(photos: Clara and Carmen)
Potty Mouth Brings Wild Energy to SGRRC
Potty Mouth, though it is a funny band name, blew my mind. Their stage presence made the whole crowd start jumping. Their hair flips were crazy. The singer sang with hair in her face and she held a guitar over her head at the same time she was playing it. This band is sensational. I absolutely recommend it. This band is awesome. I love Kate, Ally, Abby and Victoria.
Q&A Roundtable Discussion
Sophia: What’s your process for writing songs?
Abby Weems: Usually I will come up with a basic version of a song on guitar and write some vocals and lyrics. I’ll make a demo in GarageBand and show it to my bandmates then when we all get together we learn the parts and figure out, like, which parts should have bass, or which parts should be quiet or loud or fast or whatever. Once we’re all together, then we figure out all the dynamics.
Qwynn: Do you guys play any other instruments or have any other musical interests besides this band?
Abby: My first instrument was cello, actually. I really wanted to learn how to play drums. I can kind of play a simple beat. I like bass and guitar. Those are my two lead instruments.
Aurelia: Do you have any inspirations?
Abby: It’s interesting because when we first started the band, we didn’t really have any idea what we wanted to sound like. We didn’t even have a singer picked out. We were just like, let’s get together and make sound. It was very loose. I got into music because of Green Day so I think my songwriting leans in that direction of fast, punk music. I know Ally was really into hardcore at the time. We all have different influences.
Ally Einbinder: I think, in general, the inspiration for the band starting was probably very similar to the inspiration for a camp like this. We really wanted to just see what would happen if four of us got together and played music. We didn’t even know Abby until our very first practice. We had met her through mutual friends. We all wanted to play in a band with all women and just to see what would come of it. We didn’t have any huge goals. We were just like, let’s see if we can do this, and then we just kept doing it.
Clara: Have you always, since you were little, wanted to play music or be in a band?
Kate: Yeah! I saw the movie Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan and I saw that band. I had always wanted to play music. I had always been a music fan. I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s so cool.’ That actually inspired me to go into my dad’s office and steal his guitar and learn a song.
Abby: I never thought that music would be something I would do. I was always a visual artist and I thought I’d go to school for painting, and then we started this band and just kept getting asked to play shows and go on tour. So then I was like, okay, music it is.
Ally: I didn’t imagine myself in music. I grew up going to a lot of punk shows and watching my guy friends start bands like it was nothing and go on tour and put out records. It just seemed a lot harder to me than it actually is. That’s why it wasn’t until I was 21 that I started playing bass and then my ideas for my life just changed because I began to see other options for myself besides what I just thought I was gonna be doing, which was basically going to more school and choosing a different career. Like Abby said, we just kept going because we just kept doing it.
Carmen: What is your goal on the popularity level? How famous do you want to be?
Abby: I wanna be famous, I guess. I just want our band to be successful in a way where I just want to be artistically known and be able to work with other people and not have to have a day job.
Ally: None of us want to have to work another job on top of this band. This band is a job. It’s become a job and that’s the goal, I think, is to be able to support ourselves through our music and have that lead to other things related to music. The band did start out as a hobby but then we all moved to L.A. together and decided to see what would happen if we could really make it a career for ourselves so that’s the goal.
Clara: Do you tour a few months during the year, or do you have a specific time of year that you tour?
Abby: We usually go on tour a few times a year and it’s never more than six weeks, I’d say. There are particular time that are better to tour. It’s hard to tour in the fall and the winter because of all the holidays. Students are home with their families. No one’s really going out. So we tour a lot in the spring and fall and we’re doing this summer tour.
Camden: How many times have you gone on tour?
Ally: A lot. Honestly, I don’t know. I wish I was the type of person who started keeping track of how many shows we played from the first show we played so that we could be one of those bands that’s like, ‘We’ve played 500 shows!’ I’m sure it’s…
Abby: Definitely more than that.
Ally: It’s a lot. But we actually haven’t toured outside of North America, so that’s a huge goal. We really wanna get to other parts of the world and that’s definitely something that we’re working towards.
Qwynn: What’s one of your favorite places to tour?
Ally: We’re from Massachusetts, so it was really fun to be in that general area, in the Northeast, like playing Boston and New York, playing Western Massachusetts where we started, playing Philadelphia. Those are all really good shows for us because when we first started touring we would just do small tours just to those places because they were all super drivable and close to us. We always like going back there. Honestly, it’s just fun to be anywhere where we can meet people and there are people who want to come out and see us. This is great. This is my new favorite show that we played, today.
Aurelia: How many songs have you written?
Abby: I don’t even know. Maybe 100 songs, at least. We haven’t been able to put all of them out just because recording is expensive and record label stuff is complicated. We have a lot of songs but I think maybe there are 30 that are online.
Qwynn: What kind of music and songs are on the new album?
Abby: Almost all of the songs we played today are on the new album. They’re all pretty fast-sounding pop rock.
Camden: How did you discover the style you wanted to dress in when you came on stage?
Ally: These are our regular clothes.
Abby: We sometimes dress up more for shows. It’s hard because clothes get really smelly because you’re sweating so much. I have a bag of, we call them ‘show clo,’ that’s all my fancy clothes that smell really bad. Then I have a bag of separate clothes that are day-to-day stuff like this.
Ally: We’ve been on tour for exactly a month today. I know I’m at a point where I’m sick of all the clothes I have with me, but it’s just, like, so hot that I can’t care too much. It’s just getting hotter the further South we get.
Carrigan: What inspires your style? What decade?
Ally: Right now, I’m just really into animal print. I love zebra print. I used to play a lot wearing platform shoes because I’m so short and it’s fun to be taller. But it’s also hard to jump around in platforms. I’ve been trying to wear more comfortable shoes on stage.
Kate: I’m inspired by Blondie, her style, and by wrestling gear. I’m a huge wrestling fan.
Abby: I’m definitely inspired by ‘90s fashion, like Kurt Cobain’s style.
Brandon: Do you have any disagreements within your band? If so, what are they about and how do you solve them?
Abby: It’s all about communication.
Ally: Yeah, it’s all about communication. Of course there are disagreements all the time. That’s just the nature of working with any group of people. What a band is, is it’s a group project. You take three or four different people and you put them together. You’re like, okay, now let’s run this business together. It’s hard. There are so many decisions you have to make on a daily basis that you don’t even think about. It’s all about communication and realizing the communication that happens internally within you is the most important because, especially, if you’re in a band, you’re gonna have all of these people from the outside what they think is best for you. They’re gonna have people who wanna manage you or say you should do this, you should do that. I think the most important thing when those conversations and those decisions come up is to check in with the people. This is the band. We are the band. Anyone we’re choosing to work with is just someone we’re choosing to work with on the outside. I think you need to trust yourself and trust that the decision has to be a group decision more than a decision that’s made at the influence of someone from the outside.
Aurelia: How do you make your hair do those cool flips?
Abby: Lots of practice...and IcyHot pads on my neck.
Carmen: How do you want to be remembered?
Abby: This is just who we are. We’re just women. We play music. I just want to be remembered as an example and not a character version of an ‘all female’ band.
Ally: I just want to be remembered for things like this, by someone like any of you, who can remember, ‘Oh I had this experience where I saw this band,’ because that never happened to me. I can’t think back to being younger and thinking, ‘Oh wow, I saw this band that was all women that looked like something I could’ve done too.’ I never had that.
Abby: I wanna be remembered as being real people.