Interview by Hennesy Sanchez
There is a resurgence and revitalization of girl power in the indie music scene — and Potty Mouth is leading it. Abby, Ally, and Victoria recently released a new self-titled EP (currently streaming on Spotify) following their much-praised Hell Bent. Potty Mouth’s EP plays like the diary of your older, much cooler sister. With lyrics like “I dropped the bomb and the bomb was me” smokily sung over a ’90s garage-punk riff, you can’t help but want more. Lucky for us Potty Mouth is getting ready to embark on their east coast tour. But before heading out, the trio took some time to spill about their new record, working with producer John Goodmanson, and their current faves.
Where did you find inspiration for your upcoming EP? Which song came first?
Abby: “Truman Show” was actually the first song that was written after Hell Bent was released! I think it’s a good representation of a song that sounds like our last record, but one that’s been taken to the next level. All the songs were written anywhere from two years to six months ago, so they all draw from really different points in my life. It’s cool that some older material stayed relevant to us.
You collaborated with John Goodmanson on this EP, a producer who has worked with bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney. What was it like working with him? How did he help evolve your sound? What advice did he give you?
Abby: John really helped us make our vision a reality. He did an amazing job interpreting our references for sounds and suggesting instruments and effects that we’d never considered before. He made it really easy to try stuff like adding subtle synth underneath guitar parts and messing around with xylophones or whatever, and he was always honest with us about what he thought was best for each song.
Ally: Working with John was a really fun and educational experience. Yes, he’s produced both Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney — and those albums are great — but he knew right away not to pigeonhole us into that particular sound or genre category just because we also happen to be women. He really understood what we were going for and helped evolve our sound by helping us find the right tones. I remember when we first played “Cherry Picking” for him live in the studio, he said to me, “Now I’m imaging that bass line needs to be REALLY big and fuzzy.” I love playing with fuzz, but in my personal experience, I’ve never been able to find a fuzz pedal that I really love for bass — so I was nervous. But we got to mess around with a bunch of different pedals in the studio, and John eventually helped me find one that was perfect: a vintage Sola Sound Tonebender. Another thing we did for bass and guitar that I had never done before was use different amps to track each desired tone. So for example, we recorded bass through both a clean amp and a fuzz amp. This method proved to be a lot easier than using one amp and kicking the fuzz pedal on/off throughout different parts of the songs because it meant we could just pick and choose which tone to bring forward during the mixing process — or use a blend of the two.
If your EP could soundtrack a ’90s film, which one would it be and why?
Abby: It’s funny you asked that because a friend of ours actually said it made them think of 10 Things I Hate About You! I was going to say Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains but that’s from the ’80s, sooooo maybe Empire Records?
Are there any up and coming bands you are currently inspired by / would love to go on tour with?
Abby: Definitely Bully, Mourn, and Arm Candy!!
Ally: Right now, I love Courtney Barnett, Angel Olsen, Speedy Ortiz, and Mitski. The latter two are friends — and I am constantly inspired by them. It’d also be a dream to play any of the upcoming reunion shows with L7 and/or Babes in Toyland.
Could you tell us five of your all time favorite songs?