After five tumultuous years, Gum Takes Tooth have delivered one of 2019’s early standouts in the form of new album ‘Arrow’. Patrick Clarke meets the band to talk the realities of musicianship in London, automatic writing and the story behind their stunning third record. All pictures by Eric Oliveira.
Jussi Brightmore, Tom Fug and I were meant to take a walk around North London’s Walthamstow Marshes to discuss the pair’s latest record as Gum Takes Tooth. The marshes are next to the studio where that phenomenal album Arrow was recorded, but also represent a uniquely neutral space that mirrors its themes. It is an album informed by the endlessly mounting pressure of trying to both exist and create art in the capital, by the urge for space amidst the relentless drive of redevelopment, and the uncertain, nomadic lifestyle these issues breed. It’s an album that is breathlessly intense, at times dark and oppressive but at others euphoric despite itself. It is already one of 2019’s very best.
As cold February rain lashes down and spoils our plans, however, we must instead take shelter in The Victoria, a strange but lovely haunt that’s equal parts gay bar and old man pub, with pride flags hanging above the dartboard and pool table. Fug and I arrive first as a barmaid sways merrily around the room collecting glasses, singing along to ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ which plays on the jukebox. Brightmore arrives a few minutes later; his two-year-old daughter took a little longer than usual to get to sleep. The act of trying to raise a young family amidst all this chaos is yet another pressure that makes itself known on Arrow.
Read the full interview here: The Quietus