top of page

INTERVIEW: The Word Alive

Absolutely smashing it in the Underworld, London (UK), The Word Alive proved they never fail to amaze. Singing all the hits, the crowd was responding accordingly from knowing all the lyrics to forming mosh pits! Even though this is something completely different to what Arizonian quintet spent most of their time in summer while playing on Vans Warped Tour, they have left some great memories for every single fan to remember.

Personally, from what Telle told me, the most standout point is that he has the most photogenic dog @colbythefrenchie… It was a pleasure speaking to the frontman and here is what he had to say about music industry, REAL, and more!

How is the UK Tour going so far?

Telle: It’s going pretty well and obviously this is a very busy time to tour. There is a bunch of bands over here right now but we are just having fun with every person who comes to our shows and making the most out of it. Tonight is going to be the biggest show of the tour. Obviously, London has a reputation for being the best show, I am sure we are gonna live up to it tonight!

How is it different from the recent Vans Warped Tour in the US?

Telle: Drastically different! One, we are in another country. Two, it is a small club show, you know? We are playing for like 200-500 people max a night. And Warped Tour – you are playing for a 1000-10,000 people. It’s a lot different! But, tour like this – every fan that comes is a fan who knows our band, probably knows all the bands; and it is just really exciting on the package! Whereas Warped Tour, you are playing for people who have never seen you before, or who might not know who you are. They might just be there waiting for the next band. So, there are a lot of differences between them for sure!

What makes you come back to the UK so often and were there any particular expectations coming again?

Telle: Aahh, I mean, we are just trying to grow. This is our 8th time playing over here and I think that each time we wanna leave a lasting impact with our fans and people who see our band play.

What has been the craziest fan experience so far?

Telle: Well, there is this one girl, who is here tonight; and that makes it … she’s been to every single show so far! And there is a group of kids who, up until last night, went to every single show. That’s pretty awesome – the fans who are willing to drive! I mean, that’s hundreds and hundreds of kilometres, maybe even thousands. Yeah, I think that’s pretty crazy!

What aspect of being a musician excites you the most?

Telle: I think it is a combination of things. One, when we are in the studio and we are laying out new songs for the first time; and then hearing those new songs live and having the fans react to it – that’s the second part of it.

What was the defining moment that made you pursue a career in music?

Telle: Aamm, I was in college and I just couldn’t stop thinking about wanting to be in a band and wanting to play shows, how can I make my band bigger, what can I do to practice to get better. I was at my favourite class and I just couldn’t pay attention as I was so dead-set on the band thing and it just clicked to me, you know? I have so much energy and effort that I want to put into this and I might as well… I mean, I’m better off like 100% or 0%. I am an ‘all or nothing’ type of person usually, so for me, I knew that my passion was driving me towards that. So, I gave into that!

What colour describes your band?

Telle: Colour? Hhmm, maybe a light shade of yellow or pink – something unexpected! Yeah, something passed out… YES, exactly! [laughs]

In what aspects does REAL differ from LIFE CYCLES?

Telle: I think, the majority of it is that one thing we maintained was the emotional connection of the songs and the lyrics. I think we brought that along from Life Cycles to Real, but I think in the rest of that album, the songs are bigger – there are heavier times, catchier times. I think everything about it – obviously the drums are the step up from all of our past records combined, because we never really had a combination of time and a drummer to sit down. We have never really written songs with a drummer before, until Luke. All the other songs were written in pro-tools, in pre-recorded drums for the most parts. Matt actually, who is out with us doing drum tech, recorded Life Cycles and we tried to spice things up as we were going, but our last drummer Justin quit 6 days before we went to the studio! And we just recorded way too many songs [laughs]. If we didn’t record the last songs in Life Cycles, we would have been able to make each song better, but we tracked 17 songs in the Life Cycles studio process. I think that kind of, not watered down the songs, but, I think, it just took away from what the songs could have been! That’s all the aspects of musically, vocally, even to extent lyrically… I think we were kind of in a place were we kind of took the songs further…

Tony: [comes in from the bathroom]. It’s not that bad compared to the smell before! [both laugh]

Telly: I hope you include that in the interview! Please do! [laughs]

Tony: YES! Embrace it!

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration?

Telle: Just life! Hhmm, for me, writing – I think, the biggest thing for us is that we want to write songs that mean something. You know, we want to write songs that we can relate to, but also fans. I mean, we’ve been through a lot as a band and individually, so… What I like to do is to hear the music… I mean, I try to write lyrics throughout the year even when we are not writing. Uumm, I like to listen to music and then what the music makes me feel; then I try to connect that with something I have already written that has happened – then it’s awesome. But, if it’s not, then write something new that is based on that feeling.

Where are you the happiest- on stage or in the studio?

