Bare Teeth is a punk rock quartet from Lille, France specializing in fast, furious, and fun skate punk. Claiming influence from genre heavyweights Propagandhi and A Wilhelm Scream, these French boys curate their sound with a healthy dose of thrash thrown in to add gritty elements to their powerhouse, melodic punk rock. They’ve been gnashing since 2015, gaining a solid following while growing their sound, and these dudes are primed to explode in the near future.
With two EPs under their belt – Demo 2015 and 2017’s First the Town, Then the World – and the recent split Bridging Oceans, Bare Teeth have taken their recording experiences and become a fine-tuned punk machine that has made a habit of enthusiastically decimating audiences with their live show. Case in point is the band’s recent tour of Taiwan and Japan, which we are lucky enough to have some exclusive access to.
In this sizzling Guest Blog feature, Bare Teeth’s bassist Tom joins us to run down their whirlwind nine-show tour throughout Asia. So strap in, blast some rambunctious French punk rock, and follow Tom, Tit, Roch and Greg on their journey through the Far East.
Bare Teeth are “Running Wild” with their track from the recent Bridging Oceans split.
Bare Teeth – Asia 2019 Tour Report:
June 05 – Lille, France – 04:00
– After a few beers and half that amount of sleep, Tit (guitar), Roch (drums) and I (Tom, bass) get in Greg’s (guitar and vocals) van pretty tired, to say the least. The latter hasn’t even had a chance to sleep, but he keeps on driving to Paris and the airport, fetching Phenix (media coverage) on the way. We can’t wait to board the second plane that will take us to Taipei, because we know it’s going to be our best chance to catch up on some sleep.
June 06 – Taipei, Taiwan – 06:00
– Jet lag is the weirdest thing in the world right now, especially when you’re standing in line for almost an hour to pass immigration control. Thankfully, it all goes well and, once we have gotten our luggage back, we meet with Yuki and Jun, the organizers of Punk Strike Festival, the three-day event we are playing. When we get outside, we are pretty amazed by the heat: thirty-five wet degrees in the shade! We pretty quickly get on the bus to Kaohsiung though, and through a five-hour drive, we mostly sleep once again.
After checking into the hotel, we still have a couple of hours to spare, so we walk around a bit. The city is pretty nice and feels like a mix of Tokyo and Eastern China, to the extent of what I know about these places. We then join Yuki and Jun for dinner, which is really nice: many dishes are placed at the centre of the round table, which rotates at will so everyone can get whatever they want, in a very share-friendly way. The same goes for drinks, as you are allowed to pour a drink for anyone but yourself. We oblige to the tradition and everyone pours many drinks on that first night.
First the Town, Then the World released May 19th, 2019 via Pro Rawk Records (USA).
June 07 – Kaohsiung, Taiwan – 16:00
– After having lain in exhaustion for a good part of the day, we arrive at Paramount Bar, our venue for the first night of the tour. We meet with Smoking Goose (Korea) and Sucker (China), two bands we are going to share the stage with. We get on stage for soundcheck, and Tit’s Taurus amp head immediately starts burning from the inside, letting out white smoke… it’s a good thing we can count on the presence of nice heads in every venue we will play on this tour!
Smoking Goose and Sucker deliver killer shows, as well as Johnny Pandora, an awesome Japanese rockabilly band, and the locals Fukukawagang, whose singer Tracy really leaves an impression with well-done melodic singing and growling. It’s all pumping us up, and we hit the stage that first night with unexpected energy. The crowd seems to enjoy it too, and we have the best time on stage! And it’s only the beginning…
June 08 – Taichung, Taiwan – 11:00
– All the PSF crew and bands get on a bus from Kaohsiung to Taichung, and, more specifically, to Sound Live House, for the second day and main event of the Punk Strike Festival: the place is actually huge with a main concert hall, a bar with another stage, a music shop and several rehearsal studios, one of which has been turned into a small third stage – good luck to the crowd’s ears on this one! We are super excited to see such an awesome venue, and immediately celebrate by falling asleep on a couch in the backstage for several hours.
Same bands as the day before are just as good. The atmosphere is electric… literally: there’s something off about this venue, Greg‘s amp head makes weird noises (and we start freaking out) which makes him put it aside for the night. However, the show feels even better than the one before, and we’re over the moon!
Bare Teeth wisdom: “Tomorrow Starts Today.”
June 09 – Taipei, Taiwan – 11:00
– Just like the day before, everyone gets on a bus that will take us back to Taipei for the third and last day of the PSF. We drop our stuff at the hotel and go to the venue, called Revolver, which is terrific as well! After sound checking, we take a stroll in Taipei, which is a really beautiful city to say the least. We visit the Freedom Plaza and the Chang Kai Check Memorial; this kind of moment is obviously too rare in a tour and it’s really enjoyable.
Enjoyable is also our last show, even better – and hotter – than the night before, once again! We play all three of our cover songs to a crowd always asking for more and finish exhausted but with the biggest smiles on our faces.
June 10 – Tokyo, Japan – 18:00
– After saying goodbye with a few tears, waiting at the airport and hopping on the plane, we finally are in Japan again! Immigration goes pretty smoothly, but mainly because the guy doesn’t seem to want to bother to check why five white guys with tattoos and instruments are arriving together. We then take yet another bus and then cabs to get to the rental we will be staying at for the next week.
