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In The Realm of AOR Paradise with Tanna

In The Realm of AOR Paradise with Tanna

In The Realm of AOR Paradise with Tanna

Tanna present their own exhilarating brand of AOR paradise, a place where palm trees light up the skyline and melodic rock reigns supreme.  The mastermind behind Tanna is Tapani “Tanna” Tikkanen, and the auditory journey is entitled Storm In Paradise – available worldwide via AOR HeavenTanna and his crew has set sail and the results found within Storm In Paradise are absolutely intriguing.  Highwire Daze recently caught up with the creator of Tanna to find out a whole lot more about this amazing collective and their Storm In Paradise endeavor.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Tanna and how long the band has been together.
I am Tapani “Tanna” Tikkanen, I was born in Pudasjärvi (Pudaslake in English..:) some time ago… I am the singer and the songwriter and I also play guitar. I’ve been doing music ever since I was a kid and I was about 16 when I started playing in bands with my friends. The first real band was IC-ROCK and after that broke up, TANNA was formed 1985. That lasted about four years. After that a thousand things have happened.

Where are you based out and what is your local music scene like there?
In Northern Finland there were only a few bands that had record deals and we were one of the lucky ones. Everything was very Helsinki-based.

How did you wind up signing with AOR Heaven?
About a year ago I thought I wanna make a record with my own nick-name TANNA, by which I’ve been called as long as I can remember. What could be more honest name than your own name? So, I sent the recordings to AOR Heaven, thinking this might be the right choice for this kinda music. And, I was right, they liked it and here we are. That´s it.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Storm In Paradise CD title?
Storm In Paradise, what a name for the album! That´s what I think! Nothing specific behind it. It’s about how things can change quickly. It’s about the husband that takes a walk on the wild side, cheats his wife… they had it all, but he screwed up big time. It happens I’ve heard….

Select two songs from Storm In Paradise and what inspired the lyrics?
Well, I must choose HISPANIOLA. It’s based on the legendary book Treasure Island, which every boy has read. It would be stupid to write the same story, so I got an idea that I dedicate this song to the ship “Hispaniola”. “You know the secrets of all those hungry men…will you ever make it… to Treasure Island and back again…” I am proud of this one.

Another song I must choose is NIGHTS ON THE ROAD. This song is dedicated to Markku “Make” Kiminki, who died a few years ago. We did hundreds of gigs together; he was our roadie, lighting engineer and a great friend of mine. The song explains itself. I know all the bands that have toured years ago remember the good times, the good memories, the tough ones also. It’s kinda crazy way of living that no man can understand if you ain’t done it. And if you’ve been there, you’ll never forget it.

Who did the cover art for Storm In Paradise and how much input did you have on it?
I had the basic idea of the cover. I love palm trees, I think they are one of the most beautiful things on this planet. Tamara Picardo, a beautiful lady from Uruguay did the designing and we kinda worked together on this one. Tamara did a fantastic job! She’s gifted.

What has it been like to record and release new music In the middle of a worldwide pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
I don’t really mind what goes on outside these walls. When I pick up my guitar and start singing and playing and writing, it don’t matter. I forget everything.  I am in my imaginary world. I am happy though this album is coming out now and not six months ago.

What could one expect from a live Tanna show?
Tanna-show would be energetic, lively. Interactive, I ‘ve always loved to sing with the crowd, make them scream and shout and party. It would be fun, not too serious and gloomy. Good lights, nice outfits and always room to jam a bit.

If Tanna could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
It would’ve been great to open up for Tom Petty. He was and is one of my heroes. Oh, man…

When you look back on your very first album Anyway Ya Want It by IC Rock in 1982, what do you think of it now in retrospect?
I am proud of my first album with IC_ROCK. It was a very ambitious project, ahead of its time in Finland. Small budget, tight schedule and still we managed to do it. I was determined to accomplish something then already and I ‘m glad we pushed the envelope.

How does Prayer compare to your solo project and are you still working with them? If so, what is going on with the band?
The Prayer-book is closed; we did three good albums with great stuff on them. Now is now, and we have a new name, sound, spirit and everything. Maybe I feel more free to do what I want, I am a songwriter, I can write whatever I like and we can arrange it the way we like with the boys. I love it. Maybe I get more out of my system also, got myself on the line, you know.

What’s up next for Tanna?
Next week we go and make a demo with the boys. I have hundreds of new songs, great stuff, I am excited. We record a couple of songs and the plan is to start recording the new album as soon as possible. Life is short.

Any final words of wisdom?
Try to prosper. Set goals. Try to better yourself.  Don’t wait for the better days, make them. Be brave, chase your dreams. Listen to our new album, give it a chance, it might surprise you!

The new line-up is:
Jukka Ihme: guitar
Ville Hanhisuanto: drums
Mika Pohjola: keyboards
Jaakko Konttila: bass
Tapani “Tanna” Tikkanen: vocals, guitar

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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