By Eric The Red
I had the opportunity of a lifetime when I was given the chance to speak to someone who I consider punk rock royalty: Mark Adkins, vocalist for the band Guttermouth. I remember being a kid out in the street with my skateboard, listening to “Skaters Anthem,” “End on 9” and “1, 2, 3 Slam” and just using their musical intensity to push myself as hard as I could on that board. I’ve grown up, my knees and ankles have given out, and had to stop skating, but the energy and vivacity of Guttermouth has stood the test of time better than a concrete slab at the local skate park.
While talking with Mark during our phone interview, I got the scoop on what the band is up to these days, what his musical preferences are, and what advice he has for bands that are up and coming. When asked if a new record was in the works, he stated, “ Yes, come January, we’re renting a house to do all the demo work and preproduction stuff, and we’re going out into the desert, so we’re actually doing that first step there. Then we have a little tour in February, and then we come back to record in March. We said we were doing this, time and time again, but now, all the ducks are in a row and it’s really happening, after all this time and procrastinating, which we’re very good at.” So it looks like we’ll have some new tunes to thrash to in the early to mid-part of 2014.
On the subject of new music, I really wanted to see what kind of advice a punk rocker would have in regards to starting a band. I was expecting, “Don’t.” But instead, I was completely blown away by the intelligence and sincerity of Mark’s response. “I’d say do it for a hobby. Do it for fun. Do it because you like making music. Don’t do it because you think you’re gonna get a record deal, or get to tour and travel the world and make lots of money. Do it because you really enjoy it as a hobby, and in the meantime, finish school. Don’t put all your eggs in one musical basket because it’s probably not gonna work. Have plan B. Finish school while you’re having some fun, and in the meantime people might start to take you real serious.” He elaborated a bit more on the subject of how to be successful, once a band has formed, stating, “Always conquer your home market first. If you’re from say Los Angeles, make sure you can sell out every venue in LA before you even attempt moving on. That’s what a lot of bands don’t do. They’ve got their name, the look they’re gonna have, everything else before they’ve even played their first show, and that’s kinda backwards. They’re making music for the wrong reasons.”
Now, I didn’t want this interview to be the same questions that every other magazine asks him, so I threw Mark a few curveballs, just to make things interesting. I asked Mark, “If I were to be driving your car, what would I find under the seat?” Lucky for me, Mark just happened to be driving the band van at the time. So he reached under the seat and described for me what he found, “HA! Wow, a pair of Alex’s duct taped shoes, an empty corona bottle and a bunch of Del Taco wrappers.” Sounds like the aftermath of a good time, if you ask me. When asked what music I’d find in his CD/MP3 player, Mark said, “It’d just be a cluster of everything under the sun. There’s definitely not just one genre of music, in any way shape or form. I can’t listen to just punk all the time. It just kinda gets old sometimes. What I don’t like, I’m not into that new wave country stuff, and the metal thing has escaped me. I like some of the older stuff, but the new stuff is a little too much for me.” Be sure to catch Mark and Guttermouth with Margate and Accustomed to Nothing at The Hood in Palm Desert, this Saturday, 11/16, and follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/Guttermouth.