Winter Teeth Frontwoman Heather Leveroni Talks Music

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What “Winter Teeth” Are
Naming the band was hard, Leveroni says, because everything sounds like you’re “trying to be cool.” But she remembers how she found the name Winter Teeth. “I heard this expression, ‘summer teeth’–she’s got summer teeth. It’s another way to say that someone is ready for summer. I started flipping it around and I thought, winter teeth–it sounds neat, and it evokes feelings of mountains [for me]. So I Googled it and I saw that it was also used as a slang word for icicle, and I thought that was really cool.” So, she adds, “If you Google us, you’ll see pictures of usand you’ll see a whole bunch of trippy icicle pictures.”

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What Winter Teeth Sounds Like
Soul and rock and roll, at least for Leveroni’s part. “I sang for years in a band called Her Grace the Duchess… it was like big band, we had matching outfits, and choreography, and harmony.” It had a huge impact on her early music career. “It broke me into what it’s like to work really hard for something, practice a lot, to work together with a group… In my heart, I always came out loving soul music and rock and roll. And that’s what I feel like Winter Teeth sounds like.” But, she says, not only those genres. “We have a similar sense of what we like and what we think Winter Teeth sounds like, but… we’re a working band. We can just do what we want because we’re paying for everything.”

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On Gender & Being a Front(wo)man
Leveroni knows that she’s a woman in a “man’s” genre, but shrugs it off. “I don’t think about gender, it’s not an issue to me. Some people say, ‘You’re really rocking out there for a girl.’ But I don’t think that’s a big issue, and I don’t like to indulge or give it too much attention. I don’t try to be extremely feminine or masculine, I present myself as a catalyst for the music… Usually [people] just say, ‘Wow, you fucking rock.’ I don’t get much of the, ‘You’re a girl and you did this.’ ” Though she admits, “Sometimes people will say, ‘I wasn’t expecting that from you.’ “

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Being a Small Band in a Big Music World
If listeners want good music, Leveroni says, they have to go out and find it. “Music is a two-way street. The listener also has to be engaged in going to the show and buying the record.” Going out to see local music is essential. “Every town has every kind of music scene, no matter how small you are. There’s a place where this band gets booked, and that band. It’s out there, but you have to be an active participant.” It’s especially important for Winter Teeth fans, she adds, since “Winter Teeth is a live band. Our recording – I’m proud of it, but it’s a recording.” In the end, she says, “We’re all about the performance, and that’s what we love to do.”

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On the Future for Winter Teeth
Leveroni likes where the band is right now. “I want to keep having fun with my bros and keep recording music. I want to keep playing great shows. Everything beyond that is just extra. This is just a fun thing – I want to record an album, tour, play shows, and have fun. When it’s not fun anymore, it’s over. I think that’s how we all feel – no one’s trying to make it more than that.”

{Listen to & Purchase Winter Teeth’s Latest Album “Stories By The Fire”}

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by Jena Binderup
photographs by Thomas Wood

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