Old Forward Thinking

29 May 2013 | 12:04 pm | Mitch Knox

“We’re an improvised band, and the recording sessions are improvised; whatever we release is just a snapshot of one possible way that we could sound.”

If you're planning on heading out this weekend, and you happen to find yourself in West End at upstart DIY venue The Waiting Room, chances are you're going to see something entirely unlike what you'd find among the pills and popped collars of the Valley. The Waiting Room is nestled off a main road, in the halls of a converted Queenslander; a space for and by the people. It's not fancy, but it's welcoming and, frankly, the members of local experimental trio Feet Teeth wouldn't have it any other way.

Even out on tour, we didn't play at any established venues,” explains trumpeter/electronics whiz Joel Saunders. “I think we've played very rarely at 'real' venues, and occasionally art venues, but we're not exactly good for selling drinks. We can be really bad for bar staff and income.”

Multi-instrumentalist Kate Thomas disagrees: “I don't know – people aren't that engaged with what we do that they won't drink.”

We drive people to drink,” Saunders laughs.

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The whole thing with those venues – they have a different agenda; they have a different audience,” Thomas continues. “They have different restrictions, as well; they have staff, different overheads they have to consider that influence their decision-making in their programming. They need to have people that are going to sell drinks, whereas DIY venues don't have those agendas, they can support a wide range of ideas”

But Feet Teeth, as anyone who's crossed paths with them before knows, don't really count commercial viability as a priority. You need look no further than the fact they're releasing a new set of songs on cassette. Of course, the tracks are available for digital purchase as well, but the retro format is a nice touch.

Most of the people I've given cassettes to have said, 'I don't have any way of playing this,'” Thomas laughs. “But it's a funny thing, because I've been collecting from roadside collections, so there was talk of doing, like, you can buy the cassette and you'll get a free tape player with it, as a promotional idea, but these days people don't even really need to have a physical copy of the recording that they've made, because it's largely distributed digitally. I guess that's opened up the door for doing lots of novel releases.”

Don't head along on Saturday expecting a run-of-the-mill performance, either. Feet Teeth's live show promises a wealth of stimuli both audio and visual. And, no, you shouldn't expect to hear songs from the cassette at the launch; Feet Teeth's nature means that every encounter with them is a new experience. As Thomas explains: We're an improvised band, and the recording sessions are improvised; whatever we release is just a snapshot of one possible way that we could sound.”