A Little Chat with Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat

Quintron at the Empty Bottle 2003, Photo by Rob Karlic
Quintron at the Empty Bottle 2003, Photo by Rob Karlic
posted Thursday Apr 16th, 2009

Quintron and Miss Pussycat are on tour this month with the bedroom-psyche troubadours, Psychedelic Horseshit, and are stopping by The Summit in Columbus, OH tonight, and then Toronto and Montreal over the weekend.

Part-mad scientist, part-genius organ player and part-puppet show with background vocals, Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat put on one of the most undeniable forms of entertainment when performing live. Quintron is all flash and dash, a blur playing organ and controlling his various drum machines, while Miss Pussycat is more than capable on backing vocals and often takes over with her elaborate puppet shows.

The music on the duo’s latest Goner Records release, Too Thirsty 4 Love, also displays Quintron’s talent for musical production. A hybrid of punk, garage rock, classic R&B, disco, electronic and 40 other genres we don’t have space to list, the album features heavy hitting songs that are instant party starters. Regardless of who is in the room, these songs instantly make you shake your ass like a fool.

We caught up with Mr Quinton on the phone while they were stuck in Fargo and here's what they had to say.

Victimoftime.com: If you could, explain to me where you're at right now and describe your surroundings?

Quintron: We are in Fargo, the weirdest town in the entire world. Last night we played this place that had live karaoke in the bar downstairs, there was a horse race betting parlor going on, a live blackjack dealer ... This is in a saloon ... So there is this live blackjack dealer with just one table in a smoky little corner in the room and then this punk show going on upstairs.

VOT: Obviously touring is always bringing up crazy situation like this, but what’s day-to-day life like for Quintron?

Q: Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of English comedy programs. I’m really into the underground English … Well, I don’t even know if it’s that underground because some of it’s on BBC, but like this one show called Mighty Boosh, this show called Snuff Box. Anything with Steve Coogan … I'm brushing up on obscure English comedies. I try to play the organ everyday and I fix a lot of things for people. Electronic stuff and instruments.

VOT: Did you learn about electronics prior to building this stuff or have you really just been winging it all these years?

Q: Learning from books and my father is an electrical engineer and he had all the textbooks at the house and learning kits and stuff. So I pretty much learned from him … I didn’t go to school, I mean I went to high school, but I didn’t go to college or anything. If you study from books and apply it and have the tools … I always had the tools with the soldering irons and little tiny screwdrivers from my dad. I just learned it like that.

VOT: When did you start building your own instruments?

Q: I think I started building instruments when I was 16. Like this huge drum contraption that kind of turned into the one that I used with Math, my band from a long time ago. I had this big homemade drum cage that was made for that band and that evolved from the one when I was 15 or 16 in the garage… Real garage rock.

VOT: Where do the ideas for your creations come from? Do you dream them or is it just like after smoking a bunch of pot you just say, “I should create a drum machine that runs on spit!”?

Q: It all comes from sitting there at a soldering bench just fucking around with oscillators and playing basically. I would sit there for hours and hours and just listen to talk radio just fucking around with shit.

VOT: What kind of talk radio do you listen too?

Q: Local New Orleans talk radio is genius. There is this show that is on three hours a day everyday of the week and it’s only about the New Orleans fine dining scene. All he does is talk about fancy wine and restaurants and stuff, which it makes me feel rich just listening to it. It’s like listening to beautiful music, he’s got this really amazing, soft voice and he plays this really cool loungy jazz music as his bumper music. His callers are these total blue blood rich people from New Orleans. It’s just like the most entertaining thing … I listen to it every single day.

VOT: It’s amazing they can do that three hours a day and not run of shit to talk about.

Q:That’s New Orleans. Decadence. Decadent as hell. Three hours about food a day.

VOT: Lets talk about Too Thirsty 4 Love

Q: Where that song originated was … That song and “Sunday Night” were me late, late at night, drunk, testing the microphone. Just making stuff up, making up words and making up chords. What I did for “Too Thirsty 4 Love” was I took that weird, drunken accident tape and then transcribed into what I was actually doing and wrote it into a song. That song comes from a conversation I was having with this girl and she was really upset about every boyfriend she has had in the past year has broken up with her. I just said, “Well, we’re too thirsty for love” or something like that… We just thought that was the most brilliant thing ever and I said “We’re gonna name a record after that.” Then, so I did.

VOT: And that "Dirt Bag Fever" song too?

Q: Dirt Bag Fever is about the New Orleans art world. Total fucking dirtbags. Unbelievably selfish and clueless. They accept us, but they use real people to give themselves credibility. It seems like that’s what all the art world is about … finding something with credibility and just using it to exploit and amuse themselves. They remind me of 15th century French kings with monkeys and dwarves that are dancing around them while they eat duck liver. It’s not everybody, that’s a gross generalization. I love museums and I love art, but I hate that world that surrounds it.

VOT: How about "Grey Ghost?"

Q: You should talk to Miss Pussycat about that… Here’s Miss Pussycat …

Miss Pussycat: Hello?

VOT: Hey Miss Pussycat, how are you today?

MP:I’m really cold. We’re in Fargo, North Dakota. Do you know what the Grey Ghost is?

VOT: No, I have no idea what it is.

MP: The Grey Ghost is so crazy. He’s this man named Fred Radke that lived in New Orleans and for years he has taken it upon himself to cover up all graffiti with battleship grey. He’s kind of crazy. He goes on people’s private property and paints battleship grey like on brick or wooden fences where there was graffiti, but then it was just like a grey blob...

[Hands phone back to Quintron]

VOT: What about your style of music? It's so specifically your own and organic like the way you create instruments. How did you decide on what you wanted your sound to be like for this latest record?

Q: That is just me. It’s hard to write the same song over and over and over again and I can’t make the Frog record over and over and over again. Everyone’s got their own voice, their own preprogrammed mode of how they build songs. You have to challenge yourself to try and take it in different directions and say like, “On this song I’m only going to use this one DrumBuddy oscillator.” It’s also changing your instruments or new pedals or a new organ. Every time I get a new organ I’ll record myself playing it the first time I ever play it or touch it. That takes you places.

Be sure to catch the Quintron and Miss Pussycat/Psychedelic Horseshit Tour when it rolls into your town all this month.

Thurs, April 16th - COLUMBUS, OH @ The Summit

Fri, April 17th - Williamsville, NY @ The Sound Lab

Sat, April 18th - Toronto, ONT @ The Record Bar

Sun, April 19th - Montreal, QU @

Tues, April 21st - Providence, RI @ Machines tith Magnets and Chinese Stars

Wed, April 22nd - NY, NY @ SAntos Party Place

Thurs, April 23rd - Caimbridge, Mass @ Middle East

Fri, April 24th - Brooklyn, NY @ New Market Hotel

Sat, April 25th - Baltimore, MD @ Floristree

Sun, April 26th - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brendas

Wed, April 29th - Chapell Hill, NC @ Local 506

Thurs, April 30th - Birmingham, AL @ Bottle Tree

Fri, May 1st - Savanah, GA @ The Jinx

Sat, May 2nd - Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Puppetry Arts Center

Sun, May 3rd - New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar with Tire Fire

You can pick up Quintron and Miss Pussycat's new ablum from Goner here and more of Quintron's stuff here. And you can pick up some Psychedelic Horseshit recordshere.