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Shiraz Lane
Interview mit Ana & Hannes [Shiraz Lane], 27.06.2015, Helsinki/Tuska Open Air



Die fünf Musiker der finnischen Hard-Rock-Band Shiraz Lane haben schon viel erreicht: Sie hatten Auftritte in Japan, Kanada sowie auf zahlreichen finnischen Sommer-Festivals, darunter beispielweise das Tuska, und werden im August ihren allerersten Deutschland-Auftritt auf dem Wacken Open Air absolvieren – und das alles ohne Label-Unterstützung. Was ist das Erfolgsrezept des jungen Quintetts? Ich traf Sänger Hannes Kett und Drummer Ana Willman, beide mit einem gesunden Selbstbewusstsein ausgestattet, nach ihrem Tuska-Auftritt am 27. Juni 2015 in Helsinki und fühlte ihnen ein wenig auf den Zahn.


Did you enjoy the gig today at Tuska?


Hannes: Yeah, we’ve never been here before and I’ve never seen any bands here. So this is actually my first time – I just lost my virginity.

You’ve never been here privately?

Hannes: No, never! But it’s been awesome. Tuska is one of those festivals in Finland being known as a metal festival, so it’s fun to play here as a hard rock band. But even though we’re a hard rock band I saw some bold guys with their fists up screaming – this is what it’s all about.

The band Shiraz Lane seems to be rising at the moment. You already had gigs in Japan and Canada! How does it feel to see your own faces in magazines suddenly?

Ana: Of course it feels great to see that the band has started to grow, that we’re developing ourselves, but still for us it’s all about making great music, even though we can find ourselves in the magazines and on the big festivals. But the main reason for us to make music doesn’t change. It’s all about the music and it feels great that we haven’t changed as people.

Hannes: It’s always been all about the music. And for me it is a lot of fun so see my face there, because I know that several other people will see our faces as well and they might start listening to our music. Then they hate it or they like it.

How did the band find together? Do you know each other from school?

Hannes: Actually Ana and me were childhood friends.

Ana: We used to live next door to each other and were already good friends back in that time. Then years past by and we decided to form a band. We found Miki via Internet and Jani, our other guitarist, went to the same school I was going to at that time.

Hannes: And then Joel joined about one year ago. We had another bass player for four years and then a friend helped us out for six months. But when Joel joined, we felt that the family was finally together. Now we’re just doing what we want to do: great music and gigs!

As Germany doesn’t really know you yet, how would you introduce yourself and the music?

Hannes: We are a hard rock band with a message. And we’re definitely not the most usual hard rock band out there.

What does it mean?

Hannes: For some people it might take a while. First they will say: “What the fuck is this?” And then they either love it or hate it. But that is fine for us, because so many people love the music. And those who hate it, just hate it.

How does a Shiraz Lane song usually come into being? Is everybody in the band writing songs?

Ana: There is no usual way. I mean, it might start with just a drum beat and then one of us just joins the jamming. Then out of a sudden we have a good riff for a song and we continue making the song together. It might also come from maybe a vocal melody and we start composing a song around it. But we always do the songs pretty much together. We just jam the songs out and then it develops itself. There is no single composer. Of course Hannes does the lyrics and vocal melodies…

Hannes: I see music in general as a canvas for jamming. We create the canvas and then just paint what we want. That’s how it is.

Ana: It’s kind of fun when the songs come up with jams, because when we have a riff and I play the drums in a certain way, then someone might come up with a different drum pattern that I should use. But then I develop it even further and the others might start writing their own thing even further. In a way it’s a conversation when we start jamming out a song. I’m pretty satisfied with the way we create the music.

Hannes: And we’re so close to each other, like we’re all one. So we know what the other guys gonna play. That is really weird and it scares me sometimes, because I know what Jani’s gonna play, so I can bend my voice to it. That’s so weird, but I love.

Ana: We can read each other’s minds! [laughter]

Seems like there is democracy in the band…

Hannes: Yeah, everyone is in authority. If someone doesn’t like something, we’ll try all we can to satisfy everyone’s needs.

Ana: It’s weird to say that we have democracy in the band, because many bands say that democracy doesn’t work in a band, because when you have different views, you cannot put them together. That is bullshit! Then again we are so much alike, we five of us, that we don’t really have arguments. We don’t have to do a lot of compromises.

Hannes: At the end of the day the solution we find will always be the best for the band and everyone will be satisfied. That’s just how it is. If there would be just one or two guys in a band who are writing the songs, they will all sound the same. We don’t wanna do that. We want to be different. We’re not just a normal hard rock act.

