We had the opportunity to sit down with Potty Mouth, a 90s-inspired alternative pop punk trio from Northampton, MA, before their set with CHVRCHES at The Riviera Theatre in Chicago. They played a two-night stint together and both nights sold out.
Keep an eye out for these ladies! They’ll be playing Lollapalooza this year in Chicago on July 30 and also Wrecking Ball in Atlanta August 13-14. Stay tuned this summer for news on their upcoming album to be released later this year.
Persistent Vision Media: We are here with Potty Mouth–
Potty Mouth: Hi!
PVM: Hey! –playing a sold out show with CHVRCHES on Night Two.
PVM: How’re you guys feeling?
Abby: Great! Yeah, I’m really excited.
Ally: Yeah, last night was awesome– so happy to do it again.
Abby: Yeah, yeah.
PVM: Nice. So, let’s pop into- so, your music, I feel like it’s really nostalgically 90s.
PVM: Is that intentional?
Abby: Oh, hell yeah!
PVM: [Laughs] Okay, nice! I mean I was watching your lyric video and like it just totally screamed 90s and like, I like am totally in love with that.
Abby: Yeah? Cool.
PVM: So, is that like– what’re your feelings towards the 90s?
Abby: I mean, that’s like pretty much all the kind of music that I listen to personally. Yeah, these guys have both introduced me to a lot of cool 90s stuff that has been really influential for me– like Juliana Hatfield and Veruca Salt are- are huge for us and Hole, Nirvana, so, yeah. At least personally, that has had like a huge- been a huge part of our evolution for songwriting and inspiration, yeah.
Ally: Yeah, I- same. I love 90s music. It’s some of my favorite music- 90s indie rock– I think it represents a time when like rock and roll was like the main, ki- more of like the mainstream thing you heard on the radio. And it was possible to be a grunge or alternative rock band and get commercial success. Not to say that’s like the ultimate goal, it’s just like, definitely like specific to that time so… [pause] like Nirvana.
PVM: Yeah, Nirvana, right? No other words necessary.
PVM: So, speaking of 90s, give me one memory that you feel growing up in the music scene in the 90s on the east coast that was like one of your, like favorites.
Ally: In the 90s?
PVM: Like growing up in the music scene in Massachusetts.
Abby: Well- I was born in 1993 so I don’t- [everyone laughs] I don’t really have any concept of what the scene was like then but, I mean I’m from Amherst where Dinosaur Jr. met and we still see them around which is cool. But- I don’t know about you guys [looks around].
Ally: Yeah I mean I, am a little older but still was a kid in the 90s and- but I- we were just talking about this in the van earlier how, like, 1995 was sorta the year that I really developed my own personal taste in music and heard songs on the radio and could be like “I like that, I want that CD” and I remember the first CDs I ever got were like Crazy, Sexy, Cool by TLC and Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt so, those were some of my first favorite groups, bands, whatever.
Victoria: Yeah, same. I just kinda listened to pop music. Cause I’m, born in the 90s so-
Victoria: Spice Girls… [Abby chuckles]
Ally: Spice Girls, yeah.
PVM: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean I’m on the same boat, I was born in ’89. So like, I mean- did you watch like- grow up watching like Disney Channel or like-
Ally: Like MTV back when they actually played more music-oriented stuff like TRL and, you know, just- I remember I have this distinct memory of seeing a Michael Jackson music video on MTV and I must’ve been really really young cause my brother just wanted to embarrass me cause he knew I didn’t know a lot about what was popular like pop culture and he’s like “Ally, who do you think this is?” and at that time the only artist I knew for some reason was Sheryl Crow [everyone laughs] and I was like, “Sheryl Crow?” and it was totally Michael Jackson so…
Abby: [Laughs] Oh my God, that’s hilarious!
Ally: Yeah… [chuckles] I’ll never forget that!
PVM: Well again, like, totally, going off the 90s, like what was one of your favorite things about the 90s?
