Faster Pussycat: "If I did an album we’d all be dead before it came out"

Faster Pussycat standing in an alley
(Image credit: Golden Robot Records.)

A fixture of the Sunset Strip scene of the late 80s, Faster Pussycat have had a chequered history: from heavy rotation on MTV, to an eight-year hiatus, and now being run on a shoestring by their final remaining original member, vocalist Taime Downe. The newly cleaned-up frontman insists that the ’Cat won’t be creeping away any time soon.


In November Faster Pussycat released a new double-A-side single, Like A Ghost and Pirate Love, the latter a cover of a Johnny Thunders song. 

Like A Ghost was the first song I attempted to write sober. I did it without a drink, a pile of cocaine and a pack of cigarettes. Nowadays I don’t listen so much to what I did the night before and go: “What the fuck was I thinking?” 

What’s going on with an album? 

There isn’t an album. What we’re doing is just tracks. And when we have a bunch of singles maybe we’ll put them together on a full record. On the burner right now we have another song called Motorbike. The way that I work, if I did an album… we’d all be dead before it came out. 

For a while there were two versions of Faster Pussycat, which presumably is all settled now? 

That was for, like, a minute. It was Brent [Muscat, guitar] trying to put together something with Brett Bradshaw [drums]. I killed it quickly. I started this fucking band. It’s my band.

But your line-up was an industrial metal-style group. 

Not really. Maybe you’re thinking of my band The Newlydeads. 

At the Underworld in London in 2010 it was definitely industrial. There were a lot of confused fans. 

[Laughs] I don’t think of it as industrial. There’s just more to it. Even The Newlydeads was a four-four beat. To me, whether or not it has banging cans in the background or a distorted vocal, it’s all catchy rock shit. I don’t like doing the same thing over and over. 

What are your memories of the ’Cat’s now legendary five-date tour of the UK in 1987 with headliners Guns N’ Roses and the Quireboys? 

That was awesome. I was twenty-two and it was my first time in Europe. As a matter offact I was talking to Spike [of the Quireboys] about it the other day.

Although some people have laughed at me for saying so, I recall Faster Pussycat as the best band on the night at Hammersmith Odeon. 

When the reviews came out we had to tiptoe around Axl. Those guys were our buddies, but Axl would get angry about that shit. 

Had somebody from the future told you that thirty-five years later all three of those bands would still exist and be playing many of the same songs, how might you have responded? 

I’d tell them they were fucking high. I didn’t even have plans on being around. We were still kids. We were real reckless. Crazy days. 

What’s the likelihood of the original Pussycats playing together again? 

I still talk to Greg [Steele, guitar] all the time, but I don’t think it will happen. I haven’t heard from Mark [Michals, drums] in ages. He’s probably dead.

Faster Pussycat tour the US from May. Check the band's website for details.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.