INTERVIEW: PussyWillowFurryVenus | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It’s refreshing to discover a band who have no desire to be anything other than what they are. Sunderland’s PussyWillowFurryVenus are proudly ploughing their own furrow; their punky riot grrrl edge softened by crystal clear vocals and an obdurate approach to music making, and frontwoman Steph Mac is proud of their individuality. “To me personally, it’s a release. Something I have to do or I get a bit itchy in the brain. There’s no image we’re trying to portray, we are just doing our thing, being ourselves and having fun.”

The band’s forthcoming EP, the wonderfully named The Slag Who Fell To Earth, with its obvious nod to David Bowie and provocative cover art also sets the band apart, although Steph’s not too bothered about what anyone else thinks. “It’s a ‘we don’t give a fuck’ approach to what you think about us, what we do or how we look. It’s a powerful title that will cause a stir and I find it hilarious how the word ‘slag’ affects people and what people think we are or sound like because we have the word ‘slag’ in our title. Our music and stage presence is what it is and speaks for itself.”

All too often this brand of raw punk can be unfocused and messy, but PWFV’s approach is tightly controlled and utterly uncompromising. The EP is a visceral thrill, from the unrelenting guitars and scattergun drums of powerful opener Sticky Vicky, the hypnotic Mighty Aphrodite and the punishing rhythms of Aeon-Magus to In Doom’s seductive heaviness and closing track Cold’s acoustic-led beauty. Steph’s voice is superb, managing to inject equal measures of passion and fury into the tracks.

“We all have a monster in the wardrobe, a light and dark side, it’s how you deal with it and accept it”

Steph admits that the EP’s songs are intended to be ambiguous, but she also admits to a cathartic experience when writing. “I think the reason a lot of us are compelled to write songs and create in general is to avoid having to explain ourselves directly. You can express a lot in music indirectly, yet get away with saying things that usually cause a fuss. Some songs are about specific subject matters but at the same time they’re about all kind of things from love, hate, sex, mythology to politics. Being able to express that in music is like a therapy: we all need it. The beauty of music is that people take from it what they need to, they hear what they want to hear and relate; it’s a religion of sorts. We all have a monster in the wardrobe, a light and dark side, it’s how you deal with it and accept it.”

The band’s energy is multiplied in the live arena, and it’s where their shared passion lies. “It’s where we feel the most alive. There is no deliberate attempt to look or be a certain way, we just get up there and do what we do best: perform. Our stage presence is like a burst of trapped energy, we get really into it because we love it!”

PussyWillowFurryVenus release The Slag Who Fell To Earth on 10th October. The band play Independent, Sunderland on Saturday 3rd October.

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