Punk band Guttermouth plays in Vail | VailDaily.com

Punk band Guttermouth plays in Vail

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado ” Colby McCabe remembers listening to Guttermouth when he was a teenager in Kansas City, Mo.

“I was really big into the underground punk rock scene,” said the now-22-year-old ski technician at Buzz’s Boards in Vail. “I was really into skateboarding then and now, and it’s really good stuff to skate to, to get pumped up.”

McCabe was enthused to hear that Guttermouth will be taking the stage tonight at the Sandbar Sports Grill in West Vail.

“I’m excited to see that they’re coming back here,” he said. “I haven’t heard or seen them in a while so it’s good to see that they’re still around.”

Twenty years and 10 albums after Guttermouth burst onto the punk scene in the late 1980s, the band is more than just “still around.” A show at the Marquis Theater in Denver last Saturday sold out with 500 fans packing the audience.

“It’s a Guttermouth show so it was pretty crazy,” theater owner Mike Barsch said.

And even though Guttermouth frontman Mark Adkins, 42, visited the hospital for pneumonia this week, he’s determined to follow through on the show in Vail.

Adkins said he wants to make up for “calling in sick” to a show in Vail last year, when two ailments ” pneumonia and High Altitude Pulmonary edema ” forced him to cancel the concert.

“That’s something that’s been eating at me all year,” he said. “It’s something I pride myself on is not canceling shows.”

Infamous in some circles for their crude lyrics and stage antics, Guttermouth never shies away from controversy. Like other kings of the punk genre such as NOFX and Bad Religion, the California band’s anti-establishment energy appeals to the skateboarding set and tends to draw large, fired-up crowds.

Sometimes this has led to clashes with authority. In 1995, Adkins was arrested in San Bernadino, Calif. for “assault with a deadly weapon” after authorities claimed he used his on-stage microphone to incite the crowd into a near riot (he was never charged with any crime).

So what’s going to happen in Vail? Can we expect a near-riot? Adkins thinks not, and security guards at the Sandbar plan to keep things from getting too out of hand.

Adkins fondly described the crowds that gather in Vail as a mix of “snow hippies” and Europeans.

“Vail isn’t riot material, no,” he said.

Guttermouth is currently on a short tour that began in Ft. Collins last week and ends in California March 7. Along with winding through the West in a van, members of Guttermouth ” who include Adkins on vocals, Kevin Clark on bass, Ryan Farrell on drums, plus Dave Luckett and Hunter Zinkil on guitars ” plan to record two EPs, which they intend to combine into a full-length release around Christmas, Adkins said. He said one of the songs will deal with the Wendy’s fast food chain.

“Basically the burger wars that go on, and part of why America’s so fat,” he said. “Anyone who ever gets over 175 pounds in the band Guttermouth gets kicked out. That’s a rule that we have.”

Guttermouth also plans to join the California leg of the Warped Tour in July.

“They invited us back for what they’re calling the old school stage,” Adkins said.

Interestingly, the 2004 Warped Tour set the stage for one of Guttermouth’s most controversial outbursts. Guttermouth was among the lineup that year, and Adkins said he was getting sick of the hyper liberal tone of the event.

“There’s 90 bands and it was just a broken record of ‘F— Bush!'” said Adkins, who describes himself as neither liberal nor conservative.

Guttermouth took to wearing clothes with sarcastic slogans like “Win War” and poked fun at the “Not My President” shirts everyone was wearing by selling their own parody shirts with images of Michael J. Fox and Eddie Munster in place of Bush.

“We were the war mongers of the tour and that didn’t go over so well,” Adkins said.

Guttermouth eventually left the tour after several bands complained that Guttermouth was making fun of them, Adkins said.

For all of his on-stage roughness, the singer comes off funny and intelligent in conversation. He’s passionate about his latest hobbies: paddle boarding and running. He finished a half marathon in San Jose, Calif., a year ago.

“We’re trying to be a better, fitter Guttermouth,” Adkins said.

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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