Review Fix chats with Sharptooth’s Lauren Kashan, who discusses their new record, Clever Girl, via Pure Noise Records, detailing the creative process behind it, as well as their goals for the future.
Review Fix: How did the band get together?
Lauren Kashan: Lance started the band way back in like 2012, but the current lineup and sound didn’t come to fruition until I joined back in December of 2014. Lance and Keith asked me to join, our bassist Phil officially joined back in April of 2015, and our drummer, Conor joined in April 2017. We knew we wanted to do something heavy, aggressive, and from a femme perspective, and that’s what has spawned all the songs we’ve written since.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Kashan: Lance is an extremely prolific musician, and is writing constantly, so there’s basically an endless influx of instrumental material coming down the pipe for us. Lance will send me instrumental demos of full song concepts, and I take them and mess around with them lyrically/conceptually. Some songs take a day lyrically, some take months. That’s also usually when we make any structural changes as well. Then we bring the song to the rest of the band, and everyone else makes changes and additions to make each song their own. Then we start playing it out at shows.
Review Fix: What’s your standout song on the album? How was it written?
Kashan: I honestly don’t think there is one, because there’s so many heavy-hitter songs with such intense concepts. It’s hard to pinpoint anyone, especially because each song is going to mean something special to different people, depending on their experience. Plus Sharptooth is a band that has a ton of musical variety and diversity between every single song. You’re not getting an album where everything sounds the same at all. So honestly, that answer is up to the listener. It’s whichever song impacts them the most, hits them the hardest, makes them feel represented, or heard, or uncomfortable, or empowered.
Review Fix: What did you learn from this album? How do you think it’ll affect your next album?
Kashan: I learned about the importance of just being honest. I think what makes Clever Girl great is that none of us really went into it being like “we’re gonna write this socio-political record”, we just wrote songs that said what we needed to say when we needed to say it. And it then became apparent that the things that I felt I needed to say, were things that other people needed to hear. The whole record is about speaking and living your truth, so I’m just going to keep doing that for the next record as well.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?
Kashan: Lots of touring, nationally and internationally, and writing a second record.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?
Kashan: Co-ed mad-as-shit socio-political thrashy melodic hardcore.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
Kashan: That’s really not up to me to dictate, but my hope is that it helps people feel empowered, and represented, and encouraged to live their truth and fight for what they think is right.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Kashan: Our live shows are extremely intense physically and emotionally, and pretty chaotic. I think if I started climbing tables in the studio like I do at our shows, the record producer would be pretty pissed.
Review Fix: Why is this new album special?
Kashan: Cause it’s our first, and it’s honest, and it pulls no punches.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Kashan: More music. More ridiculous shows. More tours. More empowerment of the right people and more pissing off the people who need to get their jimmies rustled.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Kashan: If everyone on this planet had a little more empathy, and made an effort to seek to understand each other, the world would be a better place. I scream because there’s no other way for me to be heard. When we listen more, people need to scream a whole lot less. Let’s make that happen.
Photo by James Harper