Perpetual Change: Pepperspray news & Angela Bucky Motter

| Jun 30, 2014
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Back in May of this year, the San Francisco band Pepperspray was featured in this column, with an interview of lead vocalist Precious Moments. Pepperspray is a seven piece band whose music has been compared to a combination of “…the Spice Girls and The Sex Pistols.” That’s quite a unique mix of sound and genres and I was anxious to get to actually hear what they sound like. However, I was unable to obtain their CD, which is a 2005 EP release. Nonetheless, the band was able to forward me a link to three tunes they’ve posted on Soundcloud. So, for your dining and dancing pleasure, here are the tunes from that link, plus my take on them.

Cutting Edge Queen is definitely punk, but with a far better production that what is usually associated with punk. Drums give the tune the kind of feel found in old school surf music, but this time with drag queen lead and backup singers and a very killer band.


Quadrasexual, the second tune posted on Soundcloud, is also punk. However, the structure of the tune is actually quite mainstream songwriting. There is a lyric line in the chorus which delves into what a “quadrasexual” is: “vegetable, mineral, silicone and sweaters, you’re a quadrasexual.” Okay, left me still a bit confused, but perhaps Pepperspray might have coined a new term, as if we really need to add to the already perplexing alphabet soup of the greater LGBT community. Overall, the song also has great harmonies along with some fine guitar work and an excellent production quality.


The last tune by Pepperspray on Soundcloud is It Takes Balls To Be A Woman. It was the title alone that caught my eye. At a Southern Comfort Conference, I heard one of entertainers say “It takes balls to pretend you don’t have any!” That’s one of those statements I wish I’d said, and it always stuck with me as a sort of war cry of gender expression. So, after hearing this tune, I have to say that of the three, it’s my personal favorite. It’s more hard rock than punk with very good guitar work and some keys. Lyrically, it’s got some of the lines that you’d expect:

“I want to wear a dress /cause I feel like a woman”

and, this, as part of the chorus:

“It takes balls to be a woman
I must be nuts to be a man
It takes balls to be a woman
I must be nuts to be a man…
Tell me who I am”

Gee, no one can really relate to this, can they? Anyway, it’s the best of the three and just enough of a teaser to make me want to eventually get the entire EP. The song has what is called a trash can ending, which takes Pepperspray back to their punk ethic. And, while they have no real definite plans nailed down for future recording, they haven’t ruled it out either.


Precious Moments said of the band that their true talent is in their live show, since after all, they are one heck of a …”drag punkrock superband.” For those of you who ever get the chance to see Pepperspray, do it. You won’t be bored.

Check out the band’s website. Also, music is also available on CD Baby as well as the aforementioned Soundcloud. There are also some videos on YouTube as well.


motter01Angela Bucky Motter is an artist that I encountered when I came across the House Blend CD and did an interview with the producer of that project J.D. Doyle. House Blend is a compilation CD featuring several different GLBT artists, (but mostly transgender musicians/artists) and is a fund raising tool for the building fund for the Houston Transgender Center and Archives. Bucky’s contribution to the project is a song called Itsaboyitsagirl. I was immediately interested and contacted Bucky for an interview. I found out that she’s a classically trained musician as well as a singer/songwriter, has some acting experience and is into body building. Definitely a many faceted performer. So, TGForum is pleased to present an artist who is probably new to most of us, Angela Bucky Motter.

TGForum: According to you web site, you prefer to use the term genderqueer. How old were you when you started becoming aware of your gender issues?

Angela Bucky Motter: One of my favorite words is “transgenderbender,” coined by my friend and fellow musician Amber Taylor. I think of transgender as living across gender lines. I don’t think transgender is reserved only for people who “transition.” Besides, we are all constantly in one kind of transition or another.

I was always a tomboy and my mom finally gave up on the dresses thing and looked for sporty clothes for me. I took ballet at a young age, but it didn’t stop me from felling like tomboy.

