Over the last 25 years, glam-metal sleaze rocker Taime Downe and his band Faster Pussycat have perfected the art of playing "dirty rock n' roll." While Downe, at age 47, is the only original member remaining of Faster Pussycat, his passion for the band has never been greater. Downe and band mates have been working hard on writing new material for an upcoming release for over two years now. And Faster Pussycat is currently getting ready to embark on the "America Rocks" tour that commences on June 15th, and will take the band across North America. This tour will also included other noteworthy hard rocking bands from the 80's such as Jack Russell's Great White, Pretty Boy Floyd, The Bullet Boys and Lilian Axe.
Here at RockMusicStar, we had the opportunity to talk to Taime about the "America Rocks" tour and much more. So check out the discussion below and tune into our weekly show, "The Glam Metal Hour" on www.phillyrockradio.com this Tuesday, June 12th to hear more from Taime Downe.
RockMusicStar: Taime, on June 15th Faster Pussycat will hit the road with Jack Russell’s Great White, Pretty Boy Floyd, The Bulletboys and Lillian Axe for the “America Rocks” tour. What can fans of Faster Pussycat expect from the band on this tour?
Taime Downe: Same old shit, just rocking. We’re going to kick some ass - that’s for sure. I’m not sure what we are going to play yet, we haven’t decided. Our set is going to be a bit short: however, because of all the bands performing. But we’ll figure it all out. We may play some songs that we haven’t played in years, but that depends on how rehearsals go. We are going to go out and have fun like we do all of the time. But we will play a song from every album, we always do that. But it’s a bit hard to cram all those years into 45 minutes.
RMS: There will always be someone who is disappointed because you didn’t play a certain song.
TD: Yeah, that’s why we are learning some extra songs, so we can mix it up especially when we play cities that are close by, for the people that go to both shows.
RMS: Has it been decided yet what the order is going to be for the bands performing?
TD: Yeah, that’s all set, we will be playing before Jack Russell’s Great White every night. Which is kind of cool, because we haven’t played a support slot in quite a while and when we are done, the show isn’t over. And after we are done, we can hang out with the crowd and have some fun and join the party.
RMS: You are a band for the people man.
TD: Hell yeah.
RMS: Is the band line-up the same as it was last year?
TD: We have had the same line-up for quite a while now. The only thing that has changed is our lead guitar player due to different circumstances. Our current guitarist, Ace Von Johnson has been with us for 2 ½ years now. Most of the line-up of the band has been together since 2000.
RMS: Are there any plans to record a new Faster Pussycat CD anytime soon?
TD: We have been working on a new record for about two years now. And every time we get ready to work on it, a tour comes up. But some of the material just needs to be slightly tweaked, some need leads and stuff. But the stuff we have, is pretty fucking cool. We may even work on some of the stuff before we leave for the tour, next week. Just so its fresh in my head when I get back. I really wanted to have it out in time for the tour, but we had a tour that come up in March, and we were out for eight weeks. And I’m not going to pass up going on the road, that’s too much fun. When a tour comes up, everything else pretty much goes on hold.
RMS: Have you noticed an increase in demand for Faster Pussycat to tour. It seems to me that over the last few years, a lot of the glam bands from the 80’s have experienced a little resurgence in popularity. especially with festivals like M3 and Eddie Trunk's -"That Metal Show."
TD: Yeah, it’s because bands like ours like to have fun. We’re not trying to be all serious, we just go out and play dirty rock n’ roll. People always go through their phases of what they like. Dirty rock n’ roll is fun stuff. People missed it, and when they realized how fun it was again, they started coming back.
RMS: Yeah, I don’t think anyone does the dirty rock n’ roll thing better than Faster Pussycat.
TD: (Laughs) Thank you. We have fun.
RMS: I would like to discuss you songwriting process. Does it came real easy for you, or is it a bit of a struggle to get it perfect?
