The pop-punk Richmond, VA natives, Telltale, have released their new album Timeless Youth today via SharpTone Records. With that being said, The Girls At The Rock Show were given the opportunity to have a chat with John Carter (vocals). Not only is this band within a great genre, but then to see how they chose their band name makes me a bigger fan. It is one of my favorite short stories. I am a sucker for Edgar Allan Poe…but I guess Baltimore Poe not Richmond Poe. Haha.
See the full interview below:
Tell us how you became a band.
Telltale began writing music in the spring of 2017, shortly after a few of our previous bands dissolved. We had all been been playing locally and regionally in a few different projects for about 4 years, sharing multiple shows and even a few tours between various groups. The band was initially myself (John), Travis and Bryce. We had all really hit it off coming up in the scene, Travis was my roommate at the time, and Bryce was also in Travis’ former project. After rotating a couple people through as bassist, Tim, who had been doing a lot of our PR and booking at the time, approached the three of us to join. We already had such a good relationship with him that it all clicked, and the lineup filled out permanently.
How did you choose the name?
Our name comes from the Edgar Allan Poe short story “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Poe hails from Richmond and was always a favorite author for the four of us growing up. We opted for an alternate spelling of “Telltale” though, because hyphens aren’t an option on a lot of digital platforms.
What do you feel gave you the most inspiration to pick up an instrument?
I think everyone in this band has that one artist we grew up listening to and thinking “I want to be just like them.” Bryce, being the group’s metalhead, always goes with Jim Root from Slipknot. Travis is a sort of “classic man” if you will, and would call Led Zeppelin his main inspiration, citing both John Bonham on drums, and Jimmy Page on guitar. Tim really loves the pop-punk classics, particularly Tom Delonge of Blink-182.
Timeless Youth is out April 26th, can you tell our readers why they
As a band, this is really our transitional record. When we put out our first EP a year and a half ago, we wholeheartedly wanted to be a pop-punk act, and were still telling stories left over from high-school. Fast-forward to writing “Timeless Youth,” we realized that Telltale needed to be something really different. There are still tracks reminiscent of State Champs and Real Friends, but this album is really characterized by it’s B-sides. Those are the songs telling stories more true to us now, and painting the auditory picture of where this band is headed. If you skip this record, and don’t start listening now, the next chapter will not make sense, so just sit back and pay attention.
Favorite song off the new EP, Timeless Youth.
Collectively, we as a band like “Rose” the most. It’s the track most different from the rest of the record, and really points in the direction our band is headed sonically. We’ve been looking to pull more influence from our rock roots for quite some time, and this song does that. It’s also the most honest that I’ve ever been with myself lyrically, which really paid off on the back end.
Three words that describe the Telltale’s sound?
The three P’s.
Punchy, Poppy, Powerful.
What is the most important album in your personal collection and why?
Everyone would have an extremely different answer, but mine would have to be The 1975’s first self-titled LP. That record came out the week before I started my junior year of high school, and pretty much defined the next two years of my life. It was there through fights, funerals, first-dates, and somehow always offered the perfect soundtrack for each moment. The incredible thing about that record is its ability to create a visual picture from a sonic narrative. I really hope to accomplish that with our music, especially going in to write our first full-length.
The three must have songs for any road trip
On the road there are three big songs we always come back to, just because they’re fun and easy to sing along with: Don Broco – “Come Out to LA,” The 1975 – “Chocolate” (or sometimes the Knuckle Puck cover), and The Story So Far – “Things I Can’t Change.”
Is there usually a common method to songwriting for the band?
“Collaboration” is the best way to describe it. Usually someone will come forward with a few riffs, and someone else will have a few hooks or one-liners. When we identify two that pair particularly well, the song is then built out from there, with every member adding their own particular flair, or providing suggestions to improves other’s parts. Bryce and Travis have both become pretty good at recording, so it makes for a very easy exchange of ideas while writing.
Where do you want to see yourself as a band in five years
Europe, Japan, Central America, the West Coast. Anywhere but sitting on the couch at home. As much as we love writing, we all thrive off of the live shows. The opportunity to experience as many places, and share our music with as many people as possible is always the main goal. Thanks for the chat!
Be sure to pick up the new EP Timeless Youth available April 26th!