Ally Einbinder and Abby Weems have been playing music together since founding the band, Potty Mouth in 2011. Einbinder had just graduated from Smith College, a Seven Sisters college in Northampton, Massachusetts. Weems grew up in nearby Amherst, and literally learned to play guitar during rehearsals.
They had been touring with Potty Mouth for nearly ten years, professionally for the last eight, when the two planned to tour the UK with artists and members of other bands. Then the COVID lockdown hit in early 2020, forcing them to meet and greet virtually, as they waited to tour.
The result of their virtual hangouts is a collaboration for soon-to-be-released album, Sunday Someday. During their time in lockdown, members helped produce, mix, and master two songs from each artist, compiling them in a 10-song, five-way-split release album.
The album is comprised of singles from the alternative punk band Nervus from the UK; indie folk-punk songwriter KOJI of Pennsylvania; singer-songwriter Solstice Rey of Pennsylvania; the multi-media artist Full On Mone’t, also of Pennsylvania; and Einbinder and Weems from Potty Mouth, now living in Los Angeles.
The album is purposeful, with proceeds going toward top surgery and aftercare for a member of the group’s transition, while at the same time hoping to raise awareness about the systemic oppression of Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC).
Some proceeds will also go towards the LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania, in Harrisburg, for its Common Roads after-school program, and the building of a calming room with acoustics for kids with sensory needs.
“We would like to acknowledge the history of community organizing, subsequent social movements, and how creative communities can go about the work of building community and mutual aid,” KOJI explained. “In order to manifest liberated futures, we feel they must first be imagined. This group has provided space for their collective imagination—and this album is a result of that vision.”
Weems added that it was exciting to work with other musicians they felt a connection to and understood by.
“This release is an opportunity for all of us to use our collective passions, skills, and resources to support each other as artists and as people with our own personal needs,” she said.
KOJI said that even though they were separated geographically, the group was able to inhabit themselves more fully than in other musical spaces they’ve experienced.
“This is not a record of and for the music industry,” KOJI added. “This record is a celebration of living in a community, and of a project that asks, what kind of world is possible when everyone’s needs are met?”
Ally’s Journey: Radical Acceptance
Einbinder graduated Smith College with degrees in Gender Studies and Sociology, with her energy put toward music, specifically with Potty Mouth as bassist.
She first tried smoking cannabis when she was 19 years old with some friends. “I don’t think I inhaled correctly that first time, she laughed. “The second time I smoked I was a little older, studying abroad in Amsterdam. That opened up a whole new world for me.”
Though her studies always played priority, there’s no denying a stay in Amsterdam, known for its cannabis cafes, made an impression.
By the time she was in her mid-20s, she said, cannabis had become a medicinal habit, treating her anxiety.
“My anxiety had really ramped up in a way that I was engaged in a lot of obsessive compulsive behavior and ruminating thought cycles,” she explained. “I was never diagnosed with OCD, but my behavior was controlling, and it was debilitating. Just as one example, I would be late for work because I felt I had to wash every single dish in the sink before leaving the house. Smoking cannabis really helped me get those behaviors under control.”
As a bonus, Einbinder said cannabis has helped her turn down the metaphorical volume knob in her brain, helping her to feel more present, grounded, and less judgemental of herself.
“I had my Astrological chart done and it said I’d never be satisfied with a conventional career,” she concluded. “As a Gemini, I’ll never be satisfied, always curious, and my attention span is scattered. Cannabis helps me achieve the idea of radical acceptance, accepting myself as I am.”
Radical Acceptance is a philosophy coined by Tara Brach, from her book of the same name. It’s described as a distress tolerance skill designed to keep pain from turning into suffering. Not approval, but rather being accepting of yourself, within the mind, body, and spirit.
On Einbinder’s tray are Madame Munchie Macarons in hot cocoa and marshmallow flavor. Madame Munchie is a woman and LGBTQ-owned company, based in Los Angeles, specializing in infused French-inspired macarons.
