Things are moving fast for Norway's newest thrash band Tantara. Since forming in 2009, they have self-released the critically accliamed Human Mutation EP in 2010, and are already in the recording stages of their new album.
Tantara's first full-length is bound to get metal fans talking since they landed the legendary Flemming Rasmussen to record and produce the album.
As busy as Tantara is at the moment, the guys graciously answered a few questions I emailed them regarding Human Mutation, recording the new album, and possible touring plans.
NOTE: When Tantara sent me back the answers to my questions, some were answered by the individual band members while most were labeled as answered by Tantara "in unity."
Tanara is: Fredrik Bjerkø - Rhythm Guitar and Vocals, Per Semb - Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals, Stian Sannerud - Drums, Max Warnby - Bass
NWOTM Blog: Human Mutation is a fantastic thrash metal release. How has the fan response been since its release last year?
Per: We've got a lot of positive feedback, can't really think about any negative things being said actually! I was surprised of the positive feedback we got (mostly production-wise) when we first released the EP on CDBaby and later put the songs on YouTube. Since I mixed the whole album, I expected to get at least some complaints about the production.
We also got the EP reviewed on a pretty well-known Norwegian heavy metal homepage, and the fact that the reviewer gave us a bigger score than Exodus' latest release (Exhibit B) was very cool!
Another thing that's also been really, really cool is that some fans actually have covered our songs and put in on YouTube!
NWOTM Blog: As you get ready to record your new album with a batch of new songs, how do you think you have grown as songwriters?
Tantara: Since we started to make new songs after the EP was done, we've been more progressive so to speak. We try to stay away from the typical/cliché song structures (like intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-verse-chorus-end). We're also thinking more about musical climaxes in the song, taking care that the climax is not in the start so the song is going downhill from that. At least if there's a climax it's at the start, we make a bigger one later in the song!
NWOTM Blog: As you listen back to your music, what makes them uniquely Tantara songs?
Fredrik: Though question! The first thing that strikes me is that our songs never get "boring" in some sort of way. At least we feel that way, that there are no "dead spots" that can be found in a lot of other songs (not all, of course). That's a number one priority when we make songs - make things we like ourselves, and boring songs were you feel that "time stops" is something that we don't like. "Prejudice of Violence" is an good example - it lasts in 9 minutes and 30 seconds, and when it's done, you feel like its only been on for 4-5 minutes tops. Our album will probably be one of the longest thrash albums our there, roughly 60 minutes divided into 8 songs - and trust me, you won't get bored at any time, unless you're not into thrash - which in that case would've been understandable (haha).
NWOTM Blog: What is your recording schedule for the new album?
Tantara: First it was the pre-production a month before the recordig took place, and then we hit the studio last week! We've been tracking drums, which are soon to be done, as well as the guitars which we do right after the drum track is done. Later on we will put on bass, vocals and leads. The last days we'll mix it and do the mastering - and voila, it's done! 25 days in total (included days off in the weekends).
NWOTM Blog: Legendary producer Flemming Rasmussen is working with you on the new record. How did Tantara hook up with him?
Tantara: Well, legendary as he is, it wasn't hard to hook up with him! Fredrik just sent him a well written e-mail with a link to our myspace and asked if he was interested in recording and producing our album - and he was! He liked our songs, and I think that was a big part of his decision to go through with this. Even though a little money is in the picture, who wants to spend a whole month recording music they don't like at all? He also told us the other day that he rarely does metal records anymore, so we take that as a huge compliment that he wanted to do it with us! (Even though he later said; "But I made an exception for you guys" - with an sarcastic undertone.) Haha!
NWOTM Blog: I imagine that working with Rasmussen would be a dream for many thrash bands. What are your feelings about working with him?
Stian: We think that it is totally awesome to work with Flemming, especially for me, as I've been a huge fan of Metallica's 80's sound since the first I heard it. You know you'll get a quality when you're working with Flemming, at least sound and production-wise.
On the other hand he is a really down to earth guy, and a REALLY cool guy! He's like, 54 years old!? When we're hanging out with him, he's like a guy on our same age, loofing around and having a good time! The energy between us is so good, we've never expected it to be that way, it's just so awesome! There's always a joke around the corner, some laughing, or some shit-talking about other things we don't like, haha! At this point, we could've never thought of a better man to record an album with! It's just amazing.
NWOTM Blog: What expectations do you have for the new record?
Tantara: First of all, we hope that we get signed with a record label, so we don't need to have another self-release. The good thing to release things yourself is that you get the money for yourself, but if you want make physical copies and send it to your fans, it will cost a little after a while. If we get a record label behind us, we'll have get more publicity, and the chance for a tour outside of Norway is bigger.
NWOTM Blog: Are there touring plans in the immediate future? What places would you like to tour?
Tantara: We're in the planning stage of having a tour later this year, so we hope that'll work out! We need to promote our album well and hook up some new fans. It would've been awesome to actually play a gig were people actually KNOW our music! Most of the gigs we've played before have been in rock/metal-bars where no one has ever heard of us, which actually is good because it motivates us to kick their ass and make 'em like us - which almost everytime has turns out well! The last gig we played, lots of people bought our Human Mutation EP right away, and even wanted us to sign them! That's a pretty awesome feeling, it's makes you feel like you've made a big impression! But yeah, we're going to tour our asses off when we get the opportunity to do it, and we would love to travel around in at least Europe to do that! Touring the USA would've also been a huge dream!
NWOTM Blog: Any last words?
Tantara: Thanks to fans that support us and spreading the word about us! If it wasn't for you, we probably wouldn't grow this fast as a band as we have! Starting in the second half of 2009, performing for our first time in 2010, recording a EP at a local studio for 3 days the same year, and one year later record an album with mighty Flemming Rasmussen is just great! Thank you all, and hopefully we'll see you on tour not too far in the future!