Melbourne based puke-punk troublemakers The Sinking Teeth have now released their first official offering, the White Water EP. Having been together for only three years, the cohesion heard on the EP is miles beyond what most would expect from a debut release. Few bands have been able to harness the controlled chaos of The Sinking Teeth.
Currently on the road, and still high atop the wave of White Water, Music Feeds caught up with mainman Nick Manuell to get the lowdown.
Music Feeds: Hey there Nick Manuell, stoked to have the opportunity to chat. Very recently you guys dropped your debut EP White Water. As your maiden offering to the world, what are the main pointers you want fans to take away from the release?
Nick Manuell: Hey! Thanks for taking an interest! We definitely wanted to show all the chaos and energy and we wanted people to know that we like to throw things sideways. We wanted to suck the suckers in with a few poppy hooks too. There is also a bunch of subliminal messages within the songs about the cult we are starting and if you play White Water backwards and at half speed, you can hear Jolene by Dolly Parton.
MF: Let’s talk about the genesis of the EP. When did you first start penning the material, and how different was the process of writing and recording the release than what you were expecting?
NM: We have been kicking around as a band for about three years now. Some of the bits in White Water were written way back at the start and some more recently. Writing isn’t really something that we plan, it just kind of happens consistently, so expectations on the writing side of things were pretty minimal. We all live together so we come up with riffs over breakfast. The recording side of things was different to what we had expected. Working with Tom Larkin and Ben Ehrenberg was a fucking dream. Those guys made us feel really at home and we consider them family now. I used to hate studios and now I don’t.
MF: Throughout the EP, you sustain a level of rough-as-guts punk rock with the odd smooth moment, but there’s never a shiny, polished veneer. How important is it to The Sinking Teeth mission statement to retain the blemishes and raw energy?
NM: Its really important to us. We want the band to sound the same as it is in real life. Three drunken idiots living in a share house that occasionally have moments of clarity. It wouldn’t sound honest if we were dressing it up like a Mariah Carey. Not that we don’t like a bit of Mariah occasionally.
MF: By the sounds of things, the tracks will really come to life in a live setting, what with all the fuzz and chaos that come with a live show. Is White Water largely informed by your live sensibilities?
NM: We hate playing boring songs. All the songs on the EP are written so that they are fun to play live. We often have arguments about toning back bits and ditching parts that are fun to play in order to make the songs more listenable. We have gone three years without releasing anything so our focus is definitely on the live show. The next EP is going to have spaces left in the songs for pyrotechnics and go-go dancers.
MF: Speaking of live shows, The Sinking Teeth have been tagged for a run of high-profile support slots — Calling All Cars, Shihad, Bodyjar — did you expect that sort of attention to come so quickly?
NM: No, we definitely didn’t expect any attention at all. We have all been playing in various bands for years that have gone largely unnoticed so we are pretty used to that, and the fact that we have scored these support slots is a fucking miracle in our eyes. We are forever in debt to the friends that have helped us along the way and they will be repaid when the cult takes off.
MF: You’ve already crossed off a few of your Calling All Cars dates, how have the fans taken to you so far? Have you stolen the thunder from the headlining act at all yet?
NM: It would be damn hard. Calling All Cars’ live show is fucked. Haydn has the ability to land square on his face without missing a single note. It’s been amazing watching them play and they have been nice enough to have us up to play songs with them too. We have made a tonne of new mates along the way though. It’s been great. Just great.
MF: Once you’ve clocked up some solid hours on the road, will The Sinking Teeth be announcing a run of headlining dates for the near future?
NM: Shit yeah! And we can’t wait. As long as our little red Corolla keeps going that is. We’ll keep you posted.
MF: You mentioned on Facebook that your music video shoot was called off by a pesky member of a particular outlaw motorbike club. Please expand on this!
NM: We do our own video clips and we were working on a new one in a studio in Abbotsford the other day. We were recording some footage of Ben drumming and had a PA blaring for him to play along to. During a break he went down to the car and I could hear this angry voice so I went down to check it out. The dude claimed he was part of a bikie gang and made a bunch of threats. I guess he was a Mariah Carey fan. We are getting pretty used to death threats in this band. We have had people say that say they will shoot us if we keep playing, we have been evicted from houses, all sorts of stuff. We just packed up and had a few beers and pizza. All good.
MF: Now that you’ve had a taste with your EP, have you begun to plan your first full-length release?
NM: The plan is to do another EP first. We want to lengthen the cookie trail so Hansel and Grettel come wandering into our cage without a second thought. Then piece by piece we will eat them.
The Sinking Teeth Australian Tour Dates
Monday, 4th November
The Espy, Melbourne
Thursday, 31st October
Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Friday, 1st November
Hi Fi, Sydney
Tickets : www.oztix.com.au
Saturday, 2nd November
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Thursday, 7th November
Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Friday, 8th November
Uni Bar, Adelaide
Friday, 15th November
Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Tix: http://www.heatseeker.com.au & http://www.oztix.com.au
Saturday, 16th November
Prince Of Wales, Bunbury
Friday, 22nd November
Hi Fi, Brisbane
Saturday, 23rd November
Cooly Hotel, Coolangatta