During the recent Slam Dunk festival, we got the chance to catch up with American rockers, Beartooth. See what they had to say…
How are you guys finding the UK?
“It’s great, it it’s our fifth time over here. We’ve done a few days but these festivals are the main reasons we’re here. We did our headline dates with Dead Harts, then we shot off to Australia with In Hearts Wake and We Came as Romans.”
What bands are you liking at the moment?
“We’ve toured with Don Broco before and we love them, they used to invade the stage on tour before, and I love how a band so different to us, like Don Broco, can be our best friends. They play guitar for us and stage dive to us. Their singer Rob always runs up to me and grabs me. It was all on the Kerrang! Tour. It was such a diverse tour. We were on there, and Bury Tomorrow, then you’d have Don Broco and We Are The In Crowd, it was like two completely different tours stuck together. But it still works, it was so cool, we love Young Guns, they came out and played three songs but they’d kill it every night. We did a few shows in the states with them as well, and we love them.”
What else do you have planned for the year?
“We’re playing Download, then immediately flying back to do Warped All Summer long again, then we’re flying BACK for Reading and Leeds.”
What’s Warped Tour like? We don’t have it over here.
“It’s like Slam Dunk, but as a band you wake up at 8, start setting up, then you never know what time you play, you play a different set time every day. So you wait until like 10, they give out the set times, and then you play, you eat, you do press all day, you do signings all day. Pretty much a 14 hour day and it’s like 150 degrees out. Its so hot that your shoes will melt. There has been times when fire trucks go out to cool the ground down. We cancelled our Vegas show because people died, they literally died of heat exhaustion. A kid dies at Vegas Warped every year, they do so much to stop it from happening but kids drink so much alcohol that does nothing good for them and not water, its terrible. We played a Vegas show once and we were all playing in just shorts, it was too hot to even think about wearing anything else.”
You’ve released your debut Album ‘Disgusting’, wanna talk about that?
“We’re touring it at the moment, we’ve got a few new songs on the horizon but we’re just touring all the time. We just want to tour as much as we can and play as many shows as we can without even thinking about it. At some point in the future we’ll release something. Caleb writes everything and records everything himself. He has a studio in his house and just did everything, he does it for other bands too, and does everything. He co-wrote one song, and everything else is completely him. That’s how Beartooth started, he just started writing (I was living with him at the time) and it started as an experiment. He started writing it and was like “I wanna play this”.”
Where did the name for “Beartooth” come from?
“Our bassist grew up on a street called ‘Beartooth Port’ right down the street from us, and it came from that. There was a Beartooth pass and a Beartooth mountain that was nearby, that was the only other thing called Beartooth. When you searched us all you’d get is this mountain, when we first started and I wanted to find videos of us online, I’d have to search through hundreds of videos of Mountains before I found us. It’s in Alaska or something, it’s just a stupid mountain.”
What bands are you listening to at the moment?
“There’s band called SYLAR that are amazing. They’re on their way up, and Dead Harts, we always take them out, they’re amazing. There’s a great band called Sirens and Sailors that we’re friends with, people should really check them out. We’ve all been loving Come Back Kid as well, but they’re pretty known. Their new album is amazing. When Weird and Wonderful by Marmosets came out, I played that for 2 or 3 weeks straight, they came outta no-where and played Warped which is where we first met them, they’re amazing. Oh, and Ghost Key!”
You’ve rose to be a very big band, very fast. Do you ever wish you could play these smaller shows again?
“We still play small shows, we just did a House Show tour in the states where we’d play in their living rooms and we’d release the address like a day or two before the show so the crowds were amazing for them. It was like a Garage Tour, playing Backyards and Kitchen, with a band called Vanna. There is a time limit for how long we can do it for, so we’re doing it all now. If a band like The Foo Fighters can do a US Garage tour and get away with it, we definitely can.”
What are your fan interactions like?
“We’ve had a lot of really, really nice fans, especially over here in the UK. Over here everyone is nice, I could tweet about feeling sick and people would come up to me the next day with like cough drops and ibuprofen and stuff, that actually happens. Its an incredibly positive reaction. We haven’t had anything weird. Everything is just super great.”
Finally, there has been a lot of talk in the music news about a few cases where musicians have been caught either sleeping with or doing/saying inappropriate things with other fans. It’s becoming what could develop into a major issue and a change in the industry. We would love to hear your thoughts on this.
“I feel like the stuff these guys are doing is the most disgusting and pitiful thing that anyone could do, the fact that the guys in a band has nothing to do with it in a sense. It’s such a low life thing to do, and I honestly believe that if you’re in a band and you do something like this, then every piece of credibility you have up to that point should be stripped from you. You should be dropped from your label, you should not be allowed to tour, you should not be allowed in venues anymore and all of your rights as a musician should be taken away. There is no reason why you would use your musical talent for something as shallow as that. If some random guy on the street groped some girl, he would immediately be thrown in jail and his life would be changed forever, just because this person has a status online and is ‘famous’ shouldn’t be any kind of difference. They should be thrown in jail and the band should not be take priority.
I’ve been keeping an eye on Set It Off because they’ve been touring still without the member with the accusations made. If i was in their position I would drop everything and get things done. All that they’re doing by dropping him is proving that the allegations are true, a true band mate and friend wouldn’t abandon you if you were in the right light. I would have a hard time holding myself back if I met one of those people, just because it frustrates me so much when I see famous people look down and other people, we’re all on the same level, we’re all human and there is no divide. Those kids are there reason we are here, so there is no reasons to take advantage of them or treat them less. I hate the divide between bands and fans, we are no different. When we’re watching bands in crowds with everyone else, people are always like ‘what are you doing here’ and I’m just like a normal dude you know? Just don’t take advantage of a status.”