It was by purely chance that I stumbled upon a raw video clip of this band on social media. My initial reaction was “Is this is a Mötley Crüe cover band?” Impressed with the vocals of the lead singer and their overall stage presence, I was immediately interested in getting to meet Pussycat Harlot to figure out if there was more to them than meets the eye. I was more right than I thought. For the first time in T.B.D.D history there was actually an overkill of audio footage. It’s a good problem to have in the journalism world, but a complete nightmare to even attempt and try condensing it all down into a solo article. If I had left it as is, it would’ve been too lengthy and not enjoyable to read. So, I broke it up. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.
Just like there are two sides to an album, it seemed fitting for the interview be split into two parts as well. SIDE A delves into “the inception” and main story of how this Hanoi Rocks glam metal inspired band gave way to self discovery, while SIDE B is “the dirt,” or the collection of remnant feedback from other engaging key parts of the interview.
Pussycat Harlot consists of: Jay Coxx (JC) - Lead Singer Trix L'Riot (TL) - Guitarist Elizabeth "Liz" Essex (LE) - Bass Bryan "Animal Botanical" Guarino (BG) - Drums
First off, let it be noted that the band dynamic is unique since the lead singer and guitarist are both father and son. In this portion of the interview there will be an in depth discussion about whether or not Trix’s participation in his current band Hollywood Riot influenced Jay’s creation of Pussycat Harlot. Having the chance to catch a glimpse of who this band truly is and hear their backstory was an experience. Listening to them jam in their garage while sitting on a couch gave me the same excitement as if I was front row barricade at a live concert. The engagement and time I spent with them reminds me of an episode of How It’s Made, but featuring Pussycat Harlot in a behind the scenes look at how rock bands are manufactured. I hope you all get a laugh from reading through the ridiculous humor and sarcasm, but enjoy the core personality that is Pussycat Harlot.
JC: "Before I was interested in rock, I actually gave [Trix's] band a lot of shit for the music that they play. Fuck KISS. Gene Simmons can lick my balls with his cow tongue. THAT YOU CAN PRINT!" TL: "'Gene Simmons can lick my balls with his cow tongue.' That's an album." BG: "That sounds like fucking Cartman." JC: "Before, I would give his band shit and I listened to basically nothing but old school hip hop. I was actually in charge of [Hollywood Riot's] social media and for their password I made it 'hiphoprock' or 'hiphoprules' or something like that." TL: "Yeah, it was funny because we had to type it in every time we had to log on for our stuff. We had to type in 'hiphoprulesrocksucks.'" JC: "That's it! 'hiphoprulesrocksucks.'" LE: "I've never heard this story." JC: "I went to karaoke with a friend, we got kind of drunk and I started singing in front of a bunch of people. [My friend] made me do a Van Halen song. Everyone was groovin' with it and that's how I found out I could somewhat sing. [After that, I thought] 'This fuckin' rocks! It's so cool vibin' with everyone. I kinda want to put something together.' I went to my Dad and talked to him about it. I don't think he took me seriously at first because [of how] I talked shit about his band all the time." TL: "It wasn't that [I thought] he [couldn't] do it. It wasn't that. I thought, '[Jay's] getting ready to roast me in some new and creative way. He's going to start some kind of Steel Panther band where it's not meant to be ironic. It's meant to just totally fucking slag us.' [For example], 'Yeah, you're Hollywood Riot. Well we're Sarah Soda Shitheads or something.' Just make fun of us." JC: "I kept asking him and I don't think he took it seriously. [Later,] I then found these fine fellows: Liz and Bryan." TL: "It actually started different." JC: "It did?" TL: "It did. Jay and I were talking about him starting a band. He was asking my advice because I have done this before several times and most recently with Hollywood Riot pretty successfully. I was giving him advice on what to do. [I told him to] hold auditions. Don't just grab the first person that can come in and has an instrument." JC: "Which we did." TL: Which we did, but it worked out well. I mean, nothing against doing that. I've done that before too where someone comes in and plays really well, but they got 5 kids, their really attached to their wife, and the minute you want to go out of state to play, they can't go because their wife is mad about it. There's so many things beyond just 'Can they play?' and 'Are they fun to be around?' that factor into whether or not you wanna actually partner up with someone. You need to make sure that everybody's goals are align. This is the stuff [Jay and I] started talking about." JC: "[We also discussed] people['s] willing[ness] to dress up. [To me,] that was a huge part of it. With this type of