Guttermouth with U.S. Bombs, Union 13 and Deviates at the Opera House (735 Queen East), Tuesday (June 19), $13.50. 416-466-0313. Rating: NNNNN
please don't call captain james Morgan a punk rocker any more. Sure, he's part of the Cali bad-boy band Guttermouth whose singer was arrested at the University of Saskatchewan in 1998 for exposing himself to an under-14-year-old girl. Mark Adkins is also known for anally inserting objects at shows and having some lucky fan lick whatever it is he inserted. Now that's punk.
But don't tell that to the Captain.
"Musicians. That's what we'll say when Customs asks our occupation."
Guttermouth hit the Opera House Tuesday as part of the Punk-O-Rama tour, along with their latest disc, Covered With Ants, an ethereal voyage into anger and frustration coated with juvenile lyrics and a laugh-it-up-your-ass attitude.
"What we're trying to be is internationally known entertainers. That's what's going to take us into the future."
While plotting the master plan for taking Guttermouth global, the Captain seems rather sedate these days at his southern California homestead with two-year-old daughter Leelee.
Perhaps it's a coming-down phase after pounding the punk circuit for more than 12 years.
"Punk rock is just popular music now, and it's pretty much accepted everywhere," he says. "But when I started listening, it was real punk. It's been splintered since then, and now there are so many different kinds of punk I can't keep up with it. I don't know what the fuck is going on any more."
Covered With Ants is Guttermouth's first album on the Epitaph label, a relationship that began after ties with Nitro Records, the indie punk label conceived by Offspring's Dexter Holland, dissolved.
"It's always good to have a little bit of change. It's a whole new bunch of people -- and that rejuvenates us as a band."
Guttermouth not only flavour the 25-minute album with a country rock edge, but they also explore new avenues for punk with a bonus solo piano track. It's a grabber Captain Morgan concocted last year in Europe. Now they're also exploring new ways to gig.
"Soon we'll open the show with ourselves or another comedian, like they did in the 70s. The beauty of it is, if we have a really awful comedian before we play, we could go onstage and do no wrong -- we know we'll be fucking great!"