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Crushed Out Bares All With ‘Teeth’

Crushed Out guitarist and vocalist Franklin Hoier, who formed the band with drummer Moselle Spiller, was raised on popular music, but he says once he picked up the guitar and started making music of his own, he raced headlong into an exploration of rock’s roots.

“I grew up on punk rock and hip-hop but then when I was getting to be a little older and started exploring more folk music and blues and country. All the things that influenced the things that spoke to me. You know, The Beatles and Bob Dylan, I feel like a lot of people when they first really absorb that. They’re, like, ‘Wow! What is this! Where did it come from?’” he says. “And that’s what led me to rock ‘n’ roll and search out ‘50s and ‘60s stuff. Which really spoke to my heart and I can’t really shake that off once it was in there.”

Hoier’s desire to make simple, rhythm-oriented music led to the formation of Crushed Out with drummer Moselle Spiller. The two lived in Brooklyn at the time and without any place else to practice set up shop in their apartment. But the volume didn’t bother the neighbors.

“We lived in a loud neighborhood in Brooklyn, so we could just set up and play in the living room, and no one would complain because everyone in the neighborhood played loud music all the time,” he recalls.

Today, the duo calls the road its home.

“We stopped paying rent in Brooklyn about three years ago, so it’s been hard to say where we’re from anymore. We just started touring nationally, so heavily that we couldn’t have rent anywhere anymore. Our band was incredibly young to do that. Everything was learned on stage in front of people—developing our band,” he says. “It was all happening so fast. It felt right not to have a home because we were so motivated to do it and just wanted to keep going out there and keep throwing stuff at the wall.”

From the beginning journalists and music fans have been eager to compare Crushed Out to the White Stripes. On the surface the comparisons make sense—both are duos fronted by male guitarists who are backed by female drummers. But Hoier says that the similarities stop there.

“Everything about us is polar opposite of the White Stripes,” he says. “The White Stripes was a deliberate choice to be a duo. Whereas we were just working with what we could.”

The duo’s latest release is called Teeth, a record that highlights not only Crushed Out’s songwriting and abilities as performers but Hoier’s ability to oversee virtually every aspect of the record’s creation.

“I engineered the record. I mixed it. We did everything in a barn in rural New Hampshire, near where Moselle was born and raised. I recorded most of our tracks before but the majority of them were done in studios before this,” he notes. “ Teeth feels crazy personal to me because it was the first time that I truly produced our music and got the tempos exactly right to really feel the soul of the song.”

In that barn, the duo was at the mercy of the room and its dynamics, something that was often as fun as it was challenging.

“The barn had its pros and cons for sure, but it worked just fine for just getting some clear, accurate sounds of the performance. We kind of always start with a live performance in the room of both of us,” he says. “So the bed track is 90 percent of the recording. If you get that one groovy take, then you can move forward with it. But, yeah, the room is always affecting the vibe of that room for sure.”

Crushed Out returns to Wichita this weekend for two performances on Saturday. Hoier says that from the beginning the city has been welcoming to him and Spiller.

“When we play there it’s that kind of energy where people aren’t oversaturated with live music like they are in some of the huger cities,” he says. “We’re just really stoked to come back because we made so many rad friends there at our last show.”

Crushed Out’s latest release, Teeth is out now. The band performs at KMUW’s Old Town Concert Series on Saturday evening and then at Barleycorn’s for the show’s after party.

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Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.