Earlier this year I had the opportunity to talk to one of those punk bands that I used to listen to a whole lot, but kind of lost track of as the years passed. I was happy to hear that the band’s then new release: Got It Made had that authentic Guttermouth sound and still brought a smile to my face. Since this interview, their new EP New Car Smell has also been released.
Number 201 reporting for duty sir! How are things in the world of Guttermouth?
Things are fabulous in the world known as Guttermouth! We have been in the studio a bunch and have another tour coming up in November.
I bet you already know in what period I first got to know Guttermouth, it was during the “Friendly People” era, 22 years ago, an album I still consider a classic. How do you look back at that time in the band’s history?
It was a fun time and a very different landscape. There have been many changes in the music world since then and business has sometimes clouded the path but we try to look ahead instead of in the past. We are excited about things that have been going on lately.
The reason I started this interview with a dive into your history is that the feel of your latest album, “Got It Made”, somehow really reminds me of that very early release. To me, it feels fun, spontaneous and confident. What can you tell us about the new record?
The new record was fun and hopefully that shows. Usually, people like a bands early releases because that is before business gets in the way of making decisions and how to write music. We felt it was time to get back to writing what we wanted to, without expectations on sales numbers and what we think people might “want”.
The one complaint I have about your latest release, is that it’s way too short! Did you run out of ideas for songs?
We decided to put out 6 good songs that we liked and not have any “filler” songs. There were more songs in consideration but we didn’t think they should be on the release. Many times when writing a full length, there ends up being a few songs that suck but are needed to meet the full length criteria. You might be happy to hear that we are announcing another EP release tomorrow, called “New Car Smell”. It is out on November 25th.
I have always loved your lyrical content. It’s got humour, it’s edgy and you’re not afraid to offend. The songs “Freckles The Pony” and “Old Man” on your new record are shining examples of what a Guttermouth song should be, to me. What should any Guttermouth song be, at the very minimum, to you?
Music should be entertaining. Granted, we are not for everyone but we like to find humor in everyday life. Everyone seems to be so uptight and serious so we like to inject a little fun in your day. We play music and are not trying to act like experts for world problems.
If you compare your very early work with your latest offering, what is different and what stayed the same?
It is an entirely different time. We have a very solid lineup that has basically been the same for about 5 years. It takes time for everyone to mesh well when writing but we are in a good place. The early days if you will would be hard to compare to now with the music industry and everything completely different.
You’ve had quite the turbulent past where it comes to touring. Arrests for inciting riots, being asked to leave tours, even being banned from performing in Canada all together. That’s a lot of street cred one could say. These incidents, Is this something you do deliberately, or does it just happen naturally?
This just goes back to being spontaneous. There are things that we are not proud of but at the end of the day it happened and we can’t change anything. We are not some pre-rehearsed act that does the same set night after night. We interact with the crowd and they often dictate the energy of the night. We love a bit of chaos and fun with a little alcohol mixed in.
There was a ten year gap between your latest album “Got It Made” and the previous one from 2006, “Shave The Planet”. Why the long break in writing?
There were some member changes and without a steady lineup, it is hard to get in the comfort zone to write. As I mentioned above, we have the right band lineup to put out some good songs again. This business is tough and many don’t last too long. The crew we have now are very tight and we are in a good place.
If I compare those two albums, there’s a world of difference in sound, to me. It seems you found the joy back on the new record. Can you reflect on the difference between these two albums?
Different lineups, different mindset and different music business. With “Got It Made”, there wasn’t any pressure to write or put out a certain product. We wanted to get back to the foundation of Guttermouth if you will.
Lyrically, Guttermouth has always been music with a big wink and seems to steer clear of the more political subjects that the punk scene is famous for. Are there ways in which the state of the world influence your music?
Everything in our lives somehow can influence our music but who want’s to listen to a bunch of guys on stage talk about politics. Bands are very predictable and rarely do you find any that actually know in detail what they are preaching. Most are reciting what they watched on the news the night before or from another band they look up to. It is weird that the world would look to entertainers to tell them who to vote for or to learn about politics.
What will the future look like for Guttermouth, are there any big dreams that you still want to accomplish?
We are still saving up for our private jet to cart us around the world, but for now the van will do.
Where will we be able to see you play live in the coming months?
We are on tour in November with Get Dead and The Cryptics and in February we are in the US again with Agent Orange and the Queers. After that, maybe Europe?
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!