Well, this is jolly exciting. Lewis Young is the founder of The Adult Teeth Recording Company, a Hull-based independent record label which is doing some pretty exciting stuff. I’m a bit of a fan. We had a chat in the back room of the legendary Adelphi Club about music, Hull, embarrassing celebrity encounters and Tesco.
I had to listen to my stupid sleepy voice for this. Sometimes I just want to reach into the past and tell myself to go to bed earlier.
All about Adult Teeth.
Sean: So, what’s it like running an independent record label?
Lewis: Adult Teeth has been running two and a half years now and the whole point is, “Listen to this band, they’re awesome and they’re from Hull.” Now it’s building and people are listening a bit more and they’re paying attention, but when we started it was just really tough to get anyone to pay any attention at all. I’d send out press releases to about 500 bloggers and radio stations and just get nothing and now people are almost looking out for the emails and they’re wanting to know what’s going on.
Tonight’s the most we’ve had for a gig that we’ve put on here under the label. I think we’ve done about six now and we never seem to get more than 30 people, which is really frustrating because I think the bands we’re putting on are great. Obviously that’s why I do it, but yeah, tonight I thought was pretty good.
Sean: How many people were here? I didn’t see because I was right at the front.
Lewis: Judging on how much we got on the door I think it was about 50-something, 55 maybe, which isn’t bad really for a Thursday night. An awful lot of gigs I’ve been to here for – let’s say mid-level bands – like, say, Wave Pictures. Bands you’d expect to be selling out a venue like this and there’s been three people.
There’s a guy called Aidan Smith who played here about ten years ago and I absolutely loved him and listened to all of his albums. I was literally the only person in the audience and he still played, which was awesome but he started – not tearing up – but y’know, something was happening at the end like [makes a ‘bad vibes’ noise].
I just thought, “No one promoted this fuckin’ thing.” One person in the audience – and I nearly didn’t go! But yeah, he gave me an album at the end. I was gonna pay for it but he gave me it. He says, “Thank you for being the one person who came here.” It was like, wow, this is great. So we had a whole chat after, I was like 16 at the time and it was the first time I’ve met someone who I really respect and THAT happened.
So, anyway, can’t remember what my point was. But yeah, tonight was pretty good for a Thursday. I was pretty happy with it people and seemed to stick around which is good.
Sean: Did you manage not to embarrass yourself, being 16?
Lewis: With Aidan Smith? D’you know what, I think I did alright actually. I’ve embarrassed myself in front of a lot of people I respect over the years but with Aidan I think I did alright.
Sean: What was the first gig you ever went to?
Lewis: It was Beautiful South when I was 11. They’re from Hull and everything and I’d never realised that bands from Hull could be famous until that point. I really loved Beautiful South and I had all their albums, so my dad took me out on my birthday to go and see them at Sheffield Arena. I just remember being 11 and thinking, “This is what I want to do with my life.”
I met Dave Stead from Beautiful South about two years ago actually. He owns a venue in Hull and I played there. I got really drunk by the end of it and I tried to explain that story to him and it just came out almost like a tearful… “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be doing this,” and he was like, “Yeah, well, you were alright,” and I was like [makes a drunk noise].
It wasn’t about me being good or bad, I just don’t think I would be playing music if it wasn’t for that gig because it was incredible. You have to imagine this through the filter of about six or seven pints when I’m in post-gig mode and full of nervous excitement.
It was awful. I completely embarrassed myself in front of him and I just thought, “Shit, you had one chance to tell this guy…” I think that’s probably the most embarrassed I’ve been because it meant so much. It was like, “I really needed to tell this guy this.”
Come back tomorrow for part two of three!