A taste of GUTTFULL
GUTTFULL has only been a thing really since December 2016, and to be launching an EP six months later feels like a smooth flow of progress!
Once we’d got the band together, played a gig, and felt between us that this was a band ‘with legs’, we were keen to get in the studio as soon as we could. So we recorded three tracks one Sunday in January, with Mark Jasper at Soundsavers. It’s an awesome little studio in Hackney, where loads of DIY punk bands are recording because it’s great value.
We released the first of those singles, Arsehole, on 20 Jan, to coincide with Trump’s inauguration. Our (then) drummer Magnus made the video – filmed on a Go-Pro camera while he wore a Donald Trump mask travelling on Saturday night public transport, from East to South-West London. By the time he reached us he’d been thoroughly shouted and swore at, someone even spat at him – he really did capture the mood of Londoners in the face of this terrible new President.
Sax as lead instrument
We recorded the next three songs for the EP with Mark Etstall at Marketstall Recording in Bermondsey. This felt like a more luxurious recording – the studio is an Aladdin’s cave of amps and equipment, and Mark is an unashamed sound geek. He spent a lot of time helping to get our sound just how we wanted it, and when he did the mixing and mastering the only guide we gave him was ‘make it sound like Germ Free Adolescent!’
We’re often described in relation to X Ray Spex, which is a massive compliment of course. But rather than being a guitar punk band with a sax filling the gaps, sax is our lead instrument. I keep my guitar heavy on the bass and Big Muff distortion, and leave Phil to lead the melody in the treble. I’m new to the guitar – I got my gorgeous ‘Burgundy Mist Mus-uar’ Squier for my birthday in October last year! I was playing bass for a couple of years before this, so my guitar lines are basically basslines with ideas above their station.
Our bassist Gemma was new to the recording process, same as Moe. She says, “it was terrifying because at the point where we recorded Arsehole I was still getting my head round the song’s structure, so playing everything in the right order on my own was daunting.” She plays a Squier Jaguar short scale, which she says is “a dream if, like me, you are 5’4” and have freakishly tiny hands. It gets a lot of compliments from men in other bands we play with, and I am not speculating on why they don’t already use one or making any comments about size.”
Punking out the drums
Our original drummer, Magnus, who recorded the EP with us, sadly bowed out of the band a few months ago. He was already in two other bands who were getting busy with tours, and he just didn’t feel he could give us enough of his time. Good drummers are in high demand! So we were thrilled to get Louis on board straight away – he’s an awesome drummer, and fitted straight in with our band ethos/silliness.
He says “Joining a band with an EP already recorded was a little daunting at first as I’d never done this before. At first I thought about changing the drums to suit my style better, but I don’t think it would have worked. I decided to mimic Magnus as much as I could live to do the songs justice. That said though, I have tweaked a few bits here and there to suit my style and liking. He definitely knows how to punk-out on the drums which I hope I have achieved live. We have a new batch of songs that we have been writing, and they have my style splashed all over them…which I’m very excited about!”
The new songs are coming thick and fast – lately it seems that every time we play a gig we add a brand new song. The writing process in GUTTFULL tends be that I come up with lyrics and a rough tune (usually in the car or the shower!), then I do a scratchy demo at home with Garageband to share with the others. Once we get together and play it through everyone brings their own style to the song – we all put our own stamp on it. We’ve nearly got enough new material for an album, so that’s the next goal.