Royal Teeth has seen a stellar rise in the roughly two short years since solidifying its lineup. The band has two EPs under its belt, the energetic Live Office Sessions and the Kickstarter-backed debut studio release Act Naturally. And it has a devout following split across South Louisiana between the band’s two headquarters, Lafayette and New Orleans, so it only seemed a matter of time before someone major took notice.
After the band rode high on a successful SXSW trip and an unexpected CNN appearance, the person who noticed was the CEO and founder of Los Angeles-based Dangerbird Records, Jeff Castelaz. Royal Teeth is now the latest band in the label’s artist repertoire that includes the likes of Ben Lee, Fitz and the Tantrums, Minus the Bear, Silversun Pickups, The One Am Radio and Boots Electric.
“I love New Orleans. My wife, Jo Ann Thrailkill, is from there, and we spend a lot of time in the city,” Castelaz said in a press release announcing the band’s signing. “For years, I’ve wanted to sign a band from New Orleans—to raise the Dangerbird flag there, to show our solidarity with the city.”
For singer Gary Larsen—at 22 years old, the youngest of the six members, with Josh Wells on bass, vocalist Nora Patterson, drummer Josh Hefner, guitarist Stevie Billeaud, and Andrew Poe on keys—finding success so early has been unbelievable.
“This is really only the second band I’ve been in, and the first one for Nora. For everything to be moving so smoothly and so quickly, it’s pretty surreal,” Larsen says. “We’re beyond excited to be where we are.”
The way Royal Teeth came to Dangerbird Records seems like a cliché scene out of a rock film. The band was performing at Maison on New Orleans’ Frenchmen Street last Halloween when Castelaz and his wife just happened to walk in. Castelaz was impressed and contacted the band soon after.
“Kind of like everything else that’s happened for us so far, we’ve been lucky it just kind of worked itself out. But, we really just wanted to make sure the next step we took was the right one and didn’t want to rush to any decisions,” Larsen says. “We’ve had A&R people come see us before, but it was when we found out that [Castelaz] wanted to get to know us a little better that some of the excitement started coming in. When we started learning about him and what his label is about, we kind of fell in love with it instantly.”
Dangerbird Records has re-released Act Naturally, and Royal Teeth have since kicked off a national tour supporting Fitz and the Tantrums that started in June and continues this month. The band just returned to New Orleans June 2 for their Dangerbird signing party at the House of Blues.
“For me personally, I’m just very grateful to have found the group I’m around,” Larsen says. “We’ve put ourselves into a lot of good positions and wanted to be smart about the band from the beginning. We’ve quit our day jobs, so I guess it’s starting to pay off.”
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Bad Guys, Good Eats! Pop-Up Dinner at Restaurant IPO
Chef and 225 contributor Jay D. Ducote and Chef Chris Wadsworth hosted the Bad Guys, Good Eats! dinner at Restaurant IPO Wednesday night. The dinner was themed around famous movie villains, pairing cocktails and ales with plates of food resembling famous baddies like The Joker, Lord Voldemort, Hannibal Lector, and many others. The highlights of the night were the three middle courses—a black bean soup laced with blood sausage to signify Lord Voldemort, a brace of coneys on black eyed peas resembling Sauron, and lamb medallions atop a fava bean puree to pay homage to the famous favorite of Hannibal Lector.
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Better Block BR
On Saturday the two blocks between Bedford and Beverly drives on April 13, 2013, residents will get to see a model of what Government Street could look like if we push local and state officials to update the roadway to a safer, more "complete street" model.