– Hello, thanks for answering to our questions. What’s currently keeping BANG TANGO busy?
WE JUST RELEASED THE NEW CD TITLED “PISTOL WHIPPED IN THE BIBLE BELT” SO WE HAVE BEEN TOURING ON THAT SINCE OCT.
WE AVERAGE AROUND 80-100 SHOWS A YEAR.
– First off, do you still remember how did you come up with the name of «Bang Tango»?
THERE ARE PROBABLY 3 OR 4 STORIES OF HOW THE NAME CAME ABOUT, BUT WE WILL LEAVE THAT FOR THE UN- MENTIONED. I WILL TELL YA MY SIDE AT SHOW.
– Last 2011 you released your newer album, «Pistol Whipped in the Bible Belt», but anyway I would like to get a bit into it. That was your first effort since «From the Hip», which came out back in 2006. Why did you take that time? Did the line-up changes affect BANG TANGO in any way?
THE LINE UP CHANGES DID AFFECT THE WRITING PROCESS, WE WANTED TO HAVE A LINE UP THAT CLICKED, NOT ONLY MUSICALLY, BUT MENTALLY TOO.
WE DID DO SOME STUDIO STUFF WITH ALEX GROSSI BEFORE HE WENT BACK TO QUIET RIOT, BUT THEY WERE STRICKLY DEMOS.
I FEEL LIKE WE NAILED IT, AND WAITING WAS THE BEST THING FOR US.
THE LINE UP WE HAVE NOW IS
JOE LESTE- VOCALS (DUH!)
LANCE ERIC- BASS (IN THE BAND FOR 9 YEARS),
TRENT ANDERSON- DRUMS (IN THE BAND FOR OVER 3 YEARS),
AND SCOTT LAFLAMME- GUITAR (IN THEBAND FOR 2 YEARS).
WE WROTE ALL THE SONGS ON THE ROAD WHILE WE WERE TOURING IN 2010.
WE DID IT IN FRIENDS BASEMENTS, REHEARSAL SPOTS, THE VAN, HOTEL ROOMS, EVEN A STOAGE GARAGE.
BASICALLY ALL OVER.
– After 6 years without releasing any new stuff by BANG TANGO, how did you feel with the creation of this latest opus?
AMAZING, WE HAD A BLAST IN THE STUDIO TOGETHER, WE DID IT AT GROOVE MASTER IN CHICAGO.
WE WANTED TO MAKE A RECORDING THAT NOT ONLY REFLECTED ON THE PAST OF BANG TANGO BUT ALSO, REFLECT WHERE THE BAND IS MOVING TOWARDS FOR FUTURE MUSIC.
A BAND THAT PUTS OUT THE SAME SOUNDING CD EVERYTIME THEY RELEASE ONE, IN THE END WILL FAIL.
WE ALSO WANTED TO BE LIGHT HEARTED ABOUT STUFF.
I MEAN HONESTLY WE ARE NO RE-INVENTING THE WHEEL, OR SAVING BABIES, WE ARE JUST MUSICIANS AND WE ALL GEL REALLY WELL TOGETHER.
– And how was the feedback for that album like? Was everything as you expected to be?
ACTUALLY, IT WAS WAY BETTER THEN WE EXPECTED, WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 20+ YEARS, PEOPLE CAN BE TOUGH CRITICS. THERE ARE A FEW PEOPLE THAT EXPECT EVERY CD TO SOUND LIKE THE FIRST, AND FOR US IT’S JUST NOT GOING TO BE LIKE THAT.
WHEN WE TALKED ABOUT DOING THE CD WE ALL DECIDED NOT TO BUY INTO THE HATERS OR PEOPLE THAT WANT THE BAND TO BE THE SAME. IF YOU WANT THE SOUND OF THE FIRST CD, THEN LISTEN TO THE FIRST ONE.
SO WE WENT IN WITH AN OPEN MIND AND TOLD OURSELVES WE ARE DOING THIS FOR US.
I FEEL THAT ON ALL THE BANG TANGO CD’S YOU KNOW ITS BANG TANGO.
– During that gap of time between your last two albums a lot of things happened, as the «reunion» of the former BANG TANGO members. How did you feel about that when you heard it at first?
I THINK ITS COOL, THOSE GUYS WROTE THE FIRST 3 ALBUMS, OTHER GUYS WROTE THE LAST 3 ALBUMS.
THEY ARE ALL GREAT MUSICIANS, AND IF THEY WANT TO PLAY THEY CAN.
MARK KNIGHT HAS A NEW BAND ALSO AND THEY ARE AMAZING.
KYLE KYLE HAS PUT OUT SOME COOL MUSIC.
THEY ARE ALL AMAZING MUSICIANS.
