Punk purists return to the Sandbar in West Vail
Ryan Summerlin February 18, 2010
VAIL, Colorado –Mark Adkins, who brings his band Guttermouth to Vail Friday, has an I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude that’s refreshing. Many musicians today are afraid to say anything that might be construed as un-PC. But during a phone interview this week Adkins, the band’s lead singer, talked about snobbish Aspen audiences, why MySpace sucks and how the record industry is offering “horrible deals” to musicians these days. High five for honesty.
That’s Guttermouth for you. These punk purists have been telling it like it is for more than 20 years now. And year after year, they stop in Vail during their tour of the Rockies. Crawford Byers of Rocky Mountain Entertainment had a succinct explanation about why he continues to birng them to Vail.
“They play punk music the way it should be – loud, crass and obnoxious. Not sissy broken-hearted emo crap in punk clothing,” Byers said.
They take Sandbar’s stage Friday at 10 p.m.
1. Vail Daily: Do you guys think of yourselves as punk purists? What do you think about the latest punk bands out there?
Mark Adkins: Absolutely, we’re punk purists. As for the new bands, I actually ignore them. I’m oblivious to it. I’ve heard snippets and it doesn’t float my boat. There’s no substance to it in my eyes. You were either there at the beginning or you weren’t, and if you weren’t part of it, you don’t understand what it was about and why people were doing it.
2. VD: According to your Web site, the band renounced MySpace earlier this month because, “it’s the ultimate embodiment of evil in humanity that is both vanity and voyeurism.” Tell me about that.
MA: It’s just time to move on from that. You’ve seen it – it’s terrible to see the way young girls over expose themselves and pose half nude with bongs and stuff. That’s sad and pathetic and I don’t want to be a part of something like that that gives kids an opportunity to exploit themselves.
3. VD: Are you guys going to do something else instead?
MA: We’re going over to the Facebook more. It seems to be more legit. If CNN is using it, it’s good enough for me.
4. VD: You’ve had trouble in the past with altitude sickness and such. How are you this trip?
MA: Yes, two years ago I was sick. It was horrible. One worst things I’ve ever experienced. We had to cancel Breck, and we barely made Vail. I’ve gotten it year after year. My equilibrium was off, and I didn’t know what it was. I kept trucking through. Then when I found out what it was, it’s not happening anymore. I feel great this trip.
5. VD: Are you guys as explicit, offensive and shocking as you used to be in the ’90s or has Guttermouth calmed down with age?
MA: No, we’ve had some pretty good nights this trip. We’ve thrown some curveballs at people. I don’t like to be the self-proclaimed shocking, it’s just what happens. Every night is different. Nothing is planned, we just feed off the audience’s energy.
Aspen was a good show. The crowd was a little standoffish and we gave ’em the business. Then they definitely warmed up. We just have to put those people in Aspen in their place, those snotty kids.
6. VD: Tell me about something controversial the band’s done recently.
MA: I truly don’t know. That’s so hard to answer. Some people are offended by the slightest things …
I walked off the stage on the Warp Tour once and some girl called me a sexist pig and spit in my face. It made no sense, she just didn’t like us. Like all Northern California people don’t like us. It’s the “correctness capital of the United States.” They have their own agenda and are a strange bunch. Even after our first record was released in 1990, some people from there sought my phone number out and drilled me on every song. You’re a false patriot. You’re sexist. You’re racist. It was insane. I enjoyed it and then we wrote a song about them, naturally.
7. Are you guys working on anything new?
MA: Yep, we’re mainly working on writing music, not so much vocals. There’s no tentative release date and we’re not sure which method we’re even going to use to release it because of how the record industry is doing. It might be totally on our own accord because labels don’t seem to be doing much for bands these days. You could sell a record for $4 and do just as well as if you had a label backing you with the horrible deals that they offer. Very one-sided. Especially now because they’re not making squat. But everything changes.
High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.