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Quick introductory interview.

Interview with Tel.
1. Who are you and how did the band get started?

Michael: My name is Michael and I play guitar in Tel. The drummer of the band, Matt, and I used to play in a black metal band known as Tond, which we ended up leaving. We eventually started jamming together again, and one day I decided to ask him if he wanted to start another band with me. He agreed and we immediately began looking for other members. Somehow, things fell into place, and now Tel consists of some of the best musicians that I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

Dante: My name is Dante, and I am the vocalist of Tel. Michael, Matt, and our bassist, Read, had already formed a group by the time I came into the picture. I had been posting on Craigslist, seeking out people who wanted to start a gothic/doom project, and sure enough, I saw they were seeking a singer for a sludge/doom band. The rest is history.

2. Why did you choose Doom, and how would you describe your style?

Michael: I think I was drawn towards music in the first place because of the emotional connection I felt towards it. I grew up listening to blues and classic rock, but one day I discovered Electric Wizard, and their music resonated with me in a way that I had never felt before. It was exactly what I had been looking for. I had always wanted to hear and play heavy music that you could feel in the pit of your stomach, and I think doom metal is the perfect genre for that.

Dante: I grew up living off of doom metal and gothic rock. 90's bands like My Dying Bride, Katatonia, Theatre of Tragedy, and Paradise Lost have helped form the particular style I enjoy now. While the music of Tel was more or less boxed into sludge/doom in the beginning, I would say that our overall style is a flexible mix of post-metal, sludge, doom, psychedelic, and even elements of modern death/doom.

3. What would you consider to be the high point of your career so far?

Michael: We're still fairly new, but I'm happy and excited about our progress so far. Just having a demo out that I'm proud of is a huge deal for me. We put so much time and effort into the music we write, so it's nice to have some actual recordings of our songs. I also think that the recording has allowed us to move forward and progress as a band. To me, it's a good indication that we're heading in the right direction.

Dante: Any live show is a high point for me. I had never realized how addictive it is to perform live until it finally happened, and I'm in love with it. This is my first serious band, and the only band I've played live shows with, so every time we play a gig for a nice full house of people feels like an accomplishment.

4. Which three bands most influenced you?

Michael: This is always such a difficult question to answer. Off the top of my head I'd say the band Mastodon has had the biggest influence on me as a guitar player. Once I really started getting into them, it completely changed how I approached playing the guitar and writing music. Other than that my taste in music seems to change over time, and I go through phases where I get really into a specific genre. I love doom metal, but I also love black metal, jazz, classic rock, blues, etc. It would take all day for me to list all the bands that have influenced me as a musician.

Dante: It's a mix between Katatonia, Dead Can Dance, and Funeral. Like I said, I'm all about goth and doom metal. I have taken influence from it vocally, lyrically, and generally stylistically. I like to think of Tel as being a very experimental band, as we all have very different backgrounds that meld together very well when we incorporate them into a song. I try to add as much "atmosphere" and "bleakness" to my contributions whenever necessary, just because that's what I enjoy hearing in music.

5. What are your plans for the near future?

Michael: We're working on getting merchandise, playing more shows, and doing more recording.

Dante: Ditto. I'm hoping to get some CD copies of our first demo printed as some point soon, and maybe eventually, we can start thinking of looking for a label who might want to pick us up.

6. If there is anything you would like to add, the last words are yours.

Michael: In Tel, we're trying to push the boundaries of what metal is and what it can be. We're not trying to put ourselves in a box, play things safe, or fit a mold. Our music is a combination of each member's influences and ideas, and I think that's our greatest strength. Overall we're excited about what we're doing, and we hope to continue to evolve and grow as musicians.

Dante: Indeed, Tel "thinks outside of the box" when it comes to genre labels. We are not simply a "Doom" band, but a mixture of things in and outside of depressive sounding music. Instead of trying to follow tried and true patterns, we let the music create itself, and I think that's what will end up gaining us more attention.

Visit the Tel bandpage.

Interviewed on 2017-08-22 by doom-metal.com.
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