Categories: Arts Music Pop

A chat with Thunderpussy vocalist Molly Sides

In today’s steamrolling #MeToo women’s movement, Seattle all-girl rock combo Thunderpussy — about to release its Suzi-Quatro-campy debut EP, “Greatest Tits” — has picked either the most un-PC moniker possible or the most perfect. “I’d like to go with the latter choice, if I may; it’s obviously genius,” says bandleader Molly Sides, demurely. “When the band started, there was no idea that we’d be doing this forever and everyone would know us. It was more like, ‘This name is amusing to us. And it might be amusing to other people.’” Like an inkblot test pattern, she adds, “You either get it or you don’t.”

You come from a modern-dance background. When did you first get into it?

Ever since I first started moving, I think. And now I just can’t stop moving. But my background is musical theater, so I was really into mime. Singing and acting was all part of the bundle. But then when I was in high school, I didn’t want to skate (I grew up in a hockey family), so I moved from Idaho to Seattle to study dance. That only added to my love of music and the journey that was Thunderpussy.

You danced with a company called tEEth that sounds incredibly cutting-edge.

It was one of my favorite companies, and it was the next step for me. I auditioned for them, and that’s why I moved to Portland. I lived between Portland and Seattle for a year and a half. But when they disbanded, that was one of those important moments for me; I loved what they were doing, but when it ended abruptly, I thought, “Well, I’m going to go back to Seattle and pursue my love of music, too.”

Where you teamed up with guitarist Whitney Petty?

Whitney and I started making music in our living room. But my friend reached out to me, because she had these shows at an Italian restaurant, and she wanted to bring modern dance there, and she asked me if I could perform. I said, “You know, I’d really love to sing. And can Whitney perform with me?” That was the big moment where we both branched out and said, “Let’s just do it!” So we brought a little amp down, and that was when I first started to move into the audience.

So you wade out into Thunderpussy crowds?

Oh, yeah. Absolutely. You can’t keep me on the stage. And I think it’s how you connect with your audience, with eye contact. Like, “Do you see me? I see you. And I’m jumping on you, so you’d better catch me!” It’s the trust fall, over and over again, every night.

IF YOU GO
Thunderpussy
Where: Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F.
When: 7:30 p.m. March 7
Tickets: $10 to $12
Contact: (415) 626-4455, www.bottomofthehill.com

Tom Lanham
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Tom Lanham

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