VALIANTLY fending off stiff competition from hundreds of undeniably talented entrants, Edinburgh’s Cheap Teeth have more than earned their chance to play this year’s Tenement Trail. A boisterous garage rock outfit that harbours enough hooks and catchy refrains to accrue the love of anyone that comes into contact with their diverse sound, this Edinburgh-based group have not so much landed on our radars as they have left massive crater in it and firmly set up camp in our collective consciousness.
Following the revelation that they had triumphed over the other esteemed artists that made up our shortlist and left the most sizable impression on our panel of judges, we spoke to the band about what it means to win, their origins,  what to expect from their live set and more.

As relative newcomers to the nation’s bustling music scene, how did Cheap Teeth come to fruition? 

It’s quite weird really, not conventional at all. Joe Laycock and Tom are from Yorkshire and have known each other and been in bands together since they were lads. Then Joe Laycock literally bumped into Joe Ash, who’s from London, on Nicolson Street in Edinburgh and asked if he wanted to start a band after they’d met at this weird band mate speed-dating style thing a few months before. Then all that was left was to find a drummer and we inherited Sandy off Gumtree. We literally put an ad up and he was the only person to reply. He couldn’t have been more what we were looking for and we are all based in Edinburgh so it was great.

You’ve played a succession of really well received shows at a number of renowned venues including King Tut’s and Sneaky Pete’s alongside great bands such as Bad Mannequins and The Hammerin’ Tongs to name a few. How has it been to play your own material and realise that it’s hitting home with the audience? 

To start playing our own songs at these venues where we’d been previously watching our favourite bands was so good. King Tut’s was really special for us as we’re all so aware of the history of the venue and it felt like an honour to be asked to play there. Lots of people have been hounding us to get our music online and out there after the gigs which has to be a good sign so it’s really satisfying to have that now.

For the uninitiated, what would you describe as the band’s musical mission statement? 

Our sound is quite varied, we’re influenced by lots of different things which seems to click. We’re definitely inspired by the dark New York sort of sound but also love the west coast garage-rock thing which we think you can hear in our music and they seem to be a decent marriage. We’ve got some fast ones and some slow ones and cover a pretty big soundscape.

You’ve now won the chance to play Tenement Trail due to our new competition with T Break! How was it to receive the news that you’d be following in the footsteps of so many other T Break bands and are excited for the show? 

It was massive! None of us were actually together when we got the news so we had to break it to each other gradually which was really cool as we all got to hear each others reactions to it. A few of us saw Biffy Clyro play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2 years ago and Glastonbury this year so thinking they’re a former T Break band is mental.

How does it feel to be chosen from hundreds of entrants? 

It’s mad really, we’ve been listening to all the tracks this week for the shortlisted final 20 bands and there’s some really great tunes in there. We’ve worked pretty hard and had a few setbacks; so to be the pick of the bunch is pretty special.

What other bands are you looking forward to catching on the day? 

We’re big fans of Dead Pretties and expect some pretty big things from them as well as obviously The Big Moon who’ve put out arguably one of the best albums of this year. Also we’ll definitely be catching our Edinburgh pals Vistas and Retro Video Club too.

After recently releasing a series of great demos that caught the attention of the T break judges and many others, do you have plans to head back into the studio in the near future? 

Yeah big plans. There’s an EP in the pipeline, we just need to narrow down which songs we want to do next. We’ve got loads of new material too

What are you hoping that 2018 and beyond hold for the Cheap Teeth camp? 

It’ll definitely be about getting our material and the new songs out in the open, whether that’s through recording or people coming along to gigs to see and hear it. Then once that’s happened it’s got to be to get some sort of tour together and keep playing shows. Our live shows are what we love doing the most and to have that feeling every night would be class.

In five words or less, tell fans what they can expect from your set at Tenement Trail

Quite a lot of sweat.

Tickets for this year’s Tenement Trail are available here.

Listen to their recent demo ‘Caris’ below: