RGM Introducing – The Rotanas

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide to start the band ?

I think a distaste for a normal life, not so much in a bitter sense but more a ‘wanting of more’ so to speak. A well channelled drive.

Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?

There’s five of us now, James and Aaron on guitar/songwriting, Aled on bass, Tommy on the cans and me (Harry) on Vox. We’ve been chugging away for a few years now, only recently having Tommy and Aaron join, two strong additions to the Tanas family. We’ve all had mixed backgrounds in music, I think the Tanas are an apt culmination of all that, our one unified creative vessel. It’s the only venture in music that’s really stolen me, of course, I cant speak for the other members, they might hate it, probably not.

It’s been a bit of a wild last year, how have you guys managed to pass time and stay sane during lockdown?

I don’t think we went into lockdown with any intention of staying sane and maybe that’s what made it, in an odd sense, such a magical time for us. There’s a beauty to well channeled madness, that’s what art is. I think we just projected our mental state the same way we always have, through our music. It’s been a long time since we’ve graced the stage but personally the growth in us as a band has made me thankful in some ways. Lockdown has been tough on a lot of people, some I know personally, but I think the opposite has been true for us. We’ve always operated in a brash and aggressive way as a band but sometimes you’ve got to slow down and let the universe work its hand, it has a strong voice and shutting up to properly listen to it is important. 

How positive are you feeling now we are in 2021?

It’s easy to get roped into the idea that a new year represents anything much more than running out of pages in your Calender, although I think with everything going on its a ‘beginning of the end’ sort of deal in terms of all the madness, that’s what excites me, when we go back to normal mundane, then our madness, our music and that of our fellow musicians can make a triumphant return, go back to fucking with the status quo. Im excited, maybe Im a dreamer, but isn’t that the point?

How has 2020  effected your mental health?

I think I’ve grown, as has the band. Like I said before it’s been a real thinking point, a break from everyone else’s chaos and a chance to really reflect on our own. Fortunately, we seem to have relished in it. 

What’s your favourite song right now from another band currently on the circuit?

I’m not normally one to listen to many new bands, ironic considering my attitude toward people not giving us the time of day, oh well. I do like a song called avant gardener by Courtney Barnett. It’s cool.

What support is out there for new artists in Cardiff ?

I think there’s loads, it’s a really healthy scene. I just hope it remembers there’s a world outside of Cardiff and to truly embrace itself it needs to move beyond that. It’ll never get the appreciation it deserves by boxing itself in and shutting the rest out.

Who is inspiring you at the minute on the Cardiff unsigned scene?

CVC, we’ve mentioned them a few times in interviews, I find something in them that speaks to me. I think it’s their soul. They do it right you know? Live and breathe it. A good group of gents and all.

If your fans could remember one thing about you what would it be?

Probably some wacky shit. Certainly nothing id want to tell my mother.

What useless talent do you have/ party trick? 

A dimwitted willingness to over-indulge. Outside of the early hours thats pretty useless.

What was the most fun you have had on stage?

Throwing beer at people and those same people screaming for more. It’s pretty entertaining. powerful.

What was the worst experience on stage?

I fail to remember what gig it was, but we had an announcer. Awful idea, announcers are terrible. Really cheap comedy, no-one laughed, no-one enjoyed it. Let the music do the talking.

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about? 

Me and Aaron are hippies, James writes pop songs, Aled used to be in a metal band and Tommy ceases to exist until called upon for largely pointless trivia.

Best drink to have on stage?

Im sure the expected answer is red stripe, its not.  Mushroom tea. 

Tell us a funny story from backstage?

We smoked a joint with kermit from black grape in a shipping container full of dining room chairs, a real interesting guy. A spiritual experience, but a funny one. 

What makes you stand out as a band/Artist?

I don’t know, I’m not sure I really want to know, when you know what makes you stand out the temptation would be to play on it but that would only manifest something unnatural and I think the beauty in our charm comes from the natural expression of ourselves. 

Right now, whats pissing you of the most? (Cant say the virus 🙂 

Ahaha, I think just shit people. The world’s full of it nowadays, just shit, shallow and wasted people. A lack of spark and independence. 

Maybe not just people but just shit stuff, it pisses me off that you have to sift through an endless amount of shit to find anything good nowadays, but maybe that’s the fun of it all and I’m just projecting some kind of insecurity or deep held issue. Cool. 

Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?

We were filming for a video, James set himself on fire. Pure comedy. That’s as close as it gets, we haven’t seen Tommy for so long, his existence comes into question.

Whats your favourite song to play live and why?

I think up until now it’s been fuel for the youth, it’s a big wall of noisy fuck yous, which is always easy to get behind. But maybe that’s going to soon change, I’ve found new inspiration in the sonic voice of songs and I think we are going to create some truly beautiful music in the very near future, so maybe they take the cake.

I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?

Its big, brass, and I think a good transition from what the Tanas once were and what we are about to become. Its killer.


How was the recording process given the various restrictions the UK has been under of late?

It was a pain in the arse to get everyone together but not much different to normal, quieter I guess. We just went in there got the music down, let our hearts pour, and fucked off back home. It was different in terms of our dynamic, as a band with our new members the atmosphere and drive in the studio was ten fold.

What are your plans for the year ahead ?

I think, with gigs hopefully returning, it’ll be to get our fix of those. Festivals would be nice. More music for certain and I think most of all more growth, that’s whats getting me going.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

It’s all sex drugs and rock n roll until you fall in love. Then 3 becomes 4.