After releasing a debut EP in 2017 and a few singles in 2018 to a warm response, Tetelestai have set us up well for their new eight track album called Anxiety. Hailing from Buffalo, New York they have some big shoes to fill following the success of mainstream artists Cannibal Corpse & Every Time I Die. Finding influence in the realms of Christian music in bands like Skillet & Thousand Foot Krutch, and providing music inspired by their faith & sharing that life has a purpose, this young band has a chance to really turn some heads in the years to come.
[MG] Who’s here for the interview for everyone who doesn’t know?
[All] Ronnie Shrock, Vocalist. Andy Perkins, Rhythm Guitarist. Paul Mitro, lead guitarist.
[MG] Thanks everyone for taking time out of your lives for this interview, it means a lot to us. Your latest release, “Anxiety”, is it a concept album or is it a variety of messages in each song?
[Ronnie] We set out to target mental disorders, eventually it lead to just ultimately having a common theme leading towards the hope of redemption. We all had our struggles in some aspect or another & we aimed to have our experiences & our times we’ve overcome something to be a mirror to show others that we all can find a light at the end of the tunnels we come across.
[MG] That’s truly remarkable & amazing. Were there any difficulties in the writing process?
[Ronnie] I don’t think there were too many struggles with the writing process. Some small issues were getting everything to fit into the album while working with what each other had been writing. We all didn’t sit together and have a writing session. It was more us writing all on our own & then coming together.
[MG] Which was more fun, writing the lyrics or the music?
[Paul] Both! Truly working around the music & fitting everything together. I try to get ideas down as quick as I get them so I don’t forget them & I send them to the other guys. It’s fun to push my creative limits & see what God can put inside of me for us.
[MG] Great! That makes this a great follow up question then! If you had to tell an outsider how the band sounds in your own words, how would you describe the band?
[Paul] Beartooth, throwback mid 2000’s Pillar/ Tooth & Nail, & Thrice. They all are influences on how I try to take a moment & work within the band.
[MG] Perfect & flexible, I like that! Next question then; does the band have an overall goal?
[All] Our goal is to ultimately have fun but overall we want to make the most of each other’s company.
[Andy] But when it’s all said & done, in the end it’s however God leads.
[MG] That opens the door perfectly into my next question- explain the meaning of “Tetelestai” & why it was decided to be the band’s name? (Take a moment of silence for me as we all proceeded to laugh at my mispronunciation of the name)
[Andy] Tetelestai means “It is finished” in Greek. My dad was preaching one Sunday, I just happened to think it was cool & that it would be perfect for a band name. Later I met the guys & it fit with what we wanted.
[MG] Sticking with that theme then, let’s try this next question, how would you encourage someone to seek God?
[Paul] Always pray first. Sometimes complain to him & talk to him. It’ll eventually snowball. The more you spend time with him, the more you’ll be like him.
[Andy] Find a good group of people that will always help push & encourage you. Find guys with beards & they will push you in the right direction.
[Ronnie] Who you surround yourself with & your everyday conversations with people. Letting the silence take over & letting the silence lead you. Just keep on keeping on. Have those friends who will keep you accountable while also knowing how to keep yourself accountable.
[MG] Wow that was beautiful. Thank you for that guys. Ok next, are you active in your church?
[Andy] I am generally always leading the service.
[Paul] I am surrounded by tech as I’m a full time tech director within my church.
[Ronnie] I’m just trying to find where I belong in a church, I’ve been in & out of several lately.
[MG] Ok perfect! Let’s begin our wrap up stage with a few more questions. What is your favorite Bible Verse?
[Ronnie] Ephesians 6.
[Paul] 1 & 2 Corinthians, I love the idea of learning how to do a biblically based & fronted church.
[Andy] 2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new. (KJV)
[MG] Nice homework for me to read into then over the coming days. Ok next to last question guys, what do you do when you aren’t playing shows or anything with music?
[Ronnie] Outdoor stuff, keeping myself busy working. (Shows off a new bow)
[Andy] I have 3 kids so I do stuff with them a lot. Plus I blog a lot. Shameless blog plug! (we all proceeded to laugh)
[Paul] Mostly I do church maintenance but so much with what I do is involved with music. From time to time I’ll follow my hobby of photography.
[MG] Alright guys, thanks for your time tonight. I won’t take too much of your evening so we will close with this, any closing remarks?
[Ronnie] (while freaking out) LISTEN TO THE EP & TELL EVERYONE TO LISTEN TO US!
[Paul] Book us! Buy our merch.
[All] Eat your oranges!
[Paul] Seek God & live for Him.
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