Artist Spotlight: Live Tetherball Tonight

Indie rock outfit Flat Teeth held their “Silent Seconds” album release party at Cactus Club Friday night, bringing along with them two-piece punk band Mertles Acres and emo band Live Tetherball Tonight. A packed house came out to support.

Live Tetherball Tonight consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Ryan Gehrig, bassist Josh Rardin, and drummer Josiah Kuechenmeister. Formed five years ago, the band took its name seeking something ironic that yielded absolutely no Google Search results.

“Picking a band name is so hard,” Gehrig said. “It’s a combination of irony and our weird love for sports, which is super cliche emo.”

Their new EP “The Open Mouth Kisses” came out in August, recorded at Ruthless & Toothless in Racine. Gehrig gives some backstory.

“We came off of a West Coast thing in California and we lost all of our momentum. We didn’t do anything for like a full year; we played a handful of shows…just small stuff. I feel like those songs just came out of a cabin fever. We played in another band that’s kind of on a hiatus right now called Deadset, but we weren’t really doing anything besides that. We would still hang out – that’s the crazy thing. We were with each other all the time but we weren’t playing music. I told them I had a couple ideas for songs and we wrote them in a week. I booked time to record and then two-three weeks later we recorded them…just out of nowhere.”

He goes on to say the title was decided on as being similarly ironic.

“It’s just an awkward string of words. The first couple times I said it out loud it made me really uncomfortable.”

The band took samples of songs and YouTube clips and played them between their own songs Friday night.

“Our buddy Sahan put out a record called Cold Lunch, and all the songs we played between songs are little samples off that,” Rardin explained. “It’s a really good record everybody should listen to. I think my favorite part about it is how when he released it on Bandcamp the individual songs were out, but then the last two tracks on Bandcamp were fifteen minutes a piece and it’s Side A of the tape and Side B of the tape, just playing straight through. From his perspective that’s how he wanted it to be listened to.”

The band is working on new material.

“The new songs are super party,” Gehrig said. “It’s gonna be our new direction and it’s been a lot of fun.”

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