Artist Name? TetraSphere
Formed when? 2021
Based in what city? Johnson City TN
Brian Hyder – vocals
David Graham – bass
Matthew Morganstern – drums
Keith Elliott – guitars
Jason Phillips – guitars
Subgenre(s) of your music?
Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Hard Rock, Alternative
What was the story in forming the band?
Brian, David, and Matt all work at the same company, and in 2013, Keith Elliott was hired into the company and instantly became friends with the guys. Over the next few years as Brian, David, and Matt were in a band named 5iveMor, and Keith Elliott along with life long friend Jason Phillips were in their band Level 7, we would book shows together and even step in and play together on occasion.
However, there was a slow dissolution to both bands 5iveMor and Level 7 due to Covid and creative differences, but the opportunity came up that allowed us to reach out to Keith Elliott and have him come in and add Guitars to songs we had partially written which would become the songs from our first album “Finally”. Once the first album was complete, we reached out to Jason Phillips and asked him to join and solidify the group. The group is now complete and writing new songs for the next album, “The 4th World”.
How did you come up with the band name?
Bassist David Graham and Guitarist Keith Elliott were discussing names for an instrumental in our last album, Finally. During the discussions, they came up with TetraSphere and The 4th World. They fell down a rabbit hole with those names and decided to wrap up the first album and then bring the names to the guys in which we decided on TetraSphere as the band name and along with the band name we decided to write a concept album that was based off the name.
We have written a full story that we are breaking down and creating individual songs based on the chapters of the story. We are tentatively calling the next album “The 4th World” and are currently about 7 or 8 songs in so far….
What is the inspiration in your music?
Our inspiration comes from many places. From all our surroundings, to personal challenges, to current events within our country or the world. Our music derives from our inner thoughts and feelings. It comes from those we admire. It comes from the amazing talent that each member of this band displays on a daily basis and it comes from the desire to accomplish life long dreams of writing and recording music that we love but also others will love and enjoy.
The album we are currently writing is inspired from fantasy and sci-fi elements along with non-fictional aspects that we can see in the everyday world. For us to create a piece of music from thin air is ultimately the driving inspiration because that is what we desire to accomplish.
The list is so vast, so we will highlight this with the best of the best, so to speak. Bands such as Rush, Dream Theater, and Symphony X and Air Supply bring us the progressive side to our style. Artists such as Steve Vai, PAUL GILBERT, Randy Rhoads, George Lynch and Eddie Van Halen bring us the guitar influences that shape our massive riffs and arrangements. We look at Legends such as Geddy Lee, and Stanley Clarke as some of the influences for our amazing Rhythmic Bass lines. Gods such as Neil Peart and Danny Carey for the thunderous and explosive Drum styles within our songs. The vocal influences we have are from legends as Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Vedder, James Hetfield, and Chris Cornell and Layne Staley. These guys shape our vocalist and the style he brings.
This list is also long, but we will share a few of our favs. Predator, Tombstone, Breakfast Club, The Crow, Star Wars (original trilogy), 40 yr old virgin, LOTHR extended cut, and can’t forget Alien 1 and 2
Last album/EP/single release?
Our first album “Finally” is available on all streaming sites, including Apple Music and Spotify
Any upcoming music releases? When?
Our second album, titled “The 4th World” is scheduled for release by December 2023/January 2024.
What is a venue you always wanted to perform in? Why?
For Brian, David, and Matt, the venue they would perform in would be Freedom Hall in their hometown of Johnson City TN. Many legends, such as Elvis all the way to Elton John have performed within the Hall. It would be a huge accomplishment and honor to grace the same stage as those legends. Keith lists The Knoxville Civic Coliseum because it was Randy Rhoads last venue in which he ever played. Jason lists the Budokan in Japan because it’s in Japan and its Budokan!!
What artist(s) would you want to tour with?
What brand instrument(s) and equipment do you play? Any favs?
Keith plays his Music Man by Ernie Ball mostly but does bring out the Gibson Les Paul and PRS from time to time. He also uses a Kemper Amp setup but also has an assortment of Marshall and Mesa amps.
David uses his Dingwall and Fender Jazz Bass, but on occasion, he will bring out his Rickenbacker and we all have to bask in its glory. He uses a Line 6 Helix and Gallien Krueger for amplification.
Matt’s main drum kit is his Tama Starclassic Birch/Basswood kit with Zildjian A custom Cymbals. His secondary kit is a Yamaha Stage Custom Birch with a mix of A Custom, Z Custom, and S Series cymbals.
Brian occasionally uses an Epiphone Les Paul or his reliable Ovation Acoustic/Electric. and uses Beta 58 shure mics.
What is a favorite story you’d like to share about the band?
Unanimously, the favorite story would be the time we were playing a company picnic for a friend. After the show was over, David Graham was driving Brian’s truck over to load up equipment and in the process of that, demolished a rolling trash cart the company had stationed around the venue. There was trash all over the parking lot, but fortunately, there was no damage to Brian’s truck, or they might have some words, ha ha….
Another good story was at one practice we decide to record a drum track for one of our songs on the forthcoming album. We had to place our singer Brian outside while he sang so that the overhead drum mics would not pick his vocal up. It was sprinkling outside, so he was kind of stressed about getting electrocuted, but we were not too concerned, ha ha he is a big boy….
What was your most memorable performance?
As this band is so new, we have not yet performed collectively together outside of writing and recording this 2nd album so that is still to be determined. We do have a couple personal favorites from our careers as musicians, which we can share.
For Jason, his very first show with his first band is the most memorable. He was in between his 8th and 9th grade years (1988-1989) and rented an old high school and played in the gym. The band tried to play mainly punk and thrash metal, but his elation and excitement are what he remembers most. The equipment was not grounded properly, and every time they touched their mouths to their mics, they were getting shocked. They had strobe lights, and at that age, you knew it was more than EPIC!!! They sat around the next day and felt like Rock Stars at least to themselves.
For Keith, it was the time he played Freedom Hall in Johnson City TN opening for Artemis Pyle band. His band opened for Warrant at a Nightmoves also in Johnson City TN. It was a moment he will never forget….
What is the song of yours that means the most to you?
The consensus is a new song called “The Tragic” as it deals heavily with what is going on in the world today and makes this song very relevant for that reason. A second favorite is also off the upcoming album called “Serenity”. It was a huge undertaking, but once it was complete, it was a feather in our caps, so to speak. We also are partial to the song “Echoes” which is off our first album as it was our first real Progressive Style song…We know there will be other favorite songs written as we move further but these are a few we enjoy.
Check out our review of TetraSphere here!