On the eve of the release of the band’s second Ep, ‘The Arrow’s in Flight’, we caught up with Tanera Heights, who hail from Strathpeffer.
Where did the name of the band come from?
When naming the band we wanted to retain some association with the Highlands where we’re all from. My brother Alasdair (drums, electric violin, vox) got attached to the name of the island Tanera Mor, one of the Summer Isles off the coast of Achiltibuie where our Dad stayed for a while. This eventually resulted on the band agreeing on the name Tanera Heights.
You have previously noted quite an expansive list of influences ,such as Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros, King Crimson, Radiohead, David Bowie and the Flaming Lips, how do you pull them together and how would you describe the resultant sound of Tanera Heights?
We try to use the experimental and progressive ideas that Pink Floyd, Sigur Ros (In the earlier albums) and King Crimson provide and aim to harness them into a shorter and potentially more accessible format which Radiohead, The Flaming Lips and David Bowie have all achieved so well. Having three creative forces results in ideas coming from a huge range of influences which apart from the odd clash of ideas usually results in being really rewarding. As we are a three piece we try to make the best effort we can to use diverse ideas using various combinations of guitar, drums, bass, 3 part vocal harmonies, electric violin, piano, synth and various extra electronic tweaks.
It’s been 8 months from your debut EP, “Cannons and Drums”,to the imminent release of “The Arrow’s in Flight”, we would normally expect a bit more of a gap between EPs, is there a particular reason for the quick follow-up? And can you tell us about the new EP itself?
The reason for this is largely due to the fact it took us such a long time to release our debut E.P. By the time the E.P had been mixed and was ready for release we were brimming with new ideas and decided we couldn’t wait until the new year to get into the studio again.
You guys are from Strathpeffer initially, how important are the local roots for you?
Our local roots are very important to us. Our debut gig at the Rock in Dingwall in 2006 (then playing with the name ‘The Influence’) still remains one of the friendliest crowd experiences we’ve had to date. The majority of our music has also been written in the area. Without being surrounded by harsh musical criticism and numerous bands trying to fit into trends that come and go I find it a really positive creative environment which allows us to experiment with and expand on musical ideas that we wouldn’t necessarily produce elsewhere.
If people have not heard you before, what song would you recommend that they listen to, and why?
I would recommend them to listen ‘Your Control’, the first track from our forthcoming E.P ‘The Arrow’s in Flight’. I think we’re all in agreement that this track best demonstrates what the band are trying to achieve at the moment striking a balance between accessible rock and forward thinking experimentation.
Have you got anything else to plug?
There are no live dates booked at the moment but this situation always changes. I’d like to plug our Facebook, Twitter, myspace and Soundcloud pages to keep up to date with everything that’s happening in the world of Tanera Heights.
by Chris Lemon
Thanks to Colin Tarbat of Tanera Heights and James Mackenzie Photography