My first tooth ache. experience was maybe a year and a half ago. I caught her playing some loft space in Northampton, MA with Eric Hnatow and some others. I liked the show enough to walk up to her and buy the self-recorded and self-released Illogically Chronic CD-R, which ended up not working, but she sent me the songs digitally and I've been keeping track of new recordings ever since. She recently released the Skin 7-inch on Father Daughter Records and contributed a c15 to NNA Tapes' Burlington, VT Box Set.
How was that show you played in Northampton, MA a year or two ago? How often do you get out of Vermont to play?
That show was great. I was visiting a friend who brought me to this great place to swim and then we went straight to the show. I hadn't brought a table or a mic stand so I used an ironing board as my table and wrapped my mic around a broom. I usually get out of Vermont for shows at least once a month. Even if I lose money on it sometimes, it's always nice to get out.
The new recordings, primarily “Skin” and the song “Eurydice” from the NNA Tapes Burlington, VT Box Set, sound a bit more polished than those from the Illogically Chronic CD-R. How has recording tooth ache. songs changed from that first CD-R to the recent 7-inch?
The funny thing about the Illogically Chronic CD-R is that over half of the songs on there were recorded all in one day in a basement, off the cuff, just writing them as I was recording them all in one take with a few overdubs. That's how tooth ache. started, I guess. So for the longest time the only material I had to show for myself was this weird disc of songs recorded through an internal microphone on a laptop into garageband. Then I started writing new stuff and finally started recording it, but taking a little more care in recording it. I recorded all of the songs on the box set myself, which I prefer to do because I like the privacy and control of doing things alone. The 7-inch was recorded by friends though, which was sick because they both added their own aspect to it. “Lazarus,” the B side, was produced by my friend Matt Mayer. “Skin,” the A side, was produced by my friend Joey Pizza Slice who recorded it and then played it through trash cans for some tinny reverb. I don't think I would want any of it to sound super polished. I've experimented with some new gear since then too. And my song structures have changed a lot.
Speaking of the Burlington Box Set, what are your thoughts on the current state of Burlington music? Where's the best place to catch weird shows? Who are some of your favorite Burlington musicians/artists right now?
Burlington is really weird because it's really small. There is this super tight-knit crew of friends and musicians who all play shows together even though we all play really different music. The thing we have in common is that we don't fit into the mainstream generic rock band/jam band scene and have all been cast away or completely ignored by the Burlington mainstream. There aren't a whole lot of cool venues around but the best places for shows right now are a bar called The Monkey House, a house called The Wedge, and a studio space called the Enchanted Forest. There are a few other places that host things occasionally but those three are the most consistent. I'm really into Toby Aronson, Lawrence Welks & Our Bear to Cross, Chubby Wonder (a.k.a. Psychic Vagina, Son of Salami, Nosebleed Island), and A Snake in the Garden. And basically all of the artists on the box set. Also: you should check out my other band, Susan. It's me and my friend, Ashley.
What can we expect from tooth ache. in the near future with regards to new music? Any plans for a full-length album?
I'm working on a full-length but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet in terms of releasing it. It's definitely in more of the direction of the songs that were on the box set. I feel like my stuff has evolved a lot since even the most recent releases so I'm excited to get it out there.
The first time I went to Burlington was sometime in the mid-90s on a family vacation, where I was introduced to the folklore surrounding both Lake Champlain's and Lake Memphremagog's aquatic monsters Champ and Memphre. As a young boy, I was terrified of swimming in such a body of water. What are your thoughts on these beasts? Do you know anyone who claims to have seen them?
I love Lake Champlain. I grew up around it and I was never afraid of any lake monsters. Although, there's a tiny lake up in Glover, VT called Shadow Lake and for some reason I was always afraid that there was a giant leach hanging out in the shadowy areas. There's a guy from my hometown who is apparently well-known for being a “Champ” chaser or whatever. He's been interviewed by the Discovery Channel or something. We share the same last name but we're not related. Some people are really nuts about that stuff. Someone in Burlington claimed to catch a video of Champ on their cell phone last summer. It's on YouTube: