On a cold, cold night in Brooklyn I traipsed out in the snow and was rewarded with the amazing live sounds of all-lady band The Coathangers from Atlanta. I was excited to see the Riot was still alive in these ladies. “Just grow up, and then ya shut the fuck up!” Stephanie’s gravely voice and pounding drums keep this party going. There are many different genres mixed into their sound – punk, pop, reggae, bump and grind, ska, it’s all there but kept well in check, creating their own uniqueness.
Full name: Dr. Sprinkles Pussyboom
Nickname/pseudonym: Rusty Coathanger
Where were you born: Colombia, SC
Where do you live now: Atlanta GA
Bands you are drumming in currently: The Coathangers
Bands you were drumming for in the past: The Coathangers
Tom Tom Magazine: When did you start playing the drums? Dr. Sprinkles Pussyboom: About 4 years ago.
Tom Tom Magazine: Reason that you started playing the drums? Dr. Sprinkles Pussyboom: I always wanted to yet never tried them out, sure glad I did…
Tom Tom Magazine: How long did it take till you felt like a “real” and legit drummer? Dr. Sprinkles Pussyboom: Yet to be determined.
Tom Tom Magazine: What’s it like touring with all ladies? Do you synchronize? Ha-ha, no seriously. Dr. Sprinkles Pussyboom: It is probably the same as touring with all dudes, except a little less stanky… synchronize? Ooooooooh, I see, …yer talking about periods, and sometimes, if we’re lucky…
Tom Tom Magazine: Have you always sang and played drums at the same time? Was it hard to get that down? Dr. Sprinkles Pussyboom: Yes and yes, but difficult is good because over time it eventually becomes easy.
Tom Tom Magazine: Do you think singing and drumming changes the dynamic of your band? Dr. Sprinkles Pussyboom: No, I don’t think so.
TTM: What is your favorite set-up for your kit? DSP: As long as I haven’t forgotten anything, that’s my fav set up. I like ’em low and flat and loud and outta tune…that shitz real…
TTM: What would your dream kit consist of? DSP: Free.
TTM: What do you do to get better at the drums, how did you learn? DSP: Practice practice practice!!!! That and lots of drinking.
TTM: Do you do any warm-ups before you play? Anything to get you psyched up? DSP: I stretch so that I don’t pull anything because aside from playing the drums I’m kind of slovenly. That and sometimes me and the ladies do a party cheer, just to remind ourselves that’s all it is, one big fun-time party
TTM: What do you think the role of the drummer is? DSP: To keep dat beat maybe? I dunno, we have a pretty even across the board thing going in our band, everyone’s just as unimportant/important to the band.
TTM: Do you play any other instruments? DSP: I dabble in bass and guitar, but I really wanna start playing the harpsichord.
TTM: What do you consider to be the most challenging thing about the drums? DSP: Being creative and trying not to stay in the same thought process when writing new songs.
TTM: What’s your favorite part about playing drums? DSP: Everything
TTM: Most notable show (or show where some fun/weird/bad/good stuff happened) you ever played? DSP: All of them. We just played Portland’s Scion Garage fest, that show was great because I had so much nervous tension saved up that when I let it out on stage I felt possessed and played very violently in a very effortless way. It was wonderful.
TTM: What’s your favorite style of drumming? (to listen/play) There’s a punk base to your drumming, but there’s a Ska and Reggae vibe in there too. DSP: I love jazz drumming but there’s no way in hell I have the skills to play that style (yet!) but I kind of just make it up as I go, I listen to all types of music so I guess that’s influential.
TTM: Have you experienced any setbacks as a female drummer? DSP: Of course, maybe not as a female drummer per say but more as a female musician I suppose, some people still find it baffling that females play instruments.
TTM: Who are your favorite drummers/lady drummers? DSP: I don’t know… on this last tour we played with an all female band called Pink Flag and I really enjoyed watching her.
TTM: Who are some of your favorite bands right now? DSP: Demons Claws, Black Lips, The Splinters.
TTM: Do you do anything else drum related besides playing in a band? DSP: My life is very messy and unorganized right now so banging my head on the wall I guess.
TTM: What are some of your other hobbies/interests? DSP: I really just like writing music with my band and trying to learn other instruments.
TTM: Where do you shop for your drum gear in Atlanta? DSP: Atlanta Pro Percussion, my man works there so it’s a pretty sweet set up.
TTM: What would you recommend to a new drummer starting off? DSP: Don’t stop playing because you get frustrated, if I can do it anyone can.
TTM: Anything else you’d like to add, feel free. DSP: BOOM! And thank you…xoxo
Exclusive Tom Tom Magazine Interview by: Fiona Campbell drummer of Coasting
Photos by: Jason Reed or courtesy of Coathangers Myspace