Teleman make slick, elegant indie-pop; stripping things back and mesmerising audiences with their introspective lyrics and quieter grooves. We caught up with the band to find out more about working with Bernard Butler, touring with the likes of Maximo Park and Connan Mockasin to finally releasing their critically acclaimed debut album out this week.
Your progression seems to have been very natural, how have the last few months been in the lead up to the album?
It’s been the busiest few months of my whole life I think, lots of intense rehearsing and then lots of travelling and performing. Prior to the tour we were busy working out how we were going to perform these songs, Each song presented a new challenge in how to adapt it for our live show.
It must be really exciting to have the new material out there and ready to share?
It’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for, doing support slots for the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Maximo Park and Connan Mockasin was great fun, but the whole time we were thinking, these aren’t our fans, we want to be playing to people who have heard us. Going to these smaller venues to play these intimate shows where people have actually paid to see you, has been really special.
I know that Paul Smith from Maximo Park is really into hand picking his support bands, what was it like on the road with them?
It was quite daunting at first because their music is quite far removed from us, it’s much more high-octane, a completely different energy level. He’s a performer, an entertainer and he’s got a great voice. Comparatively our music is more introspective, we were worried that we would be slightly out of place with their crowd and on a few occasions I think we were.
these aren’t our fans, we want to be playing to people who have heard us
What was it like working with Bernard Butler producing your debut album?
He has the ability to create a defining feel to a collection of songs and make them stick together perfectly. He understood how to make our music more accessible and more impactful without just scrapping everything we bought in, so of the demos I brought into the studio, some of them he tidied up and replaced parts, others we started from scratch.
You say that fiction plays into your writing, has this always been the case?
There’s always a healthy mixture of fact and fiction within the lyrics. Some songs are completely fictitious and imagined, while others are talking about personal experiences, memories or feelings, some are just a stream of consciousness. Sometimes it feels like the melody is choosing the words rather than myself.
Teleman have been very visually striking so far, especially with the Cristina video, where did that concept come from?
From the outset myself and Jonny talked about a video for Cristina, we knew that we didn’t want to be in it ourselves and we knew we wanted it to be very simple and graphical. It was almost stupid, it was like an anti-video. People have used that design forever, it’s simple but gentle and understated.
Is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to over the summer?
We’re doing Secret Garden Party, I’m really looking forward as I’ve never been there. People always say it’s one of the best festivals so I hope it lives up to my expectations.
Field Day will be a big one for you also…
That’s a strange one because it’s at the end of the road where I live, I can walk there which is quite nice. Another great lineup too.
Do you try to stay aware of new music then?
I’m shamefully unaware actually, I’ve had my head buried in the sand for the past year. This summer I’m going to start discovering new music and fill my head up.
Having a break paid off though, the album is here…
Sometimes when you’re working on an album you have to shut yourself away, it can be distracting when you keep listening to the radio and hear music that other people are making. Even if you think that it’s not influencing you it can be sub-consciously, when I’m working on my own music I try to stay isolated for that reason.
Is there a particular track that you’re most proud of on the record?
The song ‘Not In Control’, it’s not an official album track, but it’s hidden at the end. We put it on at the last minute, one of the most honest lyrically and a live favourite, which is why we recorded it actually.
Buy: Teleman – Breakfast
Live: Heaven – 22nd October