Ask Tooth & Nail!

We’re starting a new weekly column called “Ask Tooth & Nail.” You ask, we answer. Each week we’ll pick a question and a member of our awesome staff will write a response here at the ol’ Tooth & Nail Blog.

Theoretically, these questions could be about anything: the music business, McDonalds vs. Burger King, album cover inspiration, fantasy football…pretty much whatever is on your mind. Who knows, maybe we will finally learn why the chicken crossed the road.

So get askin’!

School’s Out For Summer!

Granted, we’re not in school, but whatever. Either way, this means I’m taking off my hiatus and letting you know that though we may have been quiet here on our renowned Tooth & Nail Blog, we have also been busy. This summer kicked off with new albums from Write This Down, The Overseer, Children 18:3, States and Wolves At The Gate. And it’s only the beginning of July!

It was America’s birthday this week, which also marked the first true day of sun and warmth (if you can consider the low 70s warmth, which we do) in Seattle. In belated celebration, we spent our Friday lunch break firing up the grill and enjoying summer.

Looking ahead, we are working on some really cool new albums from Capital Lights, Anchor & Braille and Abandoned Pools. I am personally excited about all those releases, but I suppose I’m a little bit biased.

There may or may not be some other neat-o tricks up our sleeves. Cough, cough. So stay tuned for some fun and other awesome things. And remind me to tell you about that one time I made a piñata out of peeps for one of our A&R guys.

Grammy MusicTech Summit Event

This past weekend I attended the GRAMMY MusicTech Summit event at the EMP in Seattle. It’s an honor to be on the Grammy board, and one of the many perks is being able to partake in awesome events like this one. There were performances, panels on social media, sound and vision, and technology and music, as well as a sick presentation by the keynote speaker DJ Spooky. I snuck in some photos of the fun, and hope for more of these great times in the future. Here’s to celebrating music!

Brandon

Hello Nashville!

I flew with some of the Tooth & Nail crew over to Nashville last week for some meetings with our distributor EMI. We just got back, had a total blast, and wanted to share with you guys what’s going down! Four of our bands were recording and we got to hang out and spend some time with them. We pitched both the new Almost and August Burns Red albums and got to connect with The Letter Black, Bebo Norman, The Almost, and some other rad people. We went and got INSANE dinner at this place called The Silly Goose, and gorged ourselves on Burger up. If you ever find yourself hungry and in Tennessee, now you know where to go.

I’ve uploaded some photos so you guys can check it out. DOMINATE.

Your fearless leader,
Brandon Ebel

Tooth & Nail Fantasy Football League 2011: Vol. 1

football

It was late September when I started working at Tooth & Nail. I’d just moved from Southern California and was immediately struck with rain, the turning of leaves and football season.

Having hailed from a college with a fairly notable program and growing up with a dad who spends his weekends flipping between games, I was well-versed enough in the sport of football – or so I thought. It was clear after only a few weeks in the office that I had absolutely nothing on the rest of the staff. I was dealing with a bunch of nerds…total football nerds.

I’d be lying if I said I knew much about fantasy football before my time at Tooth & Nail. I mean, I’d heard of it and knew of its existence, but anything more than that was a wash. All I really did know was that at the end of the workday on Mondays, there’d be a lot of strange yelling, running back and forth to computers, hitting the refresh button and then more strange yelling.

It was a mind-boggling ritual, to say the least. They were all in on something I didn’t understand – a part of some inner circle I could sense existed but couldn’t really pinpoint. Members of the exclusive and not-so clandestine club known as the Tooth & Nail Fantasy Football League.

That first season, it was hard not to learn via osmosis more than I ever thought I wanted to know about #2 receivers, goal line backs, special teams and bye weeks. By playoff time, I could actually follow the real-life and fantasy football conversations that were constantly taking place around me. And during the Super Bowl, I could actually contribute an opinion – granted, probably not a very good one, but an opinion nonetheless. In fact, by the time the season was over, I was actually looking forward to the next one.

So you can imagine my excitement that summer when I got The Call. The invitation to join the heralded Tooth & Nail Fantasy Football League.

In my excitement to accept the invitation I may have forgotten one minor detail: I had no idea how to actually play fantasy football. Knowing about a sport is one thing; being in a fantasy league for that sport is a whole other level.

Did I google “how to play fantasy football?” Yes.
Did I ask my dad for advice? Yes.
Did any of it actually help me? Eh.

This marks my third year in the inner circle. Beginners luck was never a factor for me – I’ve never won the league or even made it to the playoffs. But at least I’ve never been in last place? I will say though that being in the league has created a closer knit among a staff that already considers itself family, because what family doesn’t talk smack to each other or secretly hope another member forgets to pick up a kicker to put in on bye week?

I’m thinking about doing weekly blogs on the league? For those of you who have no interest in sports, maybe it will be a bunch of boring filler. But for those of you who enjoy some friendly competition and coworkers who like to beat up on each other, they should make for some good reads. And if anyone has any advice as to how I can weasel my way into the playoffs this year, I’ll take any tips you got.

