Artist Profile: Vertical 48
Written by Maria Serra on April 16, 2018
You’ve heard of long distance friendships, relationships and phone calls, but have you heard of a long distance band? Welcome to the world of Vertical 48! Despite being separated by state lines, this trio of old friends uses technology to keep in touch and crank out content.
Mario Tierno, Vinny Tierno and Chris Ferree all originate from Pittsburgh. While Mario (Vocals/Keys/Bass) admits that, “Writing music is weird when separated,” he manages to make demos and tracks on top of his work as a full-time second year student at Capital University in Columbus where he studies in the Conservatory of Music. Mario’s brother Vinny (Guitar) is only a 17-year-old Junior in high school, but has more onstage experience than most his age. The Tierno’s found their perfect fit for the band with their third member and friend Chris Ferree (Drums/Vocals) who is a full-time student in Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music.
Like most musicians, the love for it began at a very young age for the Tierno brothers. Interest in games like Guitar Hero turned into lessons for drums and guitar. Mario experimented with being in a band early in his performance career with former group The Followers. Though this did not work out, Mario and Vinny met Chris through a mutual drum teacher and Mario described the dynamic as a “natural feel.”
A natural feel grew into a natural rhythm in very little time as Vertical 48 produced their first EP in 2015 followed by popular singles “Dancin’ Underwater”, “Santa Cruz” and a new release of their 2018 single “Real World.” With a unique sound of rock, pop, indie, alternative, indie and even rap, Mario likes to describe his groups music as a “pop band with an alternative mindset.”
Inspiration is drawn from a myriad of pop and indie groups like Walk The Moon, Smallpools, Twenty One Pilots, DNCE and Passion Pit as well as hip hop artists J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. (DAMN! What a mix!) Personally, their sound reminded me of alternative bands of the recent past such as The Cab, A Rocket To The Moon, This Century and The Ready Set.
With three full years of experience, the band was given the chance of a lifetime to open for The Maine and Public the Band at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As fans of The Maine’s work, the guys were ecstatic to perform and Mario noted, “We kind of brushed shoulders with The Maine as they got off stage and shared a few words, but they shouted us out on stage, so that was worth it.”
This is only the beginning for the guys and there is much more coming soon. You can catch Vertical 48 at Youngstown’s premiere local music festival Fiction Forest supporting The Vindys, Spirit of the Bear and JD Eicher on July 14. Stay tuned for summer jams in the making.
“We’re just a bunch of goofy dudes who take themselves too seriously,” Mario said. To see more of these goofy dudes, follow Vertical 48 on Instagram with username vertical48 and look up their music on Apple Music and Spotify.