Grit Teeth from Reykjavik, Iceland are playing rough Hardcore/Punk with Death/Black influences. A talk with Birkir about Iceland, their local scene and upcoming plans.
Hey guys! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions! To get things started could you introduce Grit Teeth and explain the meaning of the band name to us?
Grit Teeth are four guys who share general interest in playing hardcore music and present it to other people who share the same interest. Dagur – Bass and vocals, Hörður – guitar, Jón Már – guitar and vocals, Birkir – drums.
There’s nothing special behind the name. People grit their teeth in determination or in anger which are feelings that may resemble to our music in some way? Grit Teeth also sounds good as a band name to us.
First time I’ve seen or heard from you was at a small Hardcore show in Reykjavik last week where you’ve played with Autarch from the United States. How would you describe the local Hardcore scene in Iceland? Is it a common thing to put up shows there for international bands?
These days the hardcore scene here is rather active and has been for the past three – four years. House shows are becoming more and more popular and we’ve had shows featuring bands that are quite known amongst people around the hardcore scene.
Iceland is small and everybody know each other so the bands are all very supportive i.e. by joining in for a release show or even sharing members which is a common. I’d guess there are between 5-10 shows per year featuring international bands.
I can imagine the pool of Hardcore/Punk musicans in Reykjavik is rather small. How many people would you say participate active in the local scene and how many local bands would you say are around?
It’s really hard to tell. I’d estimate somewhere around 100 people maybe. It also depends on how you identify these genres. The band count might be around 20-30 or so, some very active and others not.
What are your plans for the future? I checked out your Bandcamp and could find one small release which doesn’t seem to cover all songs you’ve played live. Are there any plans for an upcoming full-length?
We plan on releasing our first full-length album later this summer. It should be in the mixing process and hopefully will be available on vinyl and for free online.
The Bandcamp release was only thought to be a demo for people to hear at least something. We also released a single two years ago before playing at the Eistnaflug festival. It’s floating somewhere around on YouTube.
Your sound sounds really raw and rough but at the same time it keeps track with the current influences of bands like Nails. How would you describe your sound and what other bands would you name as an influence for Grit Teeth?
We’ve defined us simply as a hardcore punk band. One might hear influences from black metal or even death metal and the grind is there for sure.
Bands like Magrudergrind and Terrorizer are definitely an influence, the Icelandic black metal scene may have had an impact on us. Ceremony and Nails, to name a few, are a favourite also. All the Icelandic bands we’ve seen through the years and shared rehearsal spaces with may have had an impact.
If you could put up a small festival in Reykjavik with any bands you’d like to, how would the lineup look like?
It’d be fun to have either Nails, Full Of Hell or maybe Code Orange. Or all of them. For the Icelandic bands we might have Dead Herring, Klikk, Great Grief, ROHT, World Narcosis and so on. Wouldn’t mind seeing Fighting Shit, if only they hadn’t been inactive for years.
Many Punk/Hardcore bands take a political standing in their lyrics and talk about problems of their generation. How does life look like for a young adult in Iceland? Where do you see problems in your country that you want to address?
For some it’s hard, others not. You can probably talk about an economy boom in Iceland but the housing market is probably the hardest part of living here for the younger people. We do not take any political standing in our lyrics though. The lyrics probably relate more to the general misery of living in Iceland.
So, since I am just another annoying tourist on your beautiful island, give me some hints there. What would be your favorite three spots on Iceland that everyone has to check out?
Since all the members are originated from northern Iceland you should check out lake Mývatn and Ásbyrgi as well. While you’re at it you could drive to the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss. Really fun. You could also take the classic route and go see Þingvellir or “The Golden circle”.
Thanks for your time and the last words are yours!