Hailing from Pittsburgh and proving the fact that girls often rock harder than guys, this three girl/one guy bunch of hard rocking muthas have released two top notch Punk/Rock n Roll/Thrash Metal albums in the form of Motorpyschos and Piston Whipped. Gravy gets loco with the ‘Psychos.

Gravy: Who are the Motorpsychos?

Pam Simmons - guitar/vocals

Amy Bianco - Bass/vocals

Dennis Brown - drums


[Dennis] Motorpsychos are a raw, in your face punk/metal band looking to conquer the world.

Abby Krizner - guitar/vocals

Gravy: This is a different line from the one that recorded your debut album right?

[Pam] Yes

[Amy] Yes. Our singer quit and we got another guitar/ vocalist.

[Dennis] Yes and a different recording studio. Soundscape Studios is where we recorded. The new line up and chemistry between us all is so much more intense on this album.

Gravy: So what happened to Rachel?

[Pam] She didn't want to do it anymore.

[Amy] She quit abruptly and moved back to St. Mary's, PA. It turned out to be a very good thing.

[Dennis] That can be summed up by saying, she just didn't have what it takes. She actually quit and left us hanging, but that’s okay. I think the band rocks way fuckin’ harder now. Cheers Rachel!!!

Gravy: Were you looking for an additional lead singer or just a second guitarist in Abby?

[Pam] We were looking for a lead singer but couldn't find anyone we felt was right for us.  I already knew Abby so we decided to try the second guitar/all splitting the singing thing. 

[Amy] A second guitar player who could also sing. We were initially looking to replace Rachel with a vocalist, but we found that if we divided the songs between the three of us, we wouldn't need a singer.

[Dennis] No we were just auditioning female singers. Abby and Pam had met a week or two before Rachel quit. Pam called Abby and she met us the day Rachel quit. Then an AC/DC tribute show came up, and having no luck in finding singers, we asked Abby if she would be interested in playing guitar for the show. Hey man, the future wrote itself on this one.

Gravy: Do you ever argue over who gets to sing lead?

[Pam] No.

[Amy] Never. Whoever comes up with the melody sings or whoever is best suited for the song.

[Abby] It usually happens pretty naturally, but it seems that who ever comes up with the words is the one who is singing.

[Dennis]: No.

Gravy: I guess with three strong vocalists it gives you more scope to try different styles out on different songs?

[Pam] Yes, I suppose. 

[Amy] Sure does. It also challenges us to blend our different vocal styles. It makes the songwriting a collaborative effort instead of "Here's the music, Rachel. Come back with words and melody".

[Abby] We all have different styles to begin with and our vocals definitely help show that. It’s a good thing for us because we don’t have the limits of a particular style.

[Dennis] I would say so. We all have different musical backgrounds and it really comes out in the vocals.

Gravy: So who are your main influences musically?

[Pam] Mine personally are harder girl bands like L7 and earlier Hole.

[Amy] See question 9.

[Dennis] That is really hard to answer. I like so many things. Right now I am stuck on metal.

Gravy: Do you consider yourselves more punk or metal, or a 50/50 split?

[Pam] It's looking more metal these days. 

[Amy] I think the band is leaning toward a more metal sound, but you can't ignore the punk rock parts of it. Songs that are considered metal on “Piston Whipped” are followed by a poppier, punk rock song. Some songs are a combination of the two. It's not really focused on. We don't say, "Ok, we need a punk song or a metal riff here". It's whatever feels right.

[Abby] We incorporate punk, metal, and rock and roll into everything that we do.  I think songs like “Primer” is a good example of that.  While it still has perfect metal riffs for Amy to wail over, it still has strong buildup and I think initially comes off as a punk rock song.  I think our specialty is being able to mix the three.

[Dennis] 50/50.

Gravy: The new album Piston Whipped seemed to have more of a 80s metal influence, especially on songs like ‘Primer’ and ‘Doomsday’, would you agree with that?

[Pam] I don't know.  I'm not particularly fond of the eighties, in general. 

[Amy] Yes.

[Abby] Generally press reviews and writers think that our sound is of an 80’s thrash metal influence, but I think that it’s just evidence of our different styles and backgrounds.  The important thing is that at the end of the day we love what it sounds like.

[Dennis] We weren’t really aiming for that, but we get a great response from the heavy songs and that’s what we like to see.

Gravy: There also seems to be a big Runaways/Joan Jett influence, both in sound and in Pam’s image?

[Pam] Well, I'm definitely not trying to look like Joan Jett, but musically, I favor her more than the Runaways.  They're a little too slick for me.

Gravy: Would it be fair to say that lyrically the Motorpsychos deal with a lot of ‘negative’ issues?
[Pam] No, that wouldn't be fair.  They deal with things we think are important, from the environment down to French fries. 

