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Band named 'Thunderpussy' battles Supreme Court over name

Meredith Truax

The band is called Thunderpussy.

“I always remember my Mom going, ‘Oh Mol, couldn’t you think of something better?’” said singer Molly Sides.

Sides has a captivating stage presence and a haunting stare. She crouches, slowly bends and kicks her fishnet-covered legs to the sky.

She said the band's name fits.

“There’s power behind this —  and we’re women, and we love rock and roll," she said, still recalling that conversation with her mother. "I’m trying to ease her pain and help her digest the word Thunderpussy. And slowly my mom is like, ‘Okay, how’s Thunder meow meow?'"

Guitarist Whitney Petty said the name has taken the Seattle-based band all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court doesn’t think that we should be able to trademark Thunderpussy because. . . [it’s] scandalous [and] immoral," she said. "We were riding the coattails of The Slants in Portland. . . It’s an all-Asian-American band that got a letter saying that they were disparaging and scandalous. They actually fought for many years, and they won their case. So we thought we were going to win our case. But that one word difference — they are disparaging, we’re immoral. We are back in the pile. So now we are waiting.”

But that hasn't stopped Thunderpussy from performing and making music. Their new album was produced by the same woman who recorded albums by System of a Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, Johnny Cash and Prince.

Thunderpussy also collaborated with Seattle’s Mike McCready, best known as lead guitarist for Pearl Jam. He helped Thunderpussy write and record their song “Velvet Noose.”

Petty and Sides said "Velvet Noose" is based on the idea that: “When you get comfortable, it’s harder for you to break out. You get kind of stuck. You have to be uneasy to move forward.” 

Thunderpussy will keep moving forward. Now that their debut album is out, they'll be touring North America this spring.

And they'll perform at Sasquatch! Music Festival on Friday.