Interview: Tatanka

Interview: Tatanka

Homegrown in Denver Colorado, Tatanka is a four piece specializing in the sounds of dub, progressive reggae, and electro soundscapes. Heavy Caribbean drum and bass grooves provide the pulse for the party as the music invites you to get down and dirty.

Tatanka just released a new single in July titled Parachutes that is expected to be on their new album set to be released this October. Blending an array of both electronic/dub and reggae music, it was a no brainer when The Pier was approached by dubtronic heavy hitters Tatanka to get together and discuss future plans for the next album coming out this October and the story behind the album title & the groups name, “Tatanka”. Lets read on…Enjoy!

The Pier: You guys released your first E.P “Sounds IN Technicolor” through your website and social networking sites in which you guys have reached 4,000 plus downloads, not to mention for free! Now that you have our attention, when can we expect the long anticipated sophomore album?
Tatanka: Yes, the album is going to be 80 minutes of electro dub sound scapes that are sure to make you groove. We actually have to cut a couple of tracks to fit the 80 minute disc. The album will be called John Dunbar and we will be releasing it on October 8th!

The Pier: John Dunbar huh? How did you guys come up with that?
Tatanka: (Laughs) Funny question you ask. If people do their research they will find that the main character in the movie dances with wolves is named John J. Dunbar…He is truly an amazing character.

The Pier: Your band name “Tatanka” translates to buffalo in Lakota Sioux. Considering the correlation of your buffalo logo and your coincidental up and coming album name that was inspired by a movie that is based around the cowboy and Indian culture, not to mention buffaloes, what was the inspiration behind you guys naming your band “Tatanka”?
Tatanka: We look at a buffalo as a very strong and powerful animal, just like the sounds we create. The native people of America used the buffalo for everything and never let any of it go to waste. We try to do the same thing with our music and make sure every sound has a reason or a purpose. All of us growing up in Colorado have been surrounded by the old west atmosphere and stories our whole lives. It was just something that seemed perfect at the time.

The Pier: That’s awesome! Rumor has it that you guys will be joining Passafire on tour starting in October, in which you will promote the new album. Tell us more!
Tatanka: Yes, the rumors you hear are true. We are privileged and very fortunate to be joining up with the Passafire crew. These guys helped us get our start back in the day and seem to keep throwing us great opportunities. They are one of the most progressive bands in music right now. Both of our bands will be out promoting the release of our new albums. We cannot wait!

The Pier: What is your process in selecting a producer for your albums? Are you guys using the same producer that produced “Sounds In Technicolor”?
Tatanka: Well, we are the main producers on our albums. This time around we went with Dave Jackson, the one who did the mixing and mastering for “Sounds In Technicolor”. We obviously look at budget and comfort level. Dave is an old personal friend of mine and knows what he is doing.

The Pier: Festivals have been a big part of your exposure to new fans this summer. How has that been for you guys?
Tatanka: We go with the flow and take every day one day at a time. The festival circuit has been huge for us this summer. We have got to play some awesome festivals like Desert Rocks and Sonic Bloom. We have Powellapalooza with Slightly Stoopid coming up here in September. We have met thousands of new people and would not have been able to reach out to the numbers we have without our festival full summer. We love playing music and that is what we will continue to do.

The Pier: You guys selected somebody who is friends to many in the scene to manage your band and somebody I like to refer to as the Sinsemilla Santa Clause. Matt Epp of Silver Surfer Vaporizers! How did this relationship develop?
Tatanka: (Laughs) The first time I met Matt I blew him off. He pretty much told me that I might want to reconsider talking to him. I cooled down and we started chatting and I found out he was the Artist rep for Silver Surfer. He took us around the warehouse and got us hooked up. We are so lucky to live close to each other. He kept coming to shows and the band kept struggling with bookings and keeping the creative juices flowing. We became super good friends long before the management question and idea was even brought up. We love his wife and daughter and appreciate everything he does in this music industry. It was a no brainer when the idea came about. Game, set and match from there. It’s a perfect team.

The Pier: Up until almost a year ago you guys were a three piece and have added Byrd to run live effects and loops on the fly. His unique appearance and performance skills make it even that much more fun to watch you guys. How has adding Byrd helped you guys in molding and honing your sound?
Tatanka: Oh man what a great addition. He is a personal friend of ours for almost six years now. He really fills the sound space for us. As a trio you need to take up as much space as possible without coming off muddy or cluttered. He is the icing on the cake and also makes transitions and breaks not as dead. He is supplying sounds the other 3 of us cannot do while playing our instruments.

The Pier: We look forward to the future with such a futuristic sounding band. Thanks for your time Ian and best of luck with Tatanka.
Tatanka: Thanks so much! We love The Pier!

  • Download Tatanka’s “Sounds In Technicolor” for FREE inside our MP3 Massive section by clicking HERE
  • Tatanka Links:
    Tatanka Website
    Tatanka Facebook
    Tatanka YouTube
    Tatanka MP3 Massive

    Interview by: Chad Hillje