It has been nearly three decades since glam metal unit Faster Pussycat found their way onto the Sunset Strip, and hard rock hasn’t been quite the same since. Having released five albums, two EPs and a number of compilation efforts to date, Faster Pussycat has kept their relevance alive through rigorous touring across North America over the past decade.
Definitive frontman and lead vocalist Taime Downe had previously taken some time away from the activities of Faster Pussycat to work in numerous side projects, however the band was subject to a welcome resurgence in 2001 and Taime has returned to his roots, rocking stages since.
Music Enthusiast had the privilege of sitting down with Taime to discuss the recent Faster Pussycat show at the iconic Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, California, while putting to rest the different labels that have been placed on Faster Pussycat’s music.
The real emphasis, however, was centered around the anticipated Cathouse Live! festival that will take place at Irvine Meadows next month.
Faster Pussycat is just one act out of a well-rounded lineup that unifies a whole cast of resilient groups and pivotal frontmen from the 1980s rock and metal scene. The Cathouse Live! festival promises a day’s worth of fun, sleaze and rock ‘n roll. For more information, visit the event’s official website here.
Music Enthusiast Magazine: You recently played to a full house of your dedicated fans. Is it a different feeling when play shows in your hometown, as opposed to being out on the road?
Taime Downe: It’s more of a cluster fuck when you’re playing at home, trying to see everybody. Your phone blows up and everything like that. But in terms of playing and performing, we do the same shit we do in front of ten people or fucking ten thousand people, depending on where we’re at. We just have fun playing our music, but it’s fun playing at home though.
It’s been three decades since Faster Pussycat formed, and I have noticed that many bands of the 80’s have reformed and are bringing back the rock of our time. You look in the crowds and see different generations of people. When you’re onstage, is it something you notice?
Yeah you see it, but you don’t think about it. Like I said, we go out there and just deliver. Sometimes we have the lights in our face we can’t tell who’s out there, but it’s cool. Cool to still see young people at our shows and old friends. We have been doing this shit for a fucking long time and it’s still fun, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.
After you reformed Faster Pussycat back in 2001, the band later released a rather solid album ‘The Power and The Glory Hole’ in 2006, which has been called “industrial rock”?
It’s a rock album, not industrial rock.
I don’t even know what industrial rock is.
It wasn’t, it’s a rock ‘n roll record. Because I came out of the Newlydeads, doing that in-between and I had a little bit of influence on some of the songs. ‘Power and The Glory Hole’ is a rock record, a good rock record.
Ace Von Johnson replaced Michael Thomas in 2010, and the band has stepped back to the upbeat dance club vibe. What made you decided this is the direction you wanted Faster Pussycat to go?
We’re a dirty rock band. That’s what we are we don’t stray from that. That’s what our shit is. We’re not a dance band, you can dance to it. My music is made more to fuck to. Kind of the same thing, right? You can dance to it or fuck to it, it’s good. But it’s rock ‘n roll.
Is there anything in the works as far as a new album?
We’ve been working on new stuff for a while, just been touring. We’ve toured so much I can’t even count the dates it would be staggering. We would be gone for three months, back for a month, then two, back for a few weeks. It’s been nonstop for the last two years; really nonstop since 2001. The last few years we’ve been trying to work on new shit, just keep being thrown out on tour. We come back home and go, “Fuck, where did we leave off?” We have a bunch of songs almost ready to go.
It seems as though bands from your era are almost equally divided when it comes down to making new music. Do you feel it’s important as an artist to do so?
Yeah, I mean it’s fun making new music, you know what I mean? I think it’s very important to make new music, being creative. Sitting there and playing the same old shit, it’s cool but it’s fun to break out something new. Even though we put out a new record we can’t play it all, not going to go out and play for three hours, it’s not worth it. You don’t want to bore people you want them wanting more and not put them to sleep. I don’t give a shit who you are, to sit through three hours of fucking music at a show.
Outside of the band you also have other ventures, including Pussy Power Clothing and Facedowne Leatherworks. Can you tell us a little about both of them?
Yeah, Pussy Power Clothing is all about Faster merch and stuff we do. We put together a little store that goes with us on the road. It’s cool, we have a lot of different stuff. It’s not just going to a merch booth and grabbing a CD or a couple t-shirts, we have a bunch of different styles of stuff. And the leather started with me trying to find stuff for my motorcycle. I couldn’t find anything that was cool or unique, it was all generic. I used to do some leather shit back in the old days, when I first came to L.A. to pay bills and food like that so started getting back into it. “I can make this,” “I can do that.” So I started to do that, then girls would say, “You should make a purse like that.” And I ended up making more purses then motorcycle bags. Girls would say “I want one, I want one.”
That kind of answers my next question on what kind of influence you had in that. Did you design any part of the clothing?
I design everything. All that shit.
You were instrumental in the making of the Cathouse in 1986. In August you and Riki will be back together at the Cathouse Live festival. Did you have any role in putting this together?
Riki asked me, “If I’m going to put this together, are you on board and going to do it?” They went to him, then he came to me first. Before we agreed to do it, he asked me if I can do it. Of course, me and Riki, we’re buds. We go way back, we’re brothers. It’s like back in the old days, it was his baby and I was his partner. We got it going, but he’s the one. I had my band and he had the Cathouse. It’s his baby to keep the ship running with all the people he had working for us, I just showed up and drank. He’s the one to keep me away from the door, otherwise I would let everybody in. We let a lot of people in but he kept it going so we could make some money, it still was a business.
The Cathouse Live lineup won’t disappoint, and like I quoted in my last article, it will be a homecoming of sorts, with musicians and bands you’ve toured with in the past. What is it you want to see in this festival?
I just want to be able to hang out with a bunch of friends. We have done a couple festivals over the last couple years. It’s good to see a bunch, but this is the Cathouse, and representing our old club, personal club, you know what I mean? Our old party from back in the day, we were all kids. So seeing friends we have known for many years, and still around, our paths cross here and there it will be fun to see them all in that element. We did our first arena type show ever as Faster Pussycat at Irvine Meadows with Dio for a charity event back in 87, right before our record came out, and it was fun. Some of the bands weren’t really part of the Cathouse but will be part of the scene of the Cathouse, like Tom Keifer, Extreme, Sebastian Bach and shit. It will be fun, I’m really looking forward to it.
You being part of the Cathouse and Faster Pussycat, I think it’s only fitting that the last song being played is “Cathouse” what do you think? If you can’t tell me anything, it’s OK.
But I’m telling you, chances are we’ll probably open with it.
Nice, that would be fitting. Thank you very much.
My pleasure darlin’, go enjoy the rest of the day.