Cottonmouth is a Metal/Hard Rock band based in Nottingham, UK, debut EP ‘Altered Mind’ is available now and vocalist/guitarist Jack joined us to talk us through the background of the band…
What are the origins of Cottonmouth, how long have you been playing together?
The 4 of us have been playing together for the last 3 years now, we’ve all been in previous bands and shared the stage with each other in various outfits over the years. We’re all good friends, some stretching back a good 15 years, and the time came where we decided to get together to create Cottonmouth.
How did you feel performing your first gig as a band? And how was it?!
It was great, as always! By the time Cottonmouth got to gigging in 2018 we had all been out of action for a little while so it was great to get back on stage with a bunch of lads that all knew each other so well. We did a couple of local gigs in Nottingham first, supporting some bands at great venues like the Tap n Tumblr – it’s amazing to think later this year we’ll be heading back but to headline this time!
What should people expect when they check Cottonmouth out? How would you describe yourself?
We’re a healthy mix of various genres, if you like guitar-driven hard rock songs with big choruses, epic solos, and a tight rhythm section then you’ll enjoy us!
Debut EP ‘Altered Mind’ dropped on 10th September, any nerves with it being your debut EP? And, how long have the songs on the EP been brewing for?
We’ve been drip-feeding the tracks over the last year or so now, with it being our debut, we didn’t want to sit on any material so we’ve slowly released the tracks since we started the band. So, we’ve already got tons of feedback from people and have been gigging the EP over the summer. So, it feels great to have finally packaged it up and be able to sell a physical copy.
The title track is available now as a single, was it always going to be the lead single?
Sometimes there’s just that one track that just feels right which is what we felt about Altered Mind. I (Jack) really liked the title ‘Made of Stone’ but the song wasn’t enough of a ‘Single’ – ‘Altered Mind’ really sums the band up and is a great hard rock track (We hope!)
‘Hollow’ is one of our favourite tracks on the EP, what can you tell us about that one?
That’s so great to hear, we actually wrote and recorded ‘Hollow’ during lockdown, so it was a new experience for us sending riffs and melodies to each other from behind our computers. We managed to get into the studio during the summer of 2020 before we were plunged back into lockdown.
The artwork for the EP and the single is pretty damn cool, who designed it?
Our good friend Rich has done all our artwork for Altered Mind. He’s an old school friend to myself and our drummer, Dan. He’s a professional graphic designer and was nice enough to help us out with our artwork… of course, we made sure he had plenty of beer the next time we went to the pub!
How was your Bloodstock experience?! Did it fly by in a whirlwind, and what did you take from the entire experience?
It. Was. Amazing. It was such an honour to win the M2TM here in Nottingham and to go on to play the Newblood stage was a dream come true for the entire band. Yes, it flew by so quickly but the memories are forever with us, along with the photos and videos! We took a lot from the experience; it was so eye-opening seeing how well ran the festival is and playing on such a high spec stage – the monitors have never been so clear! Plus, the crowd was amazing and we are so grateful to the people that came and saw us have the time of our lives.
The Angel All-Dayer in Nottingham on the 18th looked like it was pretty special…
Yeah, it was a great day, ticket sales were great and we gave it our all as normal. We’re friends with most of the bands on the line up so it was such a great day for the bands to share a few beers. In particular, Phoenix Lake & the lads in Those Once Loyal – big shout out to those!
What band out there at the minute do you feel that Cottonmouth would be best suited to open for?
That’s a great question, we’ve supported so many different genres and great bands. We’d really like to start getting on some support slots for bigger touring bands when they hit Nottingham or local cities. I know Phil Campbell from Motorhead is heading to Rescue Rooms in November, that would be a great night.
Who do you feel is the next band to break out?
We’ve supported Blind River & Those Wicked Rivers a couple of times, both are great and are really making moves in the right direction. I really hope they get the break they deserve soon.
What are your first musical memories? And what was the lightbulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
Ever since a music teacher put a classical guitar in my hands at school and then I heard my Dad playing AC/DC and Metallica I’ve thought it’s cool as f**k. Myself and Dan our drummer played the school battle of the bands a couple of years later and, well, we’ve been hooked ever since!
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
Bloodstock was the last festival I attended, which was an awesome return to live music. Before lockdown, I caught Sabaton in London and then Exodus in Nottingham. It’s crazy to think, but I think that was the last time I attended a gig as a fan! Plenty lined up for the rest of the year though.
What current issue are you particularly passionate about?
We try to keep our music separate from politics; however, it can be hard to not have references in lyrics. These are crazy times, but sometimes it always feels crazy. I don’t like the way the media spin stories so it seems like every day is doomsday.
The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over. Such an amazing live album and I love the songwriting that comes from this band. Great for all-year-round listening.
What new albums have you been enjoying in 2021?
Gojira’s new album has been spinning since it came out this year and the new Iron Maiden album has just come out so I’m sure I’ll know all the words before long.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2021?
Gig as much as we can and write some new music. It won’t be long before you see the follow-up EP to ‘Altered Mind’, I can promise you that. We’ve already got songs half-wrote and are excited to get it out as soon as possible.
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?
Very active, it’s such an important tool nowadays. The only thing we don’t do is Twitter, can’t get my head around it! But Facebook, Instagram, we’re on there and we’ll respond to anything that comes our way. Plus, we always keep it updated with what we’re up to.