Los Angeles Pop-Rock Band, Potty Mouth, have come a long way since their days in Massachusetts and have used their passion for artistic expression to blend together as a unit of love. As the ladies gear up to head out on tour, I caught up with the impassioned band to discuss the recent release of ‘SNAFU’, money management, recognizing emotions and more.
Congrats on the release of ‘SNAFU’. Tell us about the creative and recording process and what you learned about yourself along the way.
Abby: Thank you! This record has been a long time coming so it feels great to finally be putting it out into the world. I think the big thing we learned while recording and releasing this album is just to trust ourselves. Over the course of our career we’ve had a lot of people come into our lives and act as if they knew what was best for us, and we didn’t know any better than to just believe them. We always knew when something felt weird, but it takes experience and perspective to know the difference between growing pains and something that’s just not right for our band. Now we know better and I’m proud of us for powering through it.
What new techniques and/or skills did you learn in the studio through experimentation while working on ‘SNAFU’?
Victoria: At the beginning of the recording process we programmed electronic drums to act as the skeleton of each song. All of the guitars, vocals, etc. were recorded over that. I went in afterward and recorded the live drums you’ll hear on the record. In the past we’ve always recorded drums live with scratch guitars and then gone back and overdubbed everything. This process is great for a lot of reasons, but I was happy to try something new. Our approach to SNAFU offered a different workflow and a new kind of flexibility in conceptualizing my drum parts.
Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?
Ally: Being in a band really pushes you to wrestle with your own feelings of jealousy. Part of the nature of being an aspiring band/artist is that you also tend to be friends with a lot of other aspiring bands/artists. When you’re on the outside looking in – usually from the perspective of social media – it’s easy to feel like everyone else is getting something bigger and better than you are: more opportunities, more tours, more recognition, more followers, more money, more whatever. That kind of thinking is based on a mindset of scarcity; the idea that there isn’t enough “good stuff” to go around for everyone, so we all need to compete with one another in order to thrive. It’s a yucky and unproductive feeling. Where’s the joy in any of what we’re doing if you can’t celebrate the successes of your peers? Growing with this band has really helped me figure out how to recognize feelings of jealousy for what they are and turn them around into something more productive. I remind myself how much I love being part of a larger network of hardworking, talented creatives that inspire me to keep pushing forward, even when things get hard. Moving to LA has made me feel even more supported in our band’s endeavor because we’re constantly surrounded by so many people with similar goals. It doesn’t feel threatening. It feels exciting, and I feel so lucky to have a part in the journey.
What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?
Victoria: I use Instagram mostly to post and look at pictures of animals.
Abby: I hate it and I love it. I hate that I get so lost in scrolling through meaningless content, but I also love that it’s an endless source of inspirational art and people. I think it’s important not to spend too much time on social media though, because it’s easy to get lost in comparing yourself to unrealistic standards. Sometimes I have to force myself to take time away from Instagram because when I do I always feel more free and confident. I’m able to focus on my own ideas and where I’m at in my path instead of looking at someone else’s accomplishments and feeling like I’m way behind them.
No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.
Abby: I love sewing! My mom taught me how to use a sewing machine when I was pretty young so I use to make most of my clothes in middle school and high school. I love going to Goodwill and finding old clothes that can be made into something new and original.
Ally: I’m proud about how responsible I am with money! I’ve been financially independent for a long time and it’s forced me to be really “prudent” with how I manage my money. In LA, I pay twice as much for rent and make half as as much money as I did in Massachusetts. It sucks. But I wouldn’t be able to swing it if I didn’t have the responsible money managing skills that I have. Sometimes I’m truly amazed by how much of a shoestring budget I’ve managed to live on out here. Hopefully it doesn’t last forever!
As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?
Abby: It’s hard but getting as much sleep as possible is really important. Touring is really rough on the body, the most you can do is be honest with the people around you about how you’re feeling so everyone can be aware and sensitive to the different needs we all have.
You have toured with a wide variety of musicians over the past years and have played at some major festivals. Tell us some words of wisdom that you collected along the way.
Victoria: Play like everybody’s watching.
Ally: Remember that when you play a show, you’re somebody in the audience’s ‘one night out’ that week. Maybe it’s the one night they’ve been looking forward in weeks. Make it fun for them.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old that you were?
Ally: If I looked into my soul, I think I would see the soul of a 60 year old woman. If I think about my heart though, I still feel young.
Abby: I’m 25 now and I’ve felt 25 for the last few years haha!
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
Abby: I hope you love the record as much as we do!!