June 11 – Tokyo, Japan – 15:00
– Today’s the day for the first Japanese show of the tour, which takes place in Hatsudai Wall, a venue we’ve been to before, sharing the stage with Belvedere, Darko, Almeida and Waterweed – perfect to get back on track and ready to give it all on stage like we did in Taiwan! Soundcheck is a formality; Japanese engineers once again setting the bar high in terms of efficiency.
We’re headlining tonight, and Waki from RNR Tours (who put us up there last year) is watching us – perfect timing to break a kick drum head and a string, and have your lead singer fear for his voice after all the travelling and temperature changes, right? Thankfully, we keep up our smiles and will to have fun, and everything goes smoothly: these moments are also important for a band, and you just have to get through it.
Check out this awesome, exclusive gallery of tour images courtesy of the band:
June 12 – Tokyo, Japan – 15:00
– We arrive at Shinjuku Antiknock just in time for soundcheck. Afterwards, everybody leaves for a sushi place, except for myself, having planned to meet with an online acquaintance.
I get back to the venue with way too much beer in my body and deliver a performance I am not quite satisfied with – but the crowd and the rest of the band seem to have had a really good time, so I just get along! We keep taking shots with locals and try to have conversations in between the “kanpai!” shouts.
June 13 – Tokyo, Japan – 14:00
– Today’s show takes place at The Game, Shibuya’s very own concert hall, which promises us a shorter ride and, most importantly, time to goof around in one of Tokyo’s most famous districts. After sound checking – which is done pretty quickly once again – it’s time to move around and lose money trying to catch plush animals with a grappling hook.
The show itself perpetuates a now-tradition of enjoying playing in front of an equally enthusiastic crowd, which is truly beginning to make us feel better than ever on this tour.
June 14 – Tokyo, Japan – 14:30
– We’re late for soundcheck today, as the trip to Tachikawa district (and its venue Babel) took us longer than we expected. The resulting sound check is one of the quickest of our lives (“Try your voice, please”, “Of time she had lost…”, “OK it’s good”), which didn’t mean the sound was bad, because Japan.
Check out “This Town Needs Guns” live featuring Steve Rawles of Belvedere.
The bands playing before us (Zenith Angle, but alsoJasonandrew or Militarysniperpinfall) lead me to think we’ve just gotten into a different part of the Japanese scene, with more technical, powerful-sounding bands. It’s a very good thing to me and we end up chatting a lot with Masumi, Zenith Angle’s singer, a.k.a. the nicest guy in the world. Our show that night keeps setting the bar higher, when will that stop? We’re once again over the moon and enjoy our night the best we can, knowing we’ll have to wake up early the next day for our first non-Tokyo Japanese show on this tour, in Kofu!
June 15 – Kofu, Japan – 15:00
– After riding a new bus and Hanew’s (Shames’ drummer) car, we arrive at Kazoo Hall, our venue for that night, which is pretty huge compared to the ones from the days before. Do I need to mention soundcheck goes without a hitch?
I’m not going to say much about our own show, because once again, the impossible’s been proven true and we had an even better time than the night before: crowd was absolutely mad and gave us more energy than we thought we could still have left at this point. Huge thanks go to Neutral (the band playing between us and Shames, our split record buddies, who are headlining and killing it) and their awesome crew of friends who definitely pushed everybody forward to make this night so intense – and had us sell a lot of merch and take a lot of pictures, which is always very enjoyable!
June 16 – Yokohama, Japan – 11:30
– Here comes the last show of the tour already, in the very venue we played for our first Japanese show ever last year. We are very excited because we’ll be seeing several friends again, including Morito, our tour manager from last year, Abbie, singer of the band Not Found My Hero, and Green Eyed Monster, an awesome skatepunk/J-rock band who deliver-as-fuck live and are the sweetest people too.
Bridging Oceans dropped April 26th, 2019 via Thousand Island Records (NA).
Our last show keeps its promises, and, with so many friendly faces watching us (including the fellows from Johnny Pandora!), and all the tour’s excitement at its peak, we just give everything we have left to a once again very responsive crowd. My bass stops emitting any sound at some point, but I’m too much into it to even notice before Morito jumps on stage quickly and fiddles with my cables to have it working again. Tit and I share our very first kiss on this stage before he finishes the show crowd surfing for what I believe is the first time too! All of our cover songs are once again played until we have nothing left to give, except conversation with a lot of known and new faces.
June 17 – Tokyo, Japan – 09:00
– Yup, I’m getting up somewhat early today as I have an appointment in Kichijoji with Matsumoto from Muscle Tattoo, a good friend of Greg’s, to get my second inking as a souvenir of my second time in Japan. Roch joins me a couple hours later to get his own, before Tit does as well later on. We pretty much spend the day there.
We end up all together in a nice little restaurant with Matsumoto, his daughter, and a friend of his. It’s then time to go back and finish packing as we will be waking up pretty early the next day to go all the way back… home.
June 18 – Lille, France – 22:00
– I’m finally home. I’m alone. I have to work tomorrow. It sucks. Can’t we just play one more show? Spend one more night feeling like we are on the edge of the world?
Enjoy “Parted Ways” from First the Town, Then the World.