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Gnash Your Teeth

Noisy three-piece Teeth!!! on Moshi Moshi are out destroying Dalston

Teeth!!! are artier than Crystal Castles, more epic than Battles, cheerier than Throbbing Gristle. They’re also loads of fun. Steeped in the traditions of art school experimentation, they were originally formed by Central Saint Martins students Simon Leahy and Richard John Jones (who regularly exhibit installations at the Space in Hackney). Their computers, drums and horror-film-vocals sound is distorted, perverse and thrillingly futuristic. With as many ideas in each of their track as most bands have in their entire careers, they tear entire genres apart and recreate them in their own image. Deconstruction through the medium of dance? Why the hell not?

At first we suggested meeting Teeth!!! in Dalston (or, as their MySpace states, 'DALSTON4EVER'), where the band is nominally based, on a Saturday afternoon. Then, the evening before the interview’s due to take place, drummer Simon Whybray rings to say Veronica So’s returning to San Francisco on Monday and the other Simon’s going to be at a festival all weekend; so Saturday’s off. His other band’s playing at Catch though and the others are going to be there – do we fancy coming along? So, in a Vietnamese restaurant on the Kingsland Road, post-dinner, pre-sound check, I ask them about their music. ‘This is going to a nightmare to transcribe’ says Veronica at one point. She’s so right. Playing the tape back afterwards with all the background noise of Viet Hoa on a busy weekend, I feel like a stoned hippy trying to discern Satanic lyrics on a backwards-playing 'Stairway to Heaven'. Could that sound be the word ‘karaoke’? (I’m pretty sure it was). But Teeth!!! don’t always say what you expect them to. So here’s what they said, probably.

Dazed Digital: So, were you in bands before Teeth!!!?
Simon L: Me and Richard were in an experimental, art kind of thing. We basically were trying to be in a band without being in a band. Like really intense electronic music and karaoke. 

DD: That’s the best combination ever.
Simon L: And then Veronica joined us and played a couple of shows, then we thought it would be good to get a drummer.

DD: I hear you’re all Dalstonites.
Simon L: The thing with Dalston is that I was living there in an occupied house for five years. But Dalston’s changing so much, so quickly, it’s scary.

DD: There’s lots of trendy bars there now.
Simon L: I don’t know, I’m probably part of the problem. With gentrification it’s difficult. I don’t know how long we’re going to be in Dalston.

DD: What do you think of the D.I.Y scene happening there?
Simon W: A lot of those bands are starting to produce material.
Simon L: We’re signed to a Major though…

DD: Yeah, you’re with Moshi Moshi...
Simon L: Moshi Moshi slash Universal.
Simon L: I think that’s what we want for everyone.
Simon W: Everyone’s exciting. And everyone’s excited. And everyone’s having fun.

DD: Who listens to your music?
Simon W: Fifteen year olds.
Simon L: Awesome people.
Veronica: People who are cooler than us. People who actually know about bands that aren’t in their city. Internet people. People that look good!

DD: Where do you see yourself next year?
Simon L: Well, we’re doing a remix album before we put our own stuff out.
Simon W: Then we’ve got our first 7” on Moshi Moshi which will probably come out at beginning of next year.
Simon L: And then another single. And then an album.
Simon W: Veronica’s going back to San Fran so we’re just going to hang out. We’ll probably write a bunch of shit, then Veronica will come back and will spend one day writing incredible songs. We’ve been playing the same things for quite a while now although they never really sound the same. I always mess up...
Veronica: Our band exists to destroy itself.
Simon W: We’re really destructive. Someone said we’re not really a band, we’re just three people who happen to be playing something at the same time in the same place.

DD: Who are your influences?
Simon L: There are loads of awesome bands about. There’s this one called Becoming Real. He looks insane, like, really beautiful. I can’t describe what his music’s like. It feels like he’s channelling some ghosts.

DD: Why do you make music?
Simon L: It’s about creating something raw and then documenting it. I do it because I fucking love it. It’s amazing. Why wouldn’t you want to make music?