Before Bitch Teeth, Rick Eye had found himself in the most harrowing well of depression he'd ever encountered. Desperate for a distraction, he formed the band as an outlet to create something that emphasized the discordant and uglier side of life. In doing this, he found himself and founded the Denton noise-rock band. "It helped me tenfold," he says. "It changed my life completely."
Bitch Teeth emerged from the primordial ooze around eight years ago, but didn't take its current form until the last two years. The current line-up features Eye on guitar, Trevor Trash on vocals, Jeremy Panich on bass and both Ethan Marshall and Justin Hall on drums. Yes, two drummers. The double percussion setup elevates the frantic band from feverish to downright deranged. And for the emotions Eye is trying to invoke, that's par for the course.
Early on, Eye found inspiration among Fantasia, the avant-garde Captain Beefheart and his now-defunct love of metal music. He quickly gained an ear for dissonance and always gravitated toward the darker sides of music and compositions that made the listener uncomfortable.
"I've always been kind of 'off' myself," he says. "I never had too many peers, and I think feeling disconnected emotionally translates well into doing the music I do."
From isolation he aimed to form Bitch Teeth, an avenue to express that life isn't always quite so pretty. But in doing this, he's found himself happier than he's ever been and able to relay how he feels to an audience. Eye finds solace in turning a mirror on himself to reflect his emotions to listeners.
Though he's in many bands now, Bitch Teeth was the point of entry for Eye to branch out into the Denton music scene and beyond.
One of the most startling facts about Bitch Teeth is that Eye actually writes a large majority of the parts for each instrument. In fact, he says on the newest album he coordinated about half of the songs himself.
The double drums serve as the focal point of the band, so Eye typically starts there with the beats and then builds bass off that. He then adds his own guitar but lets vocalist Trevor Trash take the wheel with lyrics. This massive endeavor is further amplified by the fact that each musician's part is incredibly intricate and wild. The technical prowess of Eye is extraordinary just on guitar, but he manages to write parts that fit together perfectly as a whole band.
Bitch Teeth's discography has typically been filled with two-minute bursts of insanity interspersed with longer tracks where the band finds room to sprawl out. However, Eye has already moved far past previous albums and refined the band's focus on their upcoming release, Pretty Please, which just finished recording this week and should drop in the next six months.
"I really hate our last album for some reason," Eye says. "We got a lot of good feedback on it but I'm way more stoked for the new stuff we just recorded."
For the new album, Eye says the band has trimmed the fat and focused on the core of what the band excels at. Riffs are more intricate, lyrics are wilder and the beats are tighter. He says it's almost like starting from scratch, and even gave the album a purposely submissive name to further throw off audiences.
Navigating the double drummer dynamic is a huge part of how the band operates. The pair of percussionists serve as the bombastic foundation for songs on top of which Bitch Teeth shrieks. For about half of the time the two are playing the same part, but variances between the two create a rare dynamic that demolishes live shows and recording studios.
Eye says that Dallas has been a bit more receptive to the band than Denton, but that he has a huge connection to both scenes. Though Denton is tight-knit and supportive, Dallas proves to be a lush land of opportunity for more challenging music to grow, which Eye says is perfect for Bitch Teeth.
Throughout the band's work, Eye has found his most sincere work in channeling his despair and heavy emotions positively. He says the band has always clicked with him, and that they've found their stride in particular in the recent years.
"I just want to expose people to strange sounds and challenge them," Eye says. "I want them to leave feeling weird."
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