If your introduction to Telekinetic Yeti wasn’t their video for “Stoned and Feathered,” then you may be surprised to learn that the band is a two-piece. They achieve a full and wide-ranging sound with creative beats, fills, and drum rolls from Anthony Dreyer and hypnotic, driving riffs from guitarist/vocalist Alex Bauman that could easily fool the unsuspecting listener. Their music is powerful and diverse in its composition, and each song stands out from the others. It is hard to pull a highlight from the album because of their dynamic songwriting; they oscillate from communing with UFOs to tromping and crashing through the rolling plains and cornfields of… Iowa, like the mythical beast from which they took their name. Some stoner metal bands have a tendency to sit on a riff until it becomes dull and monotonous, but the Yeti keeps things interesting with syncopation, space, interspersed and alternating effects, and dramatic transitions.
Shay Henderson got the opportunity to pose some questions to the band via email, and their responses were thoughtful and comprehensive.
Indy Metal Vault: We would love to get to know you guys a bit more personally before you both play FireBreather. Who are you guys?! How’d you get started in music, what made you turn to stoner metal and who are some of your influences?
Telekinetic Yeti: We are Alex and Anthony of Telekinetic Yeti based out of Dubuque, IA. We both started playing guitar when we were kids, we first met each other when we were about 18. Anthony also started playing drums around that time. We’ve both been in various bands since we were like 16 years old, and we are both about 30 now. We started jamming as Telekinetic Yeti in 2015. The vibe, feel, and tones of stoner metal are something we both really love. Kind of that throwback to a 70s heavy rock kind of sound, but arguably a bit heavier. A lot of classic heavy rock music is what inspired us to start playing instruments in the first place. When we started this band we just kind of set out to do our own thing. We knew we wanted it to be heavy and groovy. We never really set strict genre walls or anything for ourselves. We are also influenced by lots of music that isn’t stoner rock at all, bands like the Mars Volta, the Fall of Troy, and Rosetta just to name a few. We like to keep our songs pretty open to being able to do lots of different types of things. We try to have each song have its own unique personality.
IMV: What was it like getting started in Dubuque, Iowa? Is the music scene small? If so, how did you successfully find your way into the music industry and what was the journey like?
TY: We have both been in bands in the past based out of Dubuque Iowa, so we were treading familiar territory when we started this band. Dubuque is a town of about 60,000 people and the music scene is not very big, but the people involved with it are passionate and cool and there’s always a good amount of talent out here. The challenge of playing in this town is there’s really only so many Dubuque bands to do shows with, and there’s only so many people in this town that are interested in checking out heavy underground music. If you get 100 people to show out here that is a really great turnout. I think crowds here can also be a little tougher to get out of their shell than most places, which I think is a good thing cause if you can win over a crowd in Dubuque I think you can win over a crowd almost anywhere.
As far as our success in the music industry so far I think there’s been some key points that have helped us. The music video for our song “Stoned and Feathered” really took off on YouTube, which helped generate a good amount of buzz and interest in the band before the album even came out. When our album came out we had great reviews of the album coming in from probably 30 different websites, which really got word spreading. A few months before we released the album, Steve Joh from Prosthetic Records also introduced himself and said he had caught a few of our shows and really loved what we were doing. We’ve became good friends since then and he’s definitely given us some good advice. He also told the booking agency Tonedeaf Touring that they should give us a listen. When we were on our first real self-booked tour in support of our album release, Erik Jarvis from Tonedeaf Touring called and said he wanted to work with us. Since we started working with them, they’ve set us up on tours with Weedeater, Truckfighters, and 1000mods. Tonedeaf is a pretty legendary agency for booking this kind of music, so we feel really thankful to be working with them.
IMV: When did you decide that Telekinetic Yeti was meant to be a two piece? What are the pros and cons from your personal experience of being a two-man band?
TY: We decided that right off the bat. The whole idea of Telekinetic Yeti was for it to be a two piece. We decided to do that because we’ve been in so many bands over the years and having members that are reliable and that can tour was always an ongoing challenge. After spending the majority of our music careers in a never ending purgatory of setback after setback, we said fuck it. We knew we could rely on each other so we figured let’s cut the fat and do everything to make the best two piece band that we could. I think we have nothing but good feelings about being a two piece, it has made life a million times easier. It has allowed us to focus strictly on writing and touring and working towards our future. Being able to keep that steady progression going has been what’s making us successful.
IMV: FireBreather is less than a month away! How did you guys hear about the festival and get on the lineup?
TY: Our friend Drew from Archarus asked us if we’d want to play. We met him when he was running sound when we played a show with Drude at Kuma’s Corner in Indianapolis on our first tour. We knew it was gonna be awesome, so of course we wanted to be part of it!
IMV: Is there anything in particular that you both are excited about pertaining to FireBreather?
TY: Well we played a show with GreenBeard in Austin on our last tour, and those guys are a really great band. So we are stoked to play with them again, and also we became friends with Toke online and we are really looking forward to playing with them for the first time. I’m excited to see Drew’s band Archarus play for the first time as well. I know the people putting this fest on have great music taste, so we are really excited for the whole thing. I’m sure we will be blown away by some of the bands on there that we haven’t gotten a chance to check out yet.
IMV: Do you remember the last time you played in Indianapolis? If so, did you have any memorable experiences?
TY: We’ve only played Indianapolis once at this point, and it was at Kuma’s Corner. It was a good normal show and we played with Drude and Steed, who were both great. Devils Trumpet Brewing was out there and had some really killer beers for us to try when we got there, and gave us some free shirts with Bigfoot carrying a case of beer, which of course we loved.
IMV: Your debut album, Abominable, has been ranked the top album in some of the biggest metal media outlets! Congratulations on that achievement! You guys are teasing new music. Is Telekinetic Yeti working on another album or EP? Will we be hearing any new songs at FireBreather or are you still going to be showing the world just how badass Abominable is?
TY: Yes, we have been working on writing for a new full length album, I think we have seven or so new songs written. Once we get another couple songs done we will be booking studio time, but depending on how busy our tour schedule is we probably won’t get to the studio till around the end of the year. We will be playing at least a few new songs at FireBreather, as well as a good amount of material from our first album Abominable.
IMV: What can the FireBreather audience that have never seen you live expect on stage?
TY: It’s gonna be wild, groovy, and very loud. We’ve been told that some of the lights we use when we are on stage are as bright as the sun, so maybe bring the sunglasses and tanning lotion.
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