Interview Conducted by Jeff Possiel
Photo Credits: Jeff Possiel
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom: Denver, Colorado 3-23-12
After their set at Cervantes on March 23, 2012, the guys from Tatanka invited me to their underground lair, their creation space and where they call the bands home to hang out and answer some questions. The full band was in the room and each of them chimed in on answers. We cover the show that night opening for John Brown’s Body, the upcoming Summer of Sweet Love Tour, the Denver music scene, new music and more!
With regards to the show this evening, unfortunately The Meditations were forced to cancel, however, you guys slid in nicely to fit the bill to open up once again for John Brown’s Body. Each time JBB comes through Denver, it seems like you have the chance to play with them… How did the Tatanka and John Brown’s Body relationship come about initially and transform over the last couple years?
We played our first big show as a band opening up for them, our first theater show and really, the first big opportunity to play. I think it was about 3 years ago.
Actually, even before then, Mike and I (Ian speaking) went to The Gothic (Denver venue) super early in the day, like 3 in the afternoon the day of a JBB show and we dropped off a welcome to Colorado care package to them. We broke the bank just to introduce ourselves!
So that’s how it started. It was 2 years in a row before even playing with them that we would introduce ourselves and give them some of our music. We covered a JBB instrumental and showed Tommy (Benedetti, Drummer of John Brown’s Body) in our car and he was feeling it! He was like, “Fuck yeah!”
We look up to those guys, their music is so influential and has meant to much to us as a band so we would really make it a point to tell them that. It’s so conscious, their so tight, and they all crush. You realize people are human beings just like you, you literally have the same goals as these other people, so why wouldn’t you be able to relate with them. They’ve always been encouraging and it’s really great!
For the interview with John Brown’s Body, Click Here. Tommy Benedetti answering the same question
"I feel like I remember those guys coming to see us at The Gothic (Denver venue), they would come during our sound-check and have us out to there car and play their jams for us. We were like “Cool man, keep it up!” We wanted to give them support, you know? They continued to get it together and their doing there thing now so we’ve known them for a couple years."
Another band you guys are familiar with, opened up for, and had a lot of fun with partying over the last week including some on-stage freestyle sessions, is Fortunate Youth. It was just announced that Tatanka will be joining them on the “Summer of Sweet Love Tour” presented by SSV. How did this come about and can you fill me in on some details about the tour?
Wow, those guys are great as well. We opened with them and Tribal Seeds last year and now we have this opportunity to hit the road and really do work. We’re really looking forward to this chance to share the stage with Fortunate Youth for an extended period of time and get out there; they’re great guys with excellent fans.
We’re going to try and fill out the nation, it’s looking like that now but we’re always looking to fill in dates anywhere possible. We’re looking to fit in and play as much music as possible. If we can do it every night, that’s what we want to do!
We’re always connected online, Facebook and all that so we’ll be updating our fans along the way, connect with us!
Before you get out there on the road, talk a little but about coming from Denver and the music scene here…
Things in Denver move around a lot, it’s really easy to get involved in something. For a city, it’s super supportive. The thing with Denver is that there’s so much passing through. The music scene is interesting because you have people who are only going to the large venues, The Pepsi Center for example, for major pop acts. It’s always going bring in those bigger acts, whoever is on tour. However, you also have the people who have certain venues they frequent, that may have a more specific sound or support independent acts. Small bars to clubs, medium theaters and big arenas, there is just so much music, it’s really good. It connects the east to the west so new people and styles are always dropping in. More and more people are staying here too because of those influences from other regions.
More recently, the dub-step scene has opened up which has been good for Denver also. It’s almost like “aggressive reggae” where genre’s blend and both the bands on stage and the audience just has a lot of fun, dancing and enjoying the experience of live music.
This is a big part of Denver, back in the day where we are right now, Five-Points and this theater itself used to feature Ray Charles, James Brown, Billie Holiday - this place has soul! Jack Kerouac came through here and wrote about Denver because it had a popping Jazz scene. It’s an oasis and it’s filled with creativity.
Is there any new music in the works, can you tell us about that process and what we can expect beyond lots of tour dates this summer?
Tons! We’re not putting any time restraints on it but we definitely have a lot of new music in the works. We’re in the studio, recording and taking some time to do it. We would like to drop a track or two before the Summer of Sweet Love Tour to get things rolling.
It’s really odd with albums these days… Lady Gaga was world famous before she released an album, it’s a different game them even a few years ago. We feel like its better to be patient. Let’s release a few songs at a time, new songs that people can continually get and when we release an album, it will allow it to be almost a collection of singles. As we do this, we’re active and people are constantly hearing new stuff. At the same time being introduced to new music, the older stuff is there as well. We’re continuously in touch with the fans and for them to hear fresh tracks every once and a while we think is a good thing.
Tell me about the Tatanka graphics. I’ve seen several different logos, new and old banners hanging on the walls and I really dig it all, who does all your work?
Nick Hughes does all out graphics. He’s a local Denver artist and he’s really blowing up right now. He has a show coming up too and he does all of our design. We know him on a really good personal basis, he’s one of our good friends and seriously talented.
What does it feel like to be on the cusp of a nationwide tour, gaining momentum and fans along the way and the chance to play music for a living?
“It’s fucking awful!” (all laughing)…
No, it’s super exciting! It’s great man, a lot of fun. It’s a treat to be able to travel to different places and meet so many awesome people. It’s a rollercoaster ride and you never know what’s going to happen but that’s when special things happen. It’s really all about the people though, a lot of great friends out there.
Thanks to the Tatanka guys for opening up and being so rad welcoming me to Denver. Look for new tracks and upcoming tour dates from this young, talented and fun group of guys.