Check out this great interview that I had the pleasure of doing with rock solo artist Tanner!
You have a very inspiring and extensive story. I know we only have a short period of time to speak right now, but what is just one of the things you’ve learned on your journey in music thus far?
Well, for me, music was the cure for a lot of things. It was kind of a way for me to escape and get thoughts out of my head and write them down and tell my story. It’s been huge. It’s definitely what I love to do. It was extremely helpful for me on a personal level just to do it.
How long would you say the songwriting process for the self-titled EP took?
It was an interesting process. I had a lot of ideas. I always start with the melody, and I wrote the music with the melody in mind. It was right after I left my last treatment center. While I was in there, I was writing a lot of lyric ideas. It took maybe a month. It was interesting because a lot of the lyrics ended up changing because when I was down in Nashville and able to sort of remove myself from everything that was going on and just dive into that, I got a different perspective on a lot of things. I ended up making last minute adjustments to the lyrics and what the songs are about. The melody never changed, and the music never changed, but a lot of what I had to say changed. A lot of that was very last minute and done in the actual studio.
You worked with producer Brian Virtue, who has worked with artists like Jane’s Addiction and Chevelle. What did he bring to the table as a producer?
He’s a great guy. Very funny, and very smart. I’ve said this before, but I think that I do things in a different way than I used to and I think Brian got where I was coming from on a lot of different levels. He made a very comfortable setting to be creative in. He’s not only very talented in what he does, but he also just did a great job of creating an environment where I could escape things and really create.
I liked the idea of working with him because he was very organic in his approach. We didn’t auto-tune anything or really fix anything. It was all a lot of live recording. We used a lot of old gear too, old amps and stuff like that.
The first track of the EP is called “Come Alive”. Where do the lyrical themes in this song stem from?
When I was in treatment, I met a girl in there. Things developed and it turned into a relationship that lasted for awhile. It’s about the breakup from that, and my past relationship. It was a beautiful thing having someone that could relate to where I was at mentally, and knew what was going on with life. The thing about that is that, when you’re in that position, you don’t really know what you stand for or who you are as a person. When you go through that journey, you start finding those things. We ultimately drifted apart after kind of finding ourselves. That’s what the song is about. It’s about coming alive within yourself.
Subsequently, can you tell me a little bit about the music video for it and the concept behind it?
For me, half of music is visual, and I think that the visual element, whether it’s in your show or your videos, photos that you do, whatever it may be, I think it’s a very visual thing. I wanted to tell the story of the relationship in sort of a metaphorical way. I wanted to use that vintage film, slightly distorted, to represent the memories that I had. Half of them being sort of vague and forgetten. So that was the reasoning behind that.
The concept was basically us coming together and then kind of coming alive, so to speak, and then ultimately drifting apart.
These next two questions I ask to every artist that I interview. What kind of message would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
I don’t really have a particular message, but one thing that’s a goal of mine is that I’d like people to be in a better mood after they hear something that I’ve done then they were before they heard it because for me, music has always been such a good medicine. I don’t want to depress people with sound, I don’t want to drag people down into a dark place. I think even if the subject matter of the song might be about a dark place or a dark time, I think there’s a way to spin that in a positive way, which is a result of reflection. The more I reflect on times like that, the more positive outlook I have on whatever it is. I just think there’s a lot of melodramatic stuff that’s being put out right now. I don’t really want to depressed after I hear something. I want to be lifted up, and that’s something that I really try to do with the music that I make.
What does music mean to you?
Music is everything for me. I think it’s one of the few things, maybe the only thing, that everybody has in common, wherever you’re from, whatever your belief is. I think it’s the one thing that everyone enjoys and does. I think that’s a beautiful thing. I think it’s one of the most powerful things, too. Music has the ability to change your mood and your outlook. It can affect you in so many different ways. I think it’s huge. It’s everything.
Last question: what are the future plans for Tanner? If there’s any new music, tour dates, videos, etc., go for it!
Absolutely, yeah! Right now, I’m writing more music. I’m ready to do another record. When I record and I’m talking about a chapter in my life, it’s kind of my way of closing it and moving on. Since I did this EP, I’ve lived some experiences that I’m ready to talk about. So that’s the focus right now. I’m doing a lot of collaborating with people, and that’s something that I’ve never really done before. I’m kind of chasing that feeling that I would assume a band has after they’ve worked on something collaboratively, sort of that group feeling. So I’m writing with a lot of people right now. I’m writing a lot on my own. Other than that, I think I’m going to make an extended stay out in LA for maybe four to six months. I kind of see that that’s where I need to be right now. I hope to play a lot of shows out there and continue things.
Tanner's debut self-titled EP is available now.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.