Feature

Rock vs. Cancer- Teeth- A Powerful Project [Feature]

January 19, 2012
Jim Newberry

Daily we bring you news posts, interviews, features and introduce you to new talent. We bring stories of tours, band accomplishments, label announcements. And each thing we post honestly means something otherwise it wouldn’t be featured here at Circuit Sweet. However now we bring you a truly heroic story from an artist we need you to listen to. A project which in no time at all will be known by many for this one man’s efforts. Already this musician and his story has reached so many- having been mentioned on News Channels and Forums throughout the web. We introduce you to John Grabski and his project Teeth.

Teeth: 
Rock vs. cancer. Rock wins. Teeth is abrasive, playful and sinister all at once. Made in hopes that the listener will feel the effort and determination in every pick scrape, errant drum slap, and churned-up riff and lyric. Engineered by Steve Albini to sound large, powerful, willfully reckless, yet intimate.
Teeth founder John Grabski has always written vaguely introspective lyrics riddled with sarcasm and themes that swing from cute and playful to dangerous, and his combination of these lyrics with fairly heavy music allowed him to create some simple and interesting rock songs even at a young age. His idea development started to come to full fruition in 2006 when he set up a recording studio in his Naples NY apartment to record his album “Tooth & Nail” under the recording/performing surname Low-Fi/Emphatic. Songs like “Trust the Flow” and “In the Sea” display a good understanding of basic song dynamics and an ability to hook the listener from a variety of angles.

His material took on new meaning in 2007 after a cancer diagnosis, surgeries and subsequent chemotherapies. He started to pick up on material such as King Crimson’s Red and Lark’s Tongue in Aspic, the buzz-saw guitar tone in Queens of The Stone Age’s Era Vulgaris, and he began to think hard about the intricacies of a dual-drumset setup like The Melvins have employed since 2006’s (a) Senile Animal. To help get him through times of near-death, John kept working on music, and in 2008 he recorded some demos titled “The Cancer Tapes” which represent the ideas that manifested in him during a time of great crisis in his life.

2009 brought remission and further musical work (some attic demos were recorded), and 2010 saw John join the heavy, innovative and progressive Cheebahawk, a band that evolved far beyond the prototypical trendy underground “Doom” movement. John continued work with Cheebahawk, while still occasionally writing solo material.

In mid-2011 cancer came back with a vengeance. Inoperable, the scourge has decided to take up permanent residence in John. He kept at working with Cheebahawk, and right before a major surgery in October he found out after a brief inquiry that Steve Albini would like to help him to record his solo album. After recovering from the surgery and then going through a few weeks of intense radiation, John recruited his brother Benjamin Grabski to help him write an album’s worth of new material, arrange it and commit it to tape. They had never played together before for longer than an hour, so this was a new thing for both.

The project had no name.

The brothers packed their equipment into a car and drove to Chicago. After four days of recording and one day of engineering, an album was born under the name “The New York farmers”. Some tracks feature John on all instruments, some feature Benjamin handling a few duties. During tracking, the two-piece also played a night gig at Chicago’s Pancho’s on California Ave. with the great bands Nonagon and Fake Limbs, which garnered a lot of positive feedback.

Upon returning from the life-catalyzing trip, John realized that there didn’t have to be an and to his relationship with Electrical Audio, so he asked Steve if he’d be interested in working together again. Steve replied that it would be an honor.

The project still had no name.

Now it does.

Teeth
 



 

Teeth’s album The Strain takes the listener into, and out of a thirty minute, thirteen second journey of confrontation with cancer. Designed to be harsh and startling yet sweet at the same time, the music and lyrics are collectively intended to provide a full cycle of emotions from come-what-may acceptance to vile disdain to confrontation and triumph.

The Strain will be available in February 2012, with the follow-up album Release available a few months later. After promoting the forthcoming release, friends family and the copious amount of strangers who this story affected all helped towards funding of the record.

