Perfect Pussy has just left Boise, Idaho, and is a few hours into the seven-hour trek to its next show when New Times reaches the band's singer, Meredith Graves. She sounds tired. Not standard-issue, stayed-out-until-3 a.m. tired. You get the feeling that maybe the whole experience of being thrown into the meat-grinder hype machine machine of today's media landscape has created a deep-bone fatigue.
When asked if the band has been writing any new songs, she's blunt.
"No, we're probably not going to do another record," she says. "We don't like it. We don't want to do another one. We might next year if we feel like it, but right now, we have a lot of plans and are pretty much going to be touring through February, so we don't have time. There's no time when we're going to be home for more than a few days. And we've been touring so heavily that when we're home, we all spend three days in bed and then get back on the road."
She's gained a reputation -- not necessarily as a shit-talker, unless the subject is particularly deserving, but as a fearless advocate for her beliefs, unafraid to tackle any subject. And she's tackled many subjects.
"I get a lot of questions about everything at this point," Graves says, sounding weary. "Nothing is off limits. Everybody wants you to talk. If you talk about how you've been hurt, everyone wants more specific details. People go in it for the guts."
Does it feel like an invasion of her privacy?
"No, because I let it happen willfully," Graves sighs. "Do I regret it? Yes."
So is that it? Is this the end of Perfect Pussy -- a band whose flame will extinguish as quickly as it ignited?
The Syracuse, New York-based noise-punk band formed when a filmmaker asked Graves' band to play during a scene in a movie. Problem was, Graves didn't have a band at that point, so she recruited friend Greg Ambler, who recruited drummer Garrett Koloski, and the three wrote a song and played it in a scene of what would become the indie flick Adult World, starring John Cusack and Emma Roberts.
"We knew we had the bones of something nice," Graves says.
But the three members were in other bands, and more than a year passed before they started making music again, this time with the additions of Shaun Sutkus and Ray McAndrew. The five-piece released a four-song cassette, I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling, in May 2013. The band played its first show that following June, and publications as diverse as Interview started noticing. On March 18, the band released a full-length album, Say Yes to Love, earning the holy grail of critical approval -- "Best New Music" from Pitchfork -- and earning the band marquee performance slots at SXSW. This summer, just shortly after the one-year anniversary of the band's first show, Perfect Pussy will tour Europe.
Aiding the band's rise was a stunt in which the band used Graves' menstrual blood to press a short run of records.
"It was just a thing to do," Graves says, talking about it like one would a series of bad decisions made in Las Vegas. "For a long time, we thought about it as something interesting -- let's see if we can get away with this. Oh, we can? Okay, well, then we have to. Once you find out that you have the capacity to do something that stupid, you have to kind of go with it . . . l'll never do anything that stupid as long as I live."
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