Metal Edge, December 1989
Two years since they hit the charts with their debut album and left the alleys of L.A. for the concert stages of America, Faster Pussycat is back in musical business with Wake Me When It’s Over, an album vocalist Taime Down describes as “really funky, really heavy. We didn’t lose anything we had – our blues base, personality, funny edge, we just took it a step further and enhanced it with thicker sounds, heavier guitars.” Featuring 12 songs (to “give the kids their money’s worth”), the album was produced by John Janson at several L.A. studios including Cherokee, where Taime, bassist Eric Stacy and guitarist Brent Muscat went on the record for Metal Edge.
“We put more thought into this album than the last album,” Brent compared. “The songs are a lot more mature.” “Faster Pussycat has grown up a little bit,” Taime agreed. “We were on the road for nine months, we’ve been together now for three years.” They’d only been together 10 months and had never toured before LP #1, which was recorded in a fast three weeks on a tight budget. “We didn’t have the chance to do everything we wanted to do. This time, we’re doing it right,” said Taime, noting that a year’s worth of rehearsals and demoing their songs taught them more than making their first album had.
The tracks they recorded at Music Grinder last year “went in the garbage,” as the producer they were testing didn’t work out (some songs from then did survive however), and neither did numerous others. “Three guys freaked out ‘cause they didn’t want to work with us, two were fired, and one was in love with us. He didn’t care about our music, he just wanted to get us into bed,” signed Taime, who was relieved they found John Janson. “He makes you do your parts a million times but he’s great. He’s a joker, but he gets everything done.”
Faster Pussycat got off to a late start because drummer Mark Michals sprained his wrist on the first day in the studio, but they nevertheless felt less pressure in there than in the pre-production phase. “We got all the bullshit out in rehearsal so when we came here we pretty much know what we’re going to do,” Taime explained. They arrived armed with songs that, on the whole, reflect real-life experiences, some not so pleasant.
The death of Taime’s ex-girlfriend in a car accident inspired “Please Dear,” and his experiences growing up “pretty much without a father” resulted in the ballad “House of Pain.” The subject of both “Poison Ivy” and “Tattoo” is clingy, overzealous females – the latter song about a girl who moved into Taime’s apartment building to be near him, “a girl who’s so obsessed with you she gets your name tattooed on her butt,” Brent detailed. The title track, “Wake Me When It’s Over,” is about a “bad nightmare” and “Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Way” is the story of a masochist. “The only she likes to get it is to get beaten. We’ve met a few of those,” Taime noted. On a more serious note, “Pulling Weeds” is “a controversial song about abortion, the right to choose.”
The guys looked forward to doing new videos (“There’s a better chance of getting them played now,” observed Taime) and returning to the road “as soon as we can,” possibly starting in Japan, where they haven’t yet played. Their set will include four or five songs from the first album and the rest new, but they realize their time and space will be limited in a hoped-for arena opening slot: “We pretty much have to let the music do the talking,” says Taime.
He and his cohorts, all single, eagerly anticipated the extra-curricular aspects of touring. “Lots of debauchery,” Eric smiled. “Every day on the road is another surprise.” Or a shock: The band had all their equipment stolen in New York. “Everything was recovered except a Gibson bass, some Marshall heads, and my ’65 Les Paul, which I cherished,” related Taime. “The police caught them moving the stuff from one truck to another. It was a miracle we got any of it back. But I was depressed when I found out my guitar was gone. I got another one exactly like it. It says at home.” And when he’s not on the road, so does Taime, who has cut down on his club-hopping. “I’m too busy with the band, and when I’m not I just want to relax, go to a movie or something. I don’t have to go out every night. I’d rather just be with friends.”
Speaking of which, the band members are closer now, a result of what Eric called “a nightmare of a year. We’ve gone through a lot of crises and hard times but it makes you much tighter,” he reflected. “Nothing could break this band up. If it could, it would have already happened. There’s nothing that can’t be worked out.” For Pussycat fans, that’s good news indeed.