Teeth - Interviews - Soundblab


by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Teeth are Soundblab's favourite new band of the moment. Their debut single 'See Spaces', released back in August, is a disco noir swoon of distorted, detached vocals, stuttering beats and spacey effects. We've had it on repeat for the last couple of months and it just hasn't got any less gorgeous or mysterious.

Soundblab catches up with a very friendly, chatty band after their gig at The Faversham in Leeds. The crowd pretty much sucked. This band deserve better. Needless to say, however, they still rocked the place like the wonky-party troopers they are.

This is a band that seems to approach everything with a whirlwind spirit which is frankly disorientating. Thus topics such as 8ft Beyoncé lookalikes, Ximon's enduring love of Guns N' Roses and opinions about Steve Albini which some grizzled rock fans may find shocking are picked up, tossed around and then abandoned in the blink of an eye. Non sequiturs abound. When the interview finally wraps up, they leave us with a signed copy of 'See Spaces' and a warm feeling inside. What lovely people.

But, to rewind to the start, after loudly remonstrating with them for voicing an intention to visit Dempseys, a truly disgusting gay bar in Sheffield, Soundblab settles down and asks Teeth to introduce themselves.

Ximon Tayki (putting on a fake, extremely campy American accent): Hi, my name's Ximon. I take ketamine and make stupid music.

Veronica So: I'm Veronica. This is the second day of our tour, in Leeds. It's been two days and Ximon still hasn't found any mushrooms in random parks. (Ximon cackles. Veronica addresses the band's third member). Who are you?

Simon Whybray: Hmm?

Veronica: State who you are and what you do.

Simon: Simon. Lolz.

So is this your first headline tour?

Veronica: Yeah.

Ximon: We've played some smaller shows, even smaller than this if that's possible. The last time we were in Leeds we played, is it 99 Rats (now defunct Leeds queer squat night)?

Oh really? Wow. How was that?

Ximon: It was awesome. And it was exactly a year ago today, I think, as well.

You've played Leeds since then because you supported-

Ximon: New Young Pony Club! Oh yeah, that's true.

Veronica: At the Cockpit. It was fantastic. It was really cool and the sound of it was so echoy, really echoy like tonight. Under that archway... Yeah, it's like the luxury has stepped down a little bit but it's ok.

I think this is one of the best gigs I've seen this year.

Veronica: Aw, thanks so much! Thanks for saying that. (Pretends to laugh then cry).

Ximon: Obviously, you haven't seen many! (Much laughter)

No, I've seen a lot of gigs this year - that's why! I've seen a lot of shit gigs this year.

Veronica: What other gigs have you seen that've been good?

Erm... Bear in Heaven.

Ximon: Are they are a bunch of bears?

No, no, they're not. They've all got big 'tashes.

Ximon: Oh, they're all teasing. (Laughter)

Veronica: You know Heaven, the gay nightclub in London?

Yeah, yeah.

Veronica: Bear in Heaven sound right up our street. (Laughs)

Ximon: Heaven's a shit hole.

Is it?

Veronica: Yeah, it really is.

Ximon: They do have one really good night called Work on a Wednesday night. It's like ghetto dance and you get loads of vougers and shit.

When I used to go there they had the big room where they played shit trance and in the little room they played hip hop and r&b and it was really good.

Ximon: Oooh!

You'd get 8ft drag queens dressed like Beyoncé dancing with these b-boys.

Veronica: Oh my God!

'See Spaces' is fucking awesome. What is it about?

Veronica: Heartbreak (laughs). It's about an alien...

Ximon: Basically, two summers ago - (to Veronica) it was two summers ago, right? Really? It was last summer. One of my very good friends had a little bit of heartbreak (Veronica laughs - presumably he means her). Also, it was made over Skype as well. We all weren't in the same country at the same time, Veronica was away, so Simon and I jammed in our friend's warehouse and I had some sketches down but we pretty much wrote in 10 minutes or something. And then Veronica was on Skype in San Francisco and we kind of just worked through Skype. Cos she was a little bit heartbroken.

Veronica: A little bit heartbroken. But it's a traditional love song and that's why it works. It's definitely one of the more easy to listen to songs, especially recorded. Not noisy but nice. It's a little bit like...

Ximon: Warehouse chic (much laughter).

Veronica: It's just easier to break in. And that was a really special jam session they had last year because they actually wrote two songs that day, or three.

Ximon: No, it was more, it was like four songs.

Veronica: Yeah, and one of the other songs we're actually thinking about recreating one of those songs for our next single because it was really good.

Ximon: I think it might actually be a triple A. No, no, a double A!

What else is on the 'See Spaces' vinyl single?

Ximon: The other one's 'Time Changes'.

Veronica: That's one of the dancier songs.

Ximon: It's a dancey song which is about...

Simon: The scene.

Ximon: No, it's about... I wrote it about... Yeah, it's about where we come from and about how things change.

How did the band get together?

