Telehope is a fresh indie pop outfit from Cincinnati, Ohio. The 5-piece formed in late 2016 and is comprised of Mark Brad (vocals/guitar), Adolph Goetz (guitar), Ben Malson (keys), Nate Trammel (drums), and Brett Sackenheim (bass). Telehope quickly released their debut, self-produced full-length album and sold out their first hometown show in January. Chasing Dreams consists of eight promising tracks featuring catchy vocals like those of “Ghost” and “Joy.” Learn more about the guys and their plans for 2017 from their responses. Be sure to check out the music video for “Have My Heart” below and keep an eye out for local shows.
Three words to describe the band?
Joyful, Vibey, Dancy
What is the story/meaning behind the name, Telehope?
We were searching for a unique name that stood out and directly reflected our goal as a band. We decided that our biggest goal was to portray “hope” through our music. After lots of discussion and over a year of searching for a name (to no avail) we decided to create a new word. “Tele” is Greek for looking to the distance, and hope obviously means hope. Our name basically means that no matter what you are going through, keep your head up and stay focused on hope. Even when times feel painfully dark, there is always a glimmer of hope– focus on it. We had many people tell us the hope our music brought them– one girl even deciding not to commit suicide because she heard our songs! Our mission is hope.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Ben: For me, there’s pretty much no such thing as spare time. 😉 When I’m not doing the things I have to do, I’m writing music, researching marketing techniques for social media for Telehope, asking for advice from industry professionals, etc. On the non-music side I really enjoy playing games with my family and friends, hanging out at the mall, exercising, and throwing a baseball with my brother.
Who is the pickiest eater?
We’re all 18-21 year old guys, so we eat anything and everything… but don’t give Brett peanuts.
How often and how long do you practice together?
We practice at minimum 1/week. We try to get 2 days in each week, but we are all very busy so it can be difficult to do sometimes. Our practices are typically about 2 hours of solid rehearsal. The cool thing about translating our recorded music into the live setting is that we can be as creative as we want and change things; there’s not box we have to live in. In addition to dedicated practice time, we very much enjoy just hanging out and spending time with each other. We are all best friends and wouldn’t have it any other way.
How would you describe your writing process?
Adolph: We don’t exactly have a set writing process. It varies pretty drastically song to song. Whatever feels natural. We’re all very open to different styles and different approaches and it all seems to happen very organically. Personally, most of what I write is in the middle of the night.
Ben: I’d describe it as being different and unpredictable. Sometimes a song will come to us in the middle of the night and we whip out our voice memo app on our phone and record that idea. Sometimes a song will take hours, days, and even years to craft into just how we want it. That’s one of my favorite parts of writing, it can take 2 hours or it can take 2 years. You never know. I’m most inspired when I’m sitting down at my Nord with a Pro Tools or Logic session up. There’s infinite possibilities on what sounds will be created.
Self-producing your record must have been really fulfilling. How long did it take to create Chasing Dreams? Do you plan to self-produce in the future?
Ben: It was and is incredibly fulfilling, and really scary too. On one hand, it’s freeing to have complete creative control, and on the other hand, it’s up to me as the producer to make things sound right. I run a freelance producing business (Knight Owl Studios) so I get lots of practice producing, engineering, mixing, and mastering other artists music. By producing many different genres of music within my business I learn so much about different sounds and ways of writing and producing music that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned. This is a huge advantage for me to gain ideas for Telehope’s songs. Chasing Dreams took over a year and a half from writing the first song to the final master being completed. I plan on self-producing until it becomes necessary or more beneficial for a better producer to work on our music.
Can you talk about the inspiration behind the “Have My Heart” music video?
Adolph wrote the song a couple years ago and we asked the very talented Cory Woodruff to direct the music video. The lyrics very vividly tell a story about the early stages of falling in love and Cory (along with Daniel Chimusoro) did a great job bringing those words to life with the video. It was very special to have Amber Kniffin act as the girl in the video because she and Mark are living the lyrics in their personal lives which translated very well to the screen. We shot the video on an incredibly cold day on top of the 86 Club in Cincinnati, but it was worth it.
What are your favorite tracks to play live?
At the moment our favorite tracks to play live are probably “Joy” and “Have My Heart”. There is so much positive energy in those two songs and we love the energy on stage and in the crowd with those songs. People seem to really connect to them and it’s fun to feed off of their smiles. Ben loves literally any song where he is playing tambourine. Who would’ve thought head banging while playing that thing could bring him so much happiness.
What do you typically do post-gig?
IHOP. It’s the band tradition. It’s never too late for breakfast. One of our favorite things about playing shows though is talking to anyone and everyone afterwards and getting to know the fans that come see us perform.
What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as a band?
Being blessed with generous friends, and seeing hard work pay off. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for the countless amount of work our friends and family have put into Telehope because they believe in us. We have our team of people who are always helping us out, they know who they are. It’s really cool to see people who work with us get noticed and get job offers and gain success through helping us. Also, there’s not much more rewarding than coming up with a plan, following through with that plan, and it paying off, whether it be selling out an album release show or writing new music.
Any new music we should check out?
Ben: Really looking forward to COIN’s new album. I’ve been waiting to hear this for a year and I’m really excited. Check out Hippo Campus’s new record, Colony House, and soon to be new music from our friends in Circle It.
As for Telehope music, we are just starting to write for our second album! In the meantime, we just released a cover of The Chainsmokers / Coldplay’s new song “Something Just Like This”.
Favorite 90’s jam?
Ben: I honestly didn’t get into the world of listening to music until I was about 12 so I have no attachment to any 90’s bands/songs! One of my first favorite bands was Boston. I loved listening to their sound, it really intrigued me. I fell in love with their self-titled album and practically learned every song on guitar one summer. Joe Satriani was another favorite of mine.
What is something odd you want fans to know about you?
For some odd reason Adolph hates eating off of yellow plates. He says it changes the flavor of the food or something. Who knows.
Bigfoot: real or hoax?
He’s out there. He’s watching. THEY are watching. Always.
What can we expect from Telehope in 2017?
2017 has been, and will continue to be, a huge year for Telehope. You can expect new music this summer and a brand new album later this year. We’ve been blown away by the support and exposure we’ve been getting already. We’ve been trying to keep our fans engaged on social media by posting pictures regularly, keeping up with our weekly Telehope Tuesday 30 second cover video, and creating music videos based on songs from our recently released Chasing Dreams album. We will continue chasing our dreams and telling about the hope we have. We’re very excited for this year.