Meet The Band: Hands and Teeth

Have you heard Enjoy Your Lifestyle, the debut EP from Toronto-based five-piece Hands and Teeth? We really don't want to hear the word "no" here, but even if you haven't, don't worry. Instead of indulging in a sighfest filled with head shakes and disgust, we've decided to give you a link to stream the record here and ask the lovely members of Hands and Teeth to be a part of our Meet The Band column. And guess what? They said yes. (You probably guessed that.) And not only did they want to talk to us, but they also had more than one member willing to contribute. That's a first for Meet The Band. See, Hands and Teeth are just that cool.

How do you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard you before?
Jeff Pinto: We like to take slippery, angular grooves, really good movements that are difficult to really get a hold of, and then smooth them out with some buttery vocals and harmonies. Tension and release. Tension and release. As a group, our kindergarten was '60s pop, our elementary school introduced a little soul, high school varied from indie to punk, and for our undergrad we learned that  the borders between any of these genres were artificial. So where does that leave us? As mature responsible sonic adults who sound a little like Roxy Music and Fleetwood Mac when they were mostly in good spirits but had occasional bouts of wistfulness.

What was the craziest live show you've ever seen?
Adam Kolubinksi: Last spring my girlfriend and I went to the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona where we caught a completely ridiculous set by Monotonix. Even though they had the second largest stage at their disposal, they performed their entire set in the middle of the crowd with brief bouts of crowd surfing. Definitely a unique performance!

What was the craziest live show you've ever played?
Natasha Pasternak: Craziest show would have to be a show we played to a room full of kids, parents, a couple of clowns, and one wolfman.

What's your favourite song to play live? Why?
Kevin Black: "Hunting Season". It gets us riled up halfway through our set - everyone comes in singing at different parts with full intensity. It's also the loudest I've been able to play my guitar without getting disgruntled looks from my band-mates.

What was the first record you ever bought? When was the last time you listened to it?
Derek Monson: I was fortunate enough to have inherited a pretty diverse record collection from my pops when I was 16 though I can't take any credit for actually purchasing any them.  Hidden among the dusty Genesis records are some of my most cherished possessions: The Beatles' Abbey Road, Black Sabbath's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin II.  The first LP that I actually bought on my own was probably The Strokes Room on Fire back in 2003.  I often throw this on in our listening den when I'm preparing a meal and probably had it on as recent as 2 weeks ago. 

Who was your favourite band (or artist) when you were 12 years old? Do you still like them?
Jeff Pinto: I can't pull from that far back, unfortunately. I remember very clearly sitting at my mom's piano, trying to figure out "Oh! Darling", and thinking, "this here, this sounds important, it sounds soulful, it sounds ancient, who made this…" Ok, that was 15; at 12 it was Bryan Adams. The man knew his pop but he tends towards mush these days.

If you could only listen to one band or artist for the rest of your life, who would you pick?
Adam: Spiritualized. Jason Pierce writes some of the lushest, most real music out there. I've been a massive fan ever since I first heard Let it Come Down in high school.

Say, for some strange reason, all the music in the world is going to be destroyed, but you can save all the songs from one decade. Which decade's records would you save?
Natasha: The '60s because it has a lil bit of everything that makes rock n roll.

If you could switch places with another musicians in some type of "Freaky Friday" type incident, who would you want it to be?
Kevin: Morrissey so I could book some shows in Canada and reconcile with Johnny Marr. It would also be nice to live in a body that hasn't consumed alcohol, drugs, or animals for several decades.

Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Derek Monson: Definitely The Beatles. No question. I grew up idolizing George Harrison and have always felt that Mick Jagger was a little too much for me. Honestly, I would probably have a more difficult time deciding between The Beatles and The Kinks.

If you absolutely had to get a face tattoo of album art from one record, which record would you want to have on your face for the rest of your life?
Jeff : Album art? Really? It's 2011, album art unfortunately is disposable. Oh, I absolutely have to? Ok, Dark Side of the Moon, what with my nose acting as the prism.

If you could have one musical superpower, what would you want it to be?
Adam: To be the absolute best at every instrument in the world, including the hurdy-gurdy

If you were going to be a roadie for one band, who would it be?
Natasha: The Beatles or Jack White's personal roadie.

If you were going to be a groupie for one band, who would it be?
Kevin: Howling Bells. Definitely Howling Bells.

Seriously, How much do you hate your hometown?
Derek:  I'd be lying if I said that I genuinely "hate" my hometown.  Although some friends often give me grief about growing up in Hamilton, Ontario, I'm pretty proud to say "the hammer" when people ask me.  Aside from the clever "industrial" cracks and playful "armpit of Ontario" stabs,  I have never felt embarrassed of my origins and often speak highly of my former residency "amoung the smokestacks."  Oskee Wee Wee!

Photo: Hands and Teeth

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