Interview: Ten Questions With Gary Larsen of Royal Teeth

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I recently was in New Orleans for a wedding and despite stuffing my gullet with food that took years off my life, I also imbibed in music and booze, a New Orleans specialty. While speaking to some of the locals, one of the bands that came up in conversation was Royal Teeth. I checked out their EP and was completely blown away. That being said, here is my interview with founder, guitarist, vocalist and Far Side creator (that last part might be a mistake) Gary Larsen.

Matt De Mello – You guys have been on the forefront of this social media revolution of bands successfully promoting themselves on Twitter & Facebook. How much has that accelerated the attention on your band?
Gary Larsen – I think it has been VERY important for our band. Staying on top of our social media really helps us promote our music, shows, and tour updates. We love staying connected to our fans. We keep up with our band Facebook page more than our personal pages!

MD – You guys, Trombone Shorty and the Revivalists, while all very different, are all part of a burgeoning New Orleans indie music scene. Do you feel a strong connection to your roots and do you feel that comes across in your music?
GL – Yes we do, even though our music isn’t what people might expect in a band from the south. New Orleans is such an eclectic city and there are so many different genres of music being played there constantly, we are just a small piece of the diversity you can find there.  I think the upbeat party element and intriguing energy of the city comes through in our music and our live shows. We definitely try to bring that passion and charm with us wherever we go.

MD – You’ve garnering a large following before your first album has been released. Do you feel any pressure to make your album perfect?
GL – I think at first, yes, but we don’t feel the pressure as much now. Touring has really helped us grow as a band. We now have time to actually sit down together in the same room, to write and go through new ideas.  So many great ideas are being made because of it and we are less worried about writing something perfect and more focused on something we are all completely happy with. We are really excited to start recording some new songs.

MD – When do you expect the album to be released?
GL – We are hoping early next year!

MD – Do rainy days and Mondays always get you down?
GL – Not at all! We love the rain as long as we aren’t driving in it. And it rains a lot in Louisiana, so that just reminds us of home. We have also started losing track of what day it is, so Mondays don’t affect us quite as much.

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MD – What is the last movie you saw?
GL – Joshua Wells and Nora Patterson saw Prometheus and Andrew Poe and I (Gary Larsen) saw Men In Black 3.

MD – Where does the name Royal Teeth come from?
GL – It’s just a play on words. We wanted a name that had no prior meaning and we didn’t want to take ourselves to serious with it so just worked. Royal Teeth is simply us and our music. We enjoy hearing what people think it means though!

MD – While touring what do you do to pass the time?
GL – We like to explore when we can. Its amazing to see so many different places. We have also been writing a lot which helps us get through the long drives. A lot of great ideas are being made on the road.

MD – How did you guys meet?
GL – Josh and I started the band in Lafayette, Louisiana. Shortly after Poe and Hef who were previous band mates with Wells joined. Stevie and Nora followed shortly after that. Our previous female singer left the band and we were in a rush to find a replacement with a show only a week away! Stevie mentioned a girl that just moved to New Orleans that could sing so I Facebook messaged her. We basically asked her to join our band and play a show in a few days after just meeting her and she said, “Sure, I can do that.”

MD – What are some of the goals the band has for the future?
GL – We try not to look too far ahead and just keep focused on moving forward. We want to tour and write as much as possible for now and have an album finished shortly after. Our main goal has always been to take this band as far as it can go.

Photo 1 by Zacharias Gaitan

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