If you haven't already heard of Potty Mouth, chances are you'll be hearing them very soon. Starting out as a pop-punk band with a knack for hooks and crafting songs that buzz past your ears like agitated honeybees, they've morphed over the last few years into a power trio. Abby Weems (vocals/guitar), Ally Einbinder (bass), and Victoria Mandanas (drums) have been taking their music in a new direction, growing from the bratty and catchy pop-punk on their stellar Hell Bent album into a more polished, adventurous sound on their recently released self-titled EP and "Smash Hit" single.
Originally slated to perform at this month's Viva PHX, Potty Mouth will now be performing their fast and fun songs at Pot of Gold Music Festival. We got a chance to talk to Ally Einbinder and Abby Weems about their new album, their festival switch-up, and what they love to sing while doing karaoke on tour.
How is the new album coming along?
Ally Einbinder: It’s going really well! It’s taking us a long time to finish because we’ve been working on it for a few months. Our time in the studio has been really fragmented because we’ve been using the in-house studio at our management company; that’s shared with a lot of bands, so we kind of have to go in when it’s available to us. We’re also using a process of tracking that’s different from anything we’ve done before, so it’s inherently taking a lot longer because we’re tracking everything separately. So far, we’ve got four songs completely done; hopefully, we’ll finish it when we get back from this tour.
Listening to "Smash Hit" and your self-titled EP, it sounds like your sound has evolved from spiky pop-punk to something that sounds very '90s alternative rock — like Veruca Salt. Is the new material that you're working on now continuing to dig deeper into that new sound, or are you heading in a new direction now?
Abby Weems: Veruca Salt is definitely a good reference — we're still very much in that vein. Garbage and Weezer are references for this record, too. They're rock bands that have a lot of synths and electronic noises. Not that we do a lot of that
Are you planning on road-testing any of the new material on tour?
Weems: We're going to be playing two of the new songs, along with "Smash Hit."
Are you planning on releasing the new album through your Planet Whatever imprint, or are you going through a label?
Weems: We haven’t decided yet. We’ve had this issue over the years where we talk to these labels and try to make deals, and it takes up so much time that we never end up putting anything out. So right now, we’re just trying to finish this record and get it done ... and then we’ll be talking to labels and see what happens. We just want to get the record fucking done!
How have your audiences reacted to your new sound?
Weems: I think it's been a positive reaction. It was definitely a jump from our last record. We spent a lot of time picking our five best songs, the ones we thought would be a great representation of the direction that we were heading in. Honestly, half of me wishes that we could have always sounded that polished, but I love that there’s this transition from where we started as a band: very loose and punk. Now, being a professional band, I feel like it’s cool to see the transition.
If you could tour with anyone, who would be your dream tour mates?
Einbinder: There's this tour with Garbage and Blondie that just got announced. I would love to be support for that tour...
Weems: ... yeah, that would definitely be a dream come true. Too perfect.
What are your favorite karaoke jams?
Einbinder: I always go for that Limp Bizkit song, "Break Stuff."
Weems: I love that you asked us about
Einbinder: "A Whole New World," from Aladdin.
Weems: It’s funny, ever since you did that one song — (sings) “innocent/we all falter”
Weems: That one! Ever since you sang that it’s been stuck in my head. I wake up in the morning singing that song.
Einbinder: I like Sarah McLachlan a lot.
Weems: My go-to's are "Just What I Needed" by the Cars and "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World. I haven’t done Linkin Park in awhile. ... I think I overdid that one — "In The End." I've done it so many times that it's not special anymore ... but I still love it.
Potty Mouth is scheduled to perform at Pot of Gold Music Festival on Saturday, March 18, at Rawhide in Chandler.