Hands & Teeth to release debut
Hands & Teeth, a Toronto-based five-piece band, has been making waves in the local music scene as of late, generating buzz with their engaging stage performances and upbeat, yet resonant pop sound.
Enjoy Your Lifestyle, the debut EP of Hands & Teeth, was released in Oct. 2010.
The self-produced EP was mixed by Laurence Currie (as were albums by Sloan and Wintersleep) and was mastered by Noah Mint, who has worked on albums by Arkells, Broken Social Scene and Death from Above 1979.
Following a performance at The Boathouse in Kitchener on Oct. 15, Hands & Teeth keyboard player and vocalist Jeff Pinto spoke to The Cord. The self-described “re-invented pop sound” of Hands & Teeth is motivated by what Pinto described as a desire to “figure out how far we can push pop music.”
“With four different people singing lead at different times, we have tried to establish one voice; using four voices to do so,” Pinto said of the band’s signature group-harmony sound. Of their Kitchener performance at The Boathouse, Pinto said, “We had a great time playing there. We love the venue and get along really well with Kevin Doyle, the booker.” Regarding The Boathouse’s uncertain future because of construction in the area, he expressed, “It’s unfortunate that people take the shortsighted approach, saying it’s an indie venue and no big names play there. There would be no Arcade Fire, there would be no Tragically Hip without venues like this that allow you to get across the country, and build your show, build your crowd. National champions we have wouldn’t be anywhere if independent venues didn’t support them.”
Camaraderie seems to be the word that best describes the essence of the Hands & Feet group dynamic. Recently, four of the group’s five members set in motion a plan for a shared residence that would double as a creative space and recording studio, taking up residence together in Toronto’s Parkdale neighborhood.
On the perks of being a part of a band, Pinto said, “The best part of touring is one of the best parts of being in a band. When you go into a different town you end up becoming fast friends with a lot of people who are in a similar position to you, musicians working in the industry in some way.”
He continued, “Everyone knows it’s a grind, no one is making money, so you end up getting people being incredibly friendly to you and doing things that normally you wouldn’t have strangers doing for you, picking you up, feeding you, that sort of thing.”
The depth that is apparent in the group’s sound can be accredited to their eclectic individual backgrounds. When the band formed nearly two years ago, most members were leading other musical projects. “This was a side project, so it was easier to work creatively in some ways because it wasn’t a project that we ever imagined performing. We weren’t doing anything but experimenting with harmonies,” Pinto discussed of the band’s formation.
“The first show we performed we didn’t even have a name,” said Pinto. Though they soon after settled on the name Hands & Teeth which “was a song that I wrote for a solo project,” according to Pinto.
Headlining recent shows at Ottawa Fashion Week as well as appearing at POP Montreal and NXNE in recent months, Hands & Teeth have been garnering critical attention and praise in anticipation of their upcoming full-length debut Hunting Season (slated for a January release) and continue to secure a dedicated fan following.