of like band goes on tour and meets babes, for me it’s like no. I am disgusting, I don’t want to meet babes, I want a burger and a place to sleep. I’m not going to make out with somebody on tour, that’s weird.

Have you been in a relationship while you’ve been in a band?
Not this band, but my old band, I was actually dating the drummer, which was a disaster. We broke up when the band broke up. In this band, not so much, like I said, we’re pretty disgusting so I’m all for the political disavowal of dick. I don’t want it, if I wanted it, I could order it like a sandwich. I am here to do me, it is not about looking at other people’s genitals. The only reason this band is productive at all is because I went through a breakup.

When I broke up with my partner, he was like “When I met you, you were n a band and you were touring and doing all of this amazing stuff and since we have been together, you haven’t left the house, you don’t do shows, you don’t play in bands, and like that’s what you are supposed to be doing”. At the time I was like, who the fuck are you to decide my life? And then two months later this band started to do so well and I was like, oh.

What do you think of the punk scene here in New York?
I like it here. But where we are from, I have a lot of frustrations with the scene and when I was with my ex, the frustrations kind of came to a head. Where we are from in upstate New York, the scene is very homogenous and at any given time there is one, maybe two bands that aren’t made up of straight, white dudes. My whole beef with the scene there was when I started speaking out about it, I started getting harassed. My partner was from Japan and he was the only man of color who was actively involved in the music scene in our city, and there was a band that was singing that had a name that was actively racist against Japanese people. I, being white and having the privilieges I have been afforded the need to go in deeper into this scene to change the way that things currently are. It sucks and it’s dumb but I’m never going to shut up about it, so you’d better get used to it.

courtesy of Impose

courtesy of Impose


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