[Amy] Yeah, screaming out about things that piss me off is a great way to vent. I channel a lot of that negativity through the lyrics, but there are the positive points, too. “Primer” is about anticipation and then satisfaction, “Bullshit” is about liberation and self confidence. The songs are written with conviction, hence the aggressive nature. They're sometimes sparked by anger or frustration but the whole meaning is about finding ways to overcome, cope, or hold firmly to what you believe in adverse situations.

[Abby] No.  I would say we lyrically deal with everyday life issues good or bad.  Saying that it is negative would suggest that we seek out the bad as opposed to calling it just how we see it.  If anyone wanted to really examine the words I would say that they would find that our lyrics explore a lot of different topics and are even humorous at times.


Gravy: Do you have a misanthropic view of life generally or is this just a cathartic exercise?

[Pam] I don't know where you're getting that.  We're all generally very happy people.

[Amy] What?

Gravy: You’re from Pittsburgh right?

[Pam] Yes.

[Amy] Born and raised. I have scars on my knees from learning to ride my bicycle here right up to bandaging scrapes on my nephew's knees from learning to ride their bicycle here.

[Abby] The city of steel.

[Dennis] I'm from Bridgeville. Its ten minutes from The Burgh

Gravy: Is that a cool place to be playing this style of music?

[Pam] I don't know anything else, but it seems to suit us fine. 

[Abby] Pittsburgh has its own scene going on and those bands that work hard enough to stay a part of it reap the benefits.  Everyone has been really receptive to what we’ve been doing in Pittsburgh because it’s authentic.

[Dennis] The Pittsburgh scene is great. We love it. When we play, lots of people show up to drink some beer and rock out.

Gravy: You do a lot of gigs with Detroit bands like Choking Susan and Broadzilla too right?

[Pam] We've only played with Choking Susan once, but we're good friends with Broadzilla and we've been trading shows and hosting each other for about four years now. 

[Amy] Motorpsychos played with Choking Susan once. We do a lot of gigs with Broadzilla in particular because they are super cool chicks and we have a ton of fun together. They rock the fuck out and hold similar values. We hook each other up with shows about twice a year.

[Abby] Detroit is a great city to play in and we’re lucky bands like Broadzilla are cool enough to house us when we’re there.  We have a really good relationship with those girls.  We brought Choking Susan to Pittsburgh a little while ago and I think it was a good representation of some down and dirty punk rock from Detroit.

[Dennis] We play there a few times a year.

Gravy: Has the Internet made it easier for bands such as the Motorpsychos to pick up fans in more distant places?

[Pam] Hell yeah. 

[Amy] Absolutely. We're not signed and have limited distribution for our material so   then it comes down to DIY, the Internet is a godsend.

[Abby] The Internet makes a lot of things easier including branching out and getting music to people who may otherwise not have heard of us…Although the internet has its drawbacks when fans get a little too excited for their own good!

[Dennis] Yes. We get a lot of visitors on our website and our fan clubs. Somewhere like 30,000 hits.

Gravy: Has it replaced the more traditional modes of breaking a band such as touring and printed zines?

[Pam] I don't think it has replaced touring, I think it supports touring.  I would have to say though, that it definitely passed up printed zines.

[Amy] I don't think anything can replace a live show.

[Abby] No, touring is always better.  I think our music catches people’s attention when they first hear it and it’s what ultimately decides if they like the band, but the live show speaks for itself.  Touring is the best way to connect with people who dig your music and want to come back and see you.  Zines are still an important part of the process to and even they have expanded and benefited from the Internet.

Gravy: Have you played outside of the USA?

[Pam] Not yet.

[Dennis] No but we are hoping sometime in the near future.

Gravy: Does Denis ever feel left out being the only guy in the band?

[Dennis] Not at all. In fact, the only think I have to worry about is Amy belching louder than me.

Gravy: What are you ultimate goals with the band?

[Pam] To see how far it can go, get creative fulfillment from it, and continue to have fun. 

[Amy] Play as much as possible in as many states as we can, spread the insanity, and above all have fun doing it!

[Abby] I want it to go as far as possible and reach as many people as we can with what we love to do.

[Dennis] To push the limits of our dreams.

Gravy: If you could join one band, of any era, who would it be and why?

[Pam] L7. Because they're the shit.

[Amy] I'm in the band I want to be in, however, I wouldn't mind sitting in with Lamb of God for a set!

[Abby] I can’t think of any band I’d rather be in…But if I’m air-guitaring all by myself, I’m usually impersonating Ace Frehley or Marty Friedman…does that help?

[Dennis] Motorpsychos, because it just feels right.

Gravy: What’s in the pipeline for the band next?

[Pam] More songs, more shows, more recording.

[Amy] Getting on the road!!!

[Abby] Whatcha got?

Gravy: Parting comments or cheap shots?

[Pam] Joan Jett's trying to look like me.  (Just kidding.)

[Abby] Check out www.motorpsychosrock.com for more on the band, and if you’re a myspace addict we can be found at www.myspace.com/motorpsychos.