Ana: There’s a piece of everyone’s soul in each of our songs.

Your very first EP is called “Be The Slave Or Be The Change” – sounds like there is a political hint in the lyrics. What does inspire you, Hannes?

Hannes: I get inspired by the world around me. And looking at the world around me there is so much hate, greed and sadness – and that makes me sad as well. I want the people to wake the fuck up and understand that we can make a change – if we wanna make a change. But then again I found out that some people are happy with the world as it is. I don’t get that! It’s always been like that…

We will never understand…

Hannes: No, we will never understand. My lyrics just come out of me and sometimes I miss sleeping. I do not sleepwalking, but sleepwriting! I think, I don’t write the same way as other singers do, like “I have a song and I will write some lyrics for it now”. I write down sentences, I write down my thoughts…my lyrics are more like a diary. Everything I write about is somehow connected to me.

So there is not the music first and you write the lyrics for it…?

Hannes: Sometimes, it depends. We’re kind of weird in that way. Everything will always work out, everything is meant to be – like Ana’s and my tattoo. [showing the same tattoo on their hands]

Are you already working on a debut album?

Hannes: Yeah, we’re writing songs.

But you’re not signed yet by a record label, aren't you?

Hannes: In time we know it will happen… [laughs]

Ana: I think we will be releasing pretty soon.

Hannes: We can’t say it for sure, but we hope it will be next year.

You’ve already released three music videos. Is it more fun creating them or also a lot of work?


Hannes: A lot of work, but it is a lot of fun as well. It is really stressful getting everything done, but when we start shooting it’s so funny, because we can do whatever we wanna do. And Joel, our bass player, he did the amazing artwork on the EP and he’s also responsible for the videos. We also have to thank a friend of ours concerning “Mental Slavery”, because he was an extra hand there. But a good thing about it is, that we have a vision and we can do whatever we wanna do.

Ana: What we have done so far – including the album artwork and the music videos – has been 100 percent our work. The music videos have been recorded, directed and cut by Joel our bass player.

Hannes: When he came to the band everything started happening…

Ana: We just have our own visions and it’s been tons of fun, even though it’s more work by doing everything on your own. But then again you don’t have a director who’s telling you what to do. And I think that is one of the reasons why the music videos turned out to be so good, I would say, because I’m really satisfied with them – especially with “Mental Slavery”, the latest one.

The videos look really professional…

Hannes: Yeah, they do. And you can see a development: From “Out There Somewhere” to “Money Talks” it becomes better and from “Money Talks” to “Mental Slavery” even more. We will film a music video for “Behind The 8-Ball” as well. We just don’t know yet when. We have some ideas, but don’t know yet when we’ll have the time for it. And also for “Story To Tell” we are currently recording stuff.

Ana: Ja, the “Story To Tell” video will be released before the “Behind The 8-Ball” video. The first video will probably be released in the end of August, I would say.

After Wacken?

Ana: Ja, after Wacken! We have to film material from our live shows. We wanna tell a story about our lives and show who we are: a bunch of hippies! [laughter]

Your very first show in Germany will really be at Wacken Open Air this year. How does it feel for you?

Hannes: The first feeling is: Holy fucking shit! It’s like a dream becoming true! We are speechless and don’t know what to expect. We just gonna come there and rock hard.

Ana: It’s unbelievable!

Are you nervous?

Hannes: Nervous? No, not at all, just really excited.

Ana: For one week we know that we will play at Wacken. We are still overwhelmed.

Have you ever been in Germany privately before?

Hannes: I have been at October Fest. My father loves beer, so he showed me that part of life. [laughs] I was there when I was 15 and I didn’t drink any beer, I am happy for that. But we gonna go there with the band as soon as possible. Everything we do, we do together. We are a family. We don’t just play gigs and practice. We also hang out together and do everything we wanna do.

In September you will be on tour with Santa Cruz here in Finland. How did this come about?

Hannes: We are friends with the band. And I would say that the fan base is similar for both bands. Some of their fans know us and some of our fans know them. So why the fuck not? I am sure the gigs will be sold out.

What about the rest of the weekend? Will you enjoy the whole Tuska Festival?

Ana: Yeah, we wanna see Alice Cooper tomorrow…

Hannes: …and Stratovarius maybe…and today Ana wants to see In Flames.

Ana: Yes, I wanna see In Flames and Amorphis.



Interview & Fotos: Lea S.
Website Band: www.facebook.com/ShirazLane?fref=ts


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