the AU interview: Mark Adkins of Guttermouth (California, USA)


Back when Guttermouth announced their last ever tour of Australia, the internet exploded with concern and speculation that the band was about to break up. After more than twenty years touring the globe and putting out snotty DIY punk records, you wouldn’t blame the band if they wanted to call it quits. As it turned out, the band were not breaking up. It’s just the toll and costs associated to tour Australia were just too much for the band and to say thankful for the decades of support they were going to do one big tour playing a lot of regional centers and some places for the first and sadly, the last time.

I was given the opportunity to send through a few questions for Mark to answer via email. In true punk spirit, Mark decided to choose which questions he was going to answer and then basically write whatever he wanted! The following is my original questions I sent over to Mark and then his response, word for word. It is a crack up - enjoy!!

Original questions

1. You caused a bit of a shit storm online when the final Australian tour was announced with many thinking you were breaking up. Were you surprised by how out of control it became or was it an orchestrated piece of mischief on your behalf?

2. It must also be flattering to know no one wants to see Guttermouth end?

3. So why is this the last tour of Australia. Do you not love us anymore?

4. Whats been your favourite memory of touring Australia?

5. Does touring get easier or harder as you get older?

6. It seems most punk bands as they get older either mature to playing festivals/stadiums or do solo acoustic tours. Have you considered doing either?

7. Does punk music still have a place for a band like Guttermouth?

8. If there was a Guttermouth biopic - who do you think should play each band members role?

9. Final words for Aussie fans?

And now... Mark's responses:

Hello Jason and AU Review Staff,
I scanned over the questions before answering in the traditional top to bottom fashion. Oh, but before I go any further...I thank and write you from a cheap Mexican hotel while sipping even cheaper tequila poured over frozen Mexican water, or ice. The water is not to be ingested in this part of Baja, thus ice is no safer. Tomorrow will be a bad day. I think you will understand the groups choices, opinions and actions if I hit certain topics first. I hope this is OK with you because that is how I am doing it.
#5 Traveling with this band actually gets easier with each passing year. Everyone has settled into their job and knows their place in the group. To put it another way, "We are a well oiled machine."
If you were to ask me this a few years back I might have had a different answer. Guttermouth has never been like the younger newer groups who travel with a glorified babysitter. We grew up in an era when one was forced to wipe their own ass. We still load, set up and tear down our own gear. Not to mention manufacture merch, assist in tour scheduling and booking, hell the list is endless! I may sound like a lot but we have it down.

I am not down with the entitlement set of subhumans who call themselves bands. What I am getting at is the fact that I have seem countless young groups who will not touch any of their own gear. Most feel they are above such blue collar rock group labor. Things get really funny when bands wait and wait till help arrives. Imagine If a band member broke a nail by participating in the arduous task of setting up ones own equipment.

I find it very easy to hate people more concerned with image and public opinion than just tackling the task at hand.
#6 I would consider playing anytime, anywhere. Weather it be festivals, stadiums or backyard parties. The circumstances have to be right for each to work. For instance, I'm not going to play a festival for blind, deaf mutes, right? Nothing against handicap folks, but whats the point?

I feel the majority of bands who focus mainly on festivals are acts that have lost motivation, sense of adventure or love TV again. The word lazy comes to mind. I have heard of certain fests that will put you on, essentially own the groups next few tours. That's giving up a lot of freedom just to play under a tent while 60,000 people are watching Kiss, Devo or whoever the big band of the day is. I still Love and remember Australia's Livid Festival, R.I.P. It was like no other event in the world.

As far as acoustic solo stuff goes...No! Can you picture me strumming Lucky The Donkey like I'm both Simon and Garfunkel? Maybe for a laugh and a cold one I would consider it. We must remember, we are in punk bands and have no real talent. That is why we hide behind loud dirty sounding guitars. Leave the acoustic stuff for the hippies.
#8 Fun question and on that note we should start with Dave. Mr. Luckett reinvented himself a few times this last east coast tour. First as Superman, then as Cleopatra. I must say Dave doesn't look half bad as the Queen of the Nile...When hungover. 

I strongly feel a women should portray Dave. Weather it be a biopic, feature film or tampon commercial. There is a girl inside him just fighting to get out. Courtney Love or Zira from The Planet of the Apes film would adequately fill the shoes of an actor who has yet to be typecast.
On deck would be Justin. No wait, Mark or Clint Howard (Ron Howard's odd ball brothers) would also be perfect for Dave. Look em both up, I'm sure you will concur.

Guttermouth tour dates - Tickets on sale now:

Friday August 9th – Adelaide, SA – Fowlers Lic/Aa
Saturday August 10th – Warrnambool, VIC – the Loft 18+
Sunday August 11th – Ferntree Gully, VIC – Ferntree Gully Hotel 18+
Wednesday August 14th – Hobart, TAS – Brisbane Hotel 18+
Thursday August 15th – Geelong, VIC – Barwon Club 18+
Friday August 16th – Ballarat, VIC – Karova Lounge 18+
Saturday August 17th – Melbourne, VIC – the Evelyn 18+
Sunday August 18th – Falls Creek, VIC – the Man 18+
Monday August 19th – Mt Hotham, VIC – Swindlers 18+
Wednesday August 21st – Jindabyne, NSW – the Station 18+
Thursday August 22nd – Canberra, ACT – Uc Live 18+
Friday August 23rd – Sydney, NSW – the Manning Bar 18+
Saturday August 24th – Toukley, NSW – the Beachcomber Hotel 18+
Sunday August 25th – Newcastle, NSW – Cambridge Hotel 18+
Wednesday August 28th – Coffs Harbour, NSW – the Coffs Hotel 18+
Thursday August 29th – Byron Bay, NSW – Great Northern Hotel 18+
Friday August 30th – Brisbane, QLD – the Tempo Hotel 18+
Saturday August 31st – Gold Coast, QLD – the Parkwood Tavern 18+