Monday, August 4, 2014

Pretty Mouth: The Last Interview

Pretty Mouth were one of the first bands to send me music, and also one of the first outside of South East Asia that I interviewed for this blog. Their unruly take on hardcore was a welcome relief during a period when few bands seemed willing to take chances, and I looked forward to every new release they sent my way as an excuse to act like a crazy person. Sadly, I learned recently that my Canadian BFFs are calling it a day. But before they turn the page on this chapter of their lives, I asked guitarist Andrew Cleveland to share his thoughts with me.

Dreams of Consciousness: Pretty Mouth recently announced that you guys are going your separate ways. I guess the obvious question is "Why?"

I've been sitting with this question for over 20 minutes now thinking of the best way to answer it. For the past year there have been different points in which each of us have wanted to end the band. I think I might have been the first, and Lance was definitely the last. I'm not sure if Kyle ever wanted this to end, I know closer to the end I didn't either. There were even talks of continuing with a new lineup but that wouldn't feel right.

The truth is Lance recently took on some more responsibility in his life, and on top of that his interest in music started to leave him. When he told us he was done, I think I knew in my heart that the band was done as well. Lance is one of the best and most creative performers I have ever worked with and if you've never had the chance to see him rip tape off of his face or douse himself in lube or baby oil you missed out. He is a creepy bastard and the things he comes up with for his stage performance our genuinely disturbing.

Oh, and we all hate each other.

photo by Yoshi Cooper
DoC: When you look back on your time with Pretty Mouth, what are you most proud of? And what are your regrets?

I hit a lot of milestones with PM. I think all of us did. Recording is definitely one of the things I would be most proud of. Everything always went really smoothly for the first part, and we never needed more than 24 hours to finish everything. Me and Kyle have amazing chemistry so we would normally bang things out in one or two takes. Same with Lance, for our first EP he did all of his vocals in one take on the spot. You can kind of hear his voice start to get shittier as the EP progresses.

Speaking of recording, I would say I am very proud of the three records we have released. There isn't really a single moment on any of them where I go "why the fuck did we do that". Other than the acoustic intro's and outro's on our first EP. I think quite a few people were confused by that, but in a weird way I guess we thought that it fit?

Getting the vinyl for FEARS was also a huge accomplishment. Which wouldn't have been possible without our label Bonesaw Records. We sat on that record for a little more than a year trying to figure out how we were going to release it, but I think we all knew vinyl was the way to go for that one.

As far as regrets go, there are too many to list, but the thing I regret the most is breaking up. Despite all of our internal issues, the second I hit the stage with those two I would always forgive and forget.

DoC: Before Pretty Mouth officially calls it a day, you have one more album to drop on us. What can you tell us about The Endless Mistake?

This record, at least aesthetically, really captures the current state of the band. Even the cover, if you didn't notice is the three of us foaming, puking, writhing, etc. It's the death of Pretty Mouth. The Endless Mistake is our funeral song. That artwork was made possible by the infinitely talented Candice Purwin, by the way. Check out her work, seriously. Out of everything we've recorded, and everything I've recorded in general, this is my favorite. I feel that it represents the sound we really wanted to go for initially. Especially the split we did with Orphan Donor. That is technically part of the record, to me at least. It is a huge shame to me that we have to break up right when this thing is released. We had a lot of plans to support this record but unfortunately it won't be happening.

Skeletal Lightning from the US is releasing 50 super limited cassettes of it though, and Epileptic Media from Europe is doing the same. Canada wise, that's still up in the air. If you want an early peek, the entire thing is streaming on Funeral Sounds.

DoC: You're currently playing bass with Mad Trapper. How did you get involved with them?

I've known the Mad Trapper guys for years now and I have always been a huge fan. We have also played with them quite a few times. When I saw their bassist Rino left, I thought I would see if they'd be down to have me join their ranks. I was also in the process of starting a band quite similar to them post-PM, so now I don't have to do that hahaha... Seriously though, it is a huge honor to be playing music with these guys, and I am looking forward to my future with them.

DoC: What's next for you guys?

Well, for me I am going hard with Mad Trapper, we are writing a full length and getting lots of shows in the process.

Kyle has two projects on the go right now; Maker, a post-hardcore type band and Codetalker. I can't really remember what Codetalker sounds like but the musicians involved are incredibly talented so I have no doubt that it will be awesome.

There is also a chance me and Kyle may be starting a two piece side project, but that's still up in the air right now.

As for Lance, he is adjusting to his music-less life. I think he is going to pursue other avenues of entertainment though, including acting and stand up. He will eventually start in a slasher movie about a guy who wears pantyhouse over his head and waterboards people with baby oil and lube.

Our last shows are September 12th and 13th in Ottawa and Toronto respectively. We are going balls out for these last two shows, so if you can, come.

The Endless Mistake will be available as a cassette and digital download through Skeletal Lightning August 6th and through the Pretty Mouth Bandcamp page on September 5th.
Thanks again to Andrew and Lance for the great interviews over the past couple years.

Pretty Mouth on Facebook

Pretty Mouth on Bandcamp

Dreams of Consciousness is on Facebook.