💿 Hi, It's a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal ERICH ULMER, bassist of TANAGRA! Always glad to chat about ourselves with a group of enthusiastic metalheads 😆😆 💿 Your new album MERIDIEM is out for a few days (April 26th). Here at HARDROCKHEAVYMETAL we have the chance to listening a tons of music but ,honestly, I was impressed with your sound..Finally, among others, great bands, a stunning one with music that flows naturally, without the limit of a gente.. someone able to take rocks! Can you tell us your feelings about it and somethin' about its composition process? We think it represents a true snapshot of what it sounds like when we're collaborating and fine-tuning together. Interestingly, there are still a few songs from that specific timeframe that will come up in future works but just didn't sound as cohesive due to stylistic differences; so to some degree we did pick and choose for sound within the album. Tanagra usually has a "here's a thing, give me more ideas" collaborative approach; where someone sort of "directs" or "leads" the writing process but everyone can toss in riffs, structure ideas, etc. The album is diverse enough that while we didn't have synths and were getting later aspects of the composition done we just had to trust the music would be fully "Tanagra-fied" by the time it was all said an done. Witness and Desert are both examples of things that didn't sound like they were coming together until late in the process, and now it's the capstone it was meant to be! Desert sounded like straight up black metal when it was just the instruments and no arrangements. 💿 You come from Portland. Can you tell us somethin' about your local metal scene? Portland's metal scene, especially from our power-metal-ish perspective, is very fractured. There's the old crowd who wants their straight heavy metal, the crowd who doesn't care and just drinks until it sounds good, the crowds who like fancy-pants music like ours (haha), and various others, like the thrash metal fans. We did have our collection of bands that we preferred playing shows with though we'll have to get out there and find others as I think the top four off the top of my head have all disbanded. Back when we formed (and I think still?) the scenes we're familiar with (the thrash and power metal scenes) tossed members around a bit forming groups and side projects while still in other bands. Erich and Josh were both added while in other bands until they left those respectively; Steve was recently touring with Dire Peril and has done some guest spots with Helion Prime.
💿 Your new album is a self-release. Is difficult to find a label that believes in you or is it a choose to be totally free? I think it'd depend on the member you ask. We shopped the first album and will probably shop this one, but the biggest thing that seems nice to get from it is potential distribution and tour support. Asher (our PR guy/company Asher Media Relations) has done a great job on helping us get our name out there after a reasonably perceived hiatus and low profile on social media so that's been good on that front. But.. we'll see what happens. It's nice we aren't beholden to anyone and that there's enough interest in the music that we're getting lots of interviews, like this one here! Thanks! 💿 There's a great return of format such as vinyl. What's your thinking about this classic format..live for vintage or is it impossible a future for music outside digital? On that thought, I'm not sure what happens in the future of music as everything changes; we can partly 'afford' to make this because a couple of us are software engineers. Maybe it's always been that way save a lucky few, or maybe we're entering a time where the market is so saturated that that's how it gets done. Sorry to get philosophical, I'm on my first cup of coffee still 😆😆. We've been asked about it, but it's too expensive on our end to hope there are enough people who want it. It's bad enough with shirts, CDs, etc, where you have to order in bulk; and I think the bulk of our sales are still digital; so moving CDs (which is outmoded for a lot of society now) is difficult enough. It'd be neat to do vinyl but I can't see us doing it without doing a Kickstarter-like approach where we can judge if that's what people want or not via raw support. We just want our music out there! 💿 Inside your songs what's the role of lyrics in the composition process? Words follow music or vice versa? Interestingly you've touched on something that is in the midst of changing and depends on the lyric writer.
Usually, when Tom wrote lyrics they were after everything was composed; in part to leave room for whatever we were doing and fit in with the collaborative style. When it comes to Steve or Erich, they often write lyrics as part of the composition and have pieces arranged around/with it; treating it more like an instrument and a focal point. In the future, we're striving towards the latter style to be more prominent; mostly as a natural evolution of working together for a long period of time. 💿 Can you tell us somethin' about your live plans? At the moment we're still figuring on that. We don't have a tour planned and are likely to hunker down and try to get more material out since it's a long process, but if the demand is there we may just pull something together. We've been in "Meridiem" mode for a good 3-4 years and our writing has often had to take a back seat; with a half dozen or greater; partially finished; tracks just waiting to get out! We want to take the enthusiasm of this album and try to carry that forward into more music. If we get to tour and do some locals in the midst of that then great! 💿 Thank you so much for your time! See you soon on Hardrockheavymetal! Forward into a shining future! Erich/Tanagra #pressagent/pics AsherMediaRelations