INTERVIEW: Blaine Cartwright & Ruyter Suys – Nashville Pussy

POSTED 27.04.17 IN NEWS

INTERVIEW: Blaine Cartwright & Ruyter Suys – Nashville Pussy

Talking touring and old Marshall amps with the Nashville Pussy guitar duo.

Has music always been an important part of your life?

Blaine: Yeah, it has, she grew up around music, I grew up around records. My aunt and uncle had a record shop in Kentucky and some of my first memories from when I was 2 or 3 years old are from there. I didn’t start playing guitar until I was about 18 years old.

Ruyter: I’ve been playing piano since I was around 3, and my father played guitar and my mum played drums, so our living room was basically a music room – in fact it was more of a jam space than what we have in our house right now. I went from piano to guitar, started playing guitar when I was around 8 and haven’t looked back.

What are your favourite and least favourite elements of touring?

Ruyter: My favourite is playing!

Blaine: I like almost all the elements of touring, the only negative thing is that I don’t write songs that much on the road. Sometimes when we’re on tour, I’d rather be at home writing songs, but I like being able to travel and play songs – there’s very little I don’t like about it. You don’t have a lot of control over your situation like you do at home, but that’s the fun of it.

Are there any particular places that you look forward to going to again?

Blaine: London! Spain, Japan, France. In America, Austin, Texas, LA – there’s also pockets of places which are really cool, like Portland has always been real strong for us. Basically anywhere we do good.

Ruyter: We like them based on how much they like us.

Blaine: I mean in South America we’re not particularly popular, but we like going there anyway. I like going to Brazil. Some places are just exotic and are fun to go to, like in Japan we did OK, but it was more about the surroundings than the show. Everywhere else is pretty much the show, because we love London but if we did bad in London we’d probably be bitching about London.

Ruyter: Plus Motorhead told us to go to Brazil. They were like ‘You have to go to Brazil’.

Pretty good recommendation.. How long have you guys been using Marshall amps, and what do you like most about them?

Blaine: As soon as I could afford one. I got my first one in 1986/87, and I’d been using Fender’s up until that point and they were really expensive, and I didn’t have any money. My Grandmother passed on, and she left me around $500 which I’d never had before, and I went to a place called Far Out Music in Indiana, and I tried tons of them out and got a Marshall head. That was a 50 Watt head that got stolen in Manhattan. Replacing it took a while. But we use the classic ‘70s style 4 input heads, and we haven’t veered away from it.

Ruyter: We have 4 that have been living in Europe for about 15 years minimum now, and then we have another 4 back home.

Blaine: Yeah we shipped them over in about ’98 because we’d come over here and rent equipment and I’d get a Fender and it would sound bad, and I was known for our good guitar tone, and it wasn’t working out. We got around $5000 from the record company and we spent it on shipping equipment over, including SVT cabinets, which we could have easily got in Europe. If I had a time machine the one thing I would do is go back and just buy Marshall’s here.

Ruyter: But it’s still here and it still works! There was a period of time where we were not affording cases for our Marshall heads, because the price of a used Marshall head was almost the same price as the head, so we’d just buy another head. It was like, we had $600 and we could buy a case for $400 or just buy another head.

Blaine: At that time the heads were around $3-400 bucks, and we were getting them for $300, one of them we got for $250. The red one from 1972, I think we spent $1200 on it. I got it in Atlanta, and I think we got a cabinet with it too. We just found where they were cheap, and they were cheap in Portland, Oregon and Atlanta – places were people made noise. And that’s just what we use.

What is it specifically about Marshall amps that has lead you to stick with them?

Ruyter: It sounds like it’s supposed to.

Blaine: There’s nothing that sounds like that, I know people who have got things that are cheaper and said ‘Oh it’s almost as good’.

Ruyter: We’ve had people try to sell us boutique amps saying ‘It sounds just like a Marshall’ and I think, what’s the point? We’d rather just play Marshall.

Blaine: Or someone will build one and say it sounds just like a Marshall and it doesn’t, and it’s that little difference.

Ruyter: When we first started, we didn’t know what kind of band we were going to be, and we thought at first it was going to be more surfy? Until the first day we plugged into a Marshall and that was it. Open A chord and bam – we’re gonna be a rock band.

Blaine: That’s the danger of plugging a Gibson Les Paul into a Marshall and hitting an A chord, because it just sounds so good it can be a song. Everything sounds so good.

Is there any difference in your rig between when you started and now, or have you kept it pretty much the same?

Ruyter: No, it’s pretty much the same, I mean when we started we used 2 Marshall combo’s, 2 x 12” combos, and then when we started having enough space on stage we both started playing with half stacks. Now I play with two half stacks, and he plays with one.

Blaine: And it’s always Marshall. If we had our way we’d both have two half stacks. The only time things change is when something breaks or is stolen.

Ruyter: We’ve had the same setup since we began, so it’s been 20 years.

What’s the plan for you guys in 2017?

Blaine: Carry on, onwards and upwards.

Ruyter: We’re doing Australia and New Zealand, heading out to the west coast. A few festivals in Europe.

Blaine: Then we come back for a Scandinavian tour in October.

Ruyter: We’re trying to get the UK in, as we’re free agents now so we’re shopping for a new record deal.

Blaine: It’s what keeps us happy.