There are few interview you'll read that mention the phrase the missing link between Rachel Stamp and Busted, but then Tat aren't your usual band. Formed around the core of Tatiana DeMaria and former Vegastones frontman Tim Vanderkill. With fellow Vegastones tumbthumper Damonski and bassist Spreader they recorded the unforgettable debut single "Peace, Sex and Tea" and then in one of those bizarre rock moments Damon left to drum for Busted. Enter Robin Guy from Rachel Stamp as his replacement and you have the Tat we know today. Designer Magazine caught up with Tat and Tim at this years In The City Music Conference.
Q: The way Tat came together is almost flicking through
a Wish You Were Here Guide. Tatiana grew up in England, moved to Paris
for a few years, came back to blight before meeting Tim who'd emigrated
over from Australia to London. The cultural influences that you can draw
on must be immense
Tatiana: Well yeah. Tim grew up in Australia and I kinda grew up here but had parents who were from the Medittarean, my mums Italian and my dads Lebanese, so we spent a lot of time there. I was living in Paris as well until I was 14. I don't know how much of that has an impact on my lyrics, but musically we've got a pretty wide scope
Tim: I was listening to Nirvana and AC/DC and I guess I add that pop sensibility to Tat's songs. And Tat's songs are very autobiographical, they're not just about any old shit...
Tat: ...yeah, but I kind of have a problem writing.
I feel like i'm the least creative person in my family. When I write a
song I tend to just relate it to how I feel and that can be a good thing
or a bad depending on how they like to listen to songs. These songs are
definitely things i've lived through and things that I feel strongly about.
Q: Tatiana, you've been playing in bands around London
for about 4 years now. Have you always sounded like this and strived for
the Tat sound or have you played in every style of band going?
Tat: The things is i've been writing stuff since I was about 12 or 13. And the bands were all high school bands apart from one that just fell apart before we got to perform. I did some solo things and with the songs I write i've always known how I wanted them to sound because of my influences (The Clash, Rancid, Offspring, Green Day). When I listened to them that's how I wanted my songs to sound - raunchy, but the melodies to come through. I always had the same idea that Tim with his experiences, his ears and his taste would be able to bring that to life. I'd sit down there with a guitar and blast out the distortion and Tim will say why don't you try this and it will sound fantastic.
Tim: I've never been able to write songs in that
vein, but i've always loved loud guitars. The music that I write myself
is a bit more mellow side. For me this is an outlet for thrashing out and
that's why I love it.
Q: I guess this is the first time you've both felt
right about the band you're in?
Tat: The thing is about 2 years ago I was playing music and i'd written a lot of these songs. I went to my neighbour cos I knew he was involved in music and it was like "what do you think of these songs?". He really didn't want to hear my songs cos he'd heard them blasting through the wall for the past few months, so he loaded me off onto Tim. I went over to his place with the idea of laying down a demo and it was the first time someone had said something positive about my music.
Tim introduced me Damon and Spreader and along the line
Damon left the band cos he had other things to do. Ok, he left to join
Busted. We were stuck for a drummer so we took Robin (Rachel Stamp) on
but he'd already accepted a gig in the States so in the meantime we got
Gary with us for 2 months. And Spreader's left now so at the moment it's
more of a big family with us two at the core.
Q: You've got the lyric about "fabricated acts" and
manufactured bands" and then your drummer went and joined Busted.
Tat: The thing is I love Damon to pieces and when he went to do Busted we weren't making any money so I can't blame him. He still has his own band as well. I can understand why he had to go and do Busted because he needed the money. I personally wouldn't have done it, I am very against manufactured acts, but when you have a friend and your friend needs and wants to do it you never disrespect that decision. I would never go behind his back and say he's a f**king gay lord for doing manufactured stuff.
Q: Now Damons done Busted and made the money, would
you allow him to come back and drum for Tat full time?
Tat: He's happy doing Busted. He's making money and we're not. He's got his house and a wife to support, and we're not at that stage yet. Maybe if we're at that stage he could come back, but then there is the position that he has been Busted's drummer.
Q: Obviously Damon was in Vegastones with you. What
happened with you guys cos you released the album and then just disappeared
Tim: The record was Record Of The Week at XFM in London and it was about to be released and then our A&R guy left. The new A&R guy came along and just dropped 12 acts of the roster and we were one of them. We had one track on an advert that went all the way round the world and another track was used in a film so even though the money's still rolling in because of that, we never actually had the album released. The album actually got as far as promo stage, which is why you probably thought it was released, and it got really good reviews after about 2 years of people not quite getting us.
Q: For readers who didn't see you at In The City or
at the various gigs across the UK earlier this year. I'd describe you as
a female fronted Offspring. Fair description?
Tat: That's cool. I'd go with that. There's a bit of dub in there and more mellow tracks as well. The single "Peace, Sex And Tea" kinda suggests where were coming from, but we've got a couple of softer rock ballads ready for the album as well.
Tim: Tat doesn't necessarily set out to write pop songs.
Tat: The only problem I have with the word pop is I know i'm in the same category as S Club Juniors. If people call you pop you know you're with Robbie Williams, but pop is so broad. I think we're just a rock band, but then The Offspring are a rock band with a pop edge.
The one thing that I'm always kind of against is categorization, cos there's a hip hop track that's going on this album that is really just a beat and a rap. For me that's something that I wanna do because I have an interest in hip hop and i've grown up with hip-hop as well. How many people do you know that only listen to one type of music. I'm passionate about every type of music and I wanna put every kind of music on the album.
I just wanna be free to make music and not have people
going why are you making a pop punk song. Blink 182 got so categorized
by pop punk, that the second they moved out of it they lost a lot of fans.
I just wanna keep my doors open. I've got another hip-hop project and i'm
in a Ramones tribute band
Q: Tell us more about the hip-hop project?
Tat: It's not a band, it's just writing hip-hop songs and making beats. I've got a lot of raps and i've made a lot of beats at home and I just wanna get a body of work together. At the moment i'm still making the concept before I set anything in stone, because I still wanna bring other vocalists on.
To me hip-hop is a beat, a melody and rapping and rap
didn't start about being rich. Rap started about the struggle for black
people and I respect that. I look at it and go I don't want to rap about
bitches and ho's, obviously I don't experience it, so I will only rap about
what i've experienced and how i'm feeling.
Q: And have Tat got one last word for the readers?
Tat: When you write music if you write a song that's really personal and really honest a lot of people will feel the same. At the end of the day we're all human and we all feel the same emotions. So if you write a song about frustration or hatred or love then someone out there will relate to it.
Tat release "Another Wasted Summer" in November
Tour dates are expected TBA soon
For more info
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