By Kenny Lenehan
*Hey Kenny, this is Russ from Tanith. It’ll be my pleasure to answer your questions. Thanks for the interest, and of course for the glowing review you gave our debut LP!
How did you guys form? I see you have an interesting line up with members from each side of the Atlantic?
The official birth of the band was October 2017, about a month before we recorded the two songs for the 7” single. But for maybe a year leading up to that, Cindy and I were playing in a band around the north of England (we’ve been in a trans-Atlantic relationship for 5 years). Anyway, it was really just a bunch of covers for kicks while she was visiting me but we really did enjoy playing & singing together. In turn I was spending an increasing amount of time visiting her in New York so it seemed a no-brainer to try and put together some kind of outfit so we could do the same while I was in town. One of my best friends in Brooklyn over the last five years has been Charlie Newton. On several occasions we’ve sat up all night with guitars in hand and beer on the coffee table. He was definitely part of our plan for the New York band. To be honest, the intention was no more than to play the same cover set but as it turned out, the clubs all have a strict ‘no covers’ policy so out of necessity we wrote some songs and pretty quickly realised we were onto something. By that time we’d already persuaded Keith (Robinson) to join us and once we’d done that, it just blossomed from there.
I recently reviewed your latest release “In Another Time” is there a story on the track “Cassini’s Deadly Plunge”?
There certainly is. And it’s a true story, but if you aren’t a space-nerd like me you probably would’ve missed it all. Cassini was an unmanned NASA spacecraft which spent nearly twenty years in space on a scientific mission to study the planet Saturn and its rings. Six of those years were spent just getting there! Anyway, it was hugely successful but eventually she began to run of fuel. The controllers couldn’t risk her accidentally hitting one of Saturn’s moons, some of which possibly have conditions suitable for life. So, they directed Cassini to crash into the surface of Saturn itself. The plummet and crash was spectacular & fiery. This happened in 2017 and I watched a documentary video of the ending, and how the team who built Cassini were in tears as she went down in flames transmitting data to the very end. I immediately wanted to write a song about it and quickly wrote down a rough first draft but didn’t think the lyric would be suitable for a Satan song. It wasn’t until a couple of months later with the dawn of Tanith that I found a home for the song. I heard Cindy’s bass riff and knew right away we had the music.
Any plans for a UK tour?
Yes there are, but the plans are still at the tentative stage. I wish I could give you an announcement or confirmation of when and where. What I can do is give you the blueprint for the tour. It will end at the Hammer of Doom festival in Germany on November 16th. Our plan is to start in the UK late October and work our way through Europe towards HOD. We all have our fingers crossed because this is our last chance to tour Europe this year.
Some killer moments on ‘In Another Time’, which track is the bands most favoured live?
I always find this type of question awkward because as an artist, I couldn’t choose a favourite song any more than (as a parent) I could choose a favourite child. I don’t know what to say, but if you’re just wanting a perspective from the performance side, I think I could do that. Obviously, I’m sure the answer will be different from each of us, but for me, I guess there is a point in the set I always look forward to, that never fails to get me going. That point is during the chorus of ‘Dionysus’ when the drum beat kicks into double time. It’s like an injection of testosterone or something haha. And it’s so easy to play. It’s so punk!
I really enjoy the old school sounds and vibes on ‘In Another Time’ what influenced the sound most?
That’s an easy one to answer. Quite simply, we recorded everything on analogue tape (as opposed to digital hard drive). If you look on the LP sleeve you’ll see AAA which means all three stages from recording to mixing to mastering were in Analogue. The instruments were recorded onto 24-track two-inch tape. Then mixed down onto half inch stereo tape, and finally mastered on a cutting lathe. This is how all records used to be made until the 1990s and the digital revolution. I still remember how it felt doing it that way in the 80s. I’ve kind of missed it, and with the advent of Tanith I thought it would be a cool opportunity to turn the clock back and give people a genuine taste of the old school. That said, it was NOT easy to find a studio that offered this service. Nobody does it anymore, but we finally ended up at Excello in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In addition, we used old tube-amps for the guitars (mine was a 1950s Gibson combo!), and the drums Keith played were the original house set of Rogers. I’m really glad you picked up on those vibes Kenny, it kind of makes it worth all the extra effort and expense.
Plans for the rest of 2019?
Only what I described above in question 3. Except that is, for writing, jamming and hanging out together. We already have a ton of ideas for a follow-up record which we plan to record early next year. And despite the three thousand miles between us we a very close-knit group of friends.