Horses Have People Teeth: a band with bite


Who: Midnight, with Fishwives and Horses Have People Teeth

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: University

Pizzeria and Italian

Eatery, 133 Lincoln Ave., Youngstown

By John Benson

You have to admit it’s hard to get past the band name Horses Have People Teeth.

No matter what style of music the group is exploring, polka rap to country death metal, its moniker is what catches your eye. That, apparently, and successfully, was the idea of the stoner rock trio — Nick Miller (guitar), Joe Sudrovic (bass, vocals) and Dave Varney (drums) — when it formed nearly three years ago.

“Pretty much when we started this group — it was just me and Nick — we just wanted to do a joke band, something that was fun,” said Pittsburgh resident Varney, a 2006 Liberty High School graduate. “When we asked Joe to join, he said, ‘Oh yeah, but can we call the band Horses Have People Teeth?’ We were like, ‘What? Alright!’ It’s completely absurd, but that’s a great name. We didn’t really care. We thought it was awesome.”

As far as the band’s style, the Horses Have People Teeth Myspace site boasts that the outfit sounds like being drunk and seeing your mom. Further discussion reveals the group is reminiscent of underground acts such as Converge and Ed Gein; however, it’s the mom comment that requires further elaboration.

“That’s just a joke but, yeah. I actually meant be drunk and seeing someone else’s mom,” Varney said.

Um, in a cougar sense?

Varney quipped, “Yeah, probably.”

Back to the musical style, Varney suggests the band was tired of playing the local group game of trying to be serious and letting the fun out of why they were in a band in the first place. This led to the creation of its own genre, kind of.

“Originally, when we got together, we wanted to write some straight rock ’n’ roll riffs,” Varney said. “We were trying to do something that had good tones, almost like a stoner rock kind of thing. We just wanted to play in a couple of bars for a bunch of old dudes who probably wouldn’t even care. That sounded like fun to us because every band we’d been in before, it ended up a fiasco where it got too serious and people lost money. So our music is just riffs, pounding drums and loud, abrasive, screaming vocals.”

Currently, the threesome is planning on recording its debut full length for a summer release.

Even though Varney says Youngstown is where the band enjoys the largest audience, he tempers it by noting it’s also where the band members’ family and friends live.

Still, he’s optimistic more folks will venture out to sample what Horses Have People Teeth has to offer.

“I hope people pick up on the fact it’s fun,” Varney said. “We want to be positive. I just want someone to leave and go home and be like, ‘I had a good time out with my friends.’ Basically, it’ll just be loud, fast and heavy.”

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.