Weak teeth is an american band that plays a kind of screamo/punk/hardcore. Their songs are full of energy, fast and catchy, the singing is passionate, and it makes fucking good records. Their first eponymous Ep released in 2010, is awesome and their LP What a plague you are, released in october 2011, is also really good. you can listen to it on Bandcamp here, and there.
The band accepted with enthousiasm to answer to a few questions by mail, so here it is :
-can you present the band and its history?
The name of our band is weak teeth. We are from Providence, RI, USA and have been around for about 2 years. We are a hardcore/punk band that draws from the influences of D-Beat and 90's screamo. Mike, Neil and I have been playing music together for almost 10 years, in several different projects. In 2008, Chris approached us about playing music together, as we had just lost one of our guitar players. After about 2 years playing together, we decided we wanted to get more serious about writing and touring, so we thought a name change was the best way to start fresh.
-why did you choose Weak teeth as a name for the band?
When we were trying to find a band name we went through a lot of possible contenders, most of which were unmemorable. We came upon weak teeth because Chris mentioned he had read the phrase 'boned wisdom for weak teeth' in a book and it stuck. We like that the imagery mostly makes people uncomfortable. But, the most interesting connotation of the name comes from Policraticus written by Sir John of Salisbury where he associates the parts of the human body to the parts of government, the teeth being the military.
-do you play or have played in other bands? if so can you describe them quickly if they are still active?
Neil and I play in a band called Best Practices (who are putting out our first record in April!), Chris is in a very inactive band called yavinfive and Mike plays in a band called Gates. Best Practices sounds a lot like a garage rock band on speed. Yavinfive plays mathy hardcore (much like Converge) and Gates draws a lot from the of influences from stoner rock.
-what are you interested in apart from music?
It's funny, even when we're not playing music we still spend a lot of time together. Neil is a bartender so it's very easy to stay in touch. But, as an entire band, we love quoting movies. It's really amusing to us. Watch Casino, it's perfect.
-what is punk or hardcore/screamo for you? do you feel like being part of a scene?
My relationship with punk and hardcore has been very interesting. I've been going to shows since I was 13 and I think the same can be said about my band-mates. When I was that young I never really had an understanding of the community, but I think that's how it starts. You expose yourself to new experiences by spending time with people at shows, ultimately creating that community. But, it took me a long time to figure that out. You and your "scene" should have a symbiotic relationship, where you're giving just as much as it's giving back to you. And, as fickle as it can sometimes be, I wouldn't trade this community for the world.
-I find your music really sounds energetic and passionate, do you intend to sound this way or is it the way you play spontaneously?
We grew up on a lot of chaotic, high energy music and I think it's pretty apparent. It's taken quite some time to hone in our sound, but I think we're finally figuring it out. That being said, we're always evolving and developing how we play. The bottom line is, we play what we think sounds good, but more often than not that means controlled chaos.
-which kind or music do you listen to? which bands?
We all listen to a wide array of music. I went to college as a saxophone player, so I listened to a lot of jazz. For the longest time, Neil wouldn't listen to anything that was written before 1990. Mike grew up on Motown and old soul music. And we all think Chris came out of the womb with a Descendents tattoo. Our hearts all lie in punk and hardcore. Currently, Mike is listening to Loma Prieta and 1994!. Neil has an exclusive contract to only listen to Superchunk. Chris has been listening to Balance and Composure and I have been playing the new Bridge and Tunnel record pretty much non-stop.
-judging by the lyrics you seems heavily touched by the crisis and especially the housing crisis. am I right? do you think there can be a solution?
Mike: I abandoned my dream of owning my own house, long ago. The most I can feel that I can do is leave my children with a mortgage. On paper, I'm sure things with level out, but the essence of owning your home or business may not be the same. And there has to be a serious paradigm shift if that dream is going to be recaptured.
-it looks like pessimism and disillusions are major themes in your lyrics, do you agree? are there other important elements? how would you describe your lyrics ?
Mike: I like to write every song as i'd structure an argument in an essay, providing syntax and factual citation. Rather than providing my own personal understanding, especially when dealing with the issues of politics or religion. I feel that the lyrics are just important to the song as much as the melody. As far as pessimism goes, I think it's more so a realist attitude than anything else. I like to incorporate my personal history to interweave into the factual evidence I provide as a foundation.
-can you tell the story of the song Blues skies, shit life, a song during nine minutes after only short or really short songs? was is planned or was it an improvisation that you kept? (anyway it's a good song!).
Mike: Blue Skies, Shit Life is about a speaker who is having trouble understanding where mankind fits in with the idea of God. They have a hard time figuring out where the idea of being good to your fellow man gets lost on humankind and how through all of this, how people are cold and distant to each other. That the idea of someone tending the light of the end of the tunnel isn't something they want to give up on. They go on to understand through introspection that maybe mankind isn't worth saving, that we are animals that will never truly care about the community at large. The idea of wanting to 'be alone' comes from, if someone is watching over us, we don't want them to see what we've become and the ugliness we've managed to manifest.
-which band from you area should we listen to?
I love this question. My Fictions, 1994!, Timeshares, After The Fall, Soul Control, Aviator. There's a lot of amazing music coming out of New England.
-when are you touring in France? (come to Montpellier when you can!)
Europe is DEFINITELY on our radar. We're hopefully going to make it there in 2013. None of us have toured Europe and it sounds like the best time! Unfortunately, there are a lot more preparations that go into booking and playing a tour in Europe than we anticipated. So, for right now we're stuck in the States. I promise we'll be there, it just make take a little time.
-apart from touring in France (hehe!) what are your projects for the band?
We're playing a few festivals in the States (Get Better Fest, The FEST). But we're doing a few weekends, with After The Fall from Albany, My Fictions from Massachusetts and Old Lines from Philadelphia. We're writing a new 7-inch that we hope to have out later this year (interested labels, inquire within). We're planning a few splits. A 7-inch with our buds The Blue Letter from Richmond, VA and a 4-way for Get Better Records. Last but not least, the 2nd pressing of 'What A Plague You Are' will be out this coming Spring. We're really excited to have all these projects in the works!
-have you something to add?
Thanks for taking the time to ask us these questions! It's really flattering that people care about what we do, especially in another country! Check out the bands we've mentioned because they deserve your support as well! Most importantly, it's up to all of us to keep our community so vibrant and accepting, so do your part!
-your turn to ask me a question!
Ask Daitro to come back to the States!