WE REALLY HATE THE “ORIGINAL LINE UP THING” THINK ABOUT HOW MANY BANDS ARE OUT THERE THAT ARE NOT THE GUYS THAT WERE IN IT WHEN IT STARTED.
WHITESNAKE, SHINEDOWN, BUCK CHERRY, SALIVA, L.A. GUNS, GREAT WHITE (EITHER ONE) AS WELL AS MANY, MANY OTHERS.
SO IF THE GUYS THAT USED TO BE IN BANG TANGO WANT TO GO OUT AND PLAY THE SONGS THEY HELPED WRITE, THEN MORE POWER TO THEM.
– Coming back to «Pistol Whipped in the Bible Belt», I missed some aggresiveness on some songs, but it still has the band’s essence. But what could you say differences this new album from some of your earlier works? What are the main differences between the current BANG TANGO and the old BANG TANGO?
WELL THE MAIN ONE IS, WE GOT OLDER, LOL.
AS WE GROW OLDER ITS HARD TO PLAY SONGS ABOUT SEX, DRUGS AND THAT STUFF, SO PROBABLY THE LYRICAL CONTENT, AS WELL AS TRYING TO MOVE THE BAND IN A MORE BLUESY- FUNKY DIRECTION, (KIND OF OLD SCHOOL) BUT YET SOUND LIKE WE GREW UP A BIT.
WE ALL LOVE AGGRESIVE MUSIC, AND WE TRIED TO GET HEAVY, BUT IN THE END, THE SONGS CAME OUT THE WAY WE WERE FEELING AT THE TIME WE WERE IN THE STUDIO, LAID BACK, AND FUN.
WE WERE A LOT MORE ANGRY BACK IN THE YOUNGER DAYS, AND WANTED TO PULL OUR AGGRESSIONS OUT OF OUR INSTRUMENTS.
NOW WERE MORE FOCUSED AND JUST LOVE PLAYING MUSIC
– Your vocal style has also been through some kind of metamorphosis. How do you think has your evolution as vocalist been?
HUM, WELL WE ALL GOT OLDER LOL,
IN THE STUDIO WE USED A VOCAL COACH (LISA BEERY) SHE HELPED MAKE THE VOCALS EASY. WE HAD VOCAL COACHING CLASS EVERY MORNING, THE WARM UPS WENT FOR OVER AND HOUR A DAY.
AND LIKE ANY ONE AS WE GET OLDER THINGS CHANGE A BIT, OR MAYBE I JUST HIT PUBERTY LATE, (JUST KIDDEN).
ITS WHAT I GOT NOW
AND I HOPE PEOPLE STILL LIKE IT.
LETS BE HONEST IN THE LAST 20 YEARS, I HAVE NEVER BEEN THE STYLE VOCALIST THAT COULD SING FOR QUEENSRYCHE. (JEFF IS AMAZING)
BUT ITS ME AND NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT, OR MISTAKE THAT.
– All this being said; how could you describe «Pistol Whipped in the Bible Belt» in just 3 words?
BANG TANGO NOW!
– BANG TANGO has its ups and downs, but you have always been there. Is it easy to keep your passion for this music and your energy alive?
I WOULD BE LYING IF I SAID YES, “EVERYDAY I LOVE PLAYING SOMEONE LIKE YOU” I FEEL THAT ANYTHING YOU DO FOR OVER 20 YEARS IS HARD TO HAVE PASSION FOR, ESPECIALLY ON A DAILY BASIS.
THE GUYS IN THE BAND AND THE PEOPLE THAT COME TO SHOWS, MAKE THE CHALLANGE A LOT EASIER, AND MAKE IT WORTH WHILE.
WITH OUT THEM (THE FANS, AND THE CURRENT LINEUP), WE WOULD BE NOTHING.
HONESTY, I PROBABLY WOULD FIND IT HARD TO THINK ABOUT MUSIC, BUT EVERYTIME WE GET ON STAGE OR IN THE STUDIO, THE PASSION COMES RIGHT BACK TO US. IT ALL STARTS TO FLOW AGAIN.
SO IN THE END NO IT’S NOT HARD, BUT ITS ALSO NOT EASY ALL THE TIME. I LOVE MUSIC AND I LOVE THE PEOPLE THAT COME TO SEE US.
– And after so many years into the music world, what would you like to get you haven’t achieved yet? After what happened with the «band’s reunion» in 2010 (if I’m not mistaken); would you be up for a reunion with the other original members?
NO, I LOVE THOSE GUYS, AND I LOVE THE MUSIC WE MADE TOGETHER, BUT THE CURRENT LINE UP IN BANG TANGO HAS STUCK BY THE ME FOR A WHILE NOW, AND THEY HAVE STUCK OUