Out of the countless bands that have found success in the eighties and nineties California punk scene, very few have been able to maintain relevance as well as Guttermouth. Having recently played the main stage at Quebec’s Amnesia Rockfest, it’s clear that this band is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of punk rock. I recently had a quick chat with the members of the band to discuss their future plans, as well as Got It Made, their new EP set for release on July 15th.
This EP is your first release in ten years. What was it like getting back into writing, and sitting down to get this done?
It wasn’t easy at first. There were quite a few years where we did not have any intentions of writing new music. As far as the songs we are putting out on this release July 15th, they were a combination of ideas that were around for a few years and a few new ones. When we were in Australia last year, we stayed at a home studio for about a week and really started working on the songs and Mark wrote lyrics. We recorded some rough demos there and when we got back to the state, a few of them were tweaked where everyone was happy with them. We then teamed up with Bird Attack Records and Rude Records and recorded them at Freq Zone in Jacksonville, Florida.
Are there any songs on this EP that have been lying around your repertoire for a while, but you haven’t had the proper chance to include it on an album until now?
Musically, yes. Justin spends quite a bit of his time writing songs and music. There was a few that we had messed with for a few years that Justin had come up with. In the end, Mark has to write lyrics to them, and when we were in Australia, he finally was able to add lyrics that he liked.
You’ve gone through a number of lineup changes since your last album, has that affected the writing/recording process at all?
Band changes always affect those type of things. I think it was more of just not having any reason or motivation to write. There were a few attempts about four years ago to write but it didn’t go far. Mark had lost his enthusiasm for the music industry and that landscape has changed drastically since Shave The Planet was released as well. We really did not think fans would give a shit. For this EP that is about to come out, everyone was on the same page and worked hard to make it happen.
Guttermouth has a fairly signature sound that you’ve stuck to throughout your careers. When it comes to your music nowadays, do you find it’s those same bands that inspire you thirty years later, or are there some newer artists that influence your writing now as well?
Everyone in the band loves punk music but at the same time, we probably have more influences that are not even in that genre. I would say as a collective, we are not looking at bands to influence us to write music. We pretty much just write music and Mark adds lyrics based on whatever is on his mind at the time. There is no set recipe that we set out to accomplish.
You’ve recently played Amnesia Rockfest’s main stage. Definitely a huge crowd, some of which might have been more unfamiliar with Guttermouth than what you’re used to. What can festival-goers expect in a live show from a band such as yourselves?
As far as our live shows, don’t have expectations. We never have a plan, and everything that goes on is pure spontaneousness. We don’t ever have a set list. We just figure out what we are playing based on what is going on with the crowd interaction. It would be extremely boring to have the same set list for a tour and Mark saying the same thing over and over. That would be like being asleep at the wheel. Our fans know they can never predict what will happen… Except the band will be drunk and having a good time.
You guys have played a ton of festivals throughout your time as a band. Are there any festivals that stick out as being either really awesome or a total disappointment?
There is always good and bad. We have not been doing the festival circuit as much over the past few years, but I think you will see us getting back into that in 2017. We would rather not talk about bad incidents at festivals [laughs]
What’s next after Got It Made? Any plans on a tour, or maybe a full LP in the near future?
Touring for sure. We are looking to go back to Europe in 2017 as we have not been there in quite a few years. Rude Records is supporting our release so we would love to do a tour in their backyard as it is long overdue. They have partnered with Bird Attack Records to make all of this happen for us. We don’t wanna let the cat out of the bag, but let’s just say we were just in the studio again throwing around some ideas and working on new material, so there’s a good chance we will be releasing more new music soon.
You can pre-order the EP here!
Written and Compiled by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy