Little Teeth are based in Munich. They say they’re a rock band, but that doesn’t really do them justice. They need to be on your radar.
As we continue to dig around the mine of Colin’s Punk Rock World, one band that caught our ear was Munich’s Little Teeth. American exiles, brought together in Germany by pure fluke, their infectious brand of pop / rock / punk was a definite candidate for further digging.
Having released the album, Redefining Home in 2019, things have obviously been quiet for the band in 2020. But, maybe 2021 brings new opportunities. Maybe. Who the fuck knows. But we thought we’d ask anyway.
We caught up with front man Cory Call on Zoom.
P3dro: Where are you and what are you doing?
Cory: I’m in Munich and I’m at work right now, so this one of the few times I get paid for something music related. But for the most part, I’m just hunkering down, waiting for this schtick to pass.
P3dro: What’s going on in the background, with all those picture frames?
Cory: I work in a framing company. We do historic restoration and build new stuff. I do all the antique work, so I’ll take a frame and try to make it look 200 years old. So, these are just the sample frames that are hanging around.
P3dro: Cool. It looks like you’re in an art gallery, or something.
Cory: Basically, yeah, it’s like an art gallery. It’s pretty cool. This shop has been around for almost 200 years. There is a couple of thousand frames in here.
P3dro: Wow. Anyway, we digress. Tell us about the band and it’s history.
Cory: It’s actually a pretty cool story. In America I toured with a band called Arliss Nancy. Our [current] guitarist, Jason was in a band called The Sky We Scrape. And we would end up playing together in [say] Milwaukee. He was from Chicago and I’m from Colorado and we became really good friends. And it would be at a random party in some city where we would get to hang out. We even toured together a bit.
And then Jason took on a job where he had to move to Munich. So, I thought, cool, I’ll have a buddy in Germany if we ever tour there. But then I ended up falling in love with a woman from Munich and we got married. One of us was going to have to move, so I ended up relocating to Munich and got reunited with one of my best friends. We naturally started drinking some beers and hanging out. It didn’t take long to find a drummer (Bastion) and then it clicked.
P3dro: It’s weird how these quirks of fate have separated you and then brought you back together.
Cory: Yeah, in America, Jason and I lived 15 hours drive apart, although we’d talk constantly. He did a lot of merch design for me and every time we got to see each other we were like super buddies. And now we’ve ended up living about 2km away from each other, starting a band together and it’s pretty cool.
P3dro: How long has Little Teeth been in existence?
Cory: Almost exactly two years.
P3dro: For the benefit of anyone who hasn’t seen or heard you, where do you put your sound?
Cory: That’s such a hard question. I just tell people we’re a rock & roll band. The punk scene has taken us in with open arms, and I guess we’re a little on the punk side.
Our main pool of influences for the band [vary] Jason listens to Converge and shit like that. I still listen to a lot of folk music and our drummer (Bastion) kind of listens to everything.
But we all really agree on bands like Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, those general rock & roll, alternative bands. But, I think we’re just a rock band.
P3dro: We think when we listen to the album [Redefining Home], we get bits of The Gaslight Anthem and Brian Fallon.
Cory: That’s welcome. I take that as a real compliment. When I started touring, that was right when ‘Senor & the Queen‘ came out. I remember being in the back of a van and thinking this music is really connecting with me.
My parents raised me on Bruce Springsteen, so that goes right back [down that road].
P3dro: We don’t know what the reaction you’d get in Europe, but for us in the UK, there’s a very American sound.
Cory: Yeah, well, we have two very American members! But, yeah, I was raised on Bruce Springsteen and I’ve always been into the rock and alt-country side of music. Through touring, I hooked up with bands who brought in all these punk influences. But I still think Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen are where it’s at.
P3dro: We’ve spoken to quite a few bands recently and it does seem that bands who’s members have different musical influences to bring into the mix makes for a more successful formula.
Cory: Yeah. I think that’s pretty key. [A while back] The Menzingers and Iron Chic were pretty big and then [lots of bands] were sounding like The Menzingers and Iron Chic. I think that comes from people falling in love with a band so hard. And then all the members of the band have the same favourite band, so they start to sound like that band.
