Eagle Teeth: Good time boys

Working to create their own dance party, Eagle Teeth came together like most bands in town, but quickly veered off the beaten path, opting for good times over expression. The three piece – David Dees on guitar/synth/vocals, Alan Crow on bass and Max Mendizabal on drums just want you to have a good time at their shows – and they’ll do whatever it takes to get you there.

Eagle Teeth started out as many local bands do – they all met at Western. “I met Max in the dorms my freshman year,” said David, though the two didn’t really connect until a few year’s later when David approached him about jamming. Then David met Alan at a party that involved “shitty rap” and the two talked about how they’d rather be at a dance part with a live band. David asked Alan to join him and Max and Eagle Teeth were born.

Over the last few months of college, the trio focused “playing house parties, getting girls and drinking beers,” David added, “At first,” David said “We thought, we’re not going to try too hard. I’m going to play synthesizer and all of our songs will be about girls and we’ll have fun.” After graduation the trio took jobs and started focusing on Eagle Teeth, though. The band had gotten positive feedback at a few of their early shows and they realized that they could be onto something worth pursuing.

While the band obviously loves dance music, they’re heavily influenced by unsuspecting genres, “The three of us listen to a lot of post rock and prog. We’ve been trying to integrate that into dance music.” At first, the band’s songwriting was, as David described it, “verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, end,” but they’ve worked at adding debth to their sound, making pieces longer and more evolved. “We’re huge fans of Russian Circles,” David exclaimed, “they’ll play a riff two minutes into a song, then eight minutes into the song, they’ll bring it back.” They’re also huge fans of Death From Above 1979, stealing their “wall of sound” bass sound. David adds, with a laugh, that their bassist is also obsessed with Rush – the bass he plays is a Geddy Lee bass called “Little Geddy.” It’s the only bass he’s played.

Both David and Max have a strong musical background as David’s mom and sister are classically trained pianists and Max majored in percussion performance at Western.

The trio is also letting their musicality emerge with Latin inspired rhythms and reggae beats. “Max is a jazz drummer,” continued David, “he gets bored with regular 4/4 beats.” This boredom pushes the band to explore different musical textures and sounds. And songwriting. “We all have the mindset that you don’t have to be the craziest metal drummer or you don’t have to shred balls on guitar. Something that is more impressive is the ability to form a good melody, form a good groove – have a beat that’s in the pocket,” he added, “We have the mindset that we would rather have good songwriting.” Through all of their influences, David cites Death From Above 1979 as the most obvious. “The real wall of sound is Alan’s bass.” He said, “We just really like distorted bass, we like the wall of sound.”

But music, progression, songwriting, influences, that’s all what you’d expect from a Bellingham band. But Eagle Teeth aren’t just any Bellingham band – these like to have a good time. “We’re not 100 percent about expressing ourselves,” said David with a laugh. They aren’t indie rockers trying to get out all their pain, sorrow and anger – they want to have fun and want you to have fun with them. “So many people use music to let out their anger or depression,” said David, “Why can’t we make music that is really happy and really exciting?”

And entertaining. While the music for a dance party is one thing, Eagle Teeth also want the audience to enjoy their live show – so they go all out in their wardrobe. Anything from zebra striped spandex to flannel shirts with ripped off sleeves and daisy dukes (this was their outfit for their most recent show in Seattle). “We’re jesters in a sense,” David said with a laugh.

2013 looks to be when Eagle Teeth start to push beyond just a local band kicking around, they trio will be working on a demo in the spring and have aspirations of a West Coast tour.

In the mean time, they’ll be doing what they do best – making dance party music and having fun, “We want people to have a good time,” David said with a smile.