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Maniacal and frenzied: Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons on punk aesthetic and their animal alter egos

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Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons (Photo Credit: Oliver Harrison)

Driven by furious surf-punk riffs and uncontainable enthusiasm, Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons certainly know how to blaze a trail and instigate a proper sweaty mosh fest. From their raucous live performance to frontwoman Puss Johnson’s cheeky feline persona, this is the kind of punk band that storms to life on stage, oozing with confidence and style.

Hailing from Basingstoke, Southern England, the uninhibited trio consists of Puss Johnson (vocals/guitar), Dirty Jake (guitar/backing vocals) and Filfy Antz (drums). From their 2010 debut Exercise Your Demons to their latest 2017 release Ain’t No Pussy, their uproarious punk rock has proven to be utterly infectious – listen to ‘Hell Bent’ and ‘Suneal’ if you haven’t already. Often delivered at head-banging speed with big, punctual choruses, their songcraft is just as emotionally grounded as it’s action-packed.

Recently, we chatted with the members of Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons to find out more about their unconventional punk aesthetic (aka their obsession with leopard print), the “funny” anecdote behind their hit song ‘Get Outta My Face’ and the release of their upcoming album BEAST.

Pussycat and the Dirty Johnson (Wildblanketphotography)
Photo Credit: Wildblanketphotography

An interview with Puss Johnson from Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons

Describe Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons in one sentence.

Dirty Jake: Dirty, sweat soaked Rock ‘N’ Roll!
Puss: My favourite description of us in a review was ‘A sonic neck punch!’

Your latest album Ain’t No Pussy is a loud protest against the state of the world, what influenced and propelled you to write this record?

Dirty Jake: The state of the world?
Puss: Yeah, I mostly write songs from my personal experiences or feelings I have at the time. So I guess that’s what I needed to express when I wrote those songs.

What would be the one thing you wish to change about the world?

Dirty Jake: Hate, no likey the hate in the world.
Puss: I write a lot of songs about things I hate (laughs)! But generally speaking, indeed, less hate in the world.

Share with us a funny anecdote behind any of your songs.

Puss: Not sure if it’s really a funny story but ‘Get Outta My Face’ is a song I wrote about a stalker I had. But the song keeps getting used on teen angsty shows, which I find kind of weird. It’s strange how people interpret your songs.

Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons (Del Blyben)
Photo Credit: Del Blyben

What are the factors that contribute to a good live performance in your opinion?

Dirty Jake: Energy, honesty, passion and a few great songs.
Puss: Also, take the music seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously.

You guys have quite a distinctive look, obviously loads of leopard print and idiosyncratic hairdos. What inspired you to dress unconventionally on stage?

Puss: We dress pretty unconventionally off-stage so it’s not really much of a stretch! We all have pretty different styles, but it somehow seems to work together.

We’re really intrigued by your hair style. Can you share with us some tips and tricks?

Puss: Hairspray and a hairdryer. I’m not telling which brand unless they sponsor us, and we get lots of free hairspray!

Pussycat and the Dirty Johnson (Ken Dewar)
Photo Credit: Ken Dewar

If all of you are to be described as an animal, what would they be?

Dirty Jake: That’s the most ridiculous question to ask Puss! For myself, a bear.
FiLFy Antz: Irish Water Spaniel, easy to train, calm nature and sleeps a lot.
Puss: … and has similar hair!

What is the next step for Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons and what can we expect?

Puss: Our new album BEAST will be released in July on Hound Gawd! Records. Who knows what else to expect in these uncertain times, but we are itching to get playing live again.

Follow Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons on Facebook here

Underground Soundwave presents an ongoing series of reports on emerging and established bands with close-up Q&As, new release reviews and gig reports with a special emphasis on supporting diversity in music, women in music, independent labels and venues and the local music scene.

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