The Pübes in the Pines

Phoenix’s queercore rock band is proud to play the Pride circuit

By Tamara Juarez, July 2017 Issue.

The Pübes is everything you could wish for from a queer rock band, plus everything you didn’t know you wanted. It is a three-member group of lady-loving musicians with a sharp sense of humor, great taste in beer and passion for uncensored lyrics that capture the human experience in all its awkward, cringe-worthy glory.

Ivana Pluchya rockin’ Sedona Verde Valley Pride in 2013.

Some of their songs include “Cameltoe,” “Oops, I Caught the Gay,” and “8,000 Miles for Bootie,” and on June 24, you too can sing along with The Pübes – as you recall that one time you fell in love with a straight girl or multiple time you got razor burn – at Flagstaff’s 21st annual Pride in the Pines.

This will be the band’s fifth time performing at the event, and certainty not their last, said Baretta Lynn, The Pübes’ lead guitarist and contributing vocalist. “Every time we go, we get to play for our people. It just feels good to shout lyrics like ‘I like girls’ and have people be like ‘yeah man, me too!’”

As a queer rock band, The Pübes has grown very popular within the Arizona’s LGBTQ community and has kept a busy tour schedule by traveling around the state to perform at various Pride events. In June, the trio will perform both at Bisbee and Flagstaff prides, as well as other local venues. (Read Echo‘s coverage of Bisbee Pride HERE and Flagstaff Pride HERE.) When asked about how they maintain their popularity and attraction to LGBTQ events, Lynn had a simple answer.

“Well, obviously, it’s because we’re hot. That’s the main reason,” she said to a chorus of laughs and cheers from her bandmates.

Ivana Pluchya, The Pübes’ bassist and contributing vocalist, added “sincerity” to the list. “We just put ourselves out there and play with joy and just have fun.”

The band is known for its honest and witty lyrics, which Pluchya said is a conscious decision.

Baretta Lynn rockin’ at Sedona Verde Valley Pride in 2013.

“The freedom to not take ourselves seriously lets us have fun and not worry about anything – not be afraid to perform and laugh with our friends and our audience,” she explained.

The Pübes’ songs cover a wide range of topics – from the high and lows of dating to the most embarrassing experiences that come from being gay – and it takes a certain amount of bravery and self-confidence to sing about these topics, Pluchya admitted. However, it’s easier to do so as a group, because they “are comfortable as individuals and comfortable as a band.”

It’s difficult to find LGBTQ songs that are universally relatable, but the band’s goal is to keep it simple by creating music that celebrates life with a good amount of humor and a couple rounds of beers, which fans have welcomed with a smile since the trio formed in 2009.

At pride events, said Roc Smith, the band’s drummer and contributing vocalist, there is a strong sense of camaraderie between the band and the audience.

“If we’re making a joke about something, they actually get the joke compared to other audiences who think they get the joke but not really. When you’re playing in front of an LGBT[Q] audience, they understand a bit more and that lets you have a little more fun.”

When it comes to the vibe at the band’s shows, Lynn agreed that the audience is everything.

“The reaction from the crowd is different when it’s a bunch of lesbians and gay folks than a bunch of straight dudes,” she said. “We have straight fans who we love, but it feels different because [at pride events] we get a wink and a ‘yeah, you wrote a song about that,’ and we’re like ‘yeah we did, and you’re dancing to it, aren’t yah?’”

Roc Smith rockin’ Sedona Verde Valley Pride in 2013.

Lynn, who once made $53 dollars at Pride in the Pines after making a comment about how drag queens got tips and how she felt cheated out of the same treatment from adoring fans, is excited to return to the event.

“I’m trying to plan what snap away bottoms I’m going to wear,” she said through a fit of laughter.

Like most Phoenicians, Pluchya is most excited about visiting cooler temperatures during the summer months.

“It is the woodland creature heaven …” she said. “Flagstaff has always been like a mini vacation for us, and the crowds have always been super inviting and enthusiastic even though its late in the day and they’ve been rocking out since the afternoon.”

For those concerned about the band’s free-spirited and raunchy style, Pluchya said not to worry.

“We’re very mindful that there are children walking around, so we edit ourselves if we’re going to be singing certain songs,” she said.

For more information on the The Pübes, visit thepubesaz.com or like them on Facebook at @thepubesaz.