Bill Bartholomew and Gabriela Rassi relocated their band Silverteeth from Brooklyn to Rhode Island for access to all the things a band needs – on a smaller scale. “I think in terms of logistics and creative freedom,” Bill says, “it’s a better place to be. I mean, NYC is NYC, and I love it there. I guess our perspective is that, having been in Brooklyn for a decade and establishing community, Rhode Island is currently a better place to be in terms of accessing what is really most valuable in New York City – rather than being in the outskirts of Brooklyn and Queens, where most artists live, somewhat scattered from each other, and bogged down with endless odd jobs and hustles to survive.”
Silverteeth’s noisy and rounded self-titled release has found a welcome home in Bill’s home state; over the past year, they have used those five songs as a basis to reimagine, recreate and grow as a band. “We really love to spend time letting a song develop through demoing, trying it live, breaking it down and rebuilding,” Bill says.
Along with drummer Tom Berglund, Silverteeth sticks with the classic alt-rock trio structure that Bill sees as a secure foundation for the band. “As tempting as it is to add additional guitars, keyboards and whatnot, there is something special about the clarity of a traditional three-piece, and as we continue to forge our sound, it makes communicating our ideas much more straightforward than a larger ensemble would be,” Bill says. “Not to mention, touring and other logistical elements benefit from a smaller scale operation.”
With a rambunctious and almost chaotic live show, the complementary songwriting and performance styles of Bill and bassist Gabriela make the songs on the Silverteeth EP feel cohesive and resonant. With the lead off tracks “Burning Planet” and “Camden” setting the tone for the EP, Silverteeth establishes themselves firmly in a jangly, fuzz-heavy, catchy “Oooh’s” world that smells like the 1990s but takes the best elements of the decade and reorganizes them into the new, wholly original order.
“We were all early middle schoolers, but the ‘90s alternative music movement was a major entry point for all of us. For me, the stuff on stations like WBRU and WRIU, in the recommended section at Newbury Comics, the Lupo’s shows listed on the back page of The Phoenix – that world, and all of the shows during that time, from VFW halls to well-known acts – it was an exciting movement and a portal to something beyond my rural upbringing,” Bill says. “And although we each actively listen to a great deal of different artists, there is an element of ‘90s rock – the distinct expression and willingness to engage - that is embedded in our hearts.”
Silverteeth will be playing June 30 at The Columbus Theatre; aside from that performance and a handful of dates in NYC and the Northeast, Silverteeth is mostly focused on writing new songs. For now, though, I don’t think I have heard five songs go such a satisfyingly long way in a long time. It’s the kind of EP you immediately replay once it’s done.