Interview: Lucas MacKenzie of New Teeth


New Teeth (glam rock/shoegaze rock) have reunited and are playing their first show in Ottawa since 2011 this Thursday April 24 at Café Dekcuf with Fat as Fuck. The band reminds me a little of Wolf Parade with their Dan Boeckner-like vocals at times. The trio was originally from Ottawa, but are based out of Toronto now (booo, I know).  Even if they are no longer an Ottawa band per say, they were formed here and it is always great to see good bands get back together. I had a quick chat with Lucas MacKenzie, vocalist and guitarist.

When did New Teeth form?
The original lineup formed in Ottawa in 2007, and we played our first show at the Avant Garde Bar. It originally consisted of me (Lucas MacKenzie) on guitar and lead vocals, Will Staunton on drums and vocals and Matt Gilmour on bass and vocals. We played together as that outfit until 2010.

What happened in 2010?
Matt left the band to form Hamilton, a pop punk band with Gary Thibert from Alaskan, Jon Leonard from The Gallop, and Ben Courtice, from Scheme. We then got Will’s childhood friend Mark Sanders who was at the time based out of Toronto, and he played with us at our last show in Ottawa, which was actually at the first Doldrums Music Festival at Café Deckuf in February 2011.

Was that the end of the band?
We then toured through Toronto and Southern Ontario that Spring and Summer with the idea that Will and I would make the transition to Toronto. He left before I did, and we ended up growing apart, personally and creatively. We ended up putting the band on indefinite hiatus, which was unfortunate because we were in the middle of recording our debut full length with our big money shot winnings.

You won the big money shot?
We were one of  the Live 88.5 Big Money Shot Preliminary Winners in back to back years in 2009 and 2010. This earned us 5000$ each time for band development and recording.

What are some of the other cool accolades for New Teeth?
We recorded our Cold City EP in 2010 at Gallery Studios in Ottawa, we played Canadian Music Week in Toronto in March 2010 and had the honour of playing the Ottawa Bluesfest in 2011, the same day as Jane’s Addiction and Death From Above 1979.

Wow, sharing the stage with Jane’s Addiction and Death From Above 1979 is pretty cool. Have you played with any other awesome bands?
Bands we’ve shared the stage with include, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, The Reason, The D’Ubervilles (Diamond Rings’s old band), Wildlife, Immaculate Machine, Amos the Transparent, The Watters Brothers, Wise Young & King and Ornaments.

That is a great list. So what happened after the Southern Ontario tour? What have you been up to?
I started Marxist Cowboy and Will went on to join up with a great folk act called Union Duke who he plays with still.

Both great bands, so how did this reunion come to be?
I ended up leaving Ottawa in the summer of 2013, and moving to Toronto in November. Mark Sanders and I reconnected and decided to put New Teeth back together. We found our new time-keeper in the hard-hitting Tristan Henderson, who has been a session drummer, toured and played with more bands than I possibly have time to recall, but one that stands out is Lindy Ortega.

What changes should fans expect with the change to the line-up?
With this new incarnation, we’ve decided to go with a heavier sound and move away from some of the more indie-pop sounds we started with years ago. (Check the song out below)

Are there any plans for recording this new material?
We will be releasing 5-6 tracks off the unfinished full length that fit the new direction. The release will be in the form of two digital EP’s on download cards over the next few months, with an eventual physical pressing. We’re also slated to record with producer Sam Ibbett this July to capture some of the heavier tunes we play live now, and we’ll be looking at fall and winter release dates.

If for some reason people don’t make it out to your show this Thursday, will you be back in Ottawa soon-ish?
We’ll be back through Ottawa this June or July!

Check out the latest release by New Teeth,  “This Body.” Also don’t forget to check the band out tomorrow night at Cafe Dekcuf.

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