Pop-rock trio emerges with more polished sound and same infectious hooks following move from East Coast to West Coast
There's one thing Abby Weems wants listeners to take from Potty Mouth's new album: “That we're sick musicians, and we write really good songs.”
The vocalist/guitarist laughs after she says this, but then turns serious. “That's all I want people to know because I feel like so often our band gets politicized because we're all women,” Weems said. “That is part of our band, but it's not our whole identity. If anything, I would want us to be remembered for just having really well-crafted songs because that's what we really care about.”
That care is obvious on Potty Mouth's second album, SNAFU, which is 31 minutes of expertly made pop-rock. The infectious “22” sounds like it belongs in a '90s teen flick, while “Fencewalker,” which was co-written with the Go-Go's Gina Schock, is sweet but biting. It's been seven years since Potty Mouth's last album, 2013's scrappy Hell Bent, and the band, which also consists of bassist Ally Einbinder and drummer Victoria Mandanas, has lots to talk about, from getting older and leaving your hometown to cutting toxic people from your life.
“It's definitely been a lot of learning experiences,” Weems said of the time between albums one and two, which involved relocating from western Massachussetts to Los Angeles in 2016. “We wanted to move out to California to take the band more seriously and get more opportunities, and it's been a time of figuring out the whole business side with labels and management and what you actually need and what you don't. People want to help you, but then they run out of resources, or they just don't know what they're doing. So we've been having to deal with all the complicated sides of being in a band.”
SNAFU is a much more polished — but no less catchy — affair than Hell Bent. The trio went from “recording in our friend's basement to recording in a full-on studio in Burbank,” Weems said. In addition to the better recording space, Potty Mouth's California move also gave the band a new perspective on its music.
“I think so often what it takes is having someone from the outside seeing what you're doing and thinking it's cool and believing in you a lot and pushing you,” Weems said. “I think we have had some really good people through the years who have pushed us to better places. I think when you go into music without any expectations [and] you don't have an ego about it, you open yourself up more for possibilities because you're not thinking about things in such a linear way. You're just doing them very naturally, and as you go along, your goals start out small, but they become bigger each time you achieve one. … You realize this is something that we can keep doing.”