In case you missed it, Guttermouth released their first new material in ten years a couple of weeks ago. "Got It Made" comes with just a handful of tracks, but each of them is the kind of snotty punk rock song that made us like Guttermouth back in the day. Guitarist Geoff Armstrong took some time out to answer our questions about the EP (out now via Bird Attack Records/Rude Records).
PRT: I read that it took you ten years to record new songs because you were running low on motivation and ideas. Did it ever get to a point where you thought about calling it a day or was that never an option?
Geoff: Every band has those days where they get “over it” but the band has carried on and never quit. With having so many releases, it is easy to lack motivation and inspiration to write, especially if it is forced or due to pressure.
PRT: Was there one specific moment when it started coming together again or was it more of a gradual thing?
Geoff: It was gradual. As you know there have been quite a few member changes throughout the bands history. Everyone who is in the band now has played together for some time so it is more of a team again which set the tone to write and trust what we were doing.
PRT: You come from the same scene as Descendents, Bad Religion, The Vandals, Adolescents,… All of these bands are still around, making albums and playing shows, while tons of younger bands have come and gone. Do you think you had a different mentality or different expectations when you started out?
Geoff: Everyone is different when they start out. The music industry is a harsh place and if your band is not making them money, you are spit out. These are just the bands that have not given up and maybe got lucky with timing and lots of hard work. These younger bands see an established band doing decent, but they don’t realize that the “established” band, might have toured for 12 years or more losing money before something finally started working. We are in times of instant gratification, and if things don’t happen quickly, they quit. There is no right or wrong formula as luck and timing are involved, but most the bands you mentioned above, played music as a broke band for many years before they started making a living from it. People harp on even this band with the lineup changes through the years but there are not many people out there that can tour and do this for the long haul.
PRT: At this point you can decide to play a show for 50 people or 1.000, you can release a full-length or wait another 10 years to release another EP. Is it fair to say you can pretty much do whatever you want when it comes to Guttermouth now?
Geoff: We can do what we want but that isn’t always the smartest thing. We are lucky in the sense that we are diverse with where we can and will play and are self sufficient. The landscape is always changing so we try to keep up and do what is right for the band.
PRT: Is that how you prefer it? No outside pressure for another album, another tour… just everything on your own terms?
Geoff: There is always pressure to some degree. We decide what we are going to do in regards to tours, releases, but we still have to make smart choices so we can pay our bills, etc. Pressure can sometimes be a good thing and kick us in the ass once in a while. My opinion is not having any pressure made us complacent for a while and we were in idle for a bit. This new release actually was tough working on in the beginning due to whatever reason but it has put some new life into the band on our end.
PRT: How did you end up with Bird Attack Records and Rude Records?
Geoff: We have known Garret from Bird Attack for some time and when he heard we had written some songs, he expressed interest in getting us on board with his label. We came up with an agreement and then he teamed up with Rude Records so it was covered globally. Those guys are great as well.
PRT: Do you already have ideas for more songs floating around that might or might not come out somewhere in the future?
Geoff: Yes. We are writing and have already recorded some stuff for a future release. Getting this EP out motivated us and we are having fun.
PRT: What’s up next for Guttermouth? Any tours in the works? Plans to come back to Europe?
Geoff: Next tour looks to be in November. We will have a few “one offs” here and there. Europe could be a possibility in 2017, we are working on that now.