9 Aug

We can say that “Occasion of Sin” – a song from the Far-Out Fangtooth EP entitled, “The Thorns” (released by the consistently rad HoZac Records) – is today our favorite song of all time.

We can say that tomorrow the answer might be the EP’s title track, and the next day, the final song, “Patience.”

This isn’t hyperbole – ape shall not blow smoke up, around or near the posterior. This is an expression of the feeling we have when we are in the midst of listening to music that truly captures our mind, the feeling we have when we are in the midst of the eternal now, when there is only the sound and there is only our sloppy, closed-eye, air-guitar gyrations. This is our practice – the appreciation of the far-out.

And this is our appreciation of Far-Out Fangtooth. Deploying the brotherly love that defines their home city of Philadelphia, “The Thorns” nearly detonates with the dark, deep pulse of a kind of creepy, cosmic cramps that just feels right – a now sound, huge and harrowing, wrapped around a core of primitive yearning, a threatening thorn in the side of disposable culture.

We can say all of this due to the fact that we literally have not stopped listened to “The Thorns” since it was first brought to our attention, and our impression of the band’s impact and intensity shows no sign of growing long in the tooth.

If we fear anything about this informally-fully-formed Fangtooth, it’s the fact that the best is surely yet to come. We feel fortunate to have been bitten by Far-Out Fangtooth – this is the music that draws blood – and equally fortunate that guitarist/vocalist Nick Kulp was kind enough to answer our ridiculous questions below. Enjoy.

The phrase “far-out” may be saddled with the reductive resin left atop it by hippies and squares alike, but it’s always been one of our favorite phrases, especially given its original definition as describing something “marked by a considerable departure from the conventional or traditional.” What does this phrase mean to you? What do you think is the most “far out” – the most unconventional – belief that you hold? What is the most “far-out” music that you enjoy? Have you ever watched the awful 70’s cartoon entitled “Fangface”?

It means what you just stated and there’s really not much more that. “Far out” to us is reaching of the unintentional. I feel like when we get to a psychedelic point in our song writing or a “far out” point, it’s at first an unintentional moment, especially when we break the mold of our minimalism (which intentional and one of the original concepts of the band). I feel as though our music makes a departure from the traditional psychedelic music, as well as breaking the mold from punk bands, but tying the roots of those two together.

The most unconventional belief would have to be that the moon is the mothership of the Illuminati. Half of the band consists of Cancers so there is a complete attraction and dedication to the Moon.

The most far out music that we enjoy … well, I can pass it around. For me, its definitely Can and for sure that Spectrum/Silver Apples EP, that’s pretty fucking far out.

No, I’ve never watched Fangface – someone else actually asked us that too … but I have however watched Scooby Doo and Groovie Ghoulies.

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Do you think of yourself as generally out of step with the world around you? Do you find the world too fast, too slow, too violent, too indifferent – all or none of the above? How does this feeling – or the lack thereof – manifest itself in the music of Far-Out Fangtooth?

There is generally that feeling of isolation within the outside world. When I was a teenager it was called Punk, and as I grow older I realize the understanding of the world around me is just too out of touch. I’ve always made phrases in my head about the world, and what a world it is – you know, the one made up inside your head – or the real world, the one that if you dont watch out you’ll end up in a hospital bed for 11 days and recovering for 3 months.

Fangtooth has it’s own struggles with indifference and our own world that we come from. They are all so different, but we all agree that there is a problem of indifference in our generation’s attitudes and it directly conflicts with the “real” world of politics and social problems. Part of our music reflects this notion with the name of the first LP we did with Siltbreeze, “Pure & Disinterested,” as that kind of set the mood for where our music takes off. There isn’t too much we can find interest in that is going on around us these days. Over-stimulation, and instant access to media is part of it. Musically, politically, I think the only thing we can find interest in and be pure about is what we are doing – creating our own realm of music where we can feel good about our place. The sincerity and passion of doing something you love doesn’t seem to go away. And all the appreciation of watching each other grow, and that fact that we all appreciate each other’s writing definitely adds to it, too.

