When it comes to the rock-biz truth, Jason McMaster of Broken Teeth needs no Novocain.

Still Smilin' 

When it comes to the rock-biz truth, Jason McMaster of Broken Teeth needs no Novocain.

Even if you haven't dusted off those old issues of Circus and Hit Parader in a while, the name Dangerous Toys should still ring bells for the band's end-of-the-'80s hits "Teas'n Pleas'n" and "Scared." What you might not know is that Dangerous Toys is still active and has managed to avoid becoming a VH1-bound train wreck like so many of its similarly coiffed peers. As singer Jason McMaster tells the Pitch, thanks to some guardian-angel-like prodding from management, the members of Dangerous Toys wisely decided to split their finances evenly as the first royalties were coming in. Which is not to say that the band didn't overspend on hairspray, as McMaster freely admits. But being in a functioning band for years on end has its benefits.

These days, McMaster is able to front another band, Broken Teeth. Compared with the Toys, Broken Teeth's production values stay gritty and low to the ground — no surprise considering that the band has fueled itself since 1999 on a combination of meager means, self-sufficiency and elbow grease. McMaster schooled the Pitch on how practical it can be to keep a band rolling these days, in spite of the odds.

The Pitch: What did you learn in Dangerous Toys that you were able to bring to Broken Teeth?

McMaster: Dangerous Toys had tour support. Broken Teeth does not. There you go — save your lunch money, that's what I learned! [Laughs] I had people telling me when and where I was going to go to bed, where I was supposed to be at this time of the day. This is more punk-rock, hands-on, a do-it-yourself thing. We are the accountant. We are the management. We are the tour support. I mean, I'll talk to any investor who wants to invest in my career as a rocker. Everything costs money. It doesn't cost as much as people think that it does.

So it's easy to convince an investor that he can make back what he puts into a band?

Or it's easy to show them the potential of them being able to make their money back. And it's not really a whole lot of money that they'd be investing. I mean, we're not talking $500,000. It's not like, This rock-and-roll band is gonna make you rich. Nuh-uh. Besides that, you gotta get people out there who can network this shit.

Like forming relationships with people — other bands, press, etc.

Fuckin' a! Remember when grunge hit and there was a whole big hole in the rock-and-roll scene that everyone felt like, Aw, fuck those Seattle bands? I was like, They don't hate you! They weren't sent here from the future to kill us.

And they're not taking food out of your mouth.

No, they're not. They're writing rock-and-roll songs just like we are. They're not killing your career. I'm glad bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden and Alice in Chains came through and just swept all the fuckin' pussy crap off of the board. Because I'm a headbanger, and Headbanger's Ball blew chunks. It sucked. People wanted me to sign petitions for it and shit. I'm like, Put some real fuckin' metal on there. Play more Junkyard, Dangerous Toys, Circus Of Power and Rhino Bucket, and I will. Put Raging Slab on there. Get some fuckin' dirty motherfuckers on there. Why are you calling it Headbanger's Ball and playing Bon Jovi all the time? Mix it up with some punk rock, some Circle Jerks and some Fear. Throw some Slayer in there. Why don't you get some hardcore? Let's have an underground segment. It's supposed to be some street-level, gut-level thing, and you've got all this pretty-boy shit going on. You gotta have some cheese with your steak, I understand that. But let's have a little bit more steak on there than cheese.

Some of the readers will lump Dangerous Toys in with everything you were describing.

Sure, we were wearing the costume and had a little bit of eyeliner on. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about these people getting angry because our music is dead. Our music's not dead — go in your fuckin' car and press play!

Broken Teeth, with Federation of Horsepower. Monday, January 29, at the Hurricane.

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