PVM: Like Ring Pops or-
Abby: I don’t know, I always feel so young. I feel like I can’t really speak for that time-
Victoria: Skip It.
PVM: Skip it?
Ally: Skip It! Skip It was awesome.
Abby: What- what’s that?
Ally: That- [Victoria starts to speak; Ally gestures over at Victoria] That- you can—
Victoria: [Gestures back at Ally] Nah, there was- I don’t know it was like—
Off-camera: You thought they meant, skip it.
PVM: It took me like two seconds, and like, “Oh yeah!”
Ally: They like recalled those cause they were dangerous or something—
Ally: It’s like a ring you put around your ankle that has like a- a—
Ally: -ball coming out of it and—
Abby: Yeah I remember those.
Ally: –you skip around it, yeah.
Abby: Those ARE dangerous.
PVM: It had a counter, right?
PVM: Like, that little- did it have a counter?
Ally: It had a counter so you could count how many times you went around a full circle—
Off-camera: …how many times you skipped it?
Abby: Yeah. [Laughs]
Ally: Yeah, I don’t know I feel just like I probably am only saying this because it’s easy to romanticize how things used to be and take for granted all the technology we have now but, I just like, think it’s cool to, to think about a time in music when we didn’t have like smart phones and like all these—
Ally: –technological means to, like discover new music and identify it right away because that meant like, the way people discovered music was like, you know, through the radio and like making mixtapes and like hearing a song they like on the radio and recording it on a tape—
Abby: Yeah, or flyers—
Ally: –and all that.
Abby: — like going to a show cause like you see a flyer and, yeah.
PVM: Yeah totally.
Off-camera: No social media.
Potty Mouth: Yeah.
PVM: Nope, no it was all word of mouth.
PVM: Well, what was like the first show you ever went to?
Ally: I saw the Spice Girls [Abby laughs] and Hanson. I don’t know- I can’t remember which came first. Probably Spice Girls? But, I saw them in concert… I also saw Weird Al. [Everyone laughs]
PVM: Nice! Yeah, that’s pretty special.
Ally: Mmm hmm, yeah.
Abby: Yeah. I just grew up going to- or at least when I was in high school- a lot of my friends were in bands so, I would just go see them play at the local venues at the time.
Abby: Yeah. Victoria?
Victoria: I saw, I saw Cher in like 2001.
Abby: Oh wow!
Victoria: Yeah, she came out with a, like- she came back with her Believe—
PVM: Oh yeah.
Victoria: –Tour, yeah. [Everyone chuckles]
Off-camera: She’s still right now killin it—
Abby: Oh really? Wow.
Off-camera: –I saw her last year. I cried.
PVM: Amazing. So you said one of your favorite bands is Green Day.
PVM: That still hold true or—
Abby: I do still love Green Day. I’ve definitely branched out since then. I feel like that was the main thing I listened to in high school but- yeah, I still love Green Day. They were a huge part of learning how to write songs for me, yeah.
PVM: Are there any like, new bands that you’re like totally into at the moment, that you just discovered recently?
Ally: [Hums and nods along]
[A pause; everyone laughs]
Abby: What’s Dan’s noise project? [Laughs]
Ally: Yeah.. no, no this- well we just got back from our tour with Stove–
Abby: Oh, yeah.
Ally: –our friends had an album come out in November and it’s amazing. It’s called Stove, the album’s called Is Stupider–
Abby: Yeah. [chuckles]
Ally: –it was just so great playing with them for a week and a half–
Abby: Yeah, they’re the best–
Abby: –they’re some of our best friends. So, it was cool to hang out with them but they’re also a great band, so–
Abby: So, it was just awesome.
PVM: Best combo.
PVM: Yeah. I had a question, I totally just lost it… What is one of your favorite music videos?
Abby: Out of every music video ever?
PVM: I know it’s hard to pick. [Abby laughs] I won’t hold you to like, that’s your favorite one but like–
PVM: –one that comes to mind.