While I was in the earlier days of my performing career, I wore makeup on stage. Of course it was the eighties and everyone wore makeup then. Around 1994 I came out as butch and then soon thereafter as trans. I attended the first FTM International Conference in San Francisco in 1995.

TGF: You have a degree in classical guitar performance from Georgia State University. Prior to obtaining your degress, did you have any other formal training and/or experience?

motter03ABM: Yes, I began studying classical guitar at the age of 10. I did that for a few years then ventured out into popular music first with my teacher and then on my own. I met myt first guitar teacher while I was in the fifth grade. He introduced me to classical guitar by saying “If you can learn to play classical music, you will have the technique to play any other style of music you like. Classical guitar is the hardest thing you can do of all musical styles. For some reason, I was into doing “the hardest thing” so I decided to study with him. I began listening to the local NPR station at age 10 because they played classical music all day. I started out in college as an English major because I thought it would hlep my songwriting, but changed to music after my first year.

TGF: What were your influences growing up, and what do you listen to now?

ABM: My first teacher was my biggest influence. He would sit and play classical pieces . . . to expose me to guitar composes such a Sor, Aguado and Carcassi. In music school I listened to Andres Segovia, Christopher Parkening, Julian Brean, and Sharon Isben.

My dad listened to a lot of classic jazz . . . everyone from Ella Fitagerlad to Stan Kenton. Carole King’s album Tapestry was a huge influence on me.

Now I listen to a lot of Brazilian music. Of course, the Tom Jobim songbook is amazing. Joao Gilberto pretty much invented Bossa Nova and I love listening to him. I have a Pandora station I listen to often called Radio Brasil.

I also listen to classic jazz. I’m in an LGBT big band that plays a lot of classic jazz so every Sunday jazz isn’t a s spectator sport for me. I’m not a good improvisor but I do comp well. Right now, we don’t have a pianist, so the chord harmony part is all up to me. It’s actually a little stressful at times. He have a great rhythm section, though.

TGF: What is Endo, your electronic music alter ego?

ABM: Doing an endo is basically an old school term for doing a faceplant on a bicycle or motorcycle. I feel as though my relationship llife has been a series of faceplants so I thought that would be my alter ego’s name. I’ve listened to electronic music most of my life. I especially love deep space music.

I’ve been listening to the radio show Music From The Hearts Of Space since I was about 19. I haven’t done much with my electronic music lately, but I’m sure I’ll come back to it. I’m limited to GarageBand sound right now and I’ve mazed out on using only those sounds. Really, I need some outboard gear to have a better sound library.

motter02TGF: You also play bass for the band Flat Cat. How often does that band perform, and what kind of material?

ABM: Flat Cat is no longer performing. Our band leader moved to St. Croix where he and his partner own a home. Poor guy! We all miss him, though. We made a CD called Artbreak Hotel which is available on itunes.

TGF: I also found out that you were in a production of Hedwig And The Angry Inch. What got you started in acting?

ABM: I t was actually an incredible coincidence that I learned about auditions for Hedwig at Actor’s Express in Atlanta. I was in a show with Scott Turner Schofeld, who was then performing under a different name, and I saw the announcement for the auditions then. I’ve played Yitzhak three times in three different production of Hedwig. My acting has been pretty much limited to that role. Each time Yitzhak played an instrument in Hedwig’s band. I had to learn bass when I played Yitzhak at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Playing Yitzhak has been one of the highlights of my life. I love the role. I also played in pit bands that appeared on stage. I’be been in the band for shows like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Beehive. I also sang a number in Beehive.

TGF: Would you be interested in taking other acting jobs if the opportunities were there?

ABM: Because of my work schedule it would be very hard to do this. I teach guitar from about 12:00-8:30. As everyone probably knows, actors are paid pretty poorly unless you are in the actor union. I just couldn’t afford it. Though, I’d have to say if it was the right role, especially if it involved a transgender character, I would probably make it happen.

motter04TGF: How did you get into competitive body building? How often do you compete?

