Phoenix Rising Out of the Gutter
Interview with Steven Talbott of The Gutterboys
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Steven Talbott and Brian Abretske formed The Gutterboys when they were just kids in 1992. They had some local success, played a bunch of shows, and were “lucky with the ladies.” But, with the grunge invasion they were forced to split up and go their separate ways… In 2013, The Gutterboys decided to reform, and release a debut CD called ‘End Of The Road.’ They have been playing shows throughout the Southern California area for the past few years and are currently working on a new single entitled “Lu$t.” I caught up with founding member and lead vocalist Steven Talbott to learn a little bit more about where the band has been and where they are going.
METAL BABE MAYHEM: Tell me about The Gutterboys and what it was like when you and Brian Abretske originally formed the band in 1992.
STEVEN TALBOTT: We were just a couple of kids trying to be rock stars. We didn’t know at the time we were trying to ride a wave that crashed and slowly died on the shore.
MBM: Yeah, I know what you mean… What did you think about the invasion of grunge and how did you deal with it?
ST: At first I was pissed because I didn’t get it, but later (when the “butt hurt” subsided) I found a lot of great songs and talented players.
MBM: What was the scene like in 1992? What kinds of shows/bands did you play with?
ST: The Marquee, which was a kickass rock club in Westminster, California, was still kickin’ and the rock scene was amazing. We were locally famous at two heavy metal nightclubs in the OC area… The Red Onion and California Dreams.
MBM: That sounds awesome. I wish I could have seen The Gutterboys back then! Can you tell me a highlight or story from that time period?
ST: We got laid a lot. I still kinda feel like it was a dream or some teenage movie. It makes growing up in the real world challenging.
MBM: The Gutterboys have played with quite a few great local and national bands over the years, including LA Guns, Tuff, Jack Russell, London, etc. Who were some of your favorite bands to play with?
ST: Honestly… Local bands. They are hungry and want to put on a show. There is very little ego involved, just let’s go rock this shit. Reminds me why I do this.
MBM: Did The Gutterboys ever actually ‘split up’ or were you on more of a hiatus until timing seemed better?
ST: We split! Dean joined Stone Soup, I joined a pop rock band called Love Toyz and Brian did studio work. We got back together because I ran into Dean Dutton at the LA Fair. He was still talking with Ara and Ara was talking with Brian. It just kinda worked out.
MBM: Makes sense. How did you find Robert Z (bass) and Greg Mayfield (drums)?
ST: Brian played with Robert in a band called “Z,” who is very popular overseas, and Greg played in Love Toyz. I was the guitar player at the time.
MBM: Great that you all connected. Tell me about your debut CD ‘End Of The Road,’ that was released in2013. (I love the CD and am happy to have featured a couple of your songs on my monthly playlist!)
ST: We were going to record just two songs for a radio show and the studio owner just loved what we were doing and asked if we could complete the CD. How can you turn that down right? We had a blast recording that CD with Ara Markarian and Dean. Those were great times.
MBM: That’s awesome! What is the band currently up to?
ST: Right now we are putting the finishing touches on some new songs and working on putting on a better stage performance. Those dudes in Rebel Hotel show us how it’s done every time we play with them.
MBM: That’s cool. Rebel Hotel always puts on a great show! Where are you at in the recording process for “Lu$t,” and what are your plans as far as recording new material?
ST: We are mastering it right now and hopefully release it with a video before NAMM. If all goes as planned, we will release more new tunes.
MBM: Sound like a good plan. What’s the new song like, and how does it compare to your CD?
ST: Polished. Our last CD was raw, drunk, and smelly. This new one will also be raw and drunk, but we showered.
MBM: Good analogy. How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard the band before?
ST: Well that is tough. We are a Cheap trick/Warrant band influenced by Queen and The Gap Band.
MBM: Who are your main influences as a musician?
ST: Journey, Motley Crue, Queen, The Beatles, and Elton John.
MBM: What would be your perfect tour? (Choose two other bands.)
ST: Van Halen, Motley Crue. End of list
MBM: Sounds like a great tour! What final words do you have for your fans?
ST: Don’t let others tell you what success looks like. We are all famous!
MBM: Love that outlook! Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, and for all the support you have given me, and Metal Babe Mayhem.
Steven Talbott – Vocals
Brian Abretske – Guitar
Robert Z – Bass
Greg Mayfield – Drums
**DOWNLOAD “END OF THE ROAD” FROM THE GUTTERBOYS FREE RIGHT HERE!