Nashville Pussy To Join Manson Tour

Metal band will replace Hole; Monster Magnet move up to second billing.

Nashville Pussy are preparing to bring their own brand of hard rock to

the Marilyn Manson tour, an outing that has been marked by injuries,

cancellations and one high-profile departure.

The Grammy-nominated Atlanta metal band has signed on as the opening

act for the tour's remaining U.S. dates, starting April 2 at the

Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.

"We're ripe and ready to go," guitarist Ruyter Suys said Monday.

"It should be pretty cool."

Nashville Pussy will assume the spot left vacant by Hole, who dropped

off the tour after a March 14 show in Los Angeles. Hard-rockers Monster

Magnet, who started the tour as openers, have moved up to second billing,

with an expanded, 50-minute set.

Nashville Pussy, who scored a modest success with their song

"Fried Chicken and Coffee"

(RealAudio excerpt) last year, are as renowned for their stage antics

and sense of humor as they are for their music. A typical set features

a fire-breathing display by bassist Corey Parks -- sister of Vancouver

Grizzlies basketball player Cherokee Parks. The cover of the 1998 album,

Let Them Eat Pussy, depicts two men performing oral sex on Parks

and guitarist Suys.

Manson's management contacted the band last week, according to Suys,

who said Manson is a fan of the band.

"We heard [Manson] on the radio call us the best live show in America,"

she said. "It's about time someone said so."

The three-year-old band, which usually plays small clubs and theaters,

will need to invest in new, bigger equipment for the arena tour, Suys

said.

"This is great," she said. "It's so cool getting to buy all this new

sh--."

For the next week, Nashville Pussy will honor dates on the West Coast,

including one in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Tuesday (March 23). But they

have delayed plans to record a new album until after the tour. "The band

felt this was great enough opportunity to hold off on the recording for

a while," said a Mercury Records publicist, who asked to remain

anonymous.

"We'd be stupid not to do this," Suys added.

She said the band has written the material for its new album and expects

to enter a Seattle recording studio with producer Kurt Bloch (of Seattle

guitar-poppers the Fastbacks) in late May. Nashville Pussy also include

singer Blaine Cartwright -- Suys' husband -- and drummer Jeremy Thompson.

While Nashville Pussy ready themselves for the outing, the Manson

offshoot band Jack Off Jill, co-founded by former Manson guitarist Daisy

Berkowitz, will play the four shows on the tour schedule this week,

according to Steven Cohen, a spokesperson for Risk Records. That brief

stint begins Thursday at the University of New Orleans Arena in New

Orleans and ends with a show March 30 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Manson's

hometown. Berkowitz (born Scott Putesky) no longer plays with Jack Off

Jill; he's been replaced by Michelle Inhell.

The original tour, which featured two of rock's most outspoken and

controversial figures in Manson (born Brian Warner) and Hole's Courtney

Love, generated a swell of media attention. Soon there were onstage

taunts and barbs between the two.

As Hole completed their final show on the tour in Los Angeles, Love

offered a parting shot from the stage. "I just didn't want to deal with

burning crosses on the outside of the venue and the inside of the venue,"

she said, referring to Manson's penchant for attracting protest for his

Satanic stage imagery and song titles such as

"I Don't Like the Drugs But the Drugs Like Me" (RealAudio excerpt).

Gayle Fine, a spokesperson for Hole, said the two bands also differed

on production costs, but she would not elaborate.

Manson suffered a sprained ankle during the Los Angeles show, leading to

cancellation of three shows.

Suys predicted her band would help increase the tour's already prodigious

volume. "I think it's rather ironic that the tour is titled 'Rock Is

Dead' and we're on it," she said.

Nashville Pussy were nominated for Best Metal Performance at this year's

Grammy Awards, which took place last month in Los Angeles.

Neither the band nor Monster Magnet is scheduled to join Manson when the

tour travels to Europe in June.