While they aren’t shedding any members or going through any life- and band-altering decision making, Sabertooth are entering into a bit of transitional period. Recently catching up with guitarist Tyler Wilson, he notes, “We are finally emerging with the sound we’ve been looking for all these years.” The band, which has been together for over four years has now taken a decidedly “darker, edgier turn,” adds Wilson. “We’re older, more pissed off — [more] mature, I guess… A lot darker, lyrically and musically,” he emphasizes.
When pushed to describe the punk outfit’s sound shift, Wilson points towards the riffs. “They’re not as poppy, not as easy. I find they are much fuller, more complex, louder.” As befits the transition, the band is excited to be moving forward to be changing, innovating their sound. “We are really celebrating our latest release, we feel we have taken a major step with it.”
Their latest 7-inch is called Morning Breath, the official follow-up to their pop punk-influenced 2011 LP, Making Light of a Shitty Situation. The upcoming 7-inch was recorded last September in Vancouver. “We went out to Vancouver to record and do a bunch of shows with a band, Siren Songs. We drank a lot and played a lot.” The band recorded at the Hive in Burnaby with studio wunderkind, Jesse Gander (Bison bc, Japandroids, Pack A.D., Ladyhawk). “Working with Jesse was incredible, a bit of dream come true. His band, D.B.S’s, last record was a big one for me, so it was pretty awesome getting to work on our material with him. The studio and sound they have been able to capture there is amazing,” enthuses Wilson.
Sabertooth spent the first part of 2012 writing all the new music for the record. “This is a sum of what we’ve been working on for the past year. It is a statement of our band’s work so far.” The band seems ready and eager after a brief three-month hiatus. “We will be releasing the album via local, DIY record label, Debt Offensive. You can order the 7-inch directly from the label at debtoffensive.bigcartel.com. We were going to shop the record around to find a label, but our friend at Debt Offensive listened to it and immediately agreed to release it. So, we were very happy. If given a chance, we’d always rather play and work with our friends.”
Sabertooth will be building on their current momentum with a series of shows in the beginning of March. The first show will be at Broken City on March 1 and features local standouts the Throwaways, Teledrome and PMMA. The second show, and the release proper, will be at Tubby Dog the following night, featuring support from the Mandates, Spastic Panthers and Bitter Pricks. “We couldn’t be happier with the line-ups for these shows.” Wilson’s enthusiasm shows: “All these bands are outstanding. We feel each of these shows will be quite impressive.”
After the 7-inch release weekend, Sabertooth will continue on an ambitious year by promoting the record with a late spring North American tour and then another 7-inch split with Vancouver band, Unfun. Following the band’s stalwart DIY ethic, Wilson books their entire tours by himself. “It’s the best way to travel and see places, playing shows, meeting people. We don’t make any money, but we come back alive. We party. With Sabertooth, we are not trying to be something we’re not.” This bare-bones wash-and-wear sentiment permeates Wilson’s persona and attitude towards his band and music and maintains a simplicity in vision: be direct, don’t bullshit, get on with it, play music you want to listen to, be independent and have a cooperative spirit. A straightforward approach from a band going full steam ahead.
Catch Sabertooth twice in March for the 7-inch release weekend, at Broken City on the 1st and at Tubby Dog on the 2nd.
By Graham MacKenzie
Photo: Sarah MacIntosh