Quintron and Miss Pussycat Talk Bruise Cruise, Trash Can Music, and Kids Running in Fear
|Photo by Quintron|
|Quintron mans the gear.|
Is it the fact that this married duo puts on original puppet shows? That Quintron is the kind of musician who concocts his own musical contraptions, like the theremin-esque Drum Buddy? How about that their sets have a rep for being colorful, sweat-soaked orgies?
Then again, you can't ignore the creativity of their mind-bending "Swamp Tech" sound, that Quintron plays like a one-man band, or that he and his wife have fucked around with the press before, once convincing a writer that they were cousins.
We caught up with Quintron on Monday afternoon when he was hastily preparing for the Bruise Cruise and a new tour, running on two hours of sleep. Miss Pussycat had spent all night completing the puppets for her new show, an underwater-themed saga called "Legend of the Sea Monster," which Quintron wouldn't elaborate on. Her hubby had been wrapping up a comp CD of island music.
If you're not able to see them put on a special Sunday brunch show on the cruise, hit up Grand Central tonight for a pre-Bruise bill also featuring the Black Lips, Surfer Blood, Vivian Girls, and a bunch of other bands. Now, we look into the sleep-deprived mind of Quintron, discussing life after Hurricane Katrina, how he's freaked children out, and his idea for a non-musical invention.
Crossfade: In 2008, you did an interview where you said that the musical landscape of New Orleans would be affected by all of the outside influences coming in post-Katrina. Has that prediction materialized?
Quintron: Well, the musical landscape is constantly changing, but Katrina, of course, changed everything. It's not for me to say whether it's for the better or the worse, but it's definitely different and there's a lot of energy here now, that's for sure. After a couple of years of grief and cleaning up the destruction, there's a super-injection of creative energy that happened that's still happening here.
Can you think of any tangible examples of that creativity manifesting that wouldn't have come before Katrina?
There's a certain kind of really fast bounce music that gained popularity after Katrina on a level that it had never seen prior to Katrina. I don't know how [it's] directly related to that, but it certainly seems like a cause and effect. Beats got faster -- way, way faster -- and less melody and more noise, [with] more layers of shit going on all at the same time.
Putting aside the themes of certain puppet shows orchestrated by Miss Pussycat, what's been the biggest impact Katrina has had on your music itself?
I don't know. I'm not writing Katrina songs, if that's what you mean. It's very difficult to explain. It was like the end of the world. It was Armageddon. It informed and changed and affected every single facet of every single person's life here, so there's no way to point to this lyric or that lyric or any one particular thing and say that was an effect of Katrina. Your whole world was shattered.
Moving onto a subject that you discuss a lot, you're well-known for your interest in musical inventions. Have you been building anything lately?
Let me see. I'm kind of rebuilding this set-up. I'm moving into a new phase with my organs. I'm constantly changing my one-man band set-up, adding things [and] taking them away. I call it a one-man band set-up, but Miss Pussycat is an integral part of the music. The way I play music is very much like a one-man-band, one foot doing one thing, another foot doing another thing, singing, one thing with my left hand, a trumpet with my right hand. I'm adding and changing the setup radically, more than I have in the past five years. I'm not taking a car on tour this time because I'm adding a kick drum, a hi-hat and a lot of filters to the Drum Buddy so I can loop it now and play it backwards and sample everything. My whole set-up is really different.
Have you ever invented anything non-musical?
No. Well, I mean, I have. Here's one for you that I don't have time to do, but somebody should. Maybe it already exists. You know those breathalyzer things that you have to blow in to start your car if you have a DWI? You should be able to buy one of those and hook it up to your computer for Facebook--either for general use of the Internet or for hitting Send.
Facebook status updates would be really different in a world where that invention existed.
Somebody should totally make a breathalyzer app.