Telle: Hhmm, uuhh, man that’s really hard! I LOVE the studio! I love creating, but I think that creating is without the passion that you can see in people’s eyes when you perform those songs. I think it is just as rewarding as… I think, the rewarding aspect comes in when you get on stage and you play those songs. As I said, they come to life in a way that you never thought. So, I think it’s really both. I do love the studio though. A lot of people get stressed or frustrated, angry and just want it to be over. I wish we could record an album for six months and do every little thing that we dream of, you know?

Looking back at your career, what would you have done differently?

Telle: Fuuhhh. I think, taking our time more with writing is one. Not writing maybe, but the recording process. Two, tour smarter, being a little bit more aware of what kind of tours are beneficial for our band and be more aware of the business side. You know, the business side can really hurt you. It hurt us just like many bands, but we are overcoming it. And that’s what we are trying to do!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Telle: Fuuhh, I mean, I would love to be playing gigantic shows – direct support for, you know, all my favourite bands that I love, or to be one of those bands, that become legendary within whatever genre you wanna call…I would love to…I think a lot of people are a little shy about answering that question honestly, but I think there is not a single band that wouldn’t admit, on the inside at least, that they would love to be playing nothing but sold out shows! I would love to be still playing, which is part of it! Hopefully, I’ll be married, I’ll have kids and take them around the world and that would be a goal! [laughs]

What would you change about the music industry?

Telle: People buying records that they like! [laughs] People supporting things that they enjoy and just really wanting to be positive about the music that they like and why they love bands. Instead of just talking about what they don’t like or what they hate. I think everyone should be positive about the things that they love – it would do a lot to a lot of bands. I think the negative talk makes the wrong bands bigger, instead of their favourite band playing good shows and trying to do their best. I think, positivity can change this genre a lot!

What do you think about online music sharing?

Telle: Hhmm, I would say, if you have a mind set, which is the minority… if you wanna listen to something and then you wanna buy it after – then cool. If you listen to something you don’t like, I don’t expect you to buy it! But there is just a great number of people who listen to something and they are just ‘Oh well, I’m just gonna have it for free’! I would change that maybe, but also, I am not so much against online sharing but the way it is shared! I think if there is a way to track how many people have downloaded a song or an album – to where there is a number that’s like… You might not have sold 100,000 albums, maybe you sold 50, but maybe there is 300,000 people downloading it. I feel like that should count for something . And that’s just a thought – I wish there was something like that…’cause, you know, it only hurts bands and distorts facts and figures. This is what I would say!

What are the biggest obstacles for bands?

Telle: Fuuhh, I mean, there are so many bands…standing out, being unique, being financially secure which is almost impossible for the first 5+ years being in a band. That’s the biggest obstacle I would say!

What’s you Celebrity crush?

Telle: Katy Perry!

Snog/Mary/Avoid (F*ck/Marry/Kill) – Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj

Telle: Kill – Nicki Minaj, Marry – Beyonce and f*ck Rihanna! [laughs]

One Direction or Justin Bieber

Telle: Justin Bieber! He at least has a talent! He could write and sing. One Direction is just…they don’t even play, they are sh*t! Like Justin, I know he can sing…[laughs]

Interviewer: 5SOS?

Telle: Oh, 5 Seconds Of Summer crushes both of them! That band is one of the biggest bands in the world now and they act like a band who is playing basement shows. Every person that I know who has met them and were hanging out with them – they said they are the nicest guys. They support bands like ours. You know, on their EP there is a poster of our band on their wall. And they are just really supportive of this kind of music as well. I have to say they crush everyone! [laughs]

Who is the funniest in the band?

Telle: Honestly, it is either Tony or Zack, but for different reasons! [laughs]

Tony: Naah, I think Zack.

Telle: I think Zack does the funniest things [laughs]

Tony: He is the f*cking funniest guy I know! [both laugh]

Telle: I don’t think he is the funniest…Justin is the funniest person that I’ve ever known! Zack – he does the funniest things that just no one else would ever do. Tony – he is more…he is good at telling stories! That kind of funny! [laughs]

Favorite junk food?

Telle: Frozen yogurt with sour gummy worms!

What’s the most ‘rock star’ thing that you’ve ever done?

Telle: Jumped off stage and drop kicked someone who was talking sh*t in their face!

Interviewer: Are you serious?

Telle: Oh yeah! [laughs] This was a sold out show to 3,000 people with The Parkway Drive! That was pretty sick! [laughs]

Boxers or briefs?

Telle: Briefs or nothing! Definitely, not boxers though. You have to pick them all the time, but briefs or nothing at all!

If you had to give up music – what would you do to be creative?

Telle: I would probably still try to be involved with music somehow, whether it is management or a label. I would still try to be involved with music!

Tell us anything else that you would like people to know about you.

Telle: I have the coolest dog in the world and she is awesome! You should follow her on Instagram. It’s @colbythefrenchie. She’s been in RockSound Magazine. She has been featured a lot in online stuff before. She is basically the most photogenic dog! Check her out – I’m not lying!


bottom of page