Abby: …I’m trying to think….
Ally: I would say like I’ve always really liked the video for Everlong by Foo Fighters.
Abby: Yeah, that’s a good one.
PVM: OH yeah.
Abby: …yeah… [a pause, turns to look at Victoria] I’m trying to think. [Another pause] What’s the- I can’t- why can’t I remember the song? The Green Day music video where–
Abby: –there’s a greenscreen behind them and it’s like, goes in a loop… of the same, of the same people go in and out through the background and do the same actions?
[Victoria starts humming]
Ally: Oh, damnit, I can’t remember…
PVM: Oh my gosh.
Abby: Yeah, what song is that? It’s off of Insomniac.
PVM: Yeah, I don’t know.
Abby: I can’t remember.
Ally: I like the video for Say My Name by Destiny’s Child.
PVM: Oh nice. Oh! You know what? It’s so weird- like on the way here, I was thinking like as a joke for signing off, be like- say your names- then be like, “…and we’re Destiny’s Child” [Everyone laughs]
Abby: Yeah, we could. [Laughter continues]
PVM: I have two more questions–
Abby: Okay, yeah.
PVM: One would be: when did you start playing music and what was the name of the group that you played with? Or was it solo?
Abby: I mean I started playing music for Potty Mouth, so that’s when I first started playing guitar was for this band. [chuckles]
PVM: Cool! That’s amazing!
Abby: Yeah! Yeah, [looks around] but I know you guys, didn’t, you- [looks at Ally] started out with, Outdates?
Ally: I played some instruments before.
Abby: I mean I played cello–
Abby: — growing up. And I, sort of, messed around with guitar before… but it was- I just learned like, three chords because there was an acoustic guitar at my house. But I never really written a song or anything until Potty Mouth started.
Ally: Yeah I started playing bass when I was like 21 and, that was basically because I had a friend who had a project where he wrote all the parts already and he needed a bassist and he gave me a tape with the songs on them. He’s like, “You wanna learn bass? Learn these songs” and, that was my first band. That was Outdates. And then like, a year and a half later, Potty Mouth started so, I was still pretty new to bass when Potty Mouth started.
Victoria: I guess I’ve been playing drums for- on and off for about 15, 16 years–
Victoria: –and, I didn’t actually like start playing with anyone else until I was already, in college I guess. And that band was called Chemical Peel. It’s like a punk, punk band, some friends of mine.
PVM: Alright, nice!
PVM: And, last but not least, are you guys currently working on new material or-
Abby: Oh yeah.
Abby: Yeah we have tons of songs. I mean, we’ve been writing for the last two years so–
PVM: Oh wow.
Abby: –we’re gonna record later- maybe like the early summer and hopefully have a record out by the end of summer, maybe in the fall–
PVM: Oh wow, okay.
Abby: That’s the plan. Well we have everything written, we just have to find the time to record–
PVM: That’s exciting.
PVM: What about– I know this is like, totally another question but… artwork. Are you guys- do you do that on your own?
Abby: We… Phoebe who used to play guitar for us has done- did the two first album artworks. Since then, we just had the self-titled EP and that’s a, that’s a picture of us taken by our friend Jesse Riggins. We haven’t really thought about it, the album artwork for the next record. We don’t even know what we’re gonna call it but–
Abby: Yeah, it’s fun to think about.
PVM: Well, thanks so much for your time–
Abby: Yeah, thank you.
Ally: Thank you.
Victoria: Thank you, yeah.
PVM: –again we’re here with Potty Mouth, or…
Victoria: Destiny’s Child!
Abby: Yeah, no you have to–
Victoria: I mean–
[Everyone erupts in laughter]
Abby: No you have to be like, say your name!
Victoria: Say My Name [chuckles]
Abby: Yeah [laughs]
PVM: Officially signing off is…
Victoria: …and we’re…
Potty Mouth: Potty Mouth!
[Interview ends with a laugh]