Lollapalooza 2016: Potty Mouth
Lollapalooza celebrated its 25th anniversary by expanding to a phenomenal four-day festival, headlined this time around by the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, J.Cole, and Lana Del Rey. Curious to learn more about 25 of our favorite performers, LADYGUNN was on hand at Chicago’s historic Grant Park providing a predominately blank canvas for each individual to paint a captivating picture of their unique story. Here’s our chat with Abby, Ally, and Victoria of Potty Mouth, who opened up about finding a true sense of purpose after years of trying to please others, and remembering to keep taking risks on their way to hopefully becoming the biggest band in the world.
Would you like to introduce yourselves to the readers?
Abby: I’m Abby, I sing and play guitar.
Ally: I’m Ally, I play bass.
Victoria: I’m Victoria, I play drums.
What do you love about music?
Abby: Oh, interesting… What do we love about music?
Victoria: We love playing live.
Abby: Yeah, we do love playing live. That’s probably one of my favorite parts of music in general – just like seeing live music, and playing.
Ally: I like thinking about how songs are put together, and all the layers that go into creating a song, and all the different production decisions. I don’t know, that’s something that I developed more of an ear for after I started playing bass, because I really—I mean, I guess with bass it’s like… sometimes you really have to listen for it. So I feel like now I can dissect songs more easily because of that, and that’s what I like to think about with music.
Abby: Also how music can affect a situation. I feel like there are some songs that I just love to put on when I’m driving really late at night with all the windows down, and it just totally makes it a moment.
Can you recall your earliest memory of music?
Ally: I remember when I was really, really – this is an embarrassing story by the way – but I remember when I was really, really young, and my older brother was watching MTV, and it was like… probably in the mid-90s. I remember I knew nothing about music – I didn’t know any artists or bands other than the ones that were like super, super, super big and everyone knew. There was a music video on MTV, and it was a Michael Jackson music video, and my brother asked me, ‘Ally, who do you think this is?’ Like, just to test me to see if I knew. I had no idea, but the one artist I knew was Sheryl Crow.
[Abby and Victoria start laughing]
Ally: So I said, ‘I don’t know, Sheryl Crow?’ And he was like, ‘No! It’s Michael Jackson!’
Victoria: Well, Sheryl Crow did back-up singing for Michael Jackson, actually.
Ally: Oh, really?
Victoria: So you’re not far off…
Abby: So you actually outsmarted him at a young age…
Did you ever wanna be anything other than musicians?
Ally: I wanted to get my PhD in sociology – that was my plan after I graduated college. ‘Cause Potty Mouth didn’t start until after I graduated college. I had won a scholarship to enroll in a PhD program, and I did not end up using that scholarship – I ended up starting Potty Mouth, and now here we are like five-and-a-half years later.
Abby: I mean, before Potty Mouth I was just in high school, so I thought like, ‘Oh, I’ll be an artist, or a fashion designer, something…’ I’m rolling my eyes, by the way [laughs]. But yeah I mean, music just became part of my life so early on that now this is like… I’m just going all in.
Victoria: Yeah, same deal.
What’s something you wish you knew when you were younger?
Ally: I wish that I knew I was more capable of… I don’t know, I guess for me, I wish I just like… picked up an instrument. I played piano, but I wish I had picked up like a guitar or something earlier on. Like I wish I had the confidence to do that and know that I could, and not just assume that it was this natural ability that all my dude friends had, that I didn’t. So I wish I knew that.
Abby: I would say… I wish that I knew to do things more for myself than for other people. Just because it took me a really long time, and actually until I was in a band, that I felt like I had a purpose just for myself and that made my life unique, and something to work towards. So yeah, I wish when I was younger, I had something like that.
How would you describe your approach to life?
Abby: These are such philosophical questions! Our approach to life… Umm…
Abby: Just to be grateful that I am where I am, and never take it for granted.
Ally: Something that my really close friends from college and I always say to each other is, ‘You can get used to anything, but that doesn’t mean you have to.’ And that’s sort of a way of reminding ourselves that like… we don’t need to resign ourselves to a situation just because it feels comfortable and safe. And I think that applies a lot to this band for me, because we’ve all made a lot of sacrifices to make this band work, and we’ve taken a lot of risks. And I think we’re currently in the middle of a big risk: I quit my job, we all moved to L.A., and we’re sort of just trying to survive at this point. I could’ve just stayed in our town in Massachusetts ‘cause I got used to it and it was comfortable, but again… that doesn’t mean you have to.
They do say life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so…
Ally and Abby: Yeah…
Abby: It’s so true.
Victoria: My approach to life is try to make the best of every situation.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
[Everyone takes a moment to think]
Abby: To be the biggest band in the world! [Laughs]
Ally: I would just like to see my parents and my brother go on to live really happy and healthy lives… that are stress-free.
Victoria: Be the biggest band in the world! [Abby laughs]
Any final thoughts for the readers?
Abby: Thank you for having us.
Victoria: Yeah, thank you.
Ally: I would say, just remind everyone you can get used to anything, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
Abby: Do what you want!