Tinsel Teeth is a band unlike any other that this writer is currently aware of. Armed with an aggressive, in-your-face live show that hearkens back to the days of GG Allin in many ways – only with a female in GG’s role – this indescribable quartet is bringing it’s unique brand of entertainment all over the U.S. We were able to get a few words from guitarist, Brandon.
How did Tinsel Teeth form?
Tinsel Teeth formed about three years ago when I started playing with Will, after getting pretty comfortable with playing together we asked Dave, who was in a previous band with Brandon called Spheres. The three of us assembled about three or four songs and wanted to start looking for a vocalist. I have been in bands my whole life all of which had a female member. I feel that having a female presence in any band offers new perspectives and approaches especially to the rock format and performance, therefore being set instrumentally as a three piece, the vocalist would fill that female presence. I feel that from now on any band I am a part of will contain all genders.
Your live show is extreme to say the least, highlighted by your singer, Stephanie. Was that a planned as a gimmick or did it kind of develop over time, organically?
There are no gimmicks in this band. Our whole take on music is as follows- When you go to a show, you want to be entertained. This day and age bands are everywhere and dont offer more than just their songs at a live performance, which is fine, but if you are going to keep rock and live shows interesting, more needs to be done. The whole reason we play on the floor aside from obvious safety reasons is we wanted to create a sense of equality with the audience. Performing on a stage creates a feeling of dominance over the crowd and we didnt want our audiences to feel that way. We want to be interactive, we want everyone to rock the fuck out and have just as much fun as we are. Costumes and props add a whole other element to our shows. When we approached Stephanie with these ideas she took them and brought them to a whole new level. She is the real deal, you can see the music course through her like lightning bolts hitting the Bride of Frankenstein. She feels and embodies the chaos and energy of our music, just look at her eyes when we perform, they are rolled back into her sockets. Aside from the performance, her lyrics art and ideas are awesome. So no, she’s not a gimmick.
What are the concepts behind your live performances?
Get the audience riled up, hopefully in a fun way. We want to leave fake blood all over people’s faces and real blood hopefully in their ears and underwear.
As far as you already go, at what point do you think a show has gone too far? Has it happened yet?
A show goes too far when the crowd is either too drunk or the space is too small and people start crashing into the instruments and the music has to keep stopping or when the crowd starts getting to violent. We are all for rough and messy but not when people start getting to weird or aggressive and people are getting hurt. Just have fun and dont be a dick.
It has bordered on happening but hasnt stoppped us yet. The only thing closest to that is when we played at Worcester State College at their outdoor noisefest and some lunatic student monitor or whatever the hell she was kept bothering us about getting naked or drinking on campus and said cops would be called and we would get the plug pulled. Steph’s outfit definitely got a little mauled and they pulled the plug on us three times in a row, the third time cops threatened us so we had to stop. There is a video of it on youtube, it is pretty funny. They kicked us off the campus and everything.
Are you satisfied being an underground act or are there plans to open for Lady Gaga in the near future?
These days I think the term underground is pretty subjectable a band like Kylesa or Fuck the Facts could be called underground or whatever the opposite of underground is, but as far as the level of “fame” we’d like to achieve goes, I’d say we are going to keep doing what we do and see what happens. Obviously we’d all love to get paid well to do our hobby but we’ll see. As far as Lady Gaga goes, I think she needs a swift kick in the balls.
How do audiences react to what you do?
It varies. Some cities arent afraid to physically show they are having a blast or hate us and some cities stand around looking at us with their arms folded or scratching their chins like they are observing some hidden tribe of pygmy people and if they make a sound we will flea back into the bushes. We hate that crowd reaction the most. We approach and play every show the same way and that is as hard as we possibly can.
In addition to being a partially nude, blood spitting, in-your-face live act; Your music is distinctly different from your peers. What are the band’s greatest influences?
I feel that a lot of my favorite bands are comprised of members that have totally different musical tastes. Within Tinsel Teeth we all have similar or same bands that we all agree on, but if we gave you each a top ten list of our favorite bands, none of them will match. My personal influences are Uzeda, Unwound, Discordance Axis, My Bloody Valentine, Lake Of Dracula, old Sonic Youth, Clikitat Ikatowi, Jaks, Jack-o-nuts, the Jesus Lizard.
Out of everyone in the band, who has the best chance of surviving in a post-apocalyptic Earth that has been taken over by mutant Chinese pugs? And why?
Probably Stephanie’s dildo. That thing can take bullets.
What are your favorite movies?
Welcome to the Dollhouse, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Martyrs, The Thing, Wayne’s World, Hard Ticket to Hawaii and Halloween.
Tila Tequila was recently attacked by a rabid pack of Insane Clown Posse fans. How do you feel about the situation?
I find it hard to believe that ICP fans could contract rabies.
If there was any band you could tour with, past, present, or future; Who would it be?
I could write an 8 page answer to that. As of now, I’d love to tour with Cacaw.
What is the pinnacle of what you would like to see Tinsel Teeth achieve?
I would love to see TT to go as far as we possibly can. I would love to tour with this band all over the world and see as many new cities and bands as possible.
Thank you, Brandon! Tinsel Teeth is doing an amazing service to a music scene over-saturated with mediocrity. Is there anything you would like to plug?
I would love to plug as many people and bands as I can right now that are doing amazing things! Eric from Anchor Brain, Noah and the Paint it Pink crew, Will from White Mice, Cacaw, Child Abuse, Boyzone, Clang Quartet, Liturgy, Sword Heaven, Bovachevo, Chrissakes, Get Laid, the Sunglasses, and Arcing.
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