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Rock ’n’ Ruyter

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"It suits the band, small communities," muses Cartwright, who grew up in rural Kentucky and high-tailed it as soon as he could. "Small towns man, people need it. They need to blow off steam."

He of all people should know.

"Yeah, I’m still blowing off steam," he concurs, "that’s why I’m still doing this."

But right now Cartwright also needs to blow off some steam about his wife’s overlooked talents as a guitar player. Ruyter rocks. She rules. But she’s not political like the frontwomen in the Riot Grrl bands, and with Cartwright on guitar and vocals plus Jeremy Thompson on drums the novelty of the all-girl band is lost on Pussy.

It’s also distressing to see three top hip-hop and R&B divas on the cover of Rolling Stone’s latest Women Who Rock issue, vents Cartwright, an indication pop culture has dismissed true rock credibility entirely.

He isn’t the only one bothered by the cover and the loose definition of "women who rock."

"It pisses me off to no end," says Suys. "I can’t even properly put into words how mad that makes me. They completely miss out on all sorts of really great musicians. Nancy Wilson from Heart was my hero growing up and she’s never in there."

She knows, however, that the PR for such features is more crucial than the riffs will ever be.

"I think you have to campaign," she adds, "I’m totally let down by the people they choose."

Suys/Wilson in 2004 – it just might work. They should start selling campaign buttons at their shows, although they’d just be preaching to the choir.

There’s one area, however, that Pussy has never needed help getting noticed. The band is overtly sexual, both in lyrics and stage antics. Wanna see onstage cleavage? Check out a Pussy show.

Touring mates for the next month, the foul-mouthed Canadian gansta-rap cougar duo Stink Mitt have absolutely nothing in common with the band genre-wise, but Mitt’s song Bangin’ On My Clit, could just as easily be a Pussy title. They’re linked by their bad-girls-in-the-smoking-bathroom attitude.

But while it may seem to outsiders that the band has let the sex define them, Suys counters that it will never take over the rock ’n’ roll. Rather, the two are inseparable, she says. That’s the way rock ’n’ roll was back in the days of Elvis, that’s the way it was for later icons like David Lee Roth, and they’re just happy to continue the tradition.

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