Off The Record with Royal Teeth
GET TO KNOW ROYAL TEETH: Royal Teeth’s forthcoming sophomore record marks the band’s long overdue comeback to indie rock, with a progression in their sound that exudes energy and conviction. No stranger to the ups and downs of the music industry, they’re signed to their third label in just over six years. “There were days where I just accepted that this was probably going to be over soon,” vocalist Gary Larsen recalls. “Something finally switched inside of me. I decided that if we are going down, then we are going down swinging.” Feeling inspired to create new songs with a new fresh sound, the quartet whole-heartedly decided it was worth a return to the music scene. Royal Teeth are also no strangers to success. Their 2012 debut EP Act Naturally and their first LP, Glow, in 2013 spawned the hit single “Wild” , followed by their 2016 EP Amateurs. They’ve turned heads at major tastemakers including Consequence of Sound and MTV and have been featured in SiriusXM Alt Nation’s Advanced Placement, as well as appearing on Last Call With Carson Daly and American Idol. They’ve played major festivals such as Austin City Limits, JazzFest, Bonnaroo, and Firefly; and racked in nearly 15 million streams on Spotify to date. Over the course of the last six years, they’ve supported acts such as The Wombats, Fitz and the Tantrums, The Mowgli’s, and ended their last national tour in 2016 supporting Rooney. In 2017, the group began recording from their homes in New Orleans and Nashville, and the result was the new record. Unlike their previous releases, the new album is rough around the edges. “We didn’t want to reference anything we had done before. We needed to move on and figure out what we are today,” Gary continues.“Never Gonna Quit,” the first single, serves as a mission statement for the album, boasting loudly the ability to take a shot to the chin and continue pushing forward. Thrashing, punk-inspired “The Best” takes on a tongue-in-cheek response to the cutthroat nature of the industry, and “Rivalry” shows a deep seeded desire for both self-discovery and acceptance, stating “I just want to feel like I belong to myself, to anyone.” “It is easy for me to lose confidence in myself,” Gary states. “This line of work can be difficult. It requires you to be vulnerable and put yourself out there to be judged by others. It’s hard to get used to. We are using this album as a platform to face our fears, and to focus on the love we find through the music we create and those who connect along the way. I hope that this album gives strength to anyone who has a hard time putting themselves out there for the world to see.” Hope can be found through struggle on their sophomore album because Royal Teeth’s message is quite clear: they are never gonna quit. The band will be on tour during the second half of 2018, and the first single, “Never Gonna Quit,” is available now to stream or download online.
OTR: How does it feel to be back on the road again and touring with Vinyl Theatre?
Royal Teeth: It feels great! We’ve been playing a lot of new songs (from the upcoming LP) and it’s been great seeing the fans’ first impressions to that.
OTR: What is your go-to snack when you’re on the road, traveling in between cities?
Royal Teeth: We try not to eat too much junk while we travel. We keep nuts and protein bars in the van mostly but we are totally suckers for sweet treats. Coffee cake or an Oreo shake every now and then never hurt anyone…
OTR: What are your favorite and least favorite things about traveling/touring?
Royal Teeth: We really enjoying seeing different parts of the world. Touring gives us the opportunity to see places we would probably never see and to meet so many music lovers so we are grateful for that. It can be challenging to live from a suitcase and hotel rooms for a long time. For us, it’s all about finding a balance. We try to give everyone the space they need to feel comfortable while enjoying each other’s company every day.
OTR: What inspired the video for “Never Gonna Quit”?
Royal Teeth: We saw Valerie Sassyfrass perform in New Orleans a couple years ago and fell in love with her spirit and relentless energy. Gary had the idea for the video and Valerie immediately came to mind. It felt like it was meant for her and she executed it perfectly. She genuinely loves what she does and won’t let anything stop her from sharing her true self with the world. That’s what Never Gonna Quit is all about.
OTR: Since the release of GLOW your debut album, how have you changed or grown as musicians?
Royal Teeth: For starters, the band has gone through a couple of member changes since then. Thomas Onebane joined as our guitarist and he co-produced our new album. As people, we have changed as well. We decided that we didn’t want to do what we thought would be expected of us this time around and just do something new and exciting.
OTR: What can fans of yours expect from the next album? What theme or idea inspired the latest album you plan on releasing?
Royal Teeth: They can expect it to be very different but the spirit of the band is very much still intact. This album is about picking yourself up after you’ve been beat down and finding out what you’re really made of.
OTR: Do you have a name for your upcoming album?
Royal Teeth: Hard Luck.
OTR: Who are your influences?
Royal Teeth: We have so many that it’s hard to narrow down. We are each influenced by different artists so that probably helps create a new sound when we get together. Quit for instance, was inspired by hip hop, guitar driven beats like old NERD & Gorrillaz. It varies from song to song.
OTR: How would you describe the sound of the upcoming album?
Royal Teeth: It’s the hardest hitting thing we’ve done. It packs a punch for sure. It feels a bit more rocking but it also has a lot of electronic hip hop influences. It felt like the right time to take some chances so we didn’t hold back experimenting with new vibes and sounds.
OTR: What are your favorite songs to play live and what are some songs you wish you played more of?
Royal Teeth: “Never Gonna Quit” has become a quick favorite and “It’s Just The Start” has been really fun live. They get the room moving and that’s a really fun energy to share with people. We would love to play more new material but we’ll have to ease into it so we don’t lose too many songs people know.
OTR: Lastly, what can fans expect when they come see you live?
Royal Teeth: A lot of energy and fun. We don’t care about trying to be cool or fitting in really. We just want you to be yourself, let your guard down, dance and sing a little bit, and have a night that you’ll remember.
Follow Royal Teeth on social media and catch them on tour with Vinyl Theatre now. Tickets and info available at www.royalteethmusic.com. Royal Teeth will be at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, MO, September 20th, 2018.