Putting Philly Indie Rock Back in the Spotlight
Larissa Sapko had a short to-do list after moving to Philadelphia. Up high on that list? Start a band.
She can certainly check that one off as Loose Tooth is about to turn in their latest effort, Big Day, coming out April 2nd through a joint release by Father/Daughter and Lame-O Records. It’ll be their third effort in almost as many years.
Along with Sapko, Loose Tooth is comprised of singer/guitarist Kian Sorouri, drummer Christian Bach and guitarist Kyle Laganella. Big Day follows up 2015’s Easy Easy East.
Sapko spoke recently about how the band first came together, the Philly music scene and their new record.
How did the band first come together?
Loose Tooth originally was Larissa’s (Sapko) idea way back in 2013 when she first moved to Philly. At first it was just her, our friend Jimmy (Dobrowolski), and I trying to make a band that sounded like the song “Sugarcube.” Soon after those first recordings came out Jimmy left for greener pastures in Mexico, but fortunately the music scene is brimming with talent in Philly - which is where we eventually met Christian (Bach, drums) and Kyle (Laganella, guitar) and were able to reform the Tooth into what it is now.
This is your second full length. Having already put out an EP and an LP, did you find writing this one easier?
Yes and no. The songs on the first two releases came together pretty quickly, but a lot of them were already written before the full band got to them, which kept things seamless and easier in a way. Big Day on the other hand definitely had a longer writing period than any of the other releases, but it was an intentional choice so that we could write together more as a band. So, I think because we spent longer on the songs, we were able to make better choices with the songwriting and pull in more outside influences that we otherwise wouldn’t have. For example, Christian and I had also performed as part of an ensemble for an improv film performance in December 2015, and we were able to pull some riffs and ideas from that experience to make the song Dog Year. Dog Year sounds totally different from all of the other songs because it was born from a different process, but it has its place in record.
Has the band’s sound changed much since those first few shows in 2013- 2014?
Most definitely. The sound really opened up when Christian and Kyle joined. Loose Tooth was Jimmy’s first band playing drums and while he rocked in his own way, Christian has been playing drums almost since he was born. He brought a lot of different ideas to the way the songs could be shaped. Kyle added a whole layer of sound that was badly needed to match the hugeness of Christian’s drumming. He’s also a pedal nerd, so with that new layer of sound came a lot of different textures too.
I live in Philly and am amazed by how stellar the music scene is right now. With so many bands, is it a fairly competitive scene?
I don’t think anyone would say there’s a competition in the scene here. On the contrary it feels like most of the bands support one another. Lately I have been finding more and more musically diverse shows, and I think that’s great for getting all sorts of people into different kinds of music. There are pockets of great people all over the city, and they all are doing their part to promote their peers and keep what we have here welcoming and supportive. That’s why the scene is so stellar.
How did you guys first connect with Father/Daughter and Lame-O?
Our friend Harmony Tividad told Jessi (Frick) from Father/Daughter that she would dig us, and I guess she did. Jessi reached out to us with very kind words and offered us a slot at their showcase at SXSW 2016. We hit it off because we’re both cool, and now we’re partners in rocking. We know Eric (Osman) and Emily (Hakes, both withy Lame-O Records) from way back in our schooling days, and they also came to us with kind words about our music. They said they know Jessi too and that they all want to make something cool happen. So here we are.
Do you guys have any musical influences that may surprise people?
Not sure how many of these would be considered surprising, but: Christian loves grind. Kyle loves Booker T and the MGs. Kian loves Mulatu Astatke. Larissa loves Wilco.
What’s next for the band?
A tour on the record sounds about right. So does getting back on the writing track.