Potty Mouth talk SNAFU and the importance of ‘reversing the underrepresentation in punk’

Earlier this month, punk rock trio Potty Mouth unveiled their long-awaited second album SNAFU. If you don’t know what that acronym stands for, you’ll just have to read on to find out.

The Western Massachusetts pop-punk band made up of Abby Weems on vocals and guitar, Ally Einbinder on bass, and Victoria Mandanas on drums, manage to pack a punch into the ten tracks that make up the collection.

The confident and catchy as fuck tracks show a band who have managed to find their stride and are truly rocking with it. SNAFU includes latest single 22, Dog Song, Liar, and particular fave Fencewalker, which Weems co-wrote with the Go-Go’s Gina Schock.

We caught up with the Potty Mouth girls to talk music, comic books, and Einbinder’s record label which describes itself as ‘for the queers’.

Hey! First of all, we’ve gotta ask about the name of the new album. What made you choose to name it SNAFU?

Abby: I thought it would be a funny secret joke if the hyphenated name of the album was “PMS” haha. So a friend and I were thinking of “S” words and when she suggested “SNAFU” I really liked it because I felt like “Situation Normal All Fucked Up” was a good way to summarize Potty Mouth’s journey since our last album.

We started the band just because it was the “normal” thing to do in the small town where we all met, and we never expected it to take off and lead us down this really unique path together. It hasn’t been easy but now we’re back and better than ever!!

Can you tell us a bit about the latest single ’22’?

Abby: I wrote it on my 22nd birthday when I was thinking a lot about how 22 sounded so much older than 21. I was 17 when Potty Mouth formed so I felt like I had a reputation for being “so young” for being in a band.

I was worried that once I turned 22 I would lose that special factor and be seen as just another college-age young-adult in a punk band.

It’s been six years since the release of your debut album ‘Hell Bent’. How do you think things have changed since then?

Ally: We’ve learned so much, I don’t even know where to begin. Six years feels like a lifetime ago at this point.

Earlier, I noticed a chat message box in the band’s Gmail account from 6 years ago between me and Abby. I read it back to her and we were both laughing because it sounds like it’s from a completely different time. We were talking about getting ready for the release of Hell Bent and I was just so excited about all of these random local shows we were playing and all these wild ideas that never ended up happening. I honestly miss having that naive enthusiasm sometimes.

On a more tangible note, we’ve all become more skilled at our respective instruments in the band over the course of the past 6 years. Abby has also really developed as a songwriter and a singer. We’ve also given a lot more thought and attention to our production process now than we ever did with any previous release.

We’ve just been growing and progressing in all the ways you’d expect a band that’s been around for 8 years should be.

(Photo credit: Nazrin Massaro)

You’ve recently been on the road with The Go-Go’s, Against Me!, and CHVRCHES. How was it to perform alongside such bands?

Abby: One of my favourite shows was when we opened for the Go-Go’s in San Francisco. We played at the Fox Theater to a full house and had so much fun during our set. The audience really loved us because for them it was like seeing 2 generations of all-female bands.

I remember Victoria saying after the show, “that’s the most I’ve ever felt like a rock star,” and I had been thinking the exact same thing.

Ally: Playing two shows with The Go Go’s was truly a dream come true. At the San Diego show, the Go Go’s invited us to dance on stage with them while they played the song ‘Cool Jerk’. Victoria didn’t want to do it, so her mom came instead! It was so much fun and so surreal. There’s a video of it on our Facebook!

Abby, you’ve written and illustrated a comic book to go with the release of ‘SNAFU’. What gave you the idea for it?

Abby: Ever since I started posting my illustrations on Instagram, Potty Mouth fans have been asking for a comic. When we finally decided on a release plan for the album we thought it would be a fun way to let people see behind the scenes of why we’ve had to take a few years to release new music.

Seems as we’re on the subject, who would you pick as your favourite comic book superhero?

Abby: I love Sailor Moon! I never got into super hero comics like Marvel or DC but I did read a good amount of manga when I was younger. 

Ally, the album will be released via Get Better Records, a record label you set up with your partner. Can you tell us a bit about the message behind the label and why you felt it was something needed in the music industry?

Ally: My partner, Alex, started Get Better Records as a personal effort to reverse the constant underrepresentation of the queer arts community with a specific focus on punk, hardcore and alternative rock music.

The label does not work with bands comprised of all/majority cis white men. The music industry, and punk in general, is already over-saturated with bands comprised of white cis men. There is no need to make more space for that. GBR exists to make space and release music made for the queers, by the queers. We do not tolerate sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, apologist bullshit.

Can we expect to see Potty Mouth on the road soon then? Any plans for a UK tour?

Ally: Yes, we will FINALLY be in the UK later this year. Keep your eyes peeled for dates! 

SNAFU by Potty Mouth is available now via Get Better Records. Click here to order the album and here to listen on Spotify.

Follow Potty Mouth: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Written by QWEERIST editor

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