March 5 2009 12:00 AM

Lansings Red Teeth to go out with one last gnash


When Red Teeth originally formed under the alias King of the Monsters in 2002, the duo was experimenting with an odd, minimal sound that would sometimes confuse and frustrate the audience. “Our song ‘Easy’ is just the highest pitch discord that we could play,” recalled guitarist and vocalist Ryan Andrews of the band’s early days. “People would leave because we would just pierce brains with it. It was all about trying to destroy the audience. Sometimes it wasn’t even about the song, it was more about ‘Is this one going to piss them off?’”

On Friday, the band will have one last chance to send some people for the door when it plays its last show at Mac’s Bar. After seven years, Red Teeth’s primal sludge is grinding to a halt with a planned execution. The two founding members set a date, and now all that’s left to do is follow through.

For Bath natives and brothers Ryan and Rael Andrews, it’s the final stretch of a long, bumpy road. Ryan Andrews said it’s a bittersweet ending to seven years of loud amplifiers and countless shows in the Lansing area.

“It’s like having a girlfriend, deciding you’re going to break up, but not until the end of the month,” he said. “It kind of sucks. We are practicing our asses off for our final show, shit is sounding good, but it was just the right time.”

Rael Andrews (drums) also has mixed emotions about the band’s end. “There is sadness, but overall it is a good thing,” he said. “I am excited about the last show. Everyone will be there. It’s a free show, and we are going to have a giant party afterwards.”

Andrews said he knew it was time to hang it up once their usual
creative drive seemed to tire. “We started to work on a new set of
songs and nothing was coming out,” he explained. “It seemed fizzled

“If we kept going, it would have become boring or stale,” Ryan
Andrews said. “We’d end up quitting eventually anyway, but probably not

Over the years, the brothers Andrews shared some
intense rehearsals. “We would scream and yell at each other, get into
everything but a fistfight,” Ryan Andrews recalled. “Me and my bro are
just that way. We can scream and yell at each other, then we start
laughing and its fine.”

During those brutal sessions, Red Teeth
recorded more than 15 CDs worth of material. The band plans to unveil
much of this material at the final show with a nine-CD box-set, along
with a DVD and a new album, “Hope Harder.”

While it started as
a duo, Red Teeth went through numerous lineup changes, as Jason and
Brian Wicks (the brothers’ cousins) and Adam Simmer each rotated in and
out of the band. “That has been one of the ongoing problems with our
band,” Ryan Andrews admitted. “To generalize the whole existence of Red
Teeth, we make a set, add new members, learn new songs, band member
quits, scrap the recorded album, make a new set, add new members and so

Throughout Friday’s farewell set, past members of the band will
rotate in and out.

“It will represent the history of our band in one
set,” Ryan said, adding that the show will be laced with covers and old
originals, some that haven’t been played in years. “We are starting the
set with a cover of the Devo song ‘Red Eye Express,’ then ending it
with the Melvins’ tune ‘With Teeth,’ which is where we got our name

After the band’s last hoorah, the brothers will part ways. Rael
Andrews plans to hit the road and experience America. Ryan
Andrews plans to stay in Lansing and continue to work with his other
projects, BerT and Dr. Device.

Ryan Andrews said one aspect of Red
Teeth he is proud of is the band’s refusal to change its sound to fit
what people wanted to hear. The band’s motto, “Don’t tell me what to
do, that’s what you don’t want to do,” pretty much sums up the duo’s
saga. Whether it was a venue’s sound guy telling them to turn down or
an angry audience member’s heckling, Ryan Andrews said, “[We] were
never willing to compromise anything at all.”