Members of This City, Telegraphs, Chaos Days and Hot Damn in one band? It’s Brighton’s ultimate rock supergroup.
The band seems to have come together really quickly – did you have eyes on working together for a while?
Arran: As This City was drawing to an end for me I knew I wouldn’t be able to leave the music scene forever. I’d known Jamie for a little while, as he’d also temped for This City playing bass across Europe. We’d always spoken about doing a side project, so when I left he was the first port of call. Will’s been a close friend for years and was the obvious choice as he’s exactly what I was looking for in a front man.
Gary: There’d been a couple of different line-ups prior to the current one; I guess this is the one that worked out the nicest. Sam and I are the newest additions, but the band was still in its infancy when we arrived. Being Arran’s virtual common-law live-in life-partner, I’ve borne witness to the first discussions of Eager Teeth that came prior to the end of Telegraphs.
Any animosity with your old bands?
Arran: I’m not sure to be honest. I played my last This City gig at a sold out Koko in London supporting Hadouken. We were all buzzing after a great performance and then returned to Brighton. The only way I could describe leaving that night was like the end of the classic movie Stand By Me – after an amazing adventure everyone walked away and vanished. The following day was the first Eager Teeth practice. I see George [ex-This City bass player, now in Calrisian] – he’s always in good sprits and seems to love what I’ve gone on to do. As for the others, who knows?
Gary: There’s no animosity whatsoever from my side. Telegraphs will always remain very much like a family to me. We share an active interest in each other’s musical ventures of late, always with encouragement. And, oddly, I find myself in a band with Sam [drummer of Eager Teeth and Telegraphs] again. I reckon he thinks I’m stalking him or something. Which I am.
Jamie: Animosity? No way. We were all friends before Hot Damn and continue to be now. Although I probably bore them all to death going on about Eager Teeth.
Are there any ego problems with everyone coming from other, really good, bands?
Gary: Ha ha, not a chance! There’s nothing unique or individual about being in a band of any achievement in this town, so no one has cause to start blowing their own trumpet. This City and Telegraphs weren’t the only composites of the puzzle – Jamie was in Hot Damn, and Will sang in Chaos Days and also plays bass in the rather excellent Lightbringer. On a positive, it just means we are all seasoned musicians with absolutely no delusions of grandeur.
Is this the new full-time project for you all? What are your plans for the future?
Arran: I wouldn’t say it’s a full-time project yet, although we meet regularly to write, practice and have been in and out the studio recording, I think we all realise there’s life outside of the band. I think for too long we’ve all put our past bands ahead of everything to come away with nothing. We all miss playing live but don’t miss driving up and down the country for weeks on end, so I think we’re a long way from touring. But then if the right shows came up we could be persuaded.
Do Eager Teeth need to eclipse the success of your former bands for you to be happy?
Arran: No, I achieved a lot of life ambitions whilst in This City, which I am very grateful for, but towards the end of my time with them I wasn’t quite happy. Being in Eager Teeth lets me write and perform equally with guys I love and trust. Whatever we go on to do, musically I am happier now than I’ve been for a long time.
G: Success in a typical sense doesn’t really come into it for me – the feeling of achievement comes from within. Let’s face it, whether success comes or it doesn’t, I still won’t get any PRS money!
Live: Prince Albert, Weds 5th Jan
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