Interview: Melbourne band, Loose Tooth
Melbourne guitar-pop trio Loose Tooth have just dropped their first EP ’Saturn Returns’. We have a chat to them:
Hi and thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Something You Said. Your debut EP Saturn Returns has just come out through Milk! Records. It must be a little reassuring working with a label that includes Jen Cloher and the juggernaut that has been Courtney Barnett?
Reassuring is the perfect word for it! We are long-time fans of both Jen and Courtney’s music, and really respect the approach that both have taken to their career. I think the music industry can be a pretty intimidating place, but being with Milk! feels like having an extension of your bandmates helping you along. They are very hands-on with everything – which makes us feel good to see the care taken into their decision making. We feel totally safe with Milk!.
What was your biggest challenge in putting out this EP and equally what was a positive surprise during the process?
I think the biggest surprise was the fact we went into record it with very little planning or thought. It was kind of on a whim – a feeling that we probably should record something by now. Then once we started the process we couldn’t stop! I honestly cannot say that there was one aspect of making this record that was challenging, which is probably due to the fact we had no end goal and thus no expectations with it. To look at where we are now is pretty mind-blowing!
It is exceptionally hard to produce a full sound as a two-piece, which you were for some time until Luc joined the ranks on bass. Did the time spent as a two-piece serve you well in terms of making concise and rich music without the luxury of additional band members and their collective offerings?
Working as a two-piece was definitely a necessary part of what Loose Tooth has become today. It gave us the opportunity to work on our singing and harmony, which is something that we had not really done before. It also allowed us to work on our confidence as songwriters – we had dabbled in songwriting in previous bands but this was the first time it was all on us. Bringing in Luc, who is such an amazing musician, was very intimidating at first, but we quickly realised how well we all work together as songwriters, performers and mates! It’s a really supportive environment to be creative in.
You share the singing duties and alternate between female/male vocals. Does this alter your creative process when piecing together a song and thinking of how the relative vocal ranges affect the songs overall sound?
There is honestly not much thought that goes into that process – it really comes down to who writes the song and what vocal range it sits in. We never really had the discussion on who would be the ‘lead singer’, it all just naturally came out within each track. It makes for a more interesting listen – you never know who you’re going to get. 🙂
Is your lyrical content derived directly from personal experiences or do you tend to approach writing in a disconnected third person style?
We dabble in both. Saturn Returns specifically focusses on personal experience of heartache, but there are a few tracks in there that are written about other people’s stories. The songs we are writing now seem to focus a lot on third party approach… we might of used up all our angst!! There’s been lots of comments down at Loose Tooth HQ that it is seemingly much harder to write a song about being in a steady relationship…
Melbourne is such a hotbed for indie talent and Loose Tooth is no exception. Do you genuinely feel that city in which you all live has contributed significantly to your craft or could you see yourselves being in any state and producing the same quality tracks?
Melbourne has a massive influence on our musical journey. We are so lucky to be able to go out and see amazing bands play every weekend, and such a variety of music, which has a massive impact on inspiring us to write and play. There seems to be an extra buzz around the Melbourne music scene at the moment with such great bands coming out of here that it’s a really nice time to be around to see it and be a part of it.
Your video clips are diverse as they are engaging. Do you enter each of these with a clear, pre conceived storyboard or hand over a loose collection of ideas to a producer that slowly get fleshed out?
We are lucky enough to have two filmmakers within our friendship circle, Danny Cohen who made ‘Everything Changes’ and Patrick McBain who made ‘Bites Will Bleed’. They both share a similar creative ideal to us, and amazingly wanted to help us out with these two clips. Both ideas were loosely constructed by us, but then we handed over a very very thin concept and were given back two fully rounded specimens! Danny also takes stills and we worked with him on our two latest press shots – luckily he’s as mad as us and continues to come up with insane concepts… can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next!
For those you haven’t had the listening pleasure of seeing Loose Tooth, where can they catch one of your upcoming shows?
We are launching our E.P in Melbourne on April 22nd at The Gasometer with Big Smoke, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Wet Lips (how lucky are we!?). We are also launching in Sydney at Tokyo Sing Song on May 20th!
Saturn Returns is out now via Milk! Records.
Interview by Courtney Dabb.