By paul

Andy interviewed the boys from Tellison before their show at the KCLSU in London last week. Here’s what they had to say….

Punktastic: Hello guys introduce yourselves and what you do in Tellison.

Stephen Davidson: I’m Stephen Davidson. I play guitar and sing in Tellison.

Peter Phillips: I’m Peter. I play guitar in Tellison.

Henry Danowski: I’m Henry Danowski. I play drums in Tellison.

PT: How are you all doing today, are you excited about the show?

SD: A mixture of excited and shitting myself!

PP: That’s sounds about right. It’s the biggest headline show we’ve done so far.

SD: It’s over twice as big as the last one.

PT: How well has it sold so far?

SD: It’s done pretty well. We sold the capacity of the last venue we played in London in advanced ticket sales, so that’s confirmed our suspicions to move up a step. We played here with Flobots back in September – a bit of a weird one – but we really liked the venue, and thought that if we’re going to play bigger, let’s play here.

PT: Now you’ve just released a remix album, ‘Contact! Contact! Remixed’. How did that all come about?

PP: That’s Henry’s baby.

HD: I came up with the idea when I as studying over in America. All my friends were really into electro, and messing around with songs. After we recorded the album, I had to go back to school and I gave the tracks to some mates to mess around with. Some of what they did sounded really cool, and over the next year and a half, I got other friends to do them and send them around. Then we suddenly had the whole record. We also didn’t have anything to put out at the moment and we thought it’d be a good thing to fill the gap.

PP: It’s the last thing we’re going to do from the first record so it ties everything up, it’s a full stop.

PT: Did you get any remixes back that you thought, ‘no there’s no way we can use that’?

HD: I got a couple! There were a few that came back that were pretty shocking. After I got all my friends to do some, I ran out of friends so I started sending some to people on Myspace who had asked for them, and a few of those came back that were really really bad!
The whole thing though, it’s nice because we know the songs so well, it’s cool to hear them in a different way.

PP: Some of the songs are just completely so far removed from what they were originally, it’s nice.

HD: There’s quite a bit of it’s that whole sort of electro/house thing, I think it’s quite easy to do that sort of thing with our music. The whole Digitalism/indie electro thing really fits to some of the songs. There’s some other stuff though that is even weirder!

PT: It’s sold out already on the online store…

HD: Yeah, we only did 200 copies because that’s all we could afford, and we only sold it at a fiver, because we didn’t want to make money off it, and I think we’ve down to the last four copies upstairs.

PT: Are you planning on re-pressing it?

HD: I don’t think we’ll re-press but we’ll put it on iTines sooner or later for a digital release.

PT: You guys have been knocking around now for a few years, and it finally seems you’re cracking into the mainstream consciousness…

PP: I think it was ’05 we started?

SD: Yeah, ’05 with this line up and when we started being serious. When we started we were quite young and I was still at school. We all had to work around that and we’ve all been off in different places. Tellison has always been a part-time thing thus far, which I think we’re all quietly proud of. We’ve never been able to be a full time band. We’ll see tonight how things have paid of so far!

PT: You’ve grown up as a band through the whole Gravity DIP/Banquet Records community, and those two labels have released most of your previous efforts. Did you consider taking the remix album to them?

HD: Well once it was finished, I wanted to put it out myself because I’d gotten so far with it on my own.

SD: We like the idea of it being super-limited, this really special thing for people that have been really interested in us, people who follow us on myspace and so on. Yes it’s a full stop to the album, but it’s also a thank you to people, because we all felt it was a nice was of saying thanks very much for coming to the shows. We’ve got some new awesome stuff coming soon.

PT: So where are you guys at the moment in terms of writing a new record?

SD: I would say we’re maybe 60% done. We’re playing a bunch of songs tonight, hopefully you’ll like them. They’re a bit kind of slower I think. We’ve replaced that youthful abandon with a bit more intelligence and musicality!

PT: Did you produce the ‘remixed’ artwork for the album yourselves?

HD: It was a friend of mine, Alex Curits, she’s amazing. She did the artwork for the record and did all our t-shirt designs and the cover for the single ‘Gallery’. With the remix I thought would be cool if it was inverted, and we asked her to do it and she came up with it, and we all love it. I think I love it more than the original artwork!

PP: Yeah I do as well!

SD: If any bands want to use her, it’s Thr33 Designs, I think she did some Gallows artwork as well.

PT: Tonight is your biggest headline show so far, and you’ve got quite a line-up supporting. Did you get to choose the support bands yourself?

SD: With this show we worked with Live Nation and they were really into Canterbury, a band we weren’t really aware of but I think we heard the name through touring with Furthest Drive Home. I’m really looking forward to seeing them. Super Tennis are a band we all have been meaning to play with for a while. Loverman are a band we’ve known members of for years and we thought it’d be good to get them out with us as well. We try not to get into a rut of playing with the same bands because it’s so easy to start playing with your mates bands and it’s obvious who the support bands are going to be. We try hard to mix it up a bit! I think for this show, some people have gone ‘Who the fuck are these people’? At the same time I’d much rather go to a show and be awesomely surprised by a band I’ve never heard of. You don’t want to see the same show over and over again.

PT: What’s 2009 got in store from Tellison then? Will you be back out on the road again soon?

SD: Yeah definitely. I can tell you this now, it’s being announced tonight, we’re the main support for the Living End tour which is hitting up Norwich, London and Manchester. The London show is Koko on the 22nd April. We’re doing that then we’ve got some more quiet shows coming up, but mostly we’re focusing on writing and finishing the album, sorting out labels and that kind of thing – I’m in my final year of uni as well so I’ve got my finals to do as well! Once we’ve done, that’ll be the first time in the band’s history we’ll be full time, and we’re all so excited for that. That and making an even better record than we did before, I think we’ve more than got it in us. I’m really excited about going to the studio again!

PT: Well enjoy it up there tonight and thanks for your time.

SD: Thanks, and thank you to Punktastic for supporting us, we always appreciate you taking an interest in us!

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]