Bruiser Queen is a pair of St. Louis residents that play catchy, scuzzy, rock music that lands somewhere between 1960s girl groups and 1990s riot grrrl punk. Morgan Nusbaum fronts the band, commanding both microphone and guitar.
She’s backed by Jason Potter on the drums. The duo practices in an old doctor’s office off Cherokee street. The walls are a faded bubble-gum pink and plastic bins for charts are still screwed to the wall near every exam room. The duo rehearsed for Friday’s record release show promoting their newest album Sweet Static.
“This album has been a really wild journey for us!” said Potter. “To do a big recording project like that we had to get out there and hit the road and make some money that way.”
Nusbaum and Potter formed the band Bruiser Queen roughly four years ago. The group’s exact origins are debatable. Neither Nusbaum nor Potter can nail down exactly which band member asked the other to play first. The confusion is complicated by the fact both Potter and Nusbaum were already members of the St. Louis indie rock community. Since the group initially formed they’ve released EPs, singles and full albums. Bruiser Queen has played coffee shops, bars, and even a grocery store. The band recently signed to local label Boxing Clever Records and began putting together the songs for Sweet Static.
According to the band, some songs were finished as early as last summer. Standing in a hallway between an old exam room doorframe and an amp they discussed the ease of their creative relationship.
“We work so well without any communication,” said Potter, “We’re both such huge fans of music, so when Morgan has a guitar line or a vocal line I know where she’s coming from because I know what she’s referencing.”
Nusbaum and Potter say they try to extend that creative force into the larger St. Louis indie rock scene. Their live show often calls on musicians from other bands.
“A lot of times people are just focused on playing their own band in their own small scene,” Potter said. “I think we do a good job of rounding up different smaller scenes and expanding and exploring between them all.”
Nusbaum agrees. She said the group also encourages the other local bands to tour.
“You try to inspire people to go on tour,” she said. “Even if you’ve been playing a lot of local shows and things aren’t going so well, you can always can go outside of town and it’s a totally different situation, different crowd, different venues, and it really energizes you.”
Despite their involvement the band recorded Sweet Static as a duo. They took MegaBus to Memphis, and recorded with a friend. According to Potter, much of the additional instrumentation fell on Nusbaum. “Really it’s me and seven Morgans on the album,” he said, chuckling.
The band feels this is the time to release their second full length. They released an EP earlier this year and there’s the season to consider.
“It’s a very fall album. It’s a very seasonal album. There are tons of different topics, everything from heartbreak to ghosts,” said Nusbaum before turning to her equipment in preparation for rehearsal.
The band’s record release tour kicked of last night at Off Broadway in South City. The band continues touring throughout the Midwest, making stops in Minneapolis, Chicago and Pittsburg over the next three weeks.