I caught up with GUTTFULL to talk feminism, punk and inspirations at their EP launch gig on Thursday.
The full interview can be found above^ or on our podcast on Soundcloud.
It was one of the most exciting gigs I’ve been to this year – the talent was self-evident and the line-up was fantastic. GUTTFULL played an absolutely barnstorming set. Lyrically furious and funny; they were all rage and good humour. ARSEHOLE and Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Here? made a particular impact – I’m sure half of Islington could hear us gleefully shouting ‘ARSEHOLE, ARSEHOLE!!’ back at the stage.
That seems to be the trick to GUTTFULL. They’re are at once bitterly angry, bitingly witty, and so much fun. No immersion-ruining self-consciousness here; they’re too busy having a good old (angry) time.
GUTTFULL on Soundclound
GUTTFULL on Spotify
GUTTFULL on Facebook
See the transcript of the interview below!
So! Have you had a good gig? It looked amazing from where we were!
Phil Waite (sax): Oh thank you!
Louis Richardson (drums): This is the gig we’ve most enjoyed; we had a great time!
Phil: Disagree with me if you like, but I think this is the best audience we have ever played to… a mixture of our friends, who are brilliant, and people who have not seen us before who were joining in, which was such a –
Gemma Gompertz (bass): There were even men enjoying themselves!
Phil: Which, let’s be clear, is not what we’re about!
Tell me what you’re about!
Cassie: We’re about smashing the patriarchy and stuff that we’ve got pissed off with… like… what are we pissed off with? Today!
Gemma: People who are terrible on public transport!
You know, I was going to say that! I was on my way here today and there was a man on the train screaming at an older lady, and everyone on the train was just sitting there like ‘I don’t know what how to intervene’. And he was this huge guy, and she was in her 60s or something. That wasn’t just an argument, that was pure patriarchy. There’s no way another woman would have done that to her – he was really physically imposing.
Moedusa Mamajama (vocals): But no one intervened! That’s almost worse than what he was doing. It’s difficult when you’re in the situation; it’s hard when you’re in that situation.
Well I was going to say – and this is the patriarchy in itself – there were plenty of big guys who could have stepped in!
Mo: But then you’re depending on one of them to step in!
Louis: Yeah, we don’t like that. We’ll write a song about it!
Do it! So what do you hope to achieve? How does being in a patriarchy-smashing band help?
Cassie: Well I haven’t set out… I write the songs – I haven’t set out to enact a change or anything!
[We all got the giggles because Cassie stopped to pose for the photographer]
Phil: You look beautiful!
Cassie: I enjoy playing in a band with my friends. I have a lot of anger, which comes out in the lyrics that I write. I bring it to these guys, who inject their anger as well!
I know that you’ve got [the song] Keyboard Warrior, which is about the stick you get for this kind of thing [being in a band, writing about feminist issues]…
Mo: Well that’s also something very personal to Cassie.
Cassie: Keyboard Warrior… it was from my old band, comments that we got on videos, on YouTube, which were all like ‘you’re fat, you’re ugly‘ –
Gemma: ‘You’ll never get a man and you should die!’
Phil: All really nice stuff.
Cassie: ‘You’re worse than cancer, you’ve probably got aids’, just horrific. It was, it absolutely was because we’re women and because we’re off an age as well – we’re all over 35
Phil: We started a band because we saw another band. This time last year, we saw Downtown Boys who, if your readers haven’t heard of Downtown Boys, they need to get on that immediately. An absolutely terrific American Sax Punk band. So angry, so brilliant, so sound. We went to their gig, Cassie and I, and went ‘we want a band like this’. Mo came to the gig with us and we were like ‘we want a singer like that!‘. And if I want anything for this band, I want other people to come and see our band and have the feeling that we had when we went to see Downtown Boys, when they come to see us. I want people to come and see us and think ‘I want a band like that’.
Cassie: Because being a band is just the best thing – it’s the best fun
Gemma: I just really enjoying watching people let us get that shit off our chests and letting them get it off their chests… I just like chests!
Louis: This is the first gig I’ve been in where it means something; it’s been quite political, we’re saying something.
Cassie: I have tried to write song that weren’t quite so angry – there was the cat song…
Mo: She gives us a hard time about this song, but it was actually very good – it’s really hot, it’s so catchy, it’s such a good song.
Gemma: If I was in the band then, there would have been more argument about vetoing this song! We absolutely need some more pussy songs!
Cassie: But I write songs about chucking men under buses and people are alike ‘yes! that’s the set closer!’
Do you think that makes you a bit of a novelty – being angry women?
Gemma: I think there’s plenty of it going around on the scene!
Mo: I don’t think it’s a novelty – I think most women are angry.
Cassie: With reason.
Mo: I guess because we all talk among our friends about the shit that bugs us, but that’s different from when you’re actually on stage and you get to scream about it – it’s really empowering. Also Cassie writes the best songs. She really does. The songs are quite personal, but we’ve all felt it. It’s not hard to adapt it, to put your own personal twist on it. We’ve all felt it.
Okay, so tell me about this EP then! How did you go about recording it, where did you record it?
Cassie: Well we recorded it in two halves actually, the first three really quite soon after we got together we went to soundsavers, Hackney, and recorded ARSEHOLE, which coincided with Donald Trump [being elected], Keyboard Warrior and MAFU. And then the last three, Does Your Girlfriend Know You’re Here?, #notallmen and Tits and Nails, we recorded at market store recording. We’ve done it piecemeal, it’s all very DIY, we’ve made the CDs ourselves
Phil: But we did the two halves in very different ways. So the first one we did, we did the drums separately and then we did the bass – everyone did their parts separately –
Gemma: Which is terrifying when you’ve only been playing bass for, I think, 10 months at that point! And even though the songs are, structurally, really straightforward, I was so used to having the vocal cues that I had to take a note and count the entire way through! And it still took me several gos! It’s terrifying playing on your own, when there’s no support… everyone’s going to notice.
Phil: That was a very lo-fi way of doing it, because only one of us could record at once. The great thing about the second half was, because we were in a different studio set up, we could all record at the same time. We could kind of play live together. Even though I was locked in a cupboard…
Cassie: In the closet –
Phil: Which is real unusual! Real unusual. We all had to be in different parts of the studio, we couldn’t see Mo… That ‘live’ recording, if you like, – even though it’s a bit fake because you couldn’t see each other’s faces – worked a lot better. By that point, we’d done enough that we knew what each other sounded like, where we came in, where we stopped, all the rest of it. We’re a live band.
Gemma: We very much enjoy each other’s company!
Phil: We’re not a studio band trying to build our sonic cathedral! I have no fucking idea what a sonic cathedral looks like. Our sonic cathedral’s fallen down, I think!
Cassie: The people who have seen us a few times have said that every time they see us play we get better, building in confidence.
Louis: I feel we do, anyway
Cassie: We like playing gigs.
Mo: We’d like more gigs please!
So where can people get the EP?
Cassie: They can get it on soundcloud – search for GUTTFULL – at the moment. We’re on bandcamp… it will be on Spotify, iTunes…
Phil: A lot of people [platforms] that won’t pay us! Or you can go to Bandcamp that will at least pay us a bit…
Cassie: Or even better, just come to a gig! You can come and get a CD from our sticky paws, we’ll give you a download code as well.