Over the years a number of bands and artists that I have interviewed have often mentioned that one of their biggest influences on them as youngsters was the 1980s born hard glam rock band Faster Pussycat. While Faster Pussycat may not have reached the heights of some of the other bands haunting Sunset Strip at the time they themselves have a pretty decent resume – songs such as House Of Pain and Nonstop To Nowhere hit the charts, they sold in excess of 2 million records and got to tour with greats such as KISS, Alice Cooper and Motley Crue.

Now Faster Pussycat are back – not only with brand new music, like new track Like A Ghost, but also with a trip to Australia for GlamFest 2023. This week I sat down with lead singer Taime Downe to chat all things Australia and glam.

“I am so looking forward to it because it has been four years since we have been over there,” says Downe with excitement in his voice when we start to talk about GlamFest itself. “And this is only the third time I have been there, and I am good friends with some of the other guys (on the bill) Wednesday, Chip, Steve, Stevie, Steven… of there are like 800 Stevens… I am friends with all of those guys, so it is going to be fun.”

Downe is right it has been four years since Faster Pussycat graced Australian stages and he says that he was completely unaware how many fans the band had in Australia before that tour – a tour that got so much buzz they played to sold out crowds. “We didn’t know because we don’t live there,” he quips. “We’d get the odd email from someone and we have a few friends there so we had heard some things but not all. But it is always cool to go around the world and have people come to your show. That is one of the things that we are looking forward to – hopefully there will be a good turnout especially with all the bands that are playing.”

One of the things the audience will hear from Faster Pussycat at GlamFest are their new tracks and Downe says he has felt really good about how the music has been received. “We had been working on shit for a while,” he laughs. “I’m as slow as a slug these days – I don’t whip out the shit like I used to. I am a little more picky and I just want to make sure that I do it right. Then we put out Nola and that went really well – it went really well live when we were touring and then we put out Like A Ghost just before Christmas and that is being released on vinyl when we land in Australia – so Brisbane will be the first place that is available.”

“And that track turned out cool,” he continues. “I started that a while ago – just like Nola. Nola I wrote back when (Hurricane) Katrina hit and it just didn’t get finished… it just kind of sat there. Then I got sober and I thought I want to go back because I had all these tracks that just didn’t get finished. I didn’t want to forget about them though because I felt like it was good shit that I had written, so I went back over some of the sessions to see what I had written and what needed to be finished and Nola was one of them. And then right when I got sober I started to write Like A Ghost, that was my first track sober since the old days, because back in the old days I wasn’t that fucked up. I am slow but when I put something out I will be happy with it, it is not like the old days when you would just go into a room with a bunch of guys and bang out a bunch of songs, then some other guy would come in and produce it and you would just hope that it turned out cool, then the label would put it out. That was the old days but today we have our studios in our homes and we work on stuff but don’t bang it out – it is different today. I’m a slug – I’m older and slower and that is just the way it is.”

As we talk about the new tracks that the band are currently working on Downe drops a little surprise for fans of Australian music. “Right now we are working on the INXS cover Don’t Change. We played that when we were over there last time and we play it periodically in the set anyway because it is just a fun song to play. But the recording version we have changed up the rhythm a little – the structure and the melodies haven’t changed but we have changed up some parts to make it sound a little more like The Sex Pistols and I think it is pretty fucking cool.”

That leads me to begin to ask how long he has been an INXS fan and before I can even finish the sentence Downe excitedly says. “FOREVER! FOREVER!!! Back when we first got signed to Elektra, before even our shit had come it, we were invited to the Grammy party, I think it was the Grammys where Jethro Tull won for Best Metal Band when Metallica was up for it, anyway we were at this Grammy party – the Chasers party which is the biggest one you can go to and I was just this kid and I was hanging out with Iggy Pop’s kid, Iggy Pop and Deborah Harry and then I started shooting shit with this dude and we were getting drinks at the bar and I found out it was Michael Hutchense – it was right when he had buzzed his hair off and I hadn’t recognised him, but yeah him and I just hung out and it was so much fun… I became much more of an INXS fan after that night. I was heart-broken when he went.”

Will Faster Pussycat show Australia their cover of Don’t Change at GlamFest 2023 – we will have to wait until next week to see.