I’m On A Boat!

boat

Just wanted to say hello from Tooth & Nail Boat Day! Happy Friday!

July Burns Red

abr2

Why hello there! Long time, no see. My fault, of course. Sorry about that. Here at Tooth & Nail / Solid State, we like to work hard and play hard. So of course after the awesome craziness that was August Burns Red’s “Leveler” – which, if you haven’t heard came out at #11 on the Billboard charts – Scott and I decided to reward ourselves with a nice little 4th of July vacation with a bunch of our friends to sunny California.

Well who should happen to be in the Golden State at that exact time but our pals in August Burns Red! What a happy coincidence! The Warped Tour was posted up at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View the day we flew in. Obviously we had to make a pit stop to say hello and congratulations to the band on an absolutely face-melting new album.

It was a perfect day and the dudes absolutely killed their set. It’s maybe hard to explain the type of pride that comes along with being able to literally see the results of so much hard work and passion from people you care a lot about. We are so grateful for and appreciative of our bands and the effort that goes into creating an album and touring and all the things that comprise being a band.

Personally, I feel lucky every day to be able to do what I do, and it’s all because of people like August Burns Red. The least we could do was give them a small token of our gratitude.

So congratulations again to ABR and [shameless self-promotion coming] if you haven’t picked up “Leveler” yet, it’s available in stores and online now! Download it on the interwebs at iTunes or Amazon MP3.

abr

The Great Taco Debate 2011

chips

We’re rocking the suburbs here at Tooth & Nail. Literally. Our office is at the top of a suburban hill in Seattle, which means when it comes to lunch options within walking distance…well, options are limited. But we bring forward for your consideration a little taco shop that shall remain nameless.

Now having spent some some of my prime Mexi-eating years [also known as college] in Southern California, I’d like to think that I know a little bit about what makes good Mexican food. To be fair, I also love Taco Bell more than the average person, but when it comes to small mom-and-pop-type joints, I can definitely pick up what they’re puttin’ down, if you know what I mean.

Except Nameless Taco Shop.

For as long as I’ve worked at Tooth & Nail, there has been a heated debate over whether or not Nameless Taco Shop falls under the “good” or “not good” category. Lines have been drawn, arguments have taken place, fistfuls of guacamole have been thrown. Okay, maybe not that last bit, but for the most part, everyone in the office has an opinion.

So I suppose this begs the question: what do you think defines a quality Mexican establishment?

After some discussion between my anti-Nameless Taco Shop teammates and I, we’ve come to an agreement that the sign of a good restaurant is whether or not they make their own tortilla chips and salsa. That’s not so much to ask, right? You have to admit that there’s not much better than being served a nice basket of crispy fried tortilla chips with some chunky salsa – or maybe even an entire assortment of salsas! Not much indeed.

However, Nameless Taco Shop? They offer those generic yellow tortilla rounds that you could definitely buy at any grocery store in America. I’m also willing to bet that the salsa came from the same market as the chips.

Furthermore, upon arrival to the office in the morning a few days a week, there is a distinct spiced ground beef smell in the air. I’m not saying that I necessarily mind this smell – in fact, it smells quite nice and makes me wish I had more to eat for breakfast than a bowl of oatmeal. But curiously, this aroma is not present every day of the week, which leads me to believe that they don’t necessarily use fresh ingredients in your meal on any given day.

Interesting!

Not to mention, Nameless Taco Shop is cash-only, which is a serious “first world problem” for me.

Of course I understand the appeal of the place. It’s about 200 feet from door to door, the prices are low and if you don’t have the time or want to put in the effort to get in your car and drive somewhere, it’s extremely convenient [provided you have cash on hand]. Personally, I’d rather hop in the car and make a run for the border.

I guess the point of all this is to ask what you, our readers, think the tenets of a regular lunch-worthy taco shop are, and if you happen to live in Seattle or have ever visited, to suggest somewhere I should send the opposing team for comparison. Gracias!

Where The Magic Happens

meeting

Just wanted to give you a quick hello from our bi-weekly marking meeting. Say what’s up to the Tooth & Nail Braintrust! Plus our fearless leader Brandon Ebel behind the camera.

Please excuse Scott’s gnarly facial hair.

Happy almost-Friday!

Water Colour-ing

Here at Tooth & Nail, we take some pride in being able to supply some pretty awesome pre-order items that come along with our already-awesome albums. So when Swimming With Dolphins decided their album would be entitled “Water Colours,” of course actual water colors seemed like an obvious choice.

In case any of you were wondering if you could really use these water colors for the actual purpose of painting – fear not! John, Micah Dean, Adam and I took it upon ourselves to prove that not only are they fashionable, but functional as well. Check out the gallery for the before and afters on our fine works of art. Personally, I think I totally showed those dudes up. Just sayin! Though to be fair, I did supply my own brush.

And for some shameless self-promotion, to order your own set of Swimming With Dolphins Water Colors + Poster, visit the Tooth & Nail Store.