ABM: I’ve been listing weights since I was about 19. I started out as a power lifter. I wasn’t very good at it! Plus, it was hard competing against people who were most probably doing steroids. As each year passed, I said I would compete as a body builder, but I was afraid of the dieting part of the competition. Plus, I didn’t have a trainer. Finally I met my trainer, Dean Felder, at Lee Haney’s gym, and he said “It’s time.” He trained me for free, and finally, at age 45, I entered my first body building competition. I competed for over three years. I always brought home hardware. My best achievement was winning the silver medal at the Gay Games in Chicago in 2006 in my age class.

I’m no longer competing. It takes an incredible amount of time, personal sacrifice, and determination to build musicle and train at that level.

TGF: What advice would you offer to young musicians just starting out?

ABM: Perseverance is the watchword. Don’t ever, ever give up. Build a strong local following and then play out of town. If you are a singer/songwriter, it can be easy and cheap to make a demo. Save your money for more involved production for a later time.

You have to be willing to do it all: you have to wear the hat of performer, writer, promoter, publicist, producer, fundraiser, and manager. It takes a lot of time and energy to develop a music career. Keep your day job until you are so busy with your music that you don’t have time for it anymore.

I read in This Business of Music Management that the chances of getting a major label record deal are about the same as being struck by lightning. Don’t let that get you down.

I was told by my guitar teacher in college to get a degree in music only if there was nothing else in the world I’d rather do than music. I’m lucky because I enjoy teaching and since I’m self employed, I can take off work easily when I have a gig. I plaly only select gigs right now, which keeps it fun.

TGF: In closing, any parting thoughts?

ABM: The more true to myself I have been, the more my music career blossomed. My audiences, straight, or gay, have embraced me as I am. As Stephen Levine says, “In order to be whole, we must deny nothing.” This has been my motto for years and it has served me well. I find if I am the best me I can be, others are more likely to be their authentic selves as well.

Check out Angela Bucky Motters web site at:; also on Facebook.


Me And My Broken Heart (EP) by Rixton

rixtonRixton is a practically brand new band from Manchester, England. What sets these guys apart is that they are an ACTUAL BAND — they play instruments, not computers. The band is comprised of Jake Roche – vocals, rhythm guitar; Danny Wilkin – bass guitar, keyboards; Charley Bagnall – lead guitar; and drummer Lewi Morgan. Their debut four song EP, Me And My Broken Heart is out now and offers up a taste of what to expect when the band’s full-length CD is released later in the year.

The first tune, We All Want The Same Thing, is definitely a dance tune, which will put Rixton’s music into clubs that might mistake them for something they’re not, but will more than get them noticed. It’s the only dance-like track on the EP.

Hotel Ceiling and the title cut, Me And My Broken Heart, offer more of what Rixton probably sounds like live. Both tunes are along the lines of light pop/rock, with Hotel Ceiling being more of a ballad.


Closing tune Appreciated starts acoustically, moves into something approaching a dance groove, and contains the best harmony vocal moments on the EP. It’s also the best produced tune on the project.

If these four songs are any indication of what Rixton can do live, then this young band should be able to gain a sizeable audience and even manage to hold onto it. They’re savvy enough to touch on current trendiness without apparently selling themselves out. Let’s hope they stay that way. Visit their website and find them on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and instagram.

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Category: Music, Transgender Fun & Entertainment

Pam Degroff

About the Author ()

Pamela DeGroff been writing for TGForum since the start of 1999. Her humor column, The Pamela Principle, ran until 2005. She started the Perpetual Change music column in May of 1999, and in 2008, Angela Gardner came up with the idea for the Transvocalizers column and put Pam to work on that. Pamela was a regular contributor to Transgender Community News until that magazine's demise. While part of a support group in Nashville called The Tennessee Vals she began writing for their newsletter, and also wrote for several local GLBT alternative newspapers in Tennessee. Pamela is currently a staff reporter for a small town daily paper in Indiana, and is also a working musician.

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