What’s it like for a young band flying the flag for guitar music? to find out, We talk to Milk Teeth and Fangclub, two of our favourite upcoming alt rock bands
Guitar-driven music is in a strange place; it’s never been easier to find your sound and get your music into people’s ears. But at the same time, large parts of the media seem to have given up on promoting new guitar bands and giving them a platform to grow. Not TG, because we know how much talent there is waiting to step up to become tomorrow’s festival headliners. With that in mind we couldn’t resist using Milk Teeth’s UK tour with Fangclub as an excuse to get their guitarists and bass players in a room to talk about how they got their bands off the ground, and the challenges they’re facing right now.
How did you go about building a fanbase when you started out?
Chris Webb (guitar, Milk Teeth): “People will ask us what they need to do to start a band and we say, ‘Play any show.’ I remember going to Manchester for a fiver once.”
Becky Blomfield (bass and vocals, Milk Teeth): “It didn’t even cover the petrol but we wanted to play it. We had this EP that we put up on Bandcamp and a few people took notice.”
Steven King (vocals and guitar, Fangclub): “It’s the days of sleeping in a van, maybe staying on someone’s floor. Playing every show you can and playing for 10 people so they come back with 10 more people.”
That’s a good point; some bands might feel that playing to a small crowd is a waste of their time
Chris: “That’s why we try to do shows with as many different bands as possible. Because if you bring one person over, it snowballs.”
Billy Hutton (guitar and vocals, Milk Teeth): “Expect to put a lot in and not get much back for a while.”
Kevin Keane (bass, Fangclub): “We played to a dog before and it left.”
Steven: “He didn’t like it at all!”
Becky: “We played to a guy throwing up out of a window.” [everyone laughs]
Steven: “We’re still doing shows in places we’ve never been before and there’s 10, 15 people. It doesn’t matter, we still do the same show.”
Billy: “If people really love you, there’s no need for you to play less of a show just because there are less people there.”
Steven: “We did a tour with the Cribs and they were telling us about the early days with Biffy Clyro, and how they would play in front of four people. And that was really cool to hear. They were saying, ‘Keep doing it, you’re at this stage now but you have to just keep going.”
Chris: “Talking of Biffy Clyro, there’s a venue near us called the Frog & Fiddle and they have a Reading poster from years ago. And Biffy Clyro are in the