music, you can't just stand out there with jeans and flannel like every other band in this area [or] in the world." TL: "They gaze at your toes. I call them 'toe gazer bands.'" LE: "'Shoegaze' is actually a genre." TL: "'Shoegaze' is pretty [accurate]. Again, it's called 'show business, not listen business.' I can sit at home and listen to a CD. If I go see a band play, I want all of my senses engaged [and this] includes smell. I'm joking right now." JC: "That's why I don't shower the week before I perform." TL: "I was advising [Jay] on how to find other people to play with and how to put something together. I think the first person he found was Bryan. [He] came over and played. Everybody got along great and Jay asked me what I thought. I said, 'Yeah, ya know? Talk to him about the non-music stuff and make sure you're aligned goal-wise.' [We] worked all that out and everything was good. [Jay] then found Liz. I don't even know how you found [her]. All I knew [was that] Liz was coming over [and she's a] bass player [that] comes from a hard core punk background. I was intrigued by this. She shows up for her audition and just walks in. No bass, no amp. Nothing. [I said to myself], 'I thought we were playing.' [Liz responds], 'No. I have to find out if you guys are assholes first or not." Ya know what? As soon as she said that I said, 'She's going to be in this band.' I thought to myself, 'I have that kind of attitude.' I've been in enough bands with people who are really great musicians, but they're music snobs. You just want to bitch slap these people and I can't stand to be around them." LE: "Now I am going to tell the story from my side. I'm in a Facebook Group [called] Northwest Arkansas Punk/Metal/Hardcore or something like that. This thing came up that Jay posted that said 'Hanoi Rocks style glam metal band looking for bass player.' I thought, 'What the?!' It was so out of the blue for this kind of area. I [thought to myself], 'Well…Sure! Okay, I'll give it a shot. I'll see. I gotta check this out.' I got in contact basically [with Jay] and he told me some songs to learn. I was pretty rusty." JC: "Which you promptly never learned for the first 3 practices." LE: "I was REALLY rusty. What happened was the first time I tried to learn the songs, I wasn't used to playing other people's [music]. [All of that] combined with me being kinda rusty, I [thought] 'Oh, I'm doing terribly at this.' It got to a point where Jay [asked me,] 'Hey you should really come over.' [In my head I'm thinking,] 'I don't know these songs yet.' He said, 'You should just come over and hang out and see if you like hanging out.' That's why I came over [the way I did]. I [wanted to wait] longer, but I think Jay wanted some kind of introductory thing." JC: "I saw [Liz's] Facebook profile picture and I [thought] 'Fuck yes!' She's gotta! I hope to god she plays. If not, I'm just jumping off a bridge." TL: "I remember that because Jay actually said that to me. [He said,] 'Check her out man! She's got the look! Fuck, I'm going to be upset if she cannot play with us.'" JC: "[Liz] came over for the first 2 or 3 practices and she said, 'I don't know this song.' By the third or fourth practice, I just kept inviting her back because I'm [thinking,] 'I don't care how long it takes. She's got to learn these songs because she's got the look down.' No one else was willing to do [it]. I ran through so many people I was talking with [because] they [said], 'I'm not dressing like that.'" LE: "What's the point of playing it if you're not going to dress?" TL: "I remember asking Jay, 'Hey, look. If you're having trouble finding another guitarist for reasons related to the pandemic, I'll come play with you guys because it'll be fun. When we hit a stage, you're going to see a band. The visuals are in sync with what you hear. This band can play and this band is fun to look at. When we get on a stage, I think people are going to be really excited. This is something that always bonds me to other musicians: when I meet other musicians that know as much about 80s hard rock music genre [as I do]. This is not me bragging. This is just a fact. [Liz] knows damn near as much as I do and probably more because she's been exposed to a lot of underground music that I haven't listened to. [Liz] has already introduced me to some bands and I'm like, 'That's fucking cool! I've never heard that shit before.' It's fun ya know? LE: "I do have to say [about] the image thing, it's funny that ya know I've been in a band with all these people now. I don't know where I was, [but it might have been near] a local magazine [around here]. I remember seeing a picture of Hollywood Riot somewhere and Trix caught my eye. I was like, "Who's that dude?" I just remembering [thinking], 'Where the fuck is this guy?' Now ironically I am in a band with this guy. Jay is quite the character himself to say the least. This is a fun band to be in."
Video Link on Instagram: 1/9/21 @ Springdale, AR - Pussycat Harlot https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ3qL45BIqw/