Veronica: Simon and I started the band and then we eventually wanted a drummer so we found Simon on the internet. A lot of our major developments happen on the internet.

(Ximon takes the mic from Veronica and hands it back to Soundblab)

Thank you. What does that signify?

Ximon: Ask another question (laughs).

Okay. The video for 'See Spaces' is really fucking cool. Was that actually you, Veronica, getting goo tipped on you?

Veronica: Yeah, it's real. It was just your standard green household paint mixed with maybe ratio 1:2... Just a bit of water in it, just thick enough. It took fucking ages to get off.

Did you guys make it yourselves?

Simon: No, we did it with our friend Ollie.

Veronica: He directs a show called The Knocking Shop, which is a really good music show.

What's that on?

Ximon: I know Channel 4 is interested in it. I'm not sure if he's actually sold it to anyone yet but I think he will.

Veronica: Ollie is really into the green-screen stuff and we really wanted to do some special effects in our video and that shot just happened to be really good so we kept it.

What's next for you guys after the tour?

Ximon: We're going to write an album in November. We're going to play South by South West, a couple of shows in the US and then come back to Europe in March, end of March/April... If people like the fucking album...

Who are your influences? Another boring question...

Simon: No one ever asked us that.

Ximon: Aids-3D. Guns N' Roses.

Is that genuine?

Ximon: Yeah!

Veronica: Simon genuinely likes Guns N' Roses.

Ximon: I saw them live.


Ximon: About '94. Use Your Illusion/Use Your Illusion II tour. Yeah, it was awesome. They were two hours late on stage but they were fucking worth it.

Maybe that was the show where Axl Rose was two hours late because he was having a shower.

Ximon: I think probably, yeah. I can't remember, I was so young but it was amazing. I just remember looking at some punk guy with a broken nose.

Simon: (who has been fiddling on his phone) 'See Spaces' is on eBay.

Ximon: Shut up!

Veronica: Apparently, people are putting our vinyl up on eBay which is pretty rad. (To Simon) How come there are 10 of them in Manchester?

Simon: It may be a shop.

Veronica: That's pretty cool.

Ximon: You know you've made it when you're on eBay.

Do you get some money for that?

Ximon: No (laughs).

Veronica: Well, if the shop orders from Moshi then we still count it as a sale.

Do you have a concept of what you want your album to sound like?

Veronica: Not really. We've got a lot of songs which we've not really put down on record. 'See Spaces' is the first vinyl we've got out. We might need someone to produce us.

Simon (intensely, as if suddenly aware of the interview for the first time): We need someone with a vision, someone to come in and be like, "I get you and you're going to sound like this and we're going to make it like that". I think the kind of people we recorded with are quite passive, not passive, but they record the sounds you make.

Veronica: I think they respect the sound as it is.

Simon: We want to be dominated (laughter).

Veronica: By a professional -

Simon: Yeah, not told what to do but someone who kind of goes like, "You can sound like this on record". The seven inch is basically what it sounds like when we play it live. I want to find a producer who can be forceful.

Do you have a wish list?

Simon: It would be really funny to get a rap producer.

You could ask Steve Albini. Apparently he does work with everyone who asks.

Simon (sounding unsure): He's produced a lot of our friends.

Veronica: Who?

Simon: Steve Albini.

Veronica: Oh yeah.

Simon: He's just like, I don't know... He's just old.

Ximon: No, I don't think he is old.

Simon: But I don't want him to produce our album.

I don't think he produces stuff. He just records it.

Simon: Yeah, but that's boring.

I think he just basically mics everything up, puts you in a space and captures it.

Simon: We're not a band like that.

Veronica: We're not a guitar band.

Simon: Space doesn't make us sounds any more, like...

Veronica: You'd be surprised - we've been in a really nice studio before and it's so clean and it's not right. When people think, "Oh, you wanna sound produced, you wanna sound clean" but it's really about someone who knows exactly what you should be and keeps you there.

Simon: But what if it's a live album and that's it? I don't want it to be... I don't know... I don't want to go so far that way that it isn't us anymore.

Ximon (aware Soundblab's trusty Dictaphone is still running): Maybe we could save this conversation for another time? (To Soundblab) You should ask Veronica something about...

I should ask a Smash Hits type question. Do you have any unusual hobbies?

Ximon: No - who are your idols?!

This is a question you already know the answer to.

Ximon: No, no, ask "who's your it girl?"

OK. Veronica, who's your it girl?

Veronica (without a moment's hesitation): Definitely Alexis Krauss (from Sleigh Bells). She is hot bitch.

Ximon: It's basically because Alexis did an interview for Nylon magazine and they asked her, "who's your it girl?" and she said Veronica. Because all bands Google themselves so if this is in writing, she'll Google it. Sleigh Bells, we love you! We want Steve Albini! Even though you've done a lot of shit in your time, girl (laughs).

Veronica: Shut the fuck up. You're drunk, girl.

Ximon: We love Erase Errata.

Veronica: Is that ok?

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