Cheetah Whores: From Mustard To Sharktopus

Like everyone with taste, I tuned into SyFy's Sharktopus a couple of Saturdays ago. But it took me a while to actually watch the movie because I rewound the opening scene half a dozen times because I fell in love with the theme song. It was a perfect mix of surf, garage, punk, and camp, The Creature From The Black Lagoon crashing the Beach Blanket Bingo.

The Sharktopus theme song was written by the Cheetah Whores, a five-sixths all-female band who just released their debut album, Bang Bang Baby, last week. Bang Bang Baby is eleven tracks of fun, clocking in just shy of forty minutes. The Cheetah Whores are an awesome mix of classic '70s punk, surf, '50s/'60s girl groups, garage, and psychedelic rock, with every taste and genre accentuated with Therese O's haunting lap steel guitar. The lyrics are at times hilarious, at times serious, dealing with themes as vast as the Cheetah Whores' influences: murder, dive bars, crappy ex-boyfriends, even crappier jobs, bat cancer, dangerous girls you'd be foolish not to get to know better, and the famous Sharktopus. I love this album and have been listening to it nonstop the past few days. While the band is relatively unknown, Bang Bang Baby should change that.

Smitten as hell, I wanted to know more about the band. Luckily, head Whore Lizzy O was kind enough to answer a few questions for me:

Thanks for dropping by to answer a few questions today, Lizzy O!
Thank you for having me.

First things first: why Cheetah Whores? How did you guys come up with the name?
"I'm a street-walkin' Cheetah with a hand full of Napalm!" It has nothing to do with The Cheetah Girls, we had the band name before they were born but there's a little bit of whore in every little girl.

Cheetah Whores (L-R): Heather Jones (rhythm guitar, vocals), Meg Austin (lead guitar, vocals), Gary Archer (bass, vocals), Joey Pitts (drums, vocals), and Lizzy O (vocals)
Not pictured: Therese O (lap steel, vocals)
Photo credit: Frank De Blase, City Newspaper
I love your album, Bang Bang Baby. My favorite track is "Sha Na Na Na," which musically reminds me of one of those classic boyfriend dies on a rainy night songs from the '50s. What's your favorite track on the album?
I'm not sure. It mostly depends on my mood. "Here He Comes Again" is my favorite right now.

I hear The Stooges peeking through on "Hot Rod Hell Kitten" and "Bat Cancer" sounds like something Lux Interior would have liked to have written. Who do you cite among your influences?
Robert Johnson, Roky Erickson, the Holy Trinity: Lou, Iggy, and Tom, Miss Wanda Jackson, and I do love punk '70s-'80s-'90s. I could go on and on.

The song "Bang Bang Baby" sounds like it's just itching to be plucked from obscurity and placed in a pivotal scene of a Tarantino film. How did you get your songs "Hot Rod Hell Kitten" and "Sharktopus" featured in the movie Sharktopus?
Nepotism. My uncle Declan O'Brien directed the movie. No one but my family would ask a sleazy tramp act like The Whores to do a movie soundtrack!

<a href="">Sharktopus by Cheetah Whores</a>

Did you get to visit the set? Did you meet Roger Corman? Did you get to pet the Sharktopus?
NO! I wish. Only in my Sharktopussy dreams.

Have you guys gained any national exposure from having your songs in the movie?
Somewhat but we are still eating mustard sandwiches without the bread so we got some work to put in before TMZ and Perez Hilton start talking about which one of The Whores was arrested this week.

<a href="">Here He Comes Again by Cheetah Whores</a>

I know a lot of bands say that their records never come close to capturing their "live sound." How close does Bang Bang Baby come to a Cheetah Whores show? What are your live shows like?
I think on a sober, well-rested day we are true to recorded sound, but at a normal show we drop a little drunken slop and swagger in the music and our stage shows get crazy out of control with riots and flying mic stands. We do invite a lot of tamtastic tambourine players to join us on stage as well.

Do you guys throw in any cover songs on a regular basis?
"Season Of The Witch" and "Bring It On Home" and the drummer wants me to sing "She Bop" in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish.

Cheetah Whores performing at Bug Jar in Rochester, NY on August 4, 2010
Photo credit: Karen Himes
Ooh! "Season Of The Witch" is perfect for you guys! Alright, it's time for The CB3, the three questions we ask every guest. Thriller or Purple Rain?
Purple Rain, hands down. I love Prince, that sexy little man.

Debbie Gibson or Tiffany?
Tiffany. She got naked for some porn mag! She is tough. Team Tiff!

<a href="">I Lost Myself by Cheetah Whores</a>

Pretty In Pink or Sixteen Candles?
"Whats a-happenin', Hot Stuff?" Sixteen Candles is great, but I love that song in Pretty in Pink: "Rave-Up, Shut-Up" by The Rave-Ups. It's a toss-up.

Molly Ringwald and I have the same B-Day. I was born 2/14/78. She was born 2/14/68.

Thanks for dropping by! I hope you guys sell a million copies of Bang Bang Baby!
Yeah, me too. Mustard sucks.

Need more Cheetah Whores? You can buy their album here. Their official website is here. They're also on Facebook and Twitter and MySpace.

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