There is perhaps no band keeping the spirit and sound of ’70s hard rock and heavy metal alive more so than Tanith.
Formed in 2017, the band embraced that era wholeheartedly, resulting in 2019’s aptly titled In Another Time, which instantly earned cult status and put them on the map. Now, they return with Voyage, picking up where they left off and once again demonstrating their mastery when it comes to this niche. “I wanted more of the same but different in some marginal way,” explains vocalist/guitarist Russ Tippins (also of Satan). “Voyage is the sound of the universe speaking to mankind through the medium of Tanith. Or, if you like, twin-guitar heavy rock with dual singers which, if you grew up in the 1970s, will make you want to bounce over to the nearest record store. On a space hopper.”
While their debut came together easily, this time around there were hurdles to overcome, first and foremost the COVID-19 lockdown, which geographically split up the band, Tippins living in the UK while vocalist/bassist Cindy Maynard and drummer Keith Robinson dwelt in Brooklyn. Once life finally returned to “normal” and they were ready to record, they were hit by another bombshell with guitarist Charlie Newton abruptly bowing out of the band the day before tracking began.
“Speaking as one part of a two-guitar band, it felt like trying to fly with one wing,” says Tippins. “It happened so suddenly we were dumbstruck. I guess we sat around for a few days thinking he was sure to walk through the door at any moment. But soon enough we realized we’d have to try to find a way to make this record without Charlie and I’m not just talking about laying down his lines. It’s about the shared dream we had with him. The conviction he brought to that dream. The four-way belief now reduced to three.”
Returning to Brooklyn’s Excello Recording and engineer Hugh Pool — the same combination used for tracking In Another Time — the band produced the album themselves, with Pool mixing. The sessions were a fun time for Tanith, again recording to tape rather than digital and utilizing vintage amps and speakers to find the best possible sounds for the instruments. “Just having the time every day all day to be in the music was a big deal and all of our energy went into this project even after leaving the studio,” says Maynard. “We were thinking and breathing the music, constantly working on parts and ideas. We came in well prepared overall, and that gave us time to try out different sounds for different parts to get just the thing we were looking for.” Given that they established themselves as a twin-guitar band on their debut they also brought in an extra player, Andee Blacksugar, best known for touring with Peter Murphy and as a member of KMFDM, now also a member of Blondie, who Robinson had played with before.
With the record fully realized, the band are eager for people to hear it, and they are confident that it is worth taking the time to listen to it — and experience it — in all its old school glory. Tippins says, “I can think of only two other rock bands in the entire world right now that records onto 24-track analog tape. If all you’ve ever known is digitally produced music you really need to listen to Voyage on vinyl and experience the difference. And I’m not talking about vinyl pressed from masters recorded on Pro Tools. At no point from tracking to pressing has any of the music on Voyage been digitized. It will open your eyes.”