The Televangelists: Preaching Punk on the Shoreline

Written by Leo Woods |
Reporter Leo Woods |
Photos by Leo Woods |

The Televangelists, self-described as the “Connecticut punk band you’ve never heard of” is composed of three incredibly talented Morgan students. Seniors David LaRiviere (vocals, bass), August Pulaski (guitar) and Junior Will DeVries (drums) formed the band at the beginning of this year. They first began by posting covers of classic punk songs from bands such as The Ramones and Dead Kennedys, but have also begun writing their own music and playing shows along the Shoreline. The band members answered some questions about their origins and their plans for the future.

L: What made you guys decide to start the band? Was it through a certain class or was it outside of school?

D: I was teaching August to play guitar for about 8 months, and  I remember Will from Mr. Luther’s Honors Biology sophomore class.
W: He knew I played drums.
D: Yeah, I remembered that he played drums because backstage during the play (Hello Dolly!) he would show me how to do this [snap and clap hands at the same time].
W: What does that have to do with drums?
D: So then I saw him in the hallway, walking to the courtyard, and I said: “Hey, Will, you play drums right?” And he’s like “Yeah, I love drums, everything about drums.” And I said, “Do you want to start a rock band with me and August?
W: I was like “sure.”
D: And so we started a group chat, and that was it.

L: Can you explain the origin of the name “The Televangelists?”

W: So first, I suggested Release, and then that was shot down, and we were The Televangelists.
D: Yeah, so I was sitting on the bass amp, August was sitting on his bed, and Will was sitting at his drum set, and we were talking names. We had ideas such as Release, Chocolate Milk.
A: Public Beach. Remember Public Beach?
D: I wanted to be The Nuns, but Nuns are already a band. I remember Public Beach.
A: Because we were thinking about road signs. It was like “yeah, like U-Turn?”
[All laugh]
D: And then I was like, yeah, the Nuns are taken, but how about the Televangelists? That’s similar. So we went with it.

L: What are some of your musical inspirations or bands that you aspire to be like?

W: I kind of just play whatever these guys tell me to.
D: Yeah, he’s only listened to three albums that we’ve told him to listen to.

IMG-0490

The Televangelists performing at the Clinton Youth and Family Youth Open Mic Night 5/25

A: [to Will] For shame.
A: We’re very politically based, David is a really, really big fan of Bad Religion and Dead Kennedys, and at the time when we were first starting, I kind of knew who they were, and I learned to listen to them more and now I love them to death.
W: That’s pretty brutal “to death.”

 

A: I guess our music is pretty hardcore?
D: Yeah, soundwise, I guess you could say Bad Religion is a lot of the influence, but when I write the lyrics a lot of that is from the Dead Kennedys, where he ironically puts himself in the position of the subject he’s writing about.

L: I know that you guys have a few original songs, what are you planning to do with them? Would you like to write an album in the future? Can you describe your songwriting process?

W: An album is probably a definite.
D: Yeah, we have a producer who is currently mixing our live album. As far as the songwriting process goes, you know, every song we’ve written has been written in a different way. But we’ve never really just sat down and said, “let’s get out a pen and paper and write.”
W: We tried that once and it didn’t work.
A: It’s mostly David who writes the stuff.
D: Yeah I kind of just sit on my bed with an acoustic guitar, come up with a chord progression at home and add the words.

L: What inspired each of you to begin playing music? Any favorite bands or mentors?

W: When I was in fourth grade, I played trombone in my school band. Then I was given the opportunity to switch to percussion, so after that, I just fell in love with percussion.
D: For me, in fourth grade I played the flute, but I didn’t actually know how to play it, sorry Chief. Then one day, I think at the end of eighth grade, I remembered I had an acoustic guitar that’s really old, and I found a guitar pick and said, “I’m gonna play.” And I played “Smoke on the Water.” I learned some Blink-182 riffs, and Bad Religion, so I started playing.
A: I didn’t really know how to play guitar until like a year ago, I just kind of picked it up, learned how to play some basic riffs, like Star Wars. I started getting more into music and albums and stuff, and guitar is sick. And as soon as I got into a band, I said, “now, I gotta take this stuff* seriously.”

L: What are you hoping for the future of the Televangelists? Is this just a high school band or are you planning on going into musicianship as careers?

A: It would be sick if we got a record signing, but it’s very unlikely with the state of music-not that many bands get popular nowadays.
D: I’d probably say the next 10-11 months. I’m going away to California to go to college. In which case, we will become a seasonal band, hopefully. Playing in the winter and summer breaks.
W: If we get the chance, I mean definitely it would be cool to go pro.
D: We are pro, in the sense that we’re not getting any better.
[All laugh]

L: What do you believe are Morgan students’ perception of your band? Do you think they support you?

A: For the most part yeah.
W: Yeah, my friends have shown me a lot of support. Buying our t-shirts and things like that.
A: We’ve got to thank the CTPD for buying a couple of our shirts, and janitors are interested too.
D: A lot of people are intrigued by it because it’s new whereas back in ’01 and the ’90s all schools would have like five or six bands. Everyone would be in a band. So now that’s kind of more foreign to people so they’re like “oh there’s a band? Cool.”
A: I agree.
W: I think as far as the music goes, I’ve actually had some people say that they support us but have never listened to our music.
D: Yeah that’s true, a lot of people.
A: I mean that’s cool, right.
D: We have a lot of people come to our shows so that’s all that matters. We appreciate it.

L: Is there anything else you would like to add?

A: Buy our shirts! Follow us on everything!
D: Our producer may be done mixing our live album in about a month.
W: Stay Gucci.

The Televangelists are playing a show at Morgan during X-Block on 9/12. Their main social media platform is Instagram (@thetelevangelists) and is on Youtube as The Televangelists.

We are a band. Thanks.
– The Televangelists

Televangelists

From left to right: Seniors August Pulaski and David LaRiviere, Junior Will DeVries

Televangelists T shirt

The Televangelist T-Shirts, $10

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