Eric Novroski’s family spent a lot of time camping when he was young, so the then-13 year-old Shavertown resident learned acoustic guitar so he could play while his family sat around the campfire. Almost a decade later, the now-22 year-old Novroski counts himself a founding member of Shavertown metalcore band Toothless; according to Novroski, finding members wasn’t unlike pulling teeth.
“In mid-2015 our drummer, James Slattery, and myself tried to form this band,” Novroski said. “Very slowly we ended up getting our bass guitarist Scott Wood and our other guitarist Bob Dudash. Not too long ago we ended up with our vocalist, Travis Antoniello.”
After all the pieces of Toothless were in place, the band began practicing together to develop chemistry and writing together to develop original material. Their as-yet-untitled debut six-song EP is scheduled for release this summer, and if first single “Ennui” is any indication, Toothless takes their cues from an aggressive, unpredictable era of metalcore — among other places.
“We do love Norma Jean and The Chariot and a couple other bands of the genre, but we take a lot of influence from other bands,” Novroski said. “Right in the intro (of “Ennui”) … the very dissonant, grinding sound comes from influence we take from Code Orange and other hardcore bands. Technically we’re a metalcore band, but we have a lot of hardcore influence.”
Toothless tracks are written by community. According to Novroski, songs usually start as a solitary guitar riff before they’re expanded upon by the band and turned into a finished product. When the quintet entered the studio to record those finished products, Novroski and Antoniello handled all the recording’s technical aspects, along with fulfilling their roles as guitarist and vocalist, respectively.
Novroski, a graduate of Luzerne County Community College’s music recording technology program, said he enjoyed having his hand in every aspect of the process, but he’d rather narrow his focus when it comes to his own band’s recordings.
“It’s awesome to be a part of the recording process, but I think as a musician I try and think of it as two different aspects,” Novroski said. “It’s actually really nice when I can think of (only) one. In the future, if we’re able to go to a different studio and have someone else engineer, mix and master, it’ll be very nice because then I can have my mind set just around the musician part of it.”
Novroski and the rest of Toothless will have their mind wrapped around the musician part of it when they take the stage during April 15 and 16’s NEPA Metal Meltdown at the 206 South Main St., Pittston establishment Diane’s Deli. To keep up-to-date with the band, visit facebook.com/toothlesspa.
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