With her power trio Potty Mouth now firing on all six cylinders with its bratty sophomore album “SNAFU,” guitarist-vocalist Abby Weems admits she underestimated the power of punk rock as a teenager. In 2011, she was still in high school in Massachusetts with serious plans to attend art school. But her older college-age girlfriends were forming bands at the time, regardless of musical expertise, and the DIY bug was contagious. “I really wanted to learn how to play an instrument, and I didn’t even care what instrument,” she says. “So when Potty Mouth started, I began learning guitar and how to write songs, and we hadn’t even picked a singer.But I just really latched onto songwriting and became the singer because of that.”
So you never enrolled in college?
No. Instead I took a a gap year off so that we could go on tour, and it ended up being some of our first bigger tours. And once I did that, I just felt like there were too many opportunities that I wouldn’t get otherwise if I just went to college and scrapped the band. So I decided to keep going with it because I figured that school was always there. And my parents were really supportive.
How did you meet bassist Ally Einbinder when she was in college and you were still in high school?
I met her because Phoebe Harris, our original second guitarist, and I dated brothers. So it was very random. But I had seen Ally’s last band perform — they actually played in the basement of the library where my mom worked. So I was definitely around the same scenes that she was in, but I didn’t actually meet Ally and Victoria (Mandanas, drummer) until our first band practice.
Sight unseen? Now how does that work?
Yeah. Victoria had been playing drums for a long time, and Phoebe was just learning guitar, so we all thought it would be something fun to do, like, “OK,let’s just jam. Jam and see how it goes.” I had tried to start bands with other people, but nothing ever stuck. So when I finally had the opportunity to play music with people — even though I didn’t know them — I was just really excited. I’m 25 now, but I’m still surprised that they were down to hang out with a high schooler.
How long did it take you to master your new craft?
First we played basement show, and I didn’t even own my own guitar, amp, or pedals at that point. I used to always borrow them. But then we just kept getting asked to play more and more shows, so I bought a guitar. We just evolved, and became more equipped as we went.
IF YOU GO
Masked Intruder, Potty Mouth
Where: Ritz, 400 S. First St., San Jose
When: 8 p.m. Sunday
Tickets: $18 to $20