Back in December Teeth created and posted A Short Film- Containing a preview of Upcoming LP ‘The Strain’ which is streaming below.

For someone who has spent the past 6 months I guess in some way trying to deny the fact a very close family member was diagnosed with cancer just days after a sudden death happened in the family and a huge loss occurred-  when I read this project and the reasoning behind it I instantly needed to share this for its not only inspirational but striking. To me this project made me face up to something I should have done a long time ago and I needed that. This is a man, a project and a life which is going to effect people in all different kind of ways, an influential artist who in a recent interview stated ‘I thought more about what I’ve gotten done in my life…I didn’t tell the world yet what I needed to tell the world’ hence the new record.
After researching this project its seems only some people can overlook the illness shadowing this endeavour and see the talent and the dream John is currently living out under the extreme circumstances and that ideally should be addressed by all.

Streaming below are three tracks taken from the forthcoming release.


Released 01 February 2012
Recorded Nov. 17th to Nov. 20th 2011 at Electrical Audio Studio, Chicago, NY
Lyrics written by John Grabski
Music Written by John &  Benjamin Grabski
Composed &a arranged by John Grabski, Benjamin Grabski & Steve Albini
Performed by John & Benjamin Grabski
Engineered & Mixed by Steve Albini & John Grabski
Mastering by Bob Weston, Chicago Mastering, Chicago IL.

We strongly urge you to share this feature- make your friends aware. We will keep in the know with the release and planned release following the album next month.

Until then visit Teeth at any of the following links:


http://teethhasteeth.bandcamp.com/
http://www.youtube.com/teethmusichasteeth
http://www.myspace.com/teethhasteeth

https://www.facebook.com/teethhasteeth

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12 Comments

  • Reply John Grabski III January 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Correction: Mastering is complete, so please remove the "forthcoming" from that blurb.

    Thanks for posting this, I'm honored.

    – John Grabski III (Teeth)

  • Reply John Grabski III January 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Correction: Mastering is complete, so please remove the "forthcoming" from that blurb.

    Thanks for posting this, I'm honored.

    – John Grabski III (Teeth)

  • Reply John Grabski III January 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Correction: Mastering is complete, so please remove the "forthcoming" from that blurb.

    Thanks for posting this, I'm honored.

    – John Grabski III (Teeth)

  • Reply NewCreature January 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    This story is immensely deserving, important, and moving. Thank you, Circuit Sweet, for publishing such a well-written and informative article on the subject. I, for one, eagerly await the release of (among later material) The Strain; both to witness its emergence and influence, as well as to cherish the opportunity to own and connect with what I anticipate to be one of the most unique, unfeigned, and profound records of my generation. "Rock vs. Cancer"… I suspect that in this case, cancer doesn't have a fighting chance.

    -Matt Czuba, New Jersey

  • Reply NewCreature January 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    This story is immensely deserving, important, and moving. Thank you, Circuit Sweet, for publishing such a well-written and informative article on the subject. I, for one, eagerly await the release of (among later material) The Strain; both to witness its emergence and influence, as well as to cherish the opportunity to own and connect with what I anticipate to be one of the most unique, unfeigned, and profound records of my generation. "Rock vs. Cancer"… I suspect that in this case, cancer doesn't have a fighting chance.

    -Matt Czuba, New Jersey

  • Reply NewCreature January 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    This story is immensely deserving, important, and moving. Thank you, Circuit Sweet, for publishing such a well-written and informative article on the subject. I, for one, eagerly await the release of (among later material) The Strain; both to witness its emergence and influence, as well as to cherish the opportunity to own and connect with what I anticipate to be one of the most unique, unfeigned, and profound records of my generation. "Rock vs. Cancer"… I suspect that in this case, cancer doesn't have a fighting chance.

