With a legacy spanning nearly 30 years in the South Wales music scene and with members from such esteemed bands such as Spider Kitten, Taint and Lacertilia, expectations are high for the debut album from Made of Teeth. Mass Movement caught up with the trio to see what makes them tick.
Interview by Chris Andrews
MM: Given that you are all members of other bands. What was the motivation for forming Made of Teeth?
Steve: The main motivation really was to just have fun with music and not have any restraints into what we are expressing. The different ideas and sounds wouldn’t fit with other projects that we’re involved with (Spider Kitten, Lacertillia & Oblong). This seemed to give us an outlet that could spark up energy and make for some lively performances.
Tom: When the guys asked me to come and jam, they already had a lot of material kicking about but they were keen to hear what ideas I had too. It’s awesome because no idea is off limits!
MM: What bands were mentioned as inspiration when you first talked about putting Made Of Teeth together?
Chris: For me it was Keelhaul, Art of Burning Water, Black Flag K.A.R.P. and Barkmarket, aggressive and punky but with a creepy undertone of weirdness!
Tom: Same here, fast and nasty all the way! Unsane, Nailbomb and Death Pedals are a few other bands I always find myself listening to for inspiration.
MM: There are some pretty bleak song titles on the album. Who writes the lyrics and who/what is your lyrical inspiration?
Chris: I wrote both the titles and lyrics. Most of the titles were from my ideas book and are mostly nonsensical to be honest apart from ‘The Karman Line’ which is the name of the boundary in the Earth’s atmosphere where Earth becomes outer space. That song has a point in it towards the end where it segues into a very uplifting kind of vibe and I thought it was a good representation of this physical boundary being crossed and leaving all the bleak negative stuff below us on Earth. Most of the other lyrical inspiration for all the songs are directly spawned from my utter dismay for the way this planet is headed, whether politically or spiritually.
MM: Much like Reagan/Thatcher in the 80’s spawned a whole host of angry bands have recent political events, had any influence on the writing process?
Chris: Absolutely! Never is there a better time for punk rock than in periods like this, I guess every generation will have their way to kick against the system and the powers that be, but the Reagan/Thatcher period created some of the greatest bands, songs and albums that we know! The 1st song we wrote in this band was Citrus Foetus Potus which I’m sure if you delve deeper into those words you will guess who it’s directly about!
MM: I read that Made Of Teeth was originally intended to be a straight up punk/hardcore band. How did the other influences come in and what made you change your mindset?
Chris: It’s true that that was the original plan but I literally cannot help what riffs come out when I write them, some people could think this sounds cheesy or whatever but I have always felt like its ‘something’ or ‘somewhere’ else that they come from. It’s all been very organic and fast with our writing process since the beginning. I think the spirit of punk flows through every tune of ours but it’s what we end up jamming that makes the end product. Usually that involves some experimentation and letting the song breath and take us where it wants to go.
MM: You’ve all been involved in the South Wales Music scene for a long time and you’ve seen a lot of bands come and go. Who are some of your favourite bands that South Wales has spawned and what do you think of the current music scene in South Wales?
Chris: Too many to mention off the top of my head but I have to say (although I was in them) my favourite band even before I joined them was Taint! They were from a hardcore background but had something so special and different going on from early on, and were always mind blowing live! (So I was obviously beyond stoked when I joined them!) Acrimony were total Kings as well, untouchable majesty in riff form! Ch9, Public Disturbance and Cowboy Killers were awesome back in the day too. The scene these days is beyond alive and well and spawning some of the strongest bands to date, and luckily it still has that inbred vibe where we can all experiment with being in different bands at the same time ha-ha!
MM: I know some of you are multi instrumentalists. What is your preferred weapon of choice?
Chris: For me it’s whatever I’m playing at the time! But for the most hell raising fun and therapeutic release it has to be drums. But now in M.O.T. it’s the 1st time I’ve played guitar for a band so I’m really enjoying that as it’s a new adventure.
Steve: I’ve been a drummer longer than I haven’t been a drummer so there’s no argument for me. I haven’t been able to let loose on the kit like this since my days with The Witches Drum and I’m fucking loving it.
Tom: Up until the last 2-3 years, I’ve mostly played guitar and it’s still my go to for writing stuff but since I got more into playing bass, I love it, especially live! Get me in front of a stack with a really trashy, horrible bass sound and it’s just MMMBEASH!
MM: The album was recorded at Steve’s (drummer) own Mountain Music Studios (in Merthyr Tydfil). Does having that facility at your disposal, afford you more creative freedom that you may not have had otherwise?
Steve: Having our own place has definitely helped a lot with the creative process, even though, the studio does run almost every night to many local acts as practice rooms, so finding the right time to record has had uphill-moments.
MM: You’ve got your first batch of shows lined up including a support slot with legendary noise mongers Today Is The Day. What can people expect from the Made of Teeth live experience?
Steve: Expect hard-fast-explosive sounds with twists and turns here and there. I will be smashing my kit to bits and trying my Dale Crover fills out. Tom usually prefers to launch his bass guitar everywhere, even in your face if you’re not careful.
MM: What are your plans for the future with Made Of Teeth?
Chris: The debut album is being released on August 28th and we are following that up with the release of our 1st official video which we shot with the very talented Mei Lewis.
Steve: We put the basis (drums and riffs) down for this album last February and since then we have written a whole second album that is ready to record. We aim to start in October with a possible release date towards the beginning of the New Year.
Chris: We are already including the new material in the upcoming live sets and it’s a buzz for me and Steve because a few of them were written by Tom who has injected a new energy into the writing process! Expect to see a lot more of us destroying venues live very soon.…
Download Made of Teeth’s debut album here . And what’s more, it’s free. That’s right folks, they’re giving it away! So what are you waiting for? Go get it!