2013 was a big year for The Sinking Teeth. The Brunswick housemates hit the road hard with support slots for Calling All Cars and a recently reformed Bodyjar, winning audiences nationwide with their live show before releasing their debut EP White Water in October and launching it with a killer show at Ding Dong in December. Wes Fahey had a chat with guitarist and vocalist Nick Manuell late last year about shelved EPs, avoiding staling and Young and Restless.

You guys have been playing together for three years and this is the first EP you’ve released, is it good to finally get something.

It’s been a long time coming. we’ve been fucking around a bit and we tried to get everything as polished as possible prior to going in and recording. We actually recorded another EP which we shelved because we thought we weren’t ready. But yeah it’s been worth taking our time and doing it right. We were talking to another guy about why it took so long last night and we were saying because we’ve all been in other bands that did nothing, we released heaps of stuff with them but that was kind of it…

I think there’s still a problem where, especially in the Melbourne scene, if you’re not playing constantly, then no one’s going to pick up your CD. Is that what you feel as well?

Yeah, but there’s also the flipside of that if you’re playing constantly live in the same city then you can burn out your crowd, people stop coming because they saw you last week. Which is what makes residencies so hard.

Yeah we try to avoid covering residencies for that same reason. It’s good in a sense because we can review the first show but then the people who were at the first show aren’t going to go to the second, third or fourth show.

Our mates in Sheriff just finished a residency at Cherry Bar and they just absolutely killed it. They just stepped up at every single show and did something different to make it real special. Sometimes they work, other times it seems like a waste of time.

Your guys worked with Tom Larkin on the EP, what was it like working with him?

I was pretty scared about it to start with because I’m a big fan of his band [Shihad], but as soon as we got in there we kind of realised it was a really comfortable environment and he’s such a down to earth kind of guy that it was super easy and previously, even in the scenario of recording with our friend and in Ben’s studio which should have felt really comfortable, I felt really self conscious and kinda shit about it. And then working with Tom he just kind of makes you feel at home, like no ones judging you. The team that was with us just kind of clicked and it felt good.

Tom’s obviously worked on High Tension’s album and Young & Restless before that, is that why you wanted to work with him?

Yeah massive fan of Young and Restless in particular and that was totally the reason behind it. I just reckon that band’s got kind of this raw intensity that we felt matched what we were trying to do without the dance aspects, the disco beats and stuff we’re not that into, but the overall tone and vibe of that is what we wanted out of our first release so we got in touch with Tom for that.

I’m currently at Meredith doing setup and it’s pissing rain, it’s terrible.

You guys recorded an EP earlier but then shelved it. What was the main decision behind that?

We didn’t really feel like the songs were what we wanted to be playing for the next six months. Jules and I had written some of them before Ben was even in the band, so it just didn’t feel right, didn’t feel like it was us. I mean the sound was cool and we recorded it with a friend of ours, Ben’s got a little studio himself in Bayswater and our mate Alex Quail recorded it and it did sound cool but it was our songwriting that was letting us down and so we went back, wrote a whole bunch of new songs and recorded them and felt better about ourselves. *laughs*

You guys recorded the EP back in February, released it in October and had the launch show in December, was it a conscious decision to spread everything out?

Not so much… We wanted to release it heaps earlier but we had all this other shit we wanted to sort out first, then we couldn’t have the release show when we released it because we had BigSound, Calling All Cars and then Bodyjar all at that time. We felt we had to drop it before we headed out on those tours but we left it too late to launch it so [we had the show in December] as more of a closer, the end of that chapter. We’ve written the new one and we’re going in to record that in February/March. It’s kind of a different way of doing it but it kind of makes sense to us.

The Bodyjar and Calling All Cars tours were pretty big, have you noticed any increased attention from those?

Yeah definitely, you guys are talking to us now and we got a whole lot of attention from Triple J Unearthed and we’ve had way more people contacting us because of it, but we just made really good friendships with all the bands on the bills.

Any highlights or amazing experiences that happened on the tours?

Getting up and playing guitar with [Calling All] Cars was amazing for me, playing The Corner was like a lifelong dream of all of ours so we finally did that and that was fuckin’ cool and at our last show with Bodyjar, Tyler from Luca Brasi got completely naked, put a sock on his dick and ran on stage and sang some of the vocals to one of their songs which was a real trip to see.

I actually saw you guys supporting Bodyjar at The Corner and you were fucking amazing

Thanks man.That show was fucking hard, all the foldback was turned off. In a room like that all you get back from the other players is the slapback off the backwall when there’s no foldback. So Ben [Stewart, drums] was playing completely blind, he couldn’t hear either of us at all.

Any amazing shows on the horizon for 2014?

We’re heading up to the Gold Coast for Bleach Festival with Violent Soho and a whole bunch of other really cool bands in March, we’re organising another generator party where we get about 10 bands and go play in a drain. We’re pretty big on that so we’re trying to cue one of those up as well.

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