“TELECOMO IS A THREE-PIECE GARAGE-POP OUTFIT WHO RELEASED THEIR DEBUT FULL-LENGTH, FOR SALE, THIS MONTH THROUGH RECORD CENTRE RECORDS. ALANNA WHY SAT DOWN WITH GUITARIST AND VOCALIST ADAM SAIKALEY AND BASSIST GARY FRANKS TO DISCUSS BASKETBALL AND CAPITALISM (DRUMMER PAT JOHNSON WAS AWAY ON A TRIP TO MYANMAR).”
Interview by Alana Why
WHEN AND WHY DID TELECOMO FORM?
Adam Saikaley: January 2016 was the first time we rehearsed. We got together, the three of us, to watch a basketball game in November 2015. The concept for the band started from me singing in the shower one morning in July 2015.
WHAT WERE THE SONIC TOUCHSTONES THAT YOU WERE DRAWING FROM FOR THIS PROJECT?
Adam: I was listening to the first two records of The Kinks a lot when I was writing these songs. I think I was trying to write a Kinks record.
Gary Franks: I love The Stooges . . . There’s no hiding. They did a lot of weird stu , but it’s right upfront.
“You have to ease people into almost a theatrical mindset”
WHEN ID YOU KNOW YOU WERE READY TO MAKE A RECORD WITH TELECOMO?
Adam: We played our first show in April 2016 and we had already booked our studio session [for the album] before that. I think we wanted to capture the energy that we had. We weren’t exhausted, the tunes were fresh. We were in the most healthy position a band could be in.
WHERE DID YOU RECORD THE ALBUM?
Adam: We recorded it at Seaside Lounge in Park Slope, Brooklyn [with] Jonathan Schenke . . . We played our tape release at Black Squirrel Books on a Thursday night [and] that Friday morning we drove down to New York. We didn’t sleep that night . . . We went into the studio and worked there for about 10 hours and went back the next day to do all the vocals. Gary had me drink a bottle of bourbon [laughs]. It got a result.
WHAT WAS THE RESULT OF THE BOURBON?
Gary: Just to loosen him up. I nd that sometimes when you’re recording vocals, you have to ease people into almost a theatrical mindset. You have to put on a character for this song, a character for that song.
Adam: He was like, “On this song, you’re LeBron James!”
WHY THE ALBUM TITLE, “FOR SALE”?
Adam: It’s personally my favourite song on the record . . . That song is about having experienced being on the bottom end. That’s one of my favourite songs on the album. I really love the line, “There was a time when I tried to get by on a hundred bucks a week.” Is that true?
Yes, it’s true. It was just a situation I was in, in between jobs. I had worked for the CBC for six years and with all the cuts from the Harper government they closed down the department I was in. So in between there and finding work, I was doing one night of solo jazz a week. I was going in debt . . . I feel exposed [laughs].
That’s the most relatable song though. A lot of people have been in those periods, or in that period now, or feel the constant stress of trying to find a job. And it just doesn’t happen, it’s impossible.
That’s why it’s my favourite song. I feel like in a minute and change I was able to capture a lot of shittiness of living in cap- italism . . . There’s someone who’s underem- played and there’s someone who’s overem- ployed, and they’re both in the shit.
GARY, WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG ON THE ALBUM?
Gary: The track where I show o the most is “Long Gone.” That one hits hard . . . When I lis- ten to back to that, I’m so proud. I talked a fair amount [to the band] about needing a sports arena song, “We need an anthem!” And that so far is the closest we’ve come to it.
Adam: I think “Turn Back” is the best song on the record. The lyrics are the most sincere, they’re the most personal to me . . . It’s about meeting somebody and you’re in a situation where you’re good to go and the other person’s not ready to be in a relationship. And that’s a really heartbreaking thing to be in, because it’s of nobody’s fault.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR TELECOMO?
Adam: We’re playing the opening night of Bluesfest. We’re playing the Blacksheep stage [opening] for Death From Above 1979. We have a couple of new songs cooking right now and opposite to when the band started it, we’re letting these simmer . . . We know what our sound is, so we’re letting these songs grow into that.
Check Telecomo’s EP “For Sale”: