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Chattanooga, TN, Tennessee, United States

Chattanooga, TN, Tennessee, United States
Band Rock Indie


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Still working on that hot first release.



Telemonster is an experimental pop/rock quintet from Chattanooga, TN. The group was formed by cousins Ben Vanderhart (guitar/vocals) and Josh Barrett (drums) in 2010, a few years after they moved from their respective homes in Iowa and New Mexico. Though they had been apart for most of their lives, the two found they had a mutual passion for music that seemed to be rooted in their bloodline. Their common interest in rock (from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead) and their love of technical composition (from Tchaikovsky to Miles Davis) also attracted bassist John-Michael Forman, pianist Dave Hess, and multi-instrumentalist Peter Griffis.

Telemonster released a three-track EP in 2011, and quickly followed up with a full-length album called A Girl I Knew in 2012. Vanderhart chose the title based on the albums closing lyric I wish Id known you as a girl and for the childhood picture of his wife plowing through a flock of pigeons which would be featured on the cover. While contemplating the title, Vanderhart discovered that J.D. Salinger had authored a short story by the same name, which also explored the themes of youth, innocence, and tentative love that he had tried to portray in the music. Having studied English literature in college, the influence of the story helped to affirm his concept for the album and the title stuck. Because he had written all the songs before the age of 21, Vanderhart also felt that this perspective on the glory and naivete of childhood was strangely self-referential and thereby more intriguing. To discuss the folly of youth at such a relatively young age seemed almost paradoxical, and yet the prospect of painting this window of time, creating a freeze frame of that frame of mind, was both humorous and engaging.

Telemonsters music has led audiences to draw comparisons to The Beatles, Modest Mouse, R.E.M., Grizzly Bear, James Mercer, The Zombies, and many others. This wide range of associations indicates the many influences at work in Telemonsters music, resulting in a distinctive sound that traverses many styles.

Band Members