Cut Teeth are releasing their Televandalism EP via Topshelf Records on July 24th. To promote the release, Dustin Currie from the band was kind enough to write-up a Track-By-Track for PropertyOfZack. Check out the feature below!
Who is Thomas Driscoll?
The title is sort of a play on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, with its “Who is John Galt?” refrain, and playing further on that it kind of has to do with my take on that book and her philosophy (which I realize I got something completely different out of than what the reader is probably supposed to). This song is basically about how as people we’re able to forge our own paths and create our own successes (and/or failures) on our own terms, and how the way we speak and present ourselves has a huge effect on that. Kyle wrote that choppy, sort of mathy bridge part on bass, which was extremely fun for the rest of us to try to learn. Definitely one of those musical “ahh” moments when it finally clicked for all of us. It’s also probably the most exhausting song I’ve ever played.
Lyrically, this one’s pretty straight-forward. It’s essentially just an anti-war song. When I was a kid, my brother joined the Marine Corps. I always felt really conflicted, especially when he got shipped off to Afghanistan and Iraq, so I was always in full support of him and wanting him to come home safely and in one piece - but at the same time I was fully opposed to the entire concept of him being there. I just found myself asking ‘what for?’ a lot. Musically, this song has by far my favorite riff Dan has written, and I think was a really big turning point for us figuring out how to write songs together.
This was definitely the weirdest song to put together, for all of us, I think. We all just kept saying how none of us has ever really written a song like this before, a song that sounds this fucked up and eerie, but that we loved it. Naturally, I wanted to channel my inner Fox Mulder to turn it into a ghost story, based on an experience I had with an apartment a couple years ago.
Stone of Yap
I knew I’d wanted to use the line “you’ve gotta spend money to make money” for a chorus-type part for a song for a while, and this just seemed like a very opportune place to use it and build a song around the concept of currency - how it’s not a real, tangible thing at all, but it’s one of those few things that essentially exists because we collectively believe it to exist. This one was actually kind of a challenge to keep as short as we ended up keeping it, but I think it was for the best for this kind of song.
Blood Under the Bridge
This is the first song we wrote as a band. I remember Dan and I sitting in his living room with our guitars, drinking IPAs and figuring out how to make the guitar parts come together. It took a few practices with everybody before we started really feeling like it was a song, but rather than scrapping it or anything, we just worked and worked on it until we felt like we liked it. The recording process also brought a lot to light here, especially with Kyle’s vocal parts that none of us had heard until then, which totally make the song for me. You could probably take all the lyrics and replace them with a “grow the fuck up, dude”. The title actually came from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”.
Disappeared Like Dinosaurs
Compositionally, I think this might be my favorite song we’ve written so far. It started coming out as this uniquely heavy thing, not in a metal way or anything like that, and so we really just took that and ran with it. The song is kind of a story about maybe a parallel universe or a civilization from another time/place wiping itself from existence by using up all its resources and becoming self-destructive in a number of ways. Well, it’s really about this planet right here and now, and what could or will likely happen if we as a society continue on the path we’re on.
A Portrait of the Arsonist as a Young Man
When we started talking with Topshelf about re-releasing this EP, we all decided it’d be a good idea to add a seventh song to give people something new along with the original batch of songs. We quickly began writing this one, and everything just fell right into place. It seemed from the first riff that was thrown down that we all knew exactly where the song needed to go. Matt really stepped it up on this one and played some of the gnarliest drum stuff I’ve heard. For me, lyrically, this is really my first attempt at writing from a completely fictional character’s point of view. He’s an outlaw, and he’s come to terms with that and decides to leave behind any false sentiment of being ‘decent’.
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