Interview: Sink Ya Teeth

SYT5

If you haven’t heard Sink Ya Teeth before – now is definitely the time to listen to their music. They have recently released their first single “If You See Me” (b-side Circumstance) on 1965 records and have exciting plans for the future. I really enjoyed talking to Gem, who is one half of the band about them!

AQ: I have listened to your music online and I love your sound! In an interview that I was listening to on Soundcloud you talked about your previous projects and how Sink Ya Teeth grew from those. How would you describe your sound to new listeners? Are there influences current or older which are important to you?

Gem: Ah thank you! Yeah we’ve both been doing music for a while and previous to SYT I was playing guitar for Maria’s own project Girl in a Thunderbolt. In the early 2000’s I was in a band called Kaito and I got a lot of my musical knowledge from that experience. I would be introduced to new music either from touring with other bands or being played albums on the long journeys in the tour van or through other artists on our label. It influenced the way I played bass back than and I still play it the same now.

AQ: You have talked about your love of ESG and dance music. Do you see yourselves as bridging a gap between the dance and d.i.y. guitar/punk etc cultures and scenes? Any favourite labels/artists/venues etc?

Gem: Yes I would like to think so. We try to include a dancy element to our songs, cos everyone likes music that can get your shoulders and hips moving! We also try to incorporate a bit of new wave, post modern, electro kinda feel too. Favourite bands past and present: ESG, Gang of Four, Liars, The Rapture, Le Tigre. They have stood the test of time for me. Some of the newer bands I like that have influenced me in the last couple years are Lonelady, Las Kellies, Jane Weaver, Thee Oh See’s, Baxter Dury, and more recently I discovered Nadine Shah as she is on 1965 and I’m now addicted to her album Fast Food. Maria introduced me to the Tom Tom club last summer and I now adore them too. Maria’s currently digging a lot of 80s music; anything from Echo & The Bunnymen to Chicago house.

AQ: I noticed on your website that you have signed to a label! Congratulations! Is there anything you can share with fans and potential listeners about upcoming projects? Can we expect an EP or an album?

Gem: We have! We’re stoked to have signed to 1965 Records! To be championed by James Endeacott (who runs the label) is something we’re super proud of as he’s a bit of a legend in the British Music industry. Our first single ‘If You See Me’ is out late May. It’ll be on Spotify and all the usual places but we’re also getting limited edition 7” white label vinyl pressed which we are gonna decorate individually ourselves. We like to make work for ourselves…The B side to that will be Circumstance which is available to preview on the 1965 SoundCloud page. (or should be by the time this goes out!)

AQ: Can you describe your songwriting and/or recording process at all? It’s obvious that both sounds and lyrics are important to you. It’s both hypnotic sonic-ally and poetic lyrically – it comes together beautifully and is emotional in both senses.

Gem: In terms of how we physically write them, Maria usually comes up with the main bulk of a song and then if it needs a bass line or vocal harmony or anything else I can hear in my head I will add one. When we first started back in July 2017 we met up with each other twice over the summer – once at the beginning to decide to start a band and figure out how to collaborate, and once at the end to start planning what to do with the 13 songs that we’d written in between! We were just constantly sending each other recorded ideas and adding to them. So for example Maria would send me a beat, I would add a guitar and/or bassline, and send it back, and Maria would then add vocals and keys. We were never in the same room, yet we only live a 10 minute walk from each other! We had no idea how we were gonna play them live but that didn’t matter at that point, we were just enjoying writing. Now that we’ve been playing live a while we write more with the live performance in mind. And meet up much more often!

AQ: Your live set-up looks amazing! In a video I watched of you at the Owl Sanctuary you have bass and also drums and synth. It looks like you head into almost experimental territory. I love experimental music although I don’t like labeling it that way exactly. Do you have a relationship with those scenes and sounds?

Gem: We also have a backing track. As a 2 piece we needed to find a way to fill the sound out, and other musicians are just so hard to find, let alone commit, so a backing track was the easiest option. It allows us to do music with sounds that we love rather than being restricted to just live instruments. I just play bass, but I sometimes use it like it would be a guitar part in a song. Other times I use my Line 6 effects pedal with the synth sounds on it to use it like a synth. I’ve only just dipped my toe in with the effects on my bass. I plan to experiment a lot more with them.

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