|Photo by Brian McClelland|
Bruiser Queen are a fantastic two piece band based in St Louis MO which consist of Morgan Nusbaum on guitar/vocals and Jason Potter on the drums. They've been called "part Riot Grrrl and part Art Rock" which sounds pretty spot on to me. Morgan recently took some time out to gab a bit with us about their terrific LP Sweet Static, her musical influences, and waffles!
Interview by J Castro
Tell me about how you two met and decided to play music together?
MORGAN: We were in different bands in the same scene. Jason was in Left Arm and I was in The 75s. I was a bassist then and just started dabbling in electric guitar. Left Arm’s guitar player was heading off to law school and Jason asked me to fill in for a Ramones cover set. It was a blast and we decided to keep at it.
Can you remember early on, what band or musician first influenced you to want to pick up an instrument and want to learn to play/write music?
MORGAN: I would say Hole’s album Live Through This really changed my life, but Heart’s Dreamboat Annie probably planted the seed early on.
How would you describe Bruiser Queen’s “sound” to someone that’s never heard your music before?
MORGAN: 60’s girl group meets 90’s riot girl.
When you started playing together, did you have a particular sound/direction in mind for Bruiser Queen or did the music kind of take on a life and direction of its own after you started playing together?
MORGAN: You know what we actually did have a vibe in mind. Jason was into garage rock and I was stuck on early post hardcore. So when we started hanging out he was introducing me to all this amazing music and I was majorly inspired. I feel like our sound gets better all the time as we hone in on our strength in song writing and as my guitar playing improves.
|Photo by Brian McClelland|
Your new LP Sweet Static came out in October of last year, can you tell us a bit about it?
MORGAN: In Sweet Static we tried to show a little bit more variety of songwriting. Our previous releases were on the bashers side. Songs like “Tiny Heart Attack”, “Girl Like Me” and “Some Girl’s Ghost” are definitely a departure from those punk leanings. We went into the recording process with a focus on the songs and songwriting. I played bass, organ and even a deeply mixed acoustic guitar on most tracks. 2012’s LP Swears was the opposite. We went in specifically looking for a recording that sounded exactly what we were live. With Sweet Static we weren’t worried about trying to translate the songs live the same as the record. I imagine future records will be tackled the same way. The process was so rewarding and freeing to not have to worry about the live schematics of being a two-piece.
|Bruiser Queen - Sweet Static CD 2014|
Can you recall the most bizarre person or event that inspired a song of out you? Is there any topic you try and steer clear from in your song lyrics?
MORGAN: I write about pretty much anything. I have songs about my childhood home, romance, bands staying at my house, ghosts, aliens, catch phrases my friends say, age, movies, wolves, sunny days, rainy days, family, global warming, gender stereotypes… The list goes on.
Bruiser Queen is currently based in St Louis, MO. What’s it like playing shows out there, is there a supportive crowd that gets what you guys are doing musically?
MORGAN: I would say we have a very supportive STL fan base. We keep things weird at local shows. We’ll do crazy things like holiday themes (The 12 Bassists Of Christmas, For All The Hunnies Valentine’s Day Show) or we’ve even done an evening with Bruiser Queen where we do a mix of acoustic songs, new songs, old fan faves and covers; just us for 3 sets.
You cover the Lost Sound’s track “Black Coats White Fear”, did Alicja Trout and Jay Reatard’s music have a big influence on Bruiser Queen?
MORGAN: Jason was a huge fan of Jay and his death came right around the time we first started hanging out. So we listened to tons of his stuff. I fell madly in love with River City Tanlines, which we had the pleasure of playing with once. So I’ll say it had a significant influence, especially on my guitar playing.
In your band’s Facebook page, you list “Waffles” under band interests. Tell me about the best waffle you’ve had and where did this momentous occasion take place?
MORGAN: Go to MELT in St. Louis and get the Knockout waffle: chocolate with chocolate chips and chocolate syrup. Comes with whipped cream but if you wanna be a real American throw on a scoop of chocolate ice cream. BOOM.
What lies ahead in for the band in the near future?
MORGAN: We are working on tons of new songs and touring the US extensively in the next year. Keep an eye out for new singles to be released in early 2016 and tour dates around your town!
What are the best places to go or log on to hear or buy your music?
MORGAN: We absolutely love Bandcamp but we have music anywhere you buy music: Spotify, Itunes, Google Music, CD Baby, you name it. Request us at your local record store J
Keep up with the continuing adventures of Bruiser Queen on your favorite social media outlet!