“They are so delicious, so pretty, and each one is a whopping 40 miligrams of activated THC,” she said. “I love the high I get from edibles, because for me, it’s the perfect balance of a cerebral lift and a bodily high.”
Another favorite LA-based edible is Buddy’s Chocolate Haus THC Bar, with white chocolate and chunks of freeze-dried strawberries in 10 milligram squares.
“It tastes like cereal and milk!” she exclaimed. “I like medicting with a chocolate bar because most are already divided into little squares—and that’s ideal when I really want to microdose or track my dosing.”
Non-infused cookies are also included on her tray, because, hey, a girl needs her munchies.
“These Surprisingly Baked Cookies aren’t weed cookies, but they’ll still fuck you up over how good they are,” she laughed. “Deliciously indulgent for my munchie-induced sweet tooth, because each one has a little surprise in the middle—The Phatty has an M&M inside.”
Last year, Potty Mouth’s touring guitarist and friend, Nikki Martinez, made her a custom rolling tray and ashtray.
“The rolling tray has pictures of both my cats, with the phrase, ‘you are a baby,’ which is what Nikki and I started saying to my cats when we gawk at them for being so cute. The neon orange ashtray has rainbow sprinkles on the sides. Her work is beautiful—check her out on Instagram: @darlingnikkisgrind.
Einbinder said her jar of Papa & Barkley Releaf Balm, in a 1:3 CBD to THC ratio, is mandatory for that time of the month.
“The balm is my go-to for pain relief from menstrual cramps—I rub it directly on my belly,” she said. “It also has my favorite essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint, so it’s aromatherapy and pain relief all in one ointment!”
Lastly, her vape pen has a special hack.
“I love using a vape pen for many reasons, but the only drawback is how often I drop it, lose it, or forget it’s in my pocket and end up breaking the cartridge!” she said. “Recently, I learned a cool hack—you can use a standard-size squishy pencil grip to put over the vape cartridge to prevent it from breaking. You are welcome!”
Abby’s Journey: Poetic Partaking
Weems is both lead singer and guitarist for Potty Mouth. She learned to play guitar upon joining the band in 2011, and has been a touring musician ever since.
Raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, her first experience smoking weed was when she was a freshman in high school, when she and friends partook across the street from famed poet Emily Dickson’s historic home.
“I smoked out of a bong behind a convenience store across the street from Emily’s house, then we walked around town,” she said. “I was just a social smoker until recently, when COVID hit and we were in lockdown. Now I’m a newbie stoner, and I’ll smoke a few bowls a day, and depending on the day, I’ll nibble on some edibles too. I love getting lifted and writing music or working on illustrations.”
Weems said she thinks it’s easier to ingest a 10 milligram edible and titrate up to a therapeutic dose, as needed, than take a chance on a homemade edible that could be too strong out the gate, and/or inconsistent in dosing.
“I used to just eat an edible and hope for the best, now I understand how important measured dosing can be,” she added. “Gummies are great for this reason.”
Weems also enjoys Buddy’s Chocolate Haus THC Bars, especially with bandmates during movie nights, because it reminds her of getting chocolate at the movies.
“The gummies are pretty generic, in 50 milligram doses, so I usually eat half a ring before I go on a walk or to the park,” she said. “Ally suggested I check out California Cannabis while we were on the hunt for locally based products and companies to support, so I’m still getting into the different strains.”
The Cherry pipe was made by Burning Love, and was a birthday gift from her friend and bandmate, Victoria Mandanas.
“The double bowl function cracks me up,” she laughed. “Sometimes you just need a super extra bowl to add a little fun to the vibes. The fish pipe was left behind by Nate, an old roommate, and is now one of my prized possessions. I painted it in watercolors the other day—while I was lifted!”
Getting into the Zone
“At first I thought of smoking weed as a nice escape from reality,” Einbinder surmised. “But now I feel like being high actually makes me more present and comfortable in myself.”
Weems agreed, “Initially, I was nervous I wouldn’t be as productive on cannabis, but it actually helps me get into my zone. Soon, two hours have passed, and I’ve found I’ve effortlessly created something beautiful!”