TD: Well, usually me and Danny Nordahl, our bass player, will get together and have some beer, fire up some smokes and sit around in a room and bang some shit out. Sometimes we’ll come up with something and then turn it into two different songs. And basically we just have fun with it. That’s usually how it happens. Sometimes it will just happen at sound check when we are fucking around, so it (songwriting) happens a few different ways, but it’s usually under the influence of alcohol.
RMS: Well whatever works. While we are on the subject of songwriting, I’d like to discuss your big trademark single, “House of Pain.” Can you shed some light on how you wrote that song?
TD: Well, that was a song about my dealings with my dad. (Pauses)….It’s a bit of a touchy subject right now, because my dad passed away a few weeks ago.
RMS: I’m very sorry to hear that.
TD: Yeah, but the song is basically a story about my old man.
RMS: Where you at all surprised when it became such a huge hit?
TD: Kind of, but sometimes shit like that, true stuff, cuts through a little more and people realize that it’s not just a song.
RMS: That song really stood the test of time. I think that is one of the greatest power ballads of all time.
TD: People appreciate it because so many different people have been in similar situations and they can relate to it, whether it’s their dad or their mom, or family. Ya know?
RMS: After that single was release, what was it like being in Faster Pussycat. Was it total non-stop decadence?
TD: Man, it was fun. (Laughs) Real fun, it was a whole different time. The record companies were so much different. The whole music industry was different. I’m so glad I got to go through that. We toured with a bunch of really cool bands and really just ride the wave. It was such a cool time back then, the Sunset Strip was a fucking blast and I always tell people that weren’t there at the time, that they really missed out. There's just really no way to describe it, especially when you are just a young kid coming down from Seattle, and going into this crazy scene. There were all these crazy drunk chicks, killer clubs, dirty music and Hollywood, killer weather, that whole thing was awesome.
RMS: It sounds like paradise.
TD: It was. And I’m still here and it’s still fun. Even my old ass, still has a good time.
RMS: When you formed Faster Pussycat in 1986, it really didn’t take long for you guys to get signed to a major label. Where you surprised that you were signed so quickly, and was there a bidding war amongst the labels to sign Faster Pussycat?
TD: Well, we were basically pimps, and when we started playing, we were getting some really great opening slots. We hung out at the Retail Slut, which was down on Melrose. And we were pimping our shows, always trying to get people to come out. The first few shows we did, we opened for Guns n’ Roses and Poison. So we started getting a following very quick. And we got signed rather quickly.and between me and her, we really worked hard promoting the band. But there were a couple labels interested in signing us, but we really like Elektra, and got along well with them, so we signed with them.
RMS: You seemed to get some great tours right from the start.
TD: Yeah, Elektra had us out on the road since day one. When our first album came out, we were on the road for nine months out of the year. So they kept us out there and they treated us really good. We had a good time with Elektra, and it was cool.
RMS: Do you still get in contact with any of the original members of Faster Pussycat?
TD: I just talked to Greg a little while ago. Me and Brent Muscat had a falling out a couple years ago, but everything is cool now. It’s like family, and in family, there are fights sometimes. But we are cool. I went out and jammed with him after Thanksgiving last year out in Las Vegas, and he is doing alright. The other guys, I don’t see.
RMS: It seems like many of the rockers from the 70’s and 80’s are putting out autobiographies. Do you have any plans of writing a book?
TD: Maybe. I was talking about doing that years ago. But, I don’t even know where to begin. (Laughs) But, I would have to start naming names (laughs) But, I’m sure that I’ll do something at some point. I just don’t like talking about myself, so I’ll need someone to drag that shit out of me.
RMS: Is there anything else that you would like to accomplish in your career?
TD: I don’t know…I just appreciate that I can keep doing this shit. I pretty much did what I wanted to do and I just like doing it. I still like writing songs, still like playing, I just want to keep doing it.
For more on Faster Pussycat, please visit www.fasterpussycat.com
Special thanks to A. Srock for making this interview happen.