Breathing New Life Into 70’s Rock, An Interview With Singer/Dancer Molly Sides
by Ethan Duran
October 2018

Thunderpussy tears it up at the Showbox in Seattle - photo by Christine Mitchell

Thunderpussy tears it up at the Showbox in Seattle
photo by Christine Mitchell

Seattle-based rock act Thunderpussy has gained fame over the past couple of years after linking with Mike McCready’s Stardog Records and getting a case with the Supreme Court for their controversial name. Despite legal challenges, the band is rolling across the States on their third US tour after dropping their self-titled album in May. On October 19th, Thunderpussy will roll to The Rave in Milwaukee to help Wisconsin relive the golden age of rock.

The band has been living and breathing 1970’s rock and roll since 2015, with tons of guitar pedals, leather pants and high heeled boots included. “[Rock music] chose us. Whitney and I really both appreciate 70’s rock - the glam, glitz, raw sound of it,” said Molly Sides, Thunderpussy’s vocalist and main dancer. She founded the band with guitarist Whitney Petty, who she writes most of the music with.

Music is a spiritual endeavor for Sides. “We want people to listen, feel and be a part of us,” she said, “Music lives in all of us.” An experienced dancer, Sides can be seen turning, kicking and gyrating on the stage any time the band plays. It’s obvious that Sides wants her audience to feel as encompassed in TP’s music and style the same way that she feels. It’s not just Sides’ voice and moves that drives the band’s performance, but she says it’s from the echoes of each member’s influences.

Sides says her own influence comes from the love of the blues, R&B and pop music artists while growing up. She thanks her parents and Petty for the music she’s loved and incorporates into Thunderpussy’s songwriting. There’s an obvious connection between the band members’ love for blues and jazz and the sound of TP’s self-titled album. Jazz beats and blues riffs nestle in between harsh hard rock songs and melt together perfectly.

Having Thunderpussy play in Milwaukee will be a refreshing experience because they bring back something from the past and put their own wild twist into it. The music scene in the city is growing in different directions with up-and-coming rappers, noise bands and its healthy hardcore scene, but seeing a band that worships Led Zepplin and Heart is a rarity.

Sides said that seven years ago she spent three weeks in the Bay Vew neighborhood while learning dance at the Alverno College campus. “Its was beautiful and so hot. It makes your body move like butter,” she said. “There was this weird Bay View-Seattle connection too. I’d bump into someone and they’d ask, ‘Do you know this person from Seattle?’ and I was like, ‘Yes!’” Sides said that one of her favorite things about touring is bumping into random people and having random encounters like this.

She also says that despite playing at a large venue like the Rave, she’s a “Huge fan of shitty dive bars. With development we lose those dirty, dark, dingy bars. I love those intimate spaces where people are tighter and have to meet each other.” Though Milwaukee has no shortage of shitty dive bars, the all-ages scene in the city has been tight after the closing of some venues in the past few years. With the prevalence of technology at the same time, people staring at their phones or trying to take a video at shows isn’t an uncommon sight either. “Everyone is so distant nowadays.”

Sides gave her parting words with enthusiasm, “I’m looking forward to making it back to Milwaukee.”

Thunderpussy hits The Rave on 10/19 with ripping Milwaukee punk band Size 5’s.

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