blacktoothed: Vulnerability With Mental Health

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BLACKTOOTHED‘s journey in the music industry has most definitely not been plain sailing. After a reputable fifteen years into their career, the band abruptly decided to change their band’s identity from BLACK TOOTH SCARES to BLACKTOOTHED earlier this year with PANTERA unknowingly at the helm. It seems as though the Arlington based groove metal band have had quite the part to play in BLACKTOOTHED‘s lives in more ways than one.

“Our name comes from the beginning of the band. We were all very big PANTERA fans back then. PANTERA had a ritual, they drank a Black Tooth before every show. Very strong whiskey that turns your teeth black if you drink too much. That’s how the name ‘BLACK TOOTH SCARES‘ came about. After many years we grew up and since the name had no real meaning, we wanted to rename ourselves. More adult, more meaningful, more memorable. We decided to go with BLACKTOOTHED.”

This sudden change of brand identity could be seen as the band making a much needed comeback to the industry, especially after the replacement of previous bassist Jakob. With this new shift, the newly adjusted BLACKTOOTHED have obtained a brand spanking new record contract with Arising Empire, as well as recently releasing their debut LP JULI with the high-profile label. Things certainly appear to be heading in the right direction for the group since their slight bump in the road, with BLACKTOOTHED themselves persisting that it wasn’t necessarily a comeback to the industry.

“It wasn’t really a comeback. We only had the chance to change something now and we used this chance. To be honest, it’s not easy to do justice to everything. We are new in the business, we have our first album out worldwide via a label. That alone is almost unimaginable! Every step is new territory for us, every contact is important, every post must be considered. We are now on the radar of some people. Don’t get me wrong, we love it! We are more than ready to get going. We can’t wait to play our product live.”

Just last month, BLACKTOOTHED revealed their first studio album JULI with industry giants Arising Empire. It is safe to say that this body of work is a sure departure from their more ferocious metalcore sound, adapting to modern times with the playful use of synthesizers encapsulating what they want to portray. Just like many other creative practises, the pandemic really took a toll on BLACKTOOTHED‘s natural ability to write and record music. It seems as though the band weren’t completely unmotivated and uninspired by this, as they instead used the situation to their advantage. JULI is a fantastic body of work that is truly honest and raw. Consisting of ten awe-inspiring and heartfelt tracks, the album just reflects where the band are here and now.

“I think the pandemic has affected us a lot. Playing shows was impossible, so we wrote songs and had time to do that. Then came the record deal with Arising Empire. Some songs were ready, Matti likes to write more, so in the end you have a number of songs and you can choose which ones make it on the album. Lyrically the pandemic influenced us as well, I mean we have deep lyrics that just affect everybody. So many people are suffering and suffering especially from the pandemic and still do. Psychologically, it really took a lot out of some people.”

Even though BLACKTOOTHED managed to create a truly outstanding album during one of the hardest periods of all of our lives, there has been undeniable hurdles in the creative process. The group really choose to open up on JULI, which is something we haven’t really seen from them before. The band members’ personal struggles with mental health during the pandemic have had a real part to play in the creation of this album; undoubtedly helping their fans with their own conflicts along the way.

“I think it is very important to talk about feelings. Many are afraid to show their feelings because you look vulnerable. I think you look strong when you can talk about it. It’s not only important as a musician, but also as a human being! Just yesterday I received a message from a new fan who sent me an incredibly deep and open message. How much our music helps him, and he is happy to have found us. Such messages are just wonderful for me personally. Fans we have never seen share their feelings with us! For me this is not a matter of course. We all should be able to talk about it, even if it is hard and maybe hurts someone.”

This realness in their music, as well as a true nurture for their supporters is clearly something that BLACKTOOTHED want to run with now and understandably so. The band are obviously taking one step at a time, making sure not to bound ahead with music that is not truly who they identify with as musicians. JULI well and truly speaks right from their hearts; knowing that they are giving faith and hope to their fans along the way.

JULI is out now via Arising Empire.

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The post blacktoothed: Vulnerability With Mental Health appeared first on Distorted Sound Magazine.

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