One of the ways to have diversity is to have all those different walks of music to bring something different into it.
P3dro: There’s a line in one of your songs, 16 Candles, where you talk about playing basement gigs and getting hammered with your mates. What does a Little Teeth gig look like?
Cory: Ah, man. We wish they were bigger, but for the most part in mainland Europe it’s smaller venues. But that song goes back to the DIY touring in the US, where there’s not a network or a web of people who would take care of you. So you end up in squats and people’s basements, or somebody’s Mum is out of town and you do a show in their garage.
That’s where I think the real music is and those shows are so much more fun.
P3dro: Well, there’s a kind of tension, isn’t there? You play a small venue and you’re right up close to your audience, but a big stage, then there are 2,000 people.
Cory: Well, that would be awesome! I’d love to play to a fuck tonne of people on a massive concert tour. But I’ll take what I can get. We’re happy to play anywhere. If they have beer, then we’re there.
P3dro: It’s the question we hate asking, but feel we have to. What’s the last year been like for the band in Munich?
Cory: Ah, man. Well, Covid. We got to play two concerts before everything went to shit. Then my wife and I played an acoustic gig.
And then Bastion and his partner had a baby (congrats, Bastion), so we just couldn’t take any risks. Practices just ground to a halt.
We were lucky though, because we have limited experience with home recording, but we managed to find a way to record songs and pass them around from computer to computer. So that at least kept us moving in a positive direction with the band. But I’ve watched way more TV than I’d ever want to watch.
P3dro: Yeah, a lot of people have been learning how to mix from home and do video editing and the like.
Cory: Yeah, it’s cool, but it also requires means, you know. It’s only in the last year I’ve had the means to get the gear to start being able to do that. I feel so bad for those 16, 17, 18 years old who are starting out. They’re lucky if they have all 6 strings on their guitars. There’s a lot of music that’s being deprived from everyone right now because those kids just don’t have the means to do it.
P3dro: Have you managed to get anything recorded?
Cory: We have three that are completely done, save I need to re-track some vocals with a nicer mic (they were done at home). I think we’re sitting on about eight demos right now that are in the pipeline. There are little kinks and stuff we’d like to work out and that shit is easier when we’re in the room together.
With one or two band practices together, then I think we’d be pretty much ready to record.
We have a single we’re trying to get out. We’re really tight with a studio here in Munich. The guy’s great. He’ll offer to give us the keys so we can go in there and stay Covid safe, spend a day in the vocal booth. The guitars we can do at home, but we really do need a studio for the drums and vocals. I think we could book one day and be there all alone!
P3dro: Any sign of gigs in the coming months?
Cory: We have a long list of stuff that just keeps getting cancelled. Before Covid, I never thought there would be a time in my life when our next show was 18 months away.
This year we’re scheduled to play the Booze Cruise Festival in Hamburg. It’s always an amazing festival. But it’d be good just to get through the list from last year. And then we’ll see.
P3dro: You’ve probably seen the news from UK that Glastonbury has been pulled already for this year.
Cory: Yeah, I saw that. Well, here we go.
There’s a big festival in Florida that we do, called The Fest, an awesome, huge three day punk festival over Hallowe’en weekend. But America’s such a shitshow, especially Florida, right now. I know it’s more than 10 months away but …
P3dro: If you could go to a fantasy gig right now who would you see and where would it be?
Cory: I’m lucky. I’m from Colorado, so Red Rocks Amphitheatre was about an hour away from our house. It’s the coolest venue. I’d go back there and I never got to see Tom Petty before he died. So, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the height of the late 70s at Red Rocks.
P3dro: We’ll see if we can fix that for you! Recommend a band or an album you think we should be listening to right now.
Cory: It’s my record of the year. I know we’re only 20 days in, but The Dirty Nil’s album called ‘Fuck Art’ is one of the best albums I’ve heard. They’re getting bigger. It’s perfect.