Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Guttermouth lives up to its name

June 20, 2001


Some bands get banned from cities for their outlandish stage show. Guttermouth got banned from an entire nation. And it wasn't even some oppressive dictatorship like Libya or the Marcos-era Philippines.

It was Canada.

"It all started with playing a live show and public nudity, I guess," guitarist Derek Davis said recently from the road. "Mark (Adkins, lead vocalist,) does this little magic trick, and he ends up naked briefly, and the next thing you know, the police are coming to our hotel room and putting him in jail.

"It turned into this five-day ordeal in Canada, staying at this little town called Saskatoon, really in the middle of nowhere. And they said, 'Your tour is over, go home.' We didn't know it at the time, but it was a really conservative town that really didn't go for what we were doing. (Laughs.) So we were banned from the nation of Canada for 18 months."

That should be warning enough to anyone who thinks a Guttermouth show is going to be a nice little snugglefest suitable for flicking Bic lighters and wearing polo shirts. As the name suggests, the band is raw, crude and loud, and really couldn't give a flip about what anyone else thinks.

Formed in Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1989, Guttermouth which also includes guitarist Scott Sheldon, bassist "Captain" Jamie Nunn and drummer Tyler Smith toiled away on the independent Nitro Records in relative obscurity until it snagged a gig on the Offspring's 1994 tour. Its unpredictable live show gave it an infamous reputation that was, of course, loved by youths the world over.

Guttermouth's latest album (its first on the Epitaph label), "Covered With Ants," takes a more pop approach without sacrificing punk props. The band took twice as long six weeks making it, and concentrated more on melodies than basic three-chord thrash, Davis said.

"We just had fun with the songs and experimented with recording and stuff, so that was kind of cool," he said. "Mark really hates the studio, so we brought the studio to him and recorded all his vocals in his bedroom ... it's way better, because he has more energy. Usually, we have to knock on his door and go, 'Hey, wake up, your microphone's turned up, start singing.' "

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