Animal Teeth :: Raw sentiments & Delayed reactions

animal teet

by Gil Carroll

Local indie rockers Animal Teeth take the stage at The Union Sound Hall on Thursday, January 16th, sharing the bill with The Bokononists and Montreal’s The Luyas. Stylus checked in with guitarist and vocalist Stefan Hodges about the release of their EP, and what is in store for 2014.


Stylus: You released your EP Me and You in 2013 at Ace Art Gallery. What was the reaction you received after releasing the EP?

Stefan Hodges: We went into the release of Me and You with fairly low expectations and even less organization. I think the posters were put up the day before the show and the packaging for the album didn’t arrive until two weeks later [laughs]. That being said, the reaction was delayed but super positive. I mean, our friends and families said nice things about it right away and that was really cool but after a couple months we started getting “recognition” in the sense of features on music blogs, a pretty sweet streak on CKUW and CJUM charts and, recently, part of a 2013 compilation of the best free music of the year on this British site. So I suppose, we got fairly lucky considering how inefficient our actual release was.


Stylus: Now that some time has passed since the release, are you working on some new Animal Teeth material?

SH: Yeah! I’ve actually been in a really good place for writing music over the past couple months so we have a bunch of new material. About half of this new material has been finalized into songs that we are either already playing live or that we are cleaning up so that they don’t suck when we play them to people. The other half still suck. We work on framework together as a band and some songs come easier than others. I think we’re playing at least two new songs on Thursday.


Stylus: What type of experiences do you draw on when working on new songs?

SH: I’m not a very narrative lyricist and I generally draw on sentiments rather than experiences. I really like narrators like Bob Dylan and Andy Shauf, but I have an easier time connecting with sentiments and themes. That being said, the songs are usually pretty personal and I’m more interested in letting people interpret them for their own personal sentimental value than saying you’re supposed to feel one thing.  


Stylus: Do you spend more time working on lyrics or the music itself?

SH: I usually spend very very little time on lyrics and I definitely don’t consider them to be extremely valuable in our music. I’m more concerned with getting out the raw sentiment and shaping it so that it’s fluid with the music than working on poetics. That being said, there are a lot of really lame lyrics in our songs and I kick myself while I’m singing them. I’m sure there are advantages to being poetic and maybe to being more guarded. 


Stylus: What does 2014 have in store?

SH: 2014 sort of seems like a transition for us. We’ve put out this EP, we’ve sort of gathered an image or branding of the band and we’re working out what that means for the four of us.  We definitely want to record at some point and I think we’re going to target a few labels in the city, seeing as we’re much too unorganized to do this again. It’s just a question of whether we keep going with what we’re doing or re-hash. The music scene that we mostly identify with is going through a cataclysm with the amount of venues closing and opening in the past year and with bands starting and dying (RIP Haunter) so I think our 2014 will be mostly reflective of Winnipeg’s 2014.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *