PUSSYLIQUOR are on a mission to empower the world. United by a shared feminist vision, Brighton’s fiercest all-female five-piece eschew stereotypes to deliver post-punk treats. Their debut release 7” Wonder is full of deliciously damning acerbic refrains. Here they share their outlook and talk regret, drugs and taking no shit. Photography by Andrea Venturini.
DISORDER: Define your sound.
PUSSYLIQUOR: Loud, angry and unapologetic, with the intention of breaking boundaries! Powerful riffs with gnarly shreds on top, served with educated opinions and a comedic twist. Hearing protection required. Parental advisory also required – they’ll love it.
What are you working on right now, and what’s it all about?
Bringing out more content, using multiple platforms. We want to strengthen our image by broadening the topics we write about. We were brought together by feminism, and it’s been a topic we are very thankful for as it strengthened us as people and helped allow us to become the performers we are. It has been a great starting point for us but we feel we have developed enough to start covering issues such as politics, how the government are ignoring the needs of its citizens and all that mayhem. All while setting off to the recording studio! We’re also focusing on our sound to keep up with the content – we’ve got to have more hardcore, angry guitar riffs! And more yelling!
From left to right: Kirsten, Ari, Hannah, Tallulah, Victoria.
What people, places or things inspire you?
Inspiration is everywhere. We draw it from the world, what’s currently happening or has happened, friends who we know and people who we don’t. But our main objective is bringing people together to help each other, so we find ourselves talking about world issues a lot; things as they are now are unfair and it’s about time people spoke up and listened to each other. Taking everything as inspiration stops us confining ourselves. It also means we can be productive out of everything, whether it’s a good or bad experience.
Your name is forthright as fuck. What’s the story behind it?
It didn’t take long. Vikki’s brain is a mechanism revolving round puns so as soon as it hears an opportunity it can churn one out within seconds. Thus, PUSSYLIQUOR was born and the pun master prevails once again.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Probably our recent escapades overseas. We played two different countries in Europe and while the gigs went amazingly, we were proud of our performance and thankful for all the crowds support, our trip was a bit of a nightmare travel-wise. We were caught in some very dangerous snowy weather. Our van felt like a death trap.
What’s your biggest regret?
We try living life as regret-free as possible, but regret things we let hold us back. The times we felt insecure in what we were doing, whether it be from social anxieties or because of gender stereotypes. We urge girls to pursue learning an instrument and not let any stereotypes get in the way – music is for everyone. Your gender shouldn’t be affecting what you want to play. Breaking these social norms helped us become empowered. We want the same for all.
Where do you feel you fit in? Have you always?
We haven’t always fitted in, but the place we feel most at home is with music. Music has taken us away from a distorted society, [one] which we had to mask our true selves, one of conforming. We felt we didn’t fit in because we didn’t feel “normal” due to our appearances and sexuality. Music opened gateways for us, leading us to loving, accepting and supportive communities full of people who feel the same. We want to work towards sharing our mind-set with the world through creativity.
Punk means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
Punk is not about your exterior. There is a strong image associated with punk, one which is easy to dress yourself up in. But image is the least important part of punk. It’s about identifying what’s wrong with the world and speaking up, actively working to change it for the better, through music or other platforms. Do no harm. Take no shit.
Tell us about your creative process.
We like to group together and discuss what’s on our minds. We start with things that have made us angry as there’s normally a lot to work with. It’s a good way to use that energy. It’s a very hive-minded way of writing.
What would you most like to change about the music industry?
The lack of women. The fact that we feel we need to prove ourselves more is unfair. But it also means we’re none short of determination. Music has [also] become distant, which is up to audiences to help by supporting independent businesses and artists in their town. We want to make the opportunity to create music more accessible and make the industry less money driven.
Feminism brought you together. What part does artistic expression have to play in challenging the status quo and changing perceptions?
Music has dictated our culture for generations. When artists are given a platform the whole world could be watching. Whatever topics they bring up will then be discussed, people having conversations everywhere and challenging each other because they’ve now got the initiative to do so. Artistic expression is so important; it gets people discussing things together, which is essential if we want to defeat wrong or harmful perceptions.
What’s the coolest you’ve ever looked, and what were you wearing?
Depending on the weather our birthday suits can be rather cool.
Desert Island Dames: Name five musicians you couldn’t live without.
Queenadreena, because they create heaven with their songs which makes Ari’s heart sing. Siouxsie & the Banshees, for Kirsten would feel lost without the soothing coos of Siouxsie-Sioux. She Wants Revenge because they make Hannah feel cool and fly. Bratmobile for Tallulah as they guided her into punk music, inspiring her to be in an all girl punk band! And instead of a band Vikki gives us this lovely statement: The music the people around me create. I’m fascinated by the voices and stories of the people I know, that includes instrumental music.
On stage or in bed?
Bed? Stage? What’s the difference? See us cry and pass out on both.
Drugs are bad: true or false?
True and false. Drugs are always going to be accessible so people are always going to do them, which is why decriminalisation is essential. It’s society’s responsibility to make them safer; instead of prosecuting or shaming those who are vulnerable we should be aiding them. The criminalisation of drugs has lead to far more death and needs to be regulated; countries who have done this have received positive results reflecting their crime rates. This will also help prevent people from becoming addicts as their emotional issues can be addressed simultaneously, providing the right service. We have seen the effects drugs can have on people and we believe they have created a destructive culture between groups who use them excessively. In terms of recreational use, while they can be fun, they can [also] be devastating. And, in some aspects, they can be healing. For example, the studies on marijuana and new research that suggests ketamine can heal maladaptive neural pathways. But it can also ravage the body and mind when used recklessly.
What’s the last piece of media you consumed that blew your mind?
Hannah read the Kite Runner recently and says while it isn’t primarily a political book it was a savage insight into the conflict of the Middle East. She cried, a lot. Vikki watched the film Coherence, a thriller about multiverse theory and the potential consequences of the interaction between timelines. Time is pretty mind blowing.
What does utopia look like?
It varies for each of us: a world without humans (although, utopia is an ideal we [humans] have created, so that’s kind of a catch-22); a world of people constantly playing music and dancing; a world where you are the only human and you are running free with the cats.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
We have become friends with so many wonderful artists as PUSSYLIQUOR. We’d love to collaborate with all of them! Artists like Girli and Suzi Wu, people who have strong messages of empowerment and a serious attitude behind their music! A force to be reckoned with if combined.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice is found written in pub toilets.
PUSSYLIQUOR will plough down all that is evil and cruel, planting seeds of love and joy. Expect more tracks, more videos and, of course, more gigs!
– – –