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Tell Tale Heart mixes genres

By Dargan Thompson, Contributing Writer
With their different music styles, it’s amazing that the members of Tell Tale Heart all ended up in the same band. 

Bassist Russell Beard, a UNF mechanical engineering freshman, said he likes hardcore music. Guitarist Kyle Young, a UNF nutrition junior, has more of a pop style, while drummer Nate Dutton, a UNF political science junior, has been known to attend Keith Urban concerts.

The members of the Jacksonville band said they brought together their differing musical tastes to create a new and unique sound.

“I don’t mean to sound too hipster or anything,” Beard said, “but there is no one around Jacksonville with the same sound as us.”

Tell Tale Heart compares its music to that of Brand New and Manchester Orchestra, calling it indie or alternative. The band members said it doesn’t quite fit in with the line up at most of its shows, where all the other bands are either more poppy sounding or heavier than their own.

Tell Tale Heart’s music falls somewhere in between these categories. All five members of the band sing, which they said surprises audiences at shows where the line up includes more heavy-rock bands.

The band said its strangest experience was at a show in Brunswick, Ga., where there were a lot of “hardcore kids.”

“There was a fight,” Beard said. “We were really out of our element.”

The band starts a little young
Young said he and Andrew Sales, the band’s other guitarist, were in a different band in high school. Young met Dutton in chorale, and Sales met Danny Cary, who plays keyboard, at FSCJ. Beard joined after the band’s original bassist moved to Florida State University.

As the band formed, its sound changed. Dutton said it initially played power pop.

“All our influences were so different,” he said. “I think we were trying to fit it all in one genre, and it just wasn’t working.”

Beard said it is important for a band’s bassist and drummer to have a good connection. He said he was worried, at first, about how his and Dutton’s different styles would work out.

“But we really clicked,” he said.

Shows, an EP and the future
Young said he enjoys playing to smaller audiences but would like to see Tell Tale Heart get signed to a label and do some touring. He said he’s never seen himself playing at Madison Square Garden but wants to play at a mid-level and form a solid fan base.

Beard, Dutton and Young said balancing school and music is difficult. Sometimes they have to cut their practice times short. Their manager has told them they can’t do certain things because they’re still in school.

Tell Tale Heart released “The Tempest – EP” last October. The EP has five songs. The band also recorded acoustic versions of the songs that stream free from Facebook and SoundCloud.

The songs, written mainly by Young and Sales, deal with issues such as life, doubt and coping with death. Young said he writes about what is going on in his personal life and his walk with Christ, but he said he wants the songs to be as relatable as possible.

“We’re all Christians, and we all want to witness and share the gospel,” he said. “But if we come out on stage and say, ‘We love Jesus!’ it turns people off.”

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