Wednesday, September 19, 2018

INTERVIEW: Lauren Kashan of Sharptooth chats Warped, Mental Health and new music!

INTERVIEW: Lauren Kashan of Sharptooth chats Warped, Mental Health and new music!

There weren’t a lot of ladies on stage at the final summer of Warped Tour which was a major bummer. But the ladies who were there? Show stoppers. You had Dollskin, Tatiana deMaria, Jenna McDougall with Tonight Alive and the incredibly impressive Lauren Kashan who rocks the lead vocals for Maryland’s Sharptooth. As the only female on the Mutant stages, Kashan shines so bright for the other girls on the tour who only had great things to say about her.

Before and after our interview, Kashan made a point to reach out to the two interviews I did that sandwiched ours with Andy Leo of Crown the Empire and Yungblud. You can see it in our interview as well with the way she talks so fondly of the band’s manager Davey Muise. But outgoing and bubbly isn’t always her MO, ‘Humans are complicated’ she quipped when talking about the importance of mental health.

In our chat, Kashan chatted the new album, mental health and this summer on the Warped Tour. Catch the band on a US run serving as main support for Cane Hill. Locally in Boston at the Middle East on October 3rd where the band will be destroying the upstairs on a Wednesday night and stay tuned for even more interviews from Warped!

I’ve heard a lot of great things.
Uh oh!
No, I’ve heard great things. And I know the lovely Davey Muise manages you.
The abdominal, unsinkable, incredible Davey Muise.

Obviously very loved in these parts, from being in Vanna for so long and doing his band now. Maybe how has that experience been to have such an inspiring person, someone who’s worked so hard, someone who has struggled for years but still has done it. How has it been to have someone like that in your corner?
Oh my god, Davey, I call him my actual dad. Davey’s amazing. I call Davey crying at midnight and he sits on the phone with me for an hour while I’m having a psychotic break and tells me that he’s been through it all and it’s going to be okay. It makes things a lot more manageable. Davey knows everybody and just has this incredible kinetic personality that I resonate with so much because I think I’m similar in that way. I think that’s why we’ve become such good friends over the years but having him go to bat for us has been great. Especially because that man can fucking talk. He can probably convince anyone of anything so the fact that he has managed to convince people that we’re worth working with has been fantastic and I am forever in his debt.

That’s incredible! Maybe people out of the Boston area wouldn’t realize that, but Davey has so much pull here.
Yeah I adore him. I absolutely adore him. He’s one of my favorite people and I’m so grateful for everything he’s done for this band.

And just from talking to Dollskin earlier, obviously there aren’t as many ladies on stage this summer as we’d like. We have Dollskin and you and Tat and Jenna for Tonight Alive but Dollskin raved about you and how you’re the strongest female they’ve seen.
Oh no! I love them, they’re so wonderful. Such pure, kind human beings and they’re all so insanely talented.

Maybe how has it been to be one of the only girls?
As the only girl? Well, I’m the only girl on the Mutant stages so that’s been fun. The good thing is that everybody that we’ve been working with, they’re just insanely supportive and the whole atmosphere, the crew that we’ve been working with on Warped has just been wonderful. Obviously there’s weird shit that you have to deal with. Security that doesn’t believe that you’re actually in the band and some of them don’t want to let you backstage like that kind of bullshit. That’s happened, or like shitty security guards telling me to smile. Oh my god! If I had a dollar for every shitty security guard who told me, smile sweetheart!, ugh. I’d be a rich woman!

Yeah it must suck but you’ve been killing these shows, from seeing on social media, that a lot of people have been coming out for Sharptooth.
It’s been amazing.
It’s been amazing, the shows have been going well?
It’s been nuts. It’s so far beyond anything I ever anticipated or expected. Especially as a women in heavy music, to even have this opportunity is just mind blowing. We figured we’d be playing for fifty people every day and we were stoked on it. We were ready for it, the fight. And just watching our crowds grow every single day has been, never in a million years did I ever expect anything like this. So I’m just trying to keep my head in the game. Stay humble and just keep doing the things that I know how to do which is Sharptooth.

Then I know the debut record came out quite a while ago, early 2017. It’s been about a year and half, I’m sure you guys are possibly writing. Where are you in the writing right now? How do you go about it, is it one person, do you all bring your own ideas? You may not be able to talk about it much.
Lance does most of our instrumentation and then he’ll send me demos that he records and I put lyrics to it. We bring it back to the band and they take each of their respective parts and make it their own. But we change certain things. Be like oh we need a bass part, oh let’s put a slam part in this song or let’s make this breakdown in a triplet or something cool.

This next record is dark. It’s dark and it’s heavy and it’s furious and sad. This is a painful record. There will definitely be that brash, obnoxious, fuck you that everybody loves from Sharptooth. But I’ve had a lot of extremely tumultuous experiences in my life in this past year and they will all be accounted for on this record absolutely. It’s been a dark year for me. It’s been weird, it’s been the best of times and the worst of times. This past year was when Sharptooth got signed to my dream record label, we’ve been on Warped Tour, we’ve toured with Anti-Flag. Some of the best experiences of my life have been in this past year and also some of the hardest. So it’s going to be all of it.

But they say that it’s good therapy to write those songs or perform those songs live.
Oh god it’s incredible therapy. I literally get on stage and scream at people. It’s funny because I’ll joke and not joke being like ‘I’m a mess’ and people are like ‘No you’re not. You’re great, you’re wonderful’. I’m like, I have to get on stage and scream at people to feel okay. That’s not just a performative thing that I do. That’s a thing that is necessary for my mental and emotional health and growth. Is to scream at people. I think it takes a very certain kind of level of disturbed and fucked up to be that person. So that’s just me. I don’t know what people expect when they get me but that’s there, that’s a part of it. That I’m someone who needs to scream at people and hit themselves and pull my fucking hair out. That’s part of me. Alongside the happy, bubbly, ‘I want to be everyone’s friend, yay’, part of me. Humans are complicated.
Isn’t that true.
Right?
I can see that. You have to have that always happy side or you think you do with these fans. Like they need to see you always happy it has to be hard.
Dude it’s hard because I am typically a sunny, optimistic person. I think that people have expectations of me being this super aggressive person all the time. Like that’s not an all the time thing. You can’t be running at Sharptooth level 24 hours a day or you’ll die. You’ll just explode but on the other side, there are fans that sometimes want to talk to me being like ‘You’re so brave, you’re so strong’ and I’m like, man I don’t feel any of those fucking things. I feel like a trainwreck sometimes and then there’s other times that everything just works perfectly. Where I’m at in my head matches where things are on the outside which is cool but yeah sometimes it matches, sometimes it doesn’t and that’s okay. I think that’s the case for anybody.

Well then obviously, you still have quite a ways to go on this tour. By the sounds of it, this album is pretty close to being done.
It’s definitely in the works for sure. Hoping to put it out 2019.
2019. Then maybe some focuses or goals for Sharptooth once Warped Tour finishes up.
Touring, more touring. More tours! I know we’re doing probably two more full US’s within the next couple of months. And then hopefully somewhere in the midst of all that get the record banged out and unleash it.