What has surprised you most about your time in Far-Out Fangtooth thus far? What is one change that you have seen become a part of you that you would have never suspected prior to being a part of this band?

There have been a ton of surprises. Being able to grow as a musician and never being “properly” trained as one. Another is being fascinated with creating sound, and part of that is discovering pedals and messing with amps, but always dealing with what I am given or have already. I never really thought I would be sculpting a sound or creating an atmosphere. That is a whole new part of music for me.

The surprising change that is a whole different side is actually managing the band. We all have our moments with managing, but it is one thing I’m sure we all never thought we would do. It’s a whole other side to music that people dont even consider or think about. But managing a band is like being a whole other member; it’s a job on its own. Sometimes it takes the purity out of it, and it really bleeds the tension between us all. But it is important to have people take charge of situations, and its important to be able to work things out, even about things that dont involve actually playing.

Related, what has been the biggest change in your own personal musical vocabulary from the start of the band until now? What music, or what elements of music, have the other members enabled you to appreciate? Why do you think you resisted that music early on? What does that music mean to you now?

Well, there has been a huge change for sure. As I said prior, I was really into Street Punk growing up, so as most people know when you’re in that world, nothing else really exists. Almost as if something that isn’t related to rebellion in some way or have that name attached to it, then it doesn’t exist. I think out of musical genres since being in this band the biggest change has been the psychedelic, shoegaze and noise world. A lot of it has to do with being obsessed with noises and sound frequencies … not necessarily giving a shit about what other things are trying to be done or what motives people have about what should be re-created.

There are a lot of elements that the others bring to me. For one, we all agree on RockSteady and Reggae to cheer us up, burn out to, or just listen to when we’re on the road. There is a shop in New Orleans called Domino Records. If you haven’t heard of it then do yourself a favor and go pick up one of their mixtapes. I have #20 and it’s # 1 in my book.

The other elements are country and bluegrass. When I heard Merle Haggard before all I could think of was my dad or grandfather, but when I hear it now, I think of T-Bird (Tania), for sure. There are definitely a lot of different styles being listened to or brought to the table or into the van. The best time to hear our difference in musical taste is in the van for sure. Personally, my initial resistence has to do with young ears and taste. I have a very particular taste, and, well, if something doesn’t meet that or set the mood I’m in, then I loathe it. That hasn’t really changed too much besides really getting into stoner metal more so now.

We dislike using phrases like “a huge leap forward” when discussing your most recent EP, “The Thorns,” largely because it sounds less-than complimentary of your previous work, of which we are highly complimentary. But there does seem to be something unique about “The Thorns” … an almost forlorn sense of atmosphere at points, coupled with a band that sounds to be absolutely bursting with power. What were your thoughts on the composition of this EP beforehand? Do you feel you were reaching for something different? How do you feel about the EP now that some times has passed?

Thank you for the compliments, on both. They both show steps of growth and disillusion.

To be honest, “The Thorns” was actually one of the first songs we had all composed together almost from scratch, over two years ago. Because when the band first got together, it was a home-recording project of Joe and Vinnie. So there were some previous songs that were written before I was even asked to play with them. “Thorns” marked a stepping point in a direction that we all didn’t necessarily think it would go. I’ve always felt that song had such power and underlying beauty. We actually recorded the song with our first 7″. Didn’t include it because it was too long and never ended up doing anything with it. Vinnie actually made a video for it a few years ago. So that video was onYouTube, and we thought it just made its justice that way. We didn’t expect two years later that Hozac had been watching us and wondered what we had done with the song. The answer was nothing. So we re-recorded the song along with recording the songs on the b-side. Re-approching the song definitely made for something different. I feel as though we are always reaching for something different, and see things differently from each other – that’s why it works. There is definitely a lot of power on this version for sure and there is more of an understanding now of what were capable of doing. There is a sense of the unknown and purity in our first recordings together, but there is now a confidence and power in our newest recordings that isn’t going away.

