This week we’re featuring the pop band Royal Teeth, based out of New Orleans/Lafayette, LA. Having recently seen them open up for Saint Motel back in July, it was evident that they were a wonderful live act. They were full of energy, with sweet vocals, cohesive percussion unit, and had a presence that left an impression on you right after the set was over. They had release their EP Act Naturally back in May and are currently in process of working on new tracks for a new record. We spoke to lead-male vocalist Gary Larsen about touring life, Austin City Limits, the new record, and more!
Get to know Royal Teeth down below.
Who are Royal Teeth and what can you tell about the story in choosing your band name?
Royal Teeth are Gary Larsen, Nora Patterson, Joshua Wells, Josh Hefner, Stevie Billeaud, and Andrew Poe. The name started with the idea that we didn’t want a name with a prior meaning and we didn’t want to take ourselves too seriously. It doesn’t really mean anything and we like that. Royal Teeth is simply us and our music.
Royal Teeth songs have so much vocal texture. What does the songwriting process look like?
A lot of our songs up to this point have come together in pieces over time. I (Gary) write constantly on my acoustic guitar. When I write something I like I’ll record it for everyone and usually from there the samples will be built so by the time we get together to learn it as a band the basics of the song structure are complete. The last part is the most important! Making it come together and bringing in all the live elements. That’s where we give the song it’s heart.
What was the favorite band you met at SXSW?
Unfortunately, we didn’t really meet too many bands during our time at SXSW. It was so hectic and go go go! the whole time. We did actually meet Races for the first time and we stayed at the same hotel as Saint Motel.
There are so many ways to find out about new music online nowadays. How do you think most people are hearing about you guys?
Touring has been the most beneficial thing for us as a band so far. Our listeners, likes, and sales go up while we are one the road so it feels good to know that touring works so well. Social Media has definitely changed the game for bands so we are learning to adapt and use the digital world to our advantage to get our music out there as much as possible.
What’s the best part about being on the road touring? What’s been your favorite town to play in so far?
The best part about being on the road is making new fans and meeting new people. It makes everything we do worth it to see the connections we are making with people. We love performing and being able to tour is so amazing to us. We all feel very humbled to say we do this for a living.
We have so many highlights from different places. I think everyone might have different answers. I really loved Chicago because there were festivals going on both times we played there. So, there were tons of new faces in the crowd and so much for us to do on our time off there.
I heard Royal Teeth has started writing a new record. What can your listeners expect to be different about this one?
It’s still very early in the writing process so it’s hard to tell right now. There has been some growth being on the road and writing. There will probably be more live elements to the new record. Our main focus has always been simple..We are a pop band that writes good pop music with a lot of heart. That won’t change.
Who are you most looking forward to playing with at Austin City Limits? What groups inspired/continue to inspire your musical style?
There are SO many amazing artists performing that it’s hard to choose. Florence, M83, Alabama Shakes, and Jack White.
We are influenced by so many different things. I get most of my song writing influence from old pop music. Anything from Motown, Ben E. King, to Sam Cooke but I also listen to a lot of current music to get a grip on what’s happening today. The old pop sound helps when I write for Royal Teeth because it keeps me focused on the bare essentials of a good pop song.
Having recently saw you open for Saint Motel at DC9 and loving what I saw live, how can you describe your live shows for those who have yet to see you.
The first word that comes to mind is energy. We put a lot of heart and energy into our live shows. We want the show to be more of an experience so we try to be interactive and fun. We think experiencing a great live show is so important for bands these days so we make sure that we do everything we can to make it special.
Speaking of DC, what did you enjoy most about our city from when you’ve played here?
We have actually been there twice! We played at 930 club and that was one of my favorite places I have ever played. We also had the chance to be tourists and explore the city a little bit. It was really beautiful.
What would your dream concert lineup look like?
That’s a hard question to answer. I think wewould all have different answers. I think if we could open for Coldplay opening for U2, that would be a dream come true.
Thanks for talking to us at Pick-Up. Any last words for the readers out there?
Thank you for taking the time and thank you to everyone who has supported our band! We hope to see you soon. Royal Teeth loves you.