I caught up with Northampton based band My First Tooth in late January, in a crowded, noisy, indie club in Leeds.
Preparing for that night’s gig and still slightly hungover from the night before in York, My First Tooth continued to exude a happy go lucky atmosphere. They have recently gained success in the press; they have been praised by MTV and placed in NME’s bands to watch list, yet this doesn’t seem to have fazed them at all and they are still as approachable as ever. The band consists of Jo, Sophie, Gareth and Ross, an interchangeable group of voices and a variety of instruments, allowing them to keep each song individual. My First Tooth have this innocence that, mixed with darker lyrics like “Fill me up with pesticide, don’t care if I live or die” would make it easy to compare them to such bands as Slow Club and Summer Camp however My First Tooth’s eclectic sound is difficult to liken to anyone.
This band is far from flashy or superfluous and it is this that endears them to their fans, those that were in Leeds seemed to sing every word, a feat that even Rob struggled with but his little stumble allowed us to fully appreciate Sophie’s dulcet tones. The band performing for the admittedly small audience still managed to fill the room with energy, creating what can only be described as a hoedown in the middle of the venue.
My First Tooth are a band set to rock, albeit softly , these cold winter months are a complete contrast to the groups warm upbeat tones, ensuring that everyone who missed out on this intimate gig is going to be kicking themselves in a couple of months.
Here’s what happened when I sat down for a chat with them to see what kept them so down to earth:
Freedom Spark: How much money did you get from the “tooth fairy” for your first tooth?
Jo: I think I got a pound, yeah I got a pound
Sophie: I only got 20p
FS: Me too, Cheap skates
Gareth: How did… sorry we all know it was your mum right? How do you think she got the money there without you waking up?
Ross: Have you seen you sleeping?
Gareth: Well yeah but I wasn’t drunk as a child.
Ross: I remember how I lost my first tooth
Gareth: I chipped mine at New Year…I was chewing gum. It wasn’t even anything hard.
Sophie: That’s not very interesting I was expecting something hardcore. I’ve lost teeth a number of ways, at Brownies, in a chocolate eclair.
Ross: Mine was in an apple
Jo: I don’t remember any of my teeth falling out… I feel left out
Ross: Maybe they’re all still in there
Sophie: I had a dream that all my teeth had fallen out, it means anxiety apparently.
FS: Oh really I thought it meant sexual frustration
FS: Sleet and Snow seems to be the standout track of the album, is it your favourite as well?
Sophie: Well I mean we’ve played it a lot, like a lot especially me and Ross. I’d say we’d played it at least a hundred times by now with rehearsals and live gigs so yeah…
Ross: We hate them all.
FS: You’ve been pretty busy this last year but what are your plans for the upcoming one?
Gareth: Well we have the rest of the tour and probably some more touring.
Ross: We have a single out in April so that.
FS: Are all of your songs written together?
Sophie: Well Ross usually brought us the bare bones of a song and we’d work it all out by just jamming it out in the studio
Jo: It’s nice now though, it’s more organic, more of a collaboration
FS: How do you feel the release of Territories has gone?
Sophie: Erm well… we’re just glad it’s out to be honest, that’s better than we’d hoped for
Gareth: Yeah, I mean I’ve been in so many bands that haven’t even had an album out so just having the chance to do that, we’re just happy to have an album out yeah.
Sophie: It’s really interesting though to see whose buying them, we checked the other day and there’s like someone from America buying one so we’re really excited about that.
FS: Has anyone got any annoying habits on tour?
Gareth: Apart from Jo’s Eastenders obsession?
Jo: Hey! I watch it with headphones in!
Sophie: I sleeptalk.
Ross: Sophie’s sleeptalking is a highlight.
FS: What’s on the My First Tooth stereo at the moment?
Sophie: Well we had The Decemberists on in the van today
Jo: Of course we listen to Johnny Foreigner, Stagecoach and all of the other bands on alcopop! Records.
Sophie: and Pulled Apart By Horses, we were listening to them earlier. Big up Leeds massive!
FS: How did you all meet?
Ross: This story is really boring so erm… we’re all related.
Sophie: and married.
Ross: Yeah we’re all related and married.
Sophie: We’re like The White Stripes except more incestuous.
Ross: Well we pretty much know each other from living in Northampton and from being in other bands.
Gareth: When my other band broke up Ross was just stood there, no consolation just straight out with “So when are you going to be in my band?”
FS: Well I’m glad it worked.
Words by Sophie Stones