    -Matt Czuba, New Jersey

  • Reply lisa dean January 21, 2012 at 4:53 am

    i cannot possibly express how deeply grateful i am that john has had the opportunity to touch my life…i get teary-eyed just thinking about this…we were in school together, and our daughters had "play dates" before they were even out of newborn clothing (LOL!)…we lost touch over the years, as people tend to do when they grow older…and then, thanks to facebook and a couple of yard sales, we stumbled across each other and have stayed in 'facebook' contact…it is actually only recently that i stopped for a moment to really read about the things that he was doing, this project being one of the biggest…i am absolutely determined to do anything i can to help him succeed (whether he likes it or not!) because i don't know what else to do…and because, now, there appears to be nothing anyone can do…and, yet, even with "the end" looming closer every single day, do you know that john grabski III takes the time to find positivity, to be an example of the type of person i wish i could be? i cannot adequately express the awe in which i am whenever i think of john and his struggle. and this is what i wish for everyone who is honored enough to experience TEETH: to find and feel the awe – NOT to fixate on the cancer victim, NOT to fixate on what they think the "message" is, but to hear and to feel the music.

  • Reply lisa dean January 21, 2012 at 4:53 am

    i cannot possibly express how deeply grateful i am that john has had the opportunity to touch my life…i get teary-eyed just thinking about this…we were in school together, and our daughters had "play dates" before they were even out of newborn clothing (LOL!)…we lost touch over the years, as people tend to do when they grow older…and then, thanks to facebook and a couple of yard sales, we stumbled across each other and have stayed in 'facebook' contact…it is actually only recently that i stopped for a moment to really read about the things that he was doing, this project being one of the biggest…i am absolutely determined to do anything i can to help him succeed (whether he likes it or not!) because i don't know what else to do…and because, now, there appears to be nothing anyone can do…and, yet, even with "the end" looming closer every single day, do you know that john grabski III takes the time to find positivity, to be an example of the type of person i wish i could be? i cannot adequately express the awe in which i am whenever i think of john and his struggle. and this is what i wish for everyone who is honored enough to experience TEETH: to find and feel the awe – NOT to fixate on the cancer victim, NOT to fixate on what they think the "message" is, but to hear and to feel the music.

  • Reply lisa dean January 21, 2012 at 4:53 am

    i cannot possibly express how deeply grateful i am that john has had the opportunity to touch my life…i get teary-eyed just thinking about this…we were in school together, and our daughters had "play dates" before they were even out of newborn clothing (LOL!)…we lost touch over the years, as people tend to do when they grow older…and then, thanks to facebook and a couple of yard sales, we stumbled across each other and have stayed in 'facebook' contact…it is actually only recently that i stopped for a moment to really read about the things that he was doing, this project being one of the biggest…i am absolutely determined to do anything i can to help him succeed (whether he likes it or not!) because i don't know what else to do…and because, now, there appears to be nothing anyone can do…and, yet, even with "the end" looming closer every single day, do you know that john grabski III takes the time to find positivity, to be an example of the type of person i wish i could be? i cannot adequately express the awe in which i am whenever i think of john and his struggle. and this is what i wish for everyone who is honored enough to experience TEETH: to find and feel the awe – NOT to fixate on the cancer victim, NOT to fixate on what they think the "message" is, but to hear and to feel the music.

  • Reply John Grabski III January 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Hm… Rock Critic Everett True reviewed Teeth as well; mentions Circuit Sweet:

    http://www.collapseboard.com/everett-true/song-of-the-day/song-of-the-day-431-teeth-rock-vs-cancer-rock-wins/

  • Reply John Grabski III January 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Hm… Rock Critic Everett True reviewed Teeth as well; mentions Circuit Sweet:

    http://www.collapseboard.com/everett-true/song-of-the-day/song-of-the-day-431-teeth-rock-vs-cancer-rock-wins/

  • Reply John Grabski III January 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Hm… Rock Critic Everett True reviewed Teeth as well; mentions Circuit Sweet:

    http://www.collapseboard.com/everett-true/song-of-the-day/song-of-the-day-431-teeth-rock-vs-cancer-rock-wins/

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