Part two – Interview with Lewis Young, founder of The Adult Teeth Recording Company

Welcome to part two of the Adult Teeth interview! This comes out with some remarkable timing, as My Pleasure have previewed their new single this very eve and it sure is a smashing tune. This was one of my favourites from the live set I saw so I’m very pleased to get to hear it again. Have a listen, and you can find the interview below.

La Bête Blooms, My Pleasure and Grecian airplay.

Sean: It’s really refreshing to see a band like La Bête Blooms with Daniel running around and stuff when you see so many bands just staring at the floor.

Lewis: I don’t think there’s any pretension with La Bête Blooms. It always seems really genuine. There’s just a real vibe about them, like they really want to be doing this and they really want be here and it’s all about that gig that night, like nothing else exists.

Sean: I remember I got the demo tape and Wishing I Could Kill was the first track. It was just like, “There’s something going on here and I don’t know what it is but this is really good.”

Lewis: Yeah, that was the first single we put out by them. They did the tape and it was shortly after that they signed to the label. I was really nervous about getting them to sign because I’ve known Dan for years and he’s a really good friend. I think they’re incredible and they’re just on another level and I was like, “Will they want to come to my little label?” I just rang him up and said, “Do you want to do this thing?” and I dunno, it was almost like Sony rang up and offered to put out six albums.

It’s been amazing. That first single came out and all of a sudden people are paying attention to Adult Teeth, then they did the EP and it’s all because of that demo tape. I was just like, now’s the right time to be saying, “Come to the label and let’s do something together.” It seems to be going well, the whole BBC 6Music thing was amazing – they were on Tom Robinson and Lauren Laverne.

Lewis: "It was all Greek to me."
Lewis: “It was all Greek to me.”

Sean: Living With You by My Pleasure was on radio in Greece, how did that happen?

Lewis: Yeah, bizarrely. I don’t know how it happened. I sent press releases to so many thousands of people that maybe it got picked up, but also my auntie and uncle and two cousins live in Greece. I’m just wondering if maybe that’s got something to do with it. The city it was played in isn’t far from their village, but I haven’t had the chance to ask them yet.

Either way, it’s pretty bizarre. I was listening to it, obviously it was all in Greek and I don’t speak Greek, so it was like, “Lalalala My Pleasure lalalala.” It was great. It’s the biggest radio station in that city and it was like, “Wow, this is like BBC radio in Greece.” I’ve not had any Greek fans as a result but I know that people heard it at least.

The whole thing with that first My Pleasure song, I was so nervous about starting a new project because this is my third one. I was in a band called Jesus Christ, we named it as such just to be annoying and no one could ever find us on Google. We had a nice following in Hull but we broke up. Then I’m in Glass Delusion which is semi-hiatus at the moment but it’s still a thing.

Then there’s My Pleasure which is just a solo thing, but yeah, I was really nervous about getting it out. I thought no one was gonna care but actually within a few days the single was on 6Music, it was on BBC Introducing and it was on BBC Radio 2 at 4:30 in the morning. I don’t know how or why. It wasn’t on anyone’s show in particular, it was just thrown on at 4:30. I can say I’ve been on Radio 2 at least, just ignore the 4:30 part.

Sean: Somebody must have been listening.

Lewis: They must have been. I don’t listen to Radio 2 but I read afterwards that it’s the biggest radio station in the UK. Y’know, Christ, that’s incredible! So even at 4:30 there must have been, like, truckers or something. All of this from one single.

It’s the best reaction I’ve had for anything so far and it’s just amazing to think how shit-scared I was. It’s the worst thing to kind of put so much love and time and energy into something and then nothing comes of it. It’s the worst feeling. That’s happened in the past, so this is just awesome. I’m kind of on a high about it – not trying to get ahead of myself – but I’m really, really happy with it.

Happy… like a bunny?

Sean: That’s good, it definitely shows that you’re doing the right thing.

Lewis: Yeah, it’s all trial and error right now. It’s all about seeing what works and what doesn’t and you realise there’s no exact science to any of it. I think all of a sudden I feel like I know what I’m doing. The year and a half preceding the last six months, I was kind of thinking, “Nah, I’m not cut out for this, I’ve got no idea.” Then all of a sudden things started clicking into place and it’s great at the moment. Without bigging it up too much, we’re in a really good position right now and I’m very, very happy about it. It’s just persistence, I think that’s the key.

Sean: Maybe sometimes you have to give up for a little while and then you figure it out. Like, “With some distance I understand what I should have been doing all along.” I don’t know if you ever had a moment like that.

Lewis: Definitely. I mean, almost constantly. There’s been a lot of times where that self-doubt kicks in. I think there’s also a little bit of boredom sometimes, because when things don’t happen you’re just like [makes a downtrodden noise]. When that self-doubt kicks in, it’s like, “People out there are better than me and I’m not qualified to do this.” I think that stuff is what keeps you going in a way – that fear of not being as good as you could be.

Sean: It’s when you take that chance, when you’re really not sure about something right up to the point where you do it, and people respond to it. It’s a bit special.

Lewis: Yeah, exactly. It qualifies what you’re doing. There was a long period, maybe about a year or so, when we started Adult Teeth and it was almost like shouting into a bucket. There was no response from anyone. No blogs were posting about it, there was no radio covering anything, nothing even from friends on Facebook. That whole time I was thinking I was doing something wrong but I just kept trying things to see what worked and eventually got to the position we’re at now. It could always be better but, y’know, it’s comfortable now.

Sean: It seems that you’re on track for something…

Lewis: …I’d like to think so…

Sean: …whatever that is.

Lewis: It really is like stepping into the unknown. I mean, I know what I want – what I’d like is for people like yourself to come back and buy more, basically. That said, it’s not about sales, it’s about people listening to it and I think sales qualify it. Someone buying something, they’re saying they like this enough to spend their money on it and that’s the ultimate compliment in a way.

I’d love for people to come back to Adult Teeth like I go back to Domino Records or Orchid Tapes. There’s a thing about them that you can’t put your finger on, but you go back to it and you want to see what the next thing is. I want people to be wanting more from us. I think we’re kinda getting there. It’s a big ask and it’s not gonna come overnight. We’re not owed anything, just because Adult Teeth exists doesn’t mean people should be doing that, but I hope that we’ve built something good enough to qualify for that kind of status.

“Look, Maggie from Northern Exposure. Part three is just over there.”

Join us tomorrow for the rest!

La Bête Blooms on Facebook and Twitter.

My Pleasure on Facebook and Twitter.

The Adult Teeth Recording Company on Facebook, Twitter and their website.