Emerging from SXSW as one of the most talked about acts, the Syracuse noise punkers Perfect Pussy have been exploding amps in warehouse parties on the back of their debut LP Say Yes To Love.

Buried underneath the organised chaos and abrasive racket are honest and disarming lyrics, increasing the intensity of a pivotal young band about to explode.

We had a chat to the band’s keyboard player Shaun Sutkus while guitarist Ray McAndrew and vocalist Meredith Graves floated around in the background. We spoke about about the pressures of being ‘up and coming’ and what’s they’re listening to as they travel the globe, leaving a path of destruction behind them.

We’ve just gotta say – these guys are rad!

What’s up Shaun, what’s good? Where do we find you today?

[Shaun Sutkus]: “Everything’s great! We just got to New Orleans today; we’ve got a gig tonight. We’ve got a few of us here, scattered around…Ray and Meredith, and our friends Green Dreams, the band we’re on tour with.”

Your debut Say Yes To Love dropped recently, how are you guys finding the reception?

[Shaun]:  “Good! Everything seems to be received pretty well and people seem to dig it.”

…because you guys have been called ‘the most important punk band to come out of Syracuse’ for a while, how do you feel about that?

[Shaun]:  “(Laughs) yeah, I guess so…since Earth Crisis. I don’t really know much about it; I only really know the stuff I’m involved in. I notice like, there’s definitely this noise-punk scene that’s been going on and I see little pockets all around the country of people that are into that type of thing.”

So tell us what are you guys listening to at the moment?

[Shaun]:  “Well me personally, I’ve been listening to for a while now, that new Drake record and actually all of Drake’s records, every single one of them – a lot. I’ve been searching on SoundCloud for chopped and screwed remixes of Kendrick Lamar and Drake and that stuff’s all been real fun to listen to.”

Drake huh, we wouldn’t have expected that!

[Shaun]:  “I really like Drake. I mean, I’m more interested in the production stuff that his producer Noah ‘40’ Shebib does but yeah.”

Are you pumped for Kendrick’s new release this year?

[Shaun]:  “Well that’s the first I’m hearing of it – but yes! His record like blew me away, I still listen to it and I love it.”

Perfect Pussy’s High Rotation Playlist

Kendrick LamarBitch Don’t Kill My Vibe (chopped and screwed)
DrakeCameras (chopped and screwed)
Battlefield Earth SoundtrackThe Dome
ParamoreAin’t It Fun
WarehouseA Figue In Bronze
Janis JoplinCry Baby
At The Drive InInvalid Litter Dept.
The Mars VoltaAnd Ghosted Pouts
The Blood BrothersCamouflage, Camouflage
BjorkAll Is Full Of Love
Perfect Pussy3 (live version)

Cool man, anything else?

[Shaun]:  “I’ve also been listening to this really, really weird record – it’s the soundtrack to this novel Battlefield Earth and there’s like a bunch of famous jazz people on it, like Chicharito’s wrote a bunch of stuff on it. I have only ever had it on my iPod and we really got into listening to it on the last tour but then like I found the vinyl, and ordered it so I have the LP now and listen to it at home and stuff.”

“Paramore is always on that list for me. Everyone else in the band will probably hate me for saying that, but definitely Paramore.”

[Shaun calls Ray over]

[Shaun]: Yo, Ray – what have you been listening too?

[Ray McAndrew]: “This band called Warehouse from Atlanta. There’s this band called Sweens from Cincinnati and the song ‘Cry Baby’ by Janis Joplin – and At The Drive In.”

Ah, At The Drive In! You guys dig Mars Volta too?

[Shaun]: “Yeah I’m a huge fan but not really of any of their newer records, I haven’t really listened to them. I really got into Scab Dates that live like recording that they made – I still think that’s the coolest shit in the world. They also use that really famous artist too for like the artwork on Francis The Mute. The whole vibe of that record and like the story behind it totally blew my mind. It’s about this repo man and they found like his journal or something, it’s so crazy! People talk so much shit about that band  like the last album [De-Loused In The Comatorium] was no good – I don’t agree with that.”

Would you say they influenced your music? 

[Shaun]:  “Um, I don’t know we just sort of started playing this music together and it came out into what it is, we never like listened to music together and were like ‘Oh, we wanna sound like this’ or ‘we should do this’. We do have some bands that we all agree on; I think The Blood Brothers is one that we are all like, fuck yeah that band kicks ass! [Ray boo’s in the background] Except for Ray – he doesn’t like them as much.”

[Shaun]:  “Oh yeah, Bjork. I think thought that Bjork is the biggest influence on everybody in the world though. Like she can influence anybody but she has to right?”

After the success of SXSW, what’s next?

[Shaun]:  “Well, we’re are doing this US thing with some dates in Canada and like the West Coast and then the Pitchfork Festival, then we’re going to Europe like France, UK, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and then we’re gonna come home for a little bit…”

If you want to tack Australia onto that list, we’d be stoked!

[Shaun]:  “Yeah, I’m sure we’re going to be there very soon – I’m sure we’ll be seeing you very soon.”

 Say Yes To Love is out now via Inertia.

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