Faustine Hudson is one of those drummers you can't take your eyes off of. A dead-on lead foot wearing a floppy hat, a tattered sundress, and heels. She's like Van Gogh's Irises—there are other paintings in the museum, but something about the movement in Van Gogh's lines won't let you go. Faustine's drum motion is circulatory, furtive, and blurring. She's the bombastic, hair-tossed, K Records Iris. There's a wily, jutting sense about her time keeping, and she usually drums with a big smile plastered wide across her face. Faustine plays beats like a giant plays with a bus. The bus is huge to normal people, a toy to the giant. She intimidates me for multiple reasons.
What bands do you play with?
Better question would be who am I not playing with these days. In the past months, I have been touring and playing with Pearly Gate Music, Chain and the Gang, Eugene Wendell & the Demon Rind, John Totten, and Whalebones.
Do ever feel spread too thin with it all?
No and yes. I take it a day at a time; remembering rehearsal schedules, show dates, tour dates, and then trying to make ends meet is stressful thinking about all of it. But, if I focus on what is going on that moment, I can manage. I have realized all I need is five hours of sleep, a fresh young coconut, and some green tea.
What do you think K Records means to the world of music?
CJ [Calvin Johnson] is the king of punk. K was the originator of the anticorporate, DIY movement that exists throughout the world, which has regurgitated itself a bazillion times in a bazillion ways since 1982.
What kind of drum kit do you play? Do you love it?
Right now I am playing an old 1970s Pearl Mahogany gold sparkle kit with a Slingerland snare, Zildjian A Custom cymbals, and A GONG!! I do love it, but am looking for something a bit beefier. My bud has this old 1960s Slingerland kit with a 24-inch kick drum—it sounds pretty damn killer. Maybe one day he will sell it to me. Maybe after reading this... He knows who he is.
Talk gong. How do you know when to hit the gong? What makes for a gong moment?
You just know. Like how you know when to hit a crash, or have to go to the restroom, or eat a li'l snack 'cause you're hungry.
What do you think of men who wear Utilikilts?
What are your favorite kinds of heads?
My favorite heels are my black pumps that have the classy ruffle around the toe. Wait, you meant drum heads not heels! Ah, I usually play Pearl Coated Ambassadors. It changes though; I went through a Pinstripe phase for a while.
What's your approach to drumming?
Passion and love. No approach; it just puts me in a Zen-ful place.
How do you get ready for shows?
I drink a coconut, go for a dip in the closest body of water, and stay as far away from the bar as possible.
You wear the best dresses and hats when you play. Where do you shop?
I go through these phases of hitting estate sales and antique stores looking for old, classy hats and dresses. Then I wear the hell out of 'em and travel the world in 'em, then ride my long board in 'em, and play baseball in 'em to achieve my tattered ol' style.
Do you ever see yourself going through a Utilikilt phase?
Nay. I carry a purse—no need for a Utilikilt.
Where are you originally from?
Sin City, baby. Do you think it's ironic that I am from Sin City and my name has Faust in it?
Very ironic. Faust, and his deal with the devil. I see it's paying off for you. And you don't even have to wear a Utilikilt. So when, how, and why did you start playing drums?
I was 8 years old, and it was an excellent vice for a kid with undiagnosed ADD.
Who are your favorite drummers?
You mean, who is my favorite drummer. Animal from the Muppets.
You make incredible drum faces. What do you think about while you play?
Is it cliché to say, "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll"? I'm so swept up in the moment, I can't really answer this question without being there.
What is it like being a kick-ass female drummer? There are so few women drummers. Do you experience sexism?
I have this mentality that I can accomplish whatever the fuck I want. My sex doesn't ever cross my mind as being an advantage or disadvantage. I'm a musician, and have put 20 years into it. I was in San Francisco about five years ago, at an old blues joint watching old blues dudes do their thing. I pulled out an old, shitty tape recorder to record the show. When the singer/guitar player saw it, he started freaking out. He was saying he was gonna sue me, and have me eighty-sixed from the place. I told him he could have the tape, that I was a musician, and that I respected what he was doing. He wasn't having it, saying I was no musician, which made me snap a bit. My response was something like, "I can shuffle better than anyone in this town. Here is the fucking tape." He said, "Why don't you sit in with us then?" So I did. And by the end of the night, I went from the asshole who was trying to bootleg a blues jam to the friend from Seattle, drummer girl, who can shuffle like no other around them parts.
I'm sure you intimidate dudes all the time. You intimidate me, but mainly because you're wearing a Utilikilt.
I'm the person on the side of the stage checking out the players' style and learning from it. I have a very strong personality, but by no means do I think I'm better than anyone. My mind frame is more of, "What can I learn from people?" Trent, what's your deal with Utilikilts?