Meantooth Grin

An interview with Meantooth Grin's Tom Jordan
by Mike Huberty
July 2012

Outnumbered and Outgunned Live Album Cover

Outnumbered and Outgunned Live Album Cover

While their roots are in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, the three guys that make up MEANTOOTH GRIN can more often be found on the road, constantly touring and performing, delivering blues-based rock to audiences across the Midwest. Fueled by frontman Tom Jordan’s low bellow and screaming guitar lines and backed by bassist Seth Heffner and drummer Mitch Ostrowski, MEANTOOTH GRIN is a tight blues-rock machine that is at their best during their well-honed live performances. Their brand new album, “Outnumbered and Outgunned”, showcases their stage chops to full effect as a live concert record just released on July 3rd.

Kicking off the set with their song, “Drive”, Jordan feels that it’s the number that gives new listeners the best idea of what MEANTOOTH GRIN is all about. “It’s punchy and heavy with alot of blues influence but I think it kind of sums up our sound.”, Jordan says. “That song was inspired in the way many songs are…with a woman. The song is about an individual driving for many hours just to have a glimpse of the woman he loves, then driving home wishing he had done things differently. It’s a song about unrequited love, basically… it may be a love song, but it’s a love song pissing out the window of a truck at 70 miles per hour!”

And that is a theme Jordan knows well, something he’s not afraid to admit that he returns to often.”Women”, he says, matter-of-factly, “They always seem to have an effect on my writing… And good and evil. The Devil provides lots of fodder for many musicians… The title track on our first record ‘Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead’, is a dark tale of several people who die in unpleasant ways, one from cancer, one from HIV, one from a drunk driving accident, and how there’s no cheating the Devil when its your time to go. So the Good vs. Evil thing is present in my writing too… Different things move me from time to time but women, the Devil, and alcohol seem to pop up the most.”

And these themes have garnered them a loyal fan base and it’s those fans who the new album is dedicated to. “We got so many requests to do a live album,” Jordan says, “we just broke down and did it! We put a whole bunch of fan pics inside from the live recording and gave away free tracks from the night to the fans. We also gave everyone that showed up a poster of the album cover and a laminate unique to that show that were all stamped and numbered.” The title of the record is also inspired by their fans and how they’ve made the hard business of being in a band worthwhile. “It’s how we have felt as a band for many years.” he says, “This isn’t a hobby for us, its my full time job, and it’s tough being in an original band that travels. The business end of the music world is tough and its easy to feel like you’re not making an impact. We have worked very hard and its been an uphill battle the whole way…but in the end, the rewards of playing to people who love the music, is so worth it.”

And the band will be touring all over the area this Summer, as Jordan puts their goal,  “to beat the living shit out of the Midwest all summer long and push the new record anywhere and everywhere. We sweat and bleed for the audience every show, they are the reason we can continue doing what we do. If the show is boring they didn’t get their money’s worth and we failed at our job!” You can find them in Green Bay at Phatheadz on July 6th, Cranky Pat’s in Neenah on July 14th, and Mr. Robert’s in Madison on August 10th, and Kevin’s in Milwaukee on August 11th.

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CD: Outnumbered and Outgunned Record Label: Self-released