I feel excited about the EP. I feel like records stand as marks of where you are as a band, and for us we keep making leaps forward. So there is definitely a sense of gratitude there. There’s also a sense of being excited for what’s next, as we keep writing and making steps towards recording more.

What can you tell us about the origin of the song “Occasion of Sin”? What does the “occasion of sin” represent to you? Amid the madness, are we correct in making out the words, “disposable future”? Are you sure you guys don’t have 350 guitar players? It sounds like you guys have 350 guitar players.

“Occasion of Sin” means that it’s human nature to commit sins and no one is perfect. It’s about the feelings of hopelessness and struggling for an answer for existence, which we will never obtain as humans, even with the seemingly infinite, easily accessible information in our modern age. On a lighter note, as far as the 350 guitars go … it’s really 349. But the real question is – what about the drums? There are only two – did you know that?

Would you care to comment on the rumor (the rumor that we are attempting to start right now) that outside of music, the band will soon release their very own, licensed and designed “personal pleasure device,” to be called, “The Far-Out Fangtooth Make-Out & Band Booth”?

No comment – at this time.

What music have you been listening to lately? If push comes to shove, what’s your favorite Siouxie & The Banshees song and why? Please show your work.
Well this question is going to be passed around … but for me I’m all over the place. First and foremost out of what is going on around the world, I’m really digging Dead Skeletons. Jon and Ryan just seem to be tuning into something way-beyond beautiful. Finding the beauty in death, that is … also the Jonestown’s newest release keeps on spinning. I’ve had a pretty decent obsession with Chrome lately (it’s always on and off). Theres this really rad but extinct band from Florida called American Snakeskin that has the same taste as we do, from a different pair of glasses. Also Broken Water, the Whet album always seems to make conversation on who I’m excited about and why. There is also the obsession with what is going on in Australia right now and has been, like Circle Pit, Slug Guts, Naked on the Vague, Kitchens Floor, Straight Arrows and Blank Realm, along with that of the earlier sludgy, bottom-waters stuff with the likes of The Scientists(post power-pop), X, Venom P. Stinger, and the likes and legend of Rowland S. Howard. The Nikki Sudden/Rowland S. Howard stuff is always on rotation. To get back to the States, there is also a band called Rosenkopf that put out a particularly amazing record this year, along with our friends Hot Guts whose new record just came out. Also really stoked on Smoking White, a new early Creation Records influenced band from Austin. Theres a ton of stuff that is always on constant rotation, as I am not really satisfied with much for too long …

Siouxie and the Banshees’ song? My personal is “Red Light,” it has a specific sound that is particularly close to my heart. But the bands’ overall love is “Arabian Knights.”

Siddhārtha Gautama – who we’re pretty damn sure was the original drummer in Creepoid – once said the following:

“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”

Your thoughts?

Yeah, I guess Pat has some pretty big shoes to fill. Well, doubt and trust are in a relationship together. As well as communication – those all have keys into making or breaking any relationship. Doubt can really start the spiral and get things moving and manifest situations until the doubt has been strangled.

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to relate this to all of the other questions, as far as the band, or just as a general answer to life and where doubt falls into that.

What’s next for Far-Out Fangtooth?

Well, the next step – besides trying to survive what the earth is dealing us – is recording the next record. We have a few shows set up in July and August, but our next step is recording our second full-length. We have dates set up at Cobb Studio the first weekend of September. Justin, who recorded and engineered the latest EP is going to sit in with the Cobbs to help make sure the process is smooth and the sounds we got on the EP aren’t missed. It’s definitely an exciting thing to be gearing towards. The second LP is where the fun starts. Especially when you dont know where its going to end up …

Far-Out Fangtooth


One Response to “FAR-OUT FANGTOOTH”


  1. “ADMIT IT”: WE LOVE FAR-OUT FANGTOOTH | Revolt of the Apes - March 6, 2014

    […] believe that more than a year and a half has passed since we properly praised Far-Out Fangtooth on this ridiculous website. It’s even more difficult to believe that we failed to officially put down any words of praise […]

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