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Interview: Mark Adkins of Guttermouth

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With their Australian tour just around the corner Guttermouth are promising a live performance to redeem themselves from their last effort in Australia plus an Australian Only release. I had a phone chat with front man/founder Mark Adkins where we spoke of how he almost hung up his career for the “normal” life, his distaste for recording and i got experience first hand Mark break a crown on his tooth with an olive from a bloody mary. All this and more below. Make sure you catch Guttermouth on their Australian tour at the dates below the interview.

 

Hey man. Glad we could get this call connected. You guys are out of the mountains now?

Yeah dude! We’re finally out. Thank you for being so patient with it, the timing was so bad. I couldn’t believe it. But now where all set in Reno, Nevada which will be home for the next couple of days.

 

Awesome. How many shows have you got ahead of you?

We’ve got another 21.

 

There’s definitely no slowing down for you guys?

No not at all. That’s the way we like it. Non stop.

 

Two years ago you were saying it was going to be your last shows in Australia then all of a sudden here we are having a conversation about these 21 shows ahead of you and now you’re heading back to Australia again. What happened there?

Two years ago I had a problem that I once had before which is fucking, excuse my language, “girlfriend-itis” where I thought “It’s time to slow it down, hook up with the right girl and everything will be cool.” But not the case. So a whole change of plans life wise, you know? Girls are monsters and do horrible things to people. Changing my lifestyle completely, deep down is something I did not want to do and I almost did that and a few months into that I realized I was only kidding myself, that’s not who I am. I’m a mobile person who just doesn’t stop and it’s been that way since day one. My parents thought I was a hyperactive kid and took me to specialists and I still have the same problem…

 

Well I think Guttermouth fans are stoked you didn’t fall victim to that lifestyle.

(Laughs) Yeah. Please forgive me for bad choices, man.

 

That’s all right dude, we all make them every now and then. That’s apart of punk rock though, making bad choices.

(laughs) yes it is actually. I almost made a bad choice last night. This girl looked pretty appetizing, she was really cute and really friendly BUT we were at this pub and we were playing checkers and she didn’t know how the rules of the game checkers worked. That’s how dumb she was. So I was like “Go away, please”. No cuteness can beat that kind of dumb. Not when you’re in a city where the entire city has an IQ of 40 combined, you know. It’s pretty tough

 

Sounds like I need to go there. It’ll make me seem smarter.

Oh you’d be a fucking brain surgeon there.

 

So how long has it been since you guys started this band?

It actually started in late 1988 and then unfortunately on November 17th of that year I was in a big car accident that broke my hip and fucked me up really bad like all my ribs, the took out my spleen and all my organs were bleeding. So that killed me for almost a year. A lot of people thought the band started in 89 but it was actually 88 when we started but we had a little hiatus due to a lengthy hospital stay. It was fucked.

 

I can only imagine how hard that would’ve been but it goes to show nothing is going to stop Mark from doing what he wants to do.

That’s the way I like it. I’m not a selfish fucker by any stretch but I don’t wanna slow down. All my friends, man, they’ve totally slowed down, put their lives in first gear and think they’re doing the right thing but they’re all bored and miserable and have no sense of adventure left. They’ve put themselves into a self-induced conscious coma. (laughs)

 

Self-induced Conscious Coma, I think you’ve got yourself a new song title right there.

I know right. That kinda did roll of the tongue nicely didn’t it? But yeah, they’re miserable, man, with their husband and wives and “oh I’ve gotta do this with the kids” and all they’re soccer and shit and I’m like “wow, that sounds like torture”.

 

Do you ever find yourself getting a little bit tired, though, when you’re on the road?

Oh my god yes! It beats the crap out of you! But right now my good friend and drummer of the band, Alex, new I was going to be on the phone to some nice Australians so he’s lined me up 4 bloody Mary’s and I’m in good shape. So the Gods are smiling on me.

 

You may not have a girlfriend but you’ve still got that person there to look after you when you need a bit of a break. Is he rubbing your feet as well?

Actually I’m scratching my own feet so its funny you say that. That’s creepy. I’ve got a date in a couple of days with a girl I know from Seattle so I’m like “How is she going to nitpick me to death”. That’s what they all do here in the states. I don’t know about the Australian girls but all the girls here wanna make sure you drive the right car, have the right amount of money and then you’re good.

 

Well I’ve never had that problem because I’m perfect so any girl I meet has nothing to pick at.

(Laughs) well you’re one of the lucky ones.

 

I think that you’d find shallow people like that all around the world though.

Yeah the ones who want you to get a “conventional” job and to be normal and I’m like “but I can’t”. Well I can and almost did.

 

But you missed your lifestyle too much?

Yeah and the thing is I’m one of the lucky ones, where as a good 90% of the people I know hate their jobs, I have one that I absolutely love and enjoy what I do on a daily basis. It’s comforting to that this is my job, like I’m working right now. I’ve got 4 bloody Mary’s in front of me, talking to someone in Australia and I’m on the clock. So I can’t complain about that. Plus I’m staying in a casino tonight too.

 

You’re literally living the life! So as we were saying, you’ve been doing this band since 88. Are there any songs in your back catalogue that you think “Fuck! I do not want to play this tonight”?

Oh I don’t know if they’re begging for it but there is this song ‘Mr BBQ’ that drives me crazy and I don’t like playing it anymore cause it bores me to death. I could sing a lot of our songs a billion times but that is one that I feel I taxing, you know? And I try to talk to the band but they won’t listen to me though. (laughs). I’ve been in this band the longest but they still won’t pay attention to me or listen to what I wanna do. And they make me sit in the back of the van cause they talk too much and won’t shut up. Do you know what they did today? They bought me a 3 meter power chord for my phone so I could reach from the front and I could sit in the very back and not bother them. I’m not kidding either, that’s the love we have.

 

Who needs a girlfriend when you’ve got these band mates?

That is so very true.

 

I was reading that there is going to be new material for this tour. Can you fill us in on what that may be?

Yeah, man. Right now we’re doing the same. We’ve recorded all the music and all I have to do is sing the lyrics. We’ve got a couple of days off so we’re going to do the lyrics in Oklahoma and send it to my friends little up start label. We’re going to start with a 7”. I don’t know the Australian market that well but here the only thing that sells is vinyl, period. Cd’s don’t exist there are hardly any cd stores anywhere there’s only vinyl. And cassettes have oddly made a comeback as well. Has that happened there?

 

Yep. Pretty much the same thing has happened here. We’ve still got a fair few CD stores but vinyl is definitely taking over and I have noticed cassettes are coming back in which I don’t understand.

(laughs) Its such a horrible idea. They don’t work. Your car stereo eats them. There is a reason they’ve gone bye bye. Such a novelty. But anyway, we’re doing the 7”. The guys over in Bedlam in Brisbane have a recording studio and are putting on some of the shows, so we’re going to be in their studio for at least 6 or 7 days recording stuff while we’re on this tour right toward the end and that’s going to be an Australian only release that we do there in Brisbane. So there’s two things happening and they’re actually happening. Recording is weird for me, man. I don’t have a passion for it, you know. I don’t like being locked in a room with no windows and hyper-analytical so called musicians telling me that I’m singing too sharp or too flat. I’m like “I’m in a punk band dude, I don’t know what you’re talking about”.

 

I can become a very stale environment being inside the studio.

Oh I hate it. I’ve always hated it since day one. I can only imagine it feels like being in a state penitentiary or a prison of some sort. Someone making you do something you don’t want to do with people you hate at the moment because they’re trying to hyper-analyze every move you make. They repetition…

 

(At this moment Mark starts saying every curse word under the sun and sounds horribly in pain)

 

Is everything ok, man?

Shit! You’d never guess what happened. I was chewing on my olive from my bloody Mary and I just pulled a crown off my tooth. OW! FUCK it hurts so bad. That is so unpleasant.

 

Jesus. I can only imagine. Do you reckon Alex planted the seed in there on purpose?

(laughs) I wouldn’t be surprised. Oh my God, that’s fucked. This is such an inopportune time for that to happen. I’m sorry, I’ll complain about my problems later. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to interrupt you with my dental problems. What were we talking about?

 

All is good, dude. We were just talking about how much pain being in the recording studio can be.

Yeah. To me it is so repetitious and mundane. The road and being on tour is where I feel content. Like the second I get home from tour I’m definitely glad to get home and sleep for a couple of days and become human again but by day 3 or 4 it’s like I’m out of there and going to Mexico or something. I spend a lot of my time south of the boarder in Mexico cause it’s full of action and it’s a little dangerous and it keeps me on my toes. Where at home it’s like mundane and boring.

 

(we get the word to wrap it up)

 

Dude, what a cheap date (laughs)

 

(laughs) Yeah it’s like speeding dating. So final question… You’re one of the old school pioneers of punk rock. Everyone has their own definition of what punk is… I was wondering you could sum up in a sentence or two what your definition is?

Ooooo. You know what? I can’t define it that quickly because number 1 every one should have their own meaning and then also I’ll say the year is 2015, you know, things have changed. I don’t know if there is a meaning anymore at all. We don’t subscribe to the uniformity of it all like the clothes and the Mohawks. Who has time for that?

 

Exactly. Well Mark, we need to wrap this up. Thanks heaps for talking with me, it’s been freaking awesome and I’ll be seeing you in Newcastle very soon.

Well thank you. I’ve appreciated talking to you. Thanks for everything, it was a pleasure.

 

GUTTERMOUTH
2015 AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Tickets on-sale Wednesday 11th February

Thursday 2 April | Crown & Anchor – Adelaide, SA
www.thedrunkpromoter.com

Friday 3 April | The Bendigo Hotel – Collingwood, VIC
www.thedrunkpromoter.com

Saturday 4 April | The Bendigo Hotel – Collingwood, VIC
www.thedrunkpromoter.com

Sunday 5 April | Barwon Heads Hotel, Barwon Heads, VIC
www.thedrunkpromoter.com

Monday 6 April | Bar 12, Frankston, VIC
www.thedrunkpromoter.com

Wednesday 8 April | Entrance Leagues Club, Bateau Bay, NSW
www.oztix.com.au

Thursday 9 April | Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale, NSW
www.oztix.com.au

Friday 10 April | Studio Six, Sutherland, NSW
www.oztix.com.au

Saturday 11 April | Factory Floor, Sydney, NSW
www.thedrunkpromoter.com

Sunday 12 April | The Small Ballroom, Newcastle, NSW
www.oztix.com.au

Friday 17 April | Crowbar, Brisbane, QLD
www.thedrunkpromoter.com

Saturday 25 April | Rosemount, Perth, WA
www.thedrunkpromoter.com

* All shows 18+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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