Campus musician talks about band, upcoming projects


For as long as Mario Tierno can remember, he has been playing music. Currently, the junior music technology student is one-third of a band called Vertical 48. Guitarist Vinny Tierno and drummer Chris Ferree make up the other two-thirds.

Vinny is Mario’s younger brother. He is a senior in high school, but doesn’t let the fact that he is also in this up-and-coming band stop him from making the most of his high school experience, which makes his older brother very happy. He first performed at age nine and has been working with his brother and making music ever since.

Ferree and Tierno have a less familial way of meeting. The two took lessons from the same instructor and when Tierno started looking for a new drummer for Vertical 48, Ferree was there with high recommendations. When they all ended up getting together, Ferree fit in perfectly with the brothers.

Wondering what Vertical 48 means? Tierno doesn’t even know. “It kinda means nothing, but in there lies the meaning of it,” he said.

Before Vertical 48, they had a few other names. A more memorable one for Tierno was The Followers. The band wanted to become the next new Beatles or Green Day and followed them pretty heavily, leading them to the name. At that time they were also Christian, giving another reason for the name.

As far as his song writing process goes, Tierno begins the writing and then sends it off to Vinny and Ferree so that they can make any changes. “They make my songs better, like a lot better,” Tierno said.

They draw influences from many different artists, but the main ones include The Beatles, Charlie Puth, Walk the Moon, Smallpools, and DNCE. Tierno specifically looks to those artists that are also producers for not only their own music, but other artists as well.

Vertical 48’s biggest struggle is that they don’t get to spend very much time together face-to-face to work on music, so most of their production is done online. It adds an extra level of dedication to what they are doing.

In August, the band released the single “Late to the Party.” It is part of a trilogy of songs, the next one coming out in October and the third coming out shortly after that. They are also planning shows around Columbus and Pittsburgh, but have other ideas in the works.

In the past, Tierno didn’t really like to perform live. This past summer, they did a bunch of revamping to the show. They now feature a drum battle and some pretty unique transitions, which have changed Tierno’s whole outlook on the performances.

“The future of that is exciting me more than anything has in a really long time about [live shows],” Tierno said.

You can find their songs anywhere you stream music and you can also follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up-to-date on what Vertical 48 is working on.

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