Telekinetic Yeti: A Must See Stoner/Doom Metal Duo
Written by Brett Kihlmire
When it comes to a heavy metal band, a four to five man lineup is pretty standard, but a trio isn’t so uncommon, either. Telekinetic Yeti, however, takes the rarest approach with a duo.
Billed out of Dubuque, Iowa, USA, Telekinetic Yeti’s two members actually come from two different states. Guitarist/vocalist Alex Baumann is a Dubuque native, while drummer Anthony Dreyer hails from Stockton, Illinois. So how did these two American metal heads come together?
“Anthony and I had previously been in a band years ago called Lost Apparitions that broke up in 2010. Anthony had moved away for quite some time and when he came back we tried to revive Lost Apparitions at the end of 2014/early 2015. It didn’t work out with the other members for various reasons, so we started jamming with just the two of us,” says Baumann.
As for how the band became a two man stoner doom metal band:
“Anthony had acquired a mountain of amps and cabs over the years so I jokingly said man we have to start a two piece doom band. I brought out my 7-string guitar that’s basically tuned like a baritone guitar or 8-string guitar and it filled things in nicely even though there was no bass player. We just kind of vibed off of each other and wrote what came naturally. Once we started running the guitar signal through a bass rig in addition to all the guitar amps, we realized we didn’t really need a bass player,” explains Baumann.
Combining stoner and doom metal was something of a no brainer since the two styles mesh quite well, but Baumann and Dreyer weren’t looking to make a run of the mill kind of band. They wanted something that would stand out. What they’ve crafted these last two years is described as “thunderous, fuzzy, introspective.”
“I think there’s a bit of a prehistoric feel to some of it. When you close your eyes it might feel like you are on a journey or in an ancient place. I would say it definitely falls into the stoner/doom genre, but our stuff isn’t as drawn out as many bands in the genre and we tend to throw in some more up tempo stuff here and there for good measure,” explains Baumann. “We try to mix it up and try to keep things as interesting as possible, but we still like to allow the song to take the time it needs to get where it needs to go. We have a big pedalboard with lots of guitar effects pedals, so you will be experiencing different textures and layers here and there. It’s like stoner doom for people with ADD.”
Armed with a big sound and a dedicated following, Telekinetic Yeti has being working hard and doing well for themselves despite the challenge of not having a bassist.
“I think it forces us to write a little differently than a lot of bands, which I think can be a good thing. You also don’t run into the ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ problem when writing, which I think can keep the songwriting more focused,” says Baumann. “Sure, it can be an extra challenge to have no bass player but it can also force you to think outside the box and get creative in different ways. Scheduling-wise, it’s also way easier to work out the logistics of being in a band when it’s just two dudes.”
Whole certainly not ruling out the addition of a bassist, it’s a non-issue for the band. For the time being Baumann and Dreyer prefer to put their focuses on other things like touring, merchandise and recording. And as of this writing the band is nearing the release of their debut full length album, Abominable.
“We are happy to say we recently finished recording our first album, which is a full length clocking in around 42 minutes worth of music. It’s all done, mixed and mastered now, and the physical copies are on their way. With some help from the awesome people over at Sump Pump Records we are lucky enough to be releasing it on vinyl right off the bat. We are self releasing it on CD and digitally,” Baumann says proudly after “dropping several thousand dollars” on making a dream a reality. The album is due out March 17th.
Of the eight songs comprising the band’s Abominable only three feature lyrics allowing for Baumann to craft some interesting, in depth stories.
“’Abominable’ is a story about the dawning of time, old gods, a creation story of sorts. ‘Lightbearer’ is about Lucifer and some ritualistic stuff. I do not personally believe or follow any religion, but I find it interesting that the bible sometimes refers to the devil as Lightbearer. They call him that because they believe he brought light in the sense that he gave the knowledge of good and evil to humans. He made humans more self aware and less oblivious, humans were now smarter than animals. How is that a bad thing? Sometimes I think Christianity just gave Pan/Satan/Lucifer whatever you want to call him a bad rep,” Baumann says with a laugh. “Our song ‘Stoned and Feathered’ is basically a victory prayer to the universe. It’s not directed towards any specific deity. So in a way all the lyrics so far all have an occult/mythological/spiritual element to them.”
With the album due out March 17th, 2017 Telekinetic Yeti has been hyping their fans with live performances and a music video for ‘Stoned and Feather.’ To further support the album once it’s released, the band is planning on an eight to nine day “weekend warriors” tour in the Midwest starting in March. The following summer they are planning even longer tours that will see them on the road for much of the year. So what can fans expect of a Telekinetic Yeti show?
“I think of every show more or less as a ritual. The things you are hearing, the things you are seeing, it’s all meant to bring your mind somewhere and to hopefully transcend the normal day to day reality. So we keep all of that in mind when we put on a show. We also aren’t one of those bands that stand on stage looking bored when we play. We get into it when we play,” says Baumann before adding, “I don’t know how to stand still when we play. The music naturally makes me want to move. And if you come out to one of our shows – it’s fucking loud man. Definitely wear earplugs if you don’t want your ears ringing for at least a week or more. I wear the 32 decibel rated earplugs at practice and my ears still ring afterwards.”