Telephone
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Telephone

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Discography

Self Titled EP- 2004
"Automatic"- Cobra Music 2007

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Bio

Telephone will release their debut full-length, “Telephone: Automatic”, on June 19, 2007 via Los Angeles and Chicago-based independent record label Cobra Music (distributed by Fontana Distribution).

You may remember Hedford as co-founder and drummer for Brit-pop darlings The Dandy Warhols.

Following a tumultuous relationship with lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor (then just Courtney Taylor), Hedford left at the first peak of the band’s popularity, following their Capitol Records debut, “Come Down”, propelled by their single “Not If You Were the Last Junkie On Earth”.

“I wasn’t having fun and the success meant nothing,” Hedford says of leaving The Dandy Warhols.

After his departure from the band, which is documented in the Dandy Warhols/Brian Jonestown Massacre documentary, “DiG!” (Palm Pictures), a bitter taste would remain after Hedford was forced to take legal action against Taylor-Taylor over royalties. Taylor-Taylor flat out told him, “You will get nothing”. Ironically in “DiG!” Taylor-Taylor claimed he gave his band “half” of his royalties. They would settle out of court.

Hedford, not deterred by this, would jump right back into music, drumming for a few local bands before forming a band with friends Paul Pulvirenti (Elliott Smith, No. 2, Jr. High) and Scott Fox (Crackerbash, Satan’s Pilgrims), as well as a revolving cast of bass players.

The band would soon settle on the name Telephone.

"I like the name Telephone because it’s so simple, but it captures a feeling," says Hedford, "like space travel or communication, but it's a bit retro, which fits the music we're playing."

In 2003 they released their EP “We Are Telephone”, which charted high on CMJ, and spent two years touring the Northwest and West Coast in support of it.

The release of the movie “DiG!” stirred up quite a buzz for all involved and they followed by signing a deal with indie label upstart, Cobra Music. Shortly thereafter, they entered the studio to begin recording what would become “Telephone: Automatic”, their debut full-length.

Unfortunately, there was uncertainty going into the project; Scott Fox, one of Hedford’s closest friends and co-writer, wouldn’t be able to tour or support the record due to family obligations, so Hedford and Fox had decided early on that after the record’s completion he would be replaced.

It was during the basic tracking, though, that turmoil started to question the reality of the album, starting with the band “parting ways” with their bass player the second day in the studio. “The first couple days didn’t go that well,” jokes Hedford, “it became clear that we would need to make a last minute line-up change. We made some frantic calls to find a new bass player.”

Without missing a beat, Everclear and Audio Learning Center guitarist, Steven Birch stepped in to play bass on the record. It would be a quick fix but at least they would get the record done.

"It's a Northwest effort, through and through," says Hedford, recording basic tracks with Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Death Cab for Cutie, Stephen Malkmus), mixing with Hedford’s old friend Tony Lash (The Dandy Warhols, Special Goodness, Heatmiser, Elliott Smith), and receiving a helping hand from friends.

“When the band was in the room together, we were having a good time, we had confidence,” says Hedford. “We were all friends and I didn’t want it to end. I made a conscious decision to make the record as ‘live’ as possible and not to get too anal about Pro Tools’ing or obsessively overdubbing everything. I wanted it to rock but keep a synth sound going without sounding like an electronica project. I love the old '70s synthesizers, the Cars and Gary Numan are big influences for us.”

Coming out of recording, in Hedford’s mind, he and drummer Pulvirenti were the core of the band, the two that would find new players, and then hit the road together. At least that’s what he thought until his drummer, Pulvirenti, made it clear he too would be leaving.

“I had no band, the label had no idea what was going on and I was convinced we were going to be dropped. I was getting calls from friends asking if we broke up,” recalls Hedford. “I didn’t take it personally, but the hard part was letting go of being a ‘band’ in the romantic sense. For now it feels like I’m a sort of central figure with people around me.”

When asked about why he then decided to all the record “Telephone: Automatic”, Hedford laughs and says, “Because it was anything but that. The album is a document of where we were, what we had accomplished together. It would be a shame for us to break up and not have that.”

Some of “Telephone: Automatic”’s thirteen songs include the title track, plus "More," a trance rock melding of keys with guitar, "Shout About it," a brazen and bold pop-rock anthem, and “Burying Pieces” a late-night, blurry-eyed synth-gone-pyschedelic mind twister. As for themes, “ I try not to interpret lyrics for people too much.