Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama and now proudly trying to sink his teeth into the abbatoir that is NYC’s Music Scene, I’d like to introduce you to Tanner. I had no idea who this young man was prior to a chance email from a colleague, but after a listen or 5, this young man comes with some serious jams. Trust me when I say this guy has a good thing going!
Got 5 minutes to spare? Tanner’s video for “Come Alive,” a great 2 minute Rock n Roll ripper, is up at Youtube right now for you to check out, and I implore you to do so. Twice. The track is practically over before it even starts, but one listen later and you’ll have plenty of reasons to keep clicking the circular rewind button on the left, as I’ve done a dozen times while writing this here paragraph trying to find a proper introduction for him.
Anywho, here’s a few with Tanner himself. Give a read, a listen, and go check this guy out when he hits the road!
G- Hi there and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five! Please introduce yourself.
T- I’m Tanner, a musician in New York City. Thank you for you interest in my music.
G- Tell us a bit about how long you’ve been playing and writing, and when did you first get started?
T- Some of my earliest memories are of me singing Motown songs as a kid, listening to the oldies station and writing melodies. I’d put on “shows” for my family all of the time when I was around 6 years old I’d say.
My first performance in public was at Superior Grill in Birmingham, Al. Damon Johnson, who is in Thin Lizzy now but played guitar with Alice Cooper at the time, played a show there, and he let me on stage with him to play a song. He was playing covers that night for a charity, and I covered “Slither” by Velvet Revolver. I was 12 years old or so. I started getting serious about writing around age 16.
G- So tell us a bit about where you are from… How is the scene and how are the responses at your shows?
T- I’m from Birmingham, Alabama.
Alabama has a special place in music history. Muscle Shoals studio is there, and Fame Studios, where countless records were recorded. Everyone from The Rolling Stones to Aretha Franklin to The Staple Singers have recorded in Alabama. I think there’s something in the water. I moved to New York and haven’t played a show in Birmingham since releasing this EP, but stopping there on a tour would be something special.
G- Can you tell us a bit about your tunes? Where did you find the inspiration to write your new material?
T- I am always inspired by things I see or people around me. Every day brings me new inspiration. This EP was written about a past relationship. Every song has a similar theme. I met my ex-girlfriend in a treatment place getting off of substances. We started our lives over at the same time, grew very close, and drifted apart as we both found ourselves again. I was inspired by the experience of finding myself and moving on. Lately, I’ve been writing about the world around me, but always through my perspective, my truth.
G- Can you give us a few examples of any bands or artists in particular that influence your style? Who do you typically like to listen to, and are there any acts you think we should know about?
T- I think you’d know all of my inspirations. Most have been at it for a while, or no longer at it.
I’ll go through phases where I won’t listen to anything but The Beatles for a few weeks at a time. Nirvana inspires me a great deal. Any modern artist speaking their truth inspires me. David Bowie is always a constant as well.
G- Do you currently have, or are you working on, any releases right now? When will you be heading back to the studio or on the road? Anything currently in the works?
T- I am planning several more shows, and writing new songs. I am planning on recording another record very soon. The songs are finished and I’ll be recording it in New York.
I can’t wait to share it! I feel like I’ve really found my sound; It’s always an evolving thing. I’m challenging myself in new ways, and the subject matter is also very exciting for me.
G- 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why. Go!
T- The Beatles Revolver… because it’s the greatest album ever made.
Nirvana Nevermind… because it changed my life.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Howl… because it’s dirty, dark, beautiful, and melodic.
Scott Weiland 12 Bar Blues… because “Lady, Your Roof Brings me Down” is one of my favorite songs.
G- Do you have a favorite song you have ever written? If you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
T- I dive into a song so deep while writing it, it takes me over. I’ll do that over and over again, forever probably. My favorite is always the one I’m working on at the time.
My favorite on this EP is “Come Alive.” “Come Alive” is what I’d share first, which is why it’s the first track on the EP. It sets the tone. A lot of thought went into the order of the songs. The story of this EP is told in order, beginning to end.
The most personal to me is “Mend,” the last track, because it was my way of closing that chapter of my life. As I was writing it, and especially while I was recording it, I knew I was resolving a section of my life. It was the last song I wrote for the EP, and the last we recorded in the studio.
G- Are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future?
T- Anyone speaking their truth really. Kings of Leon and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club come to mind. I actually saw them play together once.
G- What is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?
T- Every show becomes the most memorable. Honestly, I get so lost on stage I don’t remember them. I leave everything at the foot of the stage, my personal life, thoughts, feelings… I get lost in the music and that’s what I love about it.
G- Lastly, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
T- I am a young, up and coming artist, and a professional musician. I haven’t really figured it out yet, but I do know one thing: If you look at current trends, the artists that either have or are setting themselves up for longevity, a career, are artists like Lorde, Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon, because they are honest. Their songs are written from the heart. Anything else, any “vibe” or something lacking personal experience or substance, will fade.
At the end of the day, I think people want truth. An artist might make some hits, but the ones that gain the most respect, from me anyways, are the ones that live an experience, and talk about it, in any genre. Those are the artists that stand the test of time.