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In Words: Taletellers

- Alan Costa - April 2011 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

© Taletellers

Alan Costa - April 7th 2011 (by email)

Taletellers just released their second album called Radicalizer and as I don't know much about the Germans I shoot them some questions. Thanks to Alan Costa for taking care of the answers!

What's the story of the band name? Why Taletellers?

Taletellers were formed in late summer 2005, with me (Alan Costa) and Stefan Kuhn being the first band members, after I split up my previous Band Taletellers Soulsellers.
That is where the band name Taletellers derives from.

Taletellers was founded in 2005 and in 2006 your EP The Missiles Of Mercy was released. For the artwork you hired Mark Wilkinson, quite unusual for an unsigned band. How important was it for you to get the 'right package' for your EP?

It is always important for us to get the right package. We always wanted to work with people who know what they're doing and who are good in what they're doing and Mark is one of the best, if not THE best artwork artist.
So, when it came to design the artwork of The EP, I contacted him and he agreed to work with us. That was very cool of him, because we had no deal at that time, nothing, just our EP.

Bad Motherfucker was for quite awhile in the internet music charts on #1. Big surprise? Did the positive feedback for the EP gave you a creative boost?

It was a surprise that we made it to number one, but it was not that big surprise for us that it was that song - Bad Motherfucker - which was received so well, because the song always does well live and people seem to like it. So yes the success - even on such a small scale - gave us a good boost and the confirmation that we were on the right path.

In 2007 you started recording your debut album which was released in 2008. Have you been satisfied with the way Detonator was received?

Critics were generally positive towards Detonator. Rock Hard, Metal Hammer gave good reviews and received the album well, the Swiss metal magazine Metal Factory gave it 9/10 in a review and we reached the third place of the sound check in Metal Factory. But there are always people who don't like your album, so they were also some bad reviews, but they were far and few between. But we don't give a shit about that. You can't make it right for everyone.

In 2009 you toured Europe as support of Alestorm and Grave Digger. How was it to be on tour? How did the Grave Digger fans treat you?

The tour was great and a cool experience. The fans treated us very good, even if we did not fit quite so well in the line up musically. We're a rock'n'roll band with metal influences and Grave Digger and Alestorm come from different metal genres than we. But nevertheless the fans liked us which was great. I have to say that Grave Digger and Alestorm were also very cool to tour with and they treated us very good as well and that made the whole experience very memorable.

Any stories to share from that tour?

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

Now you have your second album out which is called Radicalizer. Why did you choose this title? Because it represents the album best?

We knew that the new album would be called Radicalizer before we even wrote the first song for the album.
I think that during our European tour in 2009 I already came up with the title and everybody liked it. It is catchy and in today's crazy world – the title kinda fits what's going on.

For the 3rd time you hired Mark Wilkinson for the artwork for Radicalizer. How is the artwork tied in?

As for the concept of the artwork, we wanted it to be open to interpretations. We just wanted to set the overall thematic frame, but it is up to the viewer what he or she really wants to see. At first sight, the concept seems to be pretty simple: two-face, the classic good / bad concept. But if you look closely you may ask yourself, what side of the face is really the good side, and which is the bad one? Why is the halo above the two sides, not just above one? What side drives the guy to shoot himself? Which side of him is the real one, which one is the disguise? Which side is really the radicalized one? Can I be radicalized? Can my best friend be radicalized? Can everybody be radicalized? The artwork is of course also connected with the music / lyrics of the album. The word 'gun' is one thematic thread of the album, as well as death / suicide and radicalization. Like I said, in our opinion Mark is one of the best, if not the best cover artist in the history of rock music, so we're really happy to have the opportunity to work with him and he did once again a phenomenal job!

How much did the line-up change effected the progress of the recordings?

Luckily it did not affect the recording progress at all. Pascal Louis - our original bassist - recorded all tracks on the album except 3 songs. He had to leave by the end of the recording sessions due to job-related issues. So we were lucky to find a replacement bassist - Michael Morgenthal - very quickly and he did the rest of the album.

Was it difficult to find a permanent replacement?

Well, 2 months ago Michael also had to leave the band due to job-related reasons and due to lack of time. So we had to find a new bass player once again. But the cool thing is, Dennis was the first one we tried and after the first audition / rehearsal with Dennis we knew we had our man. Dennis fits perfectly in the band, both musically and personality-wise. So it was very easy.

What inspired you musically? Lyrically? Is Sadistico (German title of the Clint Eastwood thriller Play Misty For Me) inspired by the movie?

Sadistico is the German title of the Clint Eastwood thriller Play Misty For Me. The song is inspired by the movie, but in an unusual way. Because here comes the funny part: I've never seen the movie! I saw the title in a TV magazine and I liked the sound of it and I thought that it would make a great song title. So I had a quick flip through the plot description and that inspired me to write a song about a sick relationship which ends in disaster. The two main characters of the song have totally different ideas about how their relationship should be. Is it just a sexual thing? Is it real love? One thing is for sure: one of them will bleed at the end.

Which song(s) would you like to visualize? Who would you like to work with?

We have a cool script for The Lie in our minds. We would love to make a video for that song. I recently saw a video from the band Burden - Down With Denial. The video was directed by a guy named David Thelen. I think he did a great job. I would love to work with him.

By now you should got some feedback... Satisfied?

Well, the album was released 2 weeks ago in Europe and the US release is 2 weeks from now. So a lot of reviews from music magazines and online zines will still be coming in during the next few months.
But the feedback we get from our fans and friends so far is amazing, very very good! We are very proud of the album.

What about playing live? A few shows are announced, but what about another tour?

We would love to go on tour and we're working on it. We have to find the right package and generate enough money to do it. That's all I can say at the moment.

What's on your schedule for this year?

Playing live and writing new songs. We intend to release the next album in 2012.

I'm pretty confident that Taletellers will hit the road, and if they only play a one-off show in your area, then don't miss it!

Claudia Ehrhardt


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