My First Tooth chat about their new record Love Makes Monsters

My First Tooth's Sophie Galpin and Ross Witt playing at Leicester Summer Sundae Weekender Festival in 2011. Photo by David Jackson.
My First Tooth's Sophie Galpin and Ross Witt playing at Leicester Summer Sundae Weekender Festival in 2011. Photo by David Jackson.

Indie folk stalwarts My First tooth head to the Roadmender on Friday to celebrate the release of their new album.

The quartet from Northampton headline the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town, London, tonight before heading back for a homecoming show.

Love Makes Monsters is released by Alcopop! Records on Monday, March 4 and follows 2010’s debut Territories.

The band recently recorded a video for Heartbeat Retreat at Northampton’s Playhouse Theatre.

To watch it, visit

Support is by Mother Deer, which features Tommy Francis, Nikolas Gray, Jayden Brook and Kev Clayton and Sean Grant.

Tickets cost £5 and album and ticket bundles cost £10.

To book, visit

My First Tooth comprise of Ross Witt, Sophie Galpin, Gareth Amwel and Jo Collis.

The Chron sat down with three quarters of the band to have a chat about the new record.

Tell us about Love Makes Monsters:

Gareth: “It’s called Love Makes Monsters. We started recording it in the summer having already stared some stuff we weren’t sure was going to make an album or not. At the time it was just a collection of songs for an EP. The songs were taking the form of an album so we got it finished.

“It was recorded in places as varied as London, Bridlington and Berlin”

Jo: “It wasn’t intentional to record in all three places, we had a song we wanted to record and the producer who recorded our first album is living in Berlin now so we thought it’d be fun to go over there and record with him.

“I was really fun but life got in the way a bit and we didn’t want to wait around to finish it.

“Luckily for us, we found another producer in Bridlington and the rest is history.

Sophie: “We’re really pleased with how it came out.”

How does it compare to your debut Territories?

Sophie: “I think it’s a maturing of what we’ve done before, it’s more cohesive. Some of the songs on our debut had been in existence for a long time.

“This is the first one we’re written together. It’s very much more us as a band.”

Jo: “The quiet bits are quieter and the louder bits are louder, that sums it up perfectly.

“I know it’s a cliché, but we’ve ‘grown’ as a band’. Sophie and I worked really hard on the harmony parts and thought about them and I just think we’ve just had a lot more to put into every part of this record.”

Gareth: “When we look back at it, the initial sessions grinding to a halt was the best thing which could have happened. We went away and were able to spend a lot more time on the songs.

“It was seven months in the end to refine the songs we’d started to record and think about what we liked and didn’t like.

“We spent a lot of time just in the room working this stuff out. With Territories, we were a very young band. The four of us started playing together in February of that year and we went out on our first tour in April and started recording in November.

“We hadn’t been together for all that long as as a band. This time we realised mistakes we made.”

What are your favourite tracks on the album?

Jo: “Every time I listen to it, there’s a different thing I like about it.”

Sophie: “It’s difficult, because during mixing and mastering you listen to so many versions you have to be careful not to over listen.

Gareth: “You can get attached to rough mixes. You know when there’s a band you like and they release a single and then they re-record it and you hate it - it can be a bit like that.

“We’ve heard so many versions of the songs but the final ones are obviously superior.

“Into The Wild Part One and Two is my favourite, it’s the centre piece of the album. Lyrically and musically it’s two of the strongest pieces on the album.”

Jo: “There’s a song called No Two Storms that every time I hear I feel really proud of. It’s a really good song and it’s something a little different for us. Every time I hear it I realise how much I love it.”

Did going to Berlin have any influence on the record?

“We didn’t really see much of Berlin as we were in the studio for about 14 hours a day.

“The bits of Berlin we saw were when we were doing lunch runs, then we’d finish and go to a bar for a bit.”

Jo: “We were recording in a building which had previously been used to monitor post and screen letters before sending them on. I spent ages trying to find out about this place and completely scared myself about it.”

What did influence Love Makes Monsters?

Sophie: “It’s tricky to say as it was recorded over such a long period of time and things evolved so much.

“With three different sessions and producers it was quite bitty at times.”

Jo: “What affected this record more than anything else was as four people who play in a band together, we’re much more comfortable as people.

“We’ve toured a lot together and we’re more established as musicians now and I hope that comes across. Everyone really thought about the record more.”

Gareth: “Everyone is more comfortable about bringing ideas in now where as there was a time where things were Ross’ songs or songs which Ross and Sophie had been playing for a year which we’d create a band arrangement around it. This time, we were all much better at suggesting different things.”

Have you been playing much of the songs live already or will you be taking them on the road for the first time?

Sophie: “It’s hard because when you’ve written songs you just want to play them.

“We did a few festivals last summer and we were some months away from releasing anything new and we really wanted to play them.

“It is so tempting to play songs as soon as you’ve written them.”

Gareth: “When you go and see a band, you’ve no idea how long they’ve been sitting on those songs for.

“This album will be out in a couple of weeks but people will be hearing songs which we started writing nearly two years ago.

“There’s some songs on there, we’ve been playing live for a long time.”

You’ve got an album launch at the Roadmender on Friday. Tell us what’s in store.

Jo: “We most of all hope people still want to come and watch us and celebrate the launch with us.

“We’ll be playing as much of the album as we can and a hopefully we’ll have a surprise in store.

“We can’t play in Northampton all the time as we can’t expect all our friends to come out all the time. We booked an album launch for London and thought we’d better do Northampton as well.

“We’re a bit nervous but really looking forward to it.”

Gareth: “We’ve made a point of putting a bill together of bands we don’t usually play with so it’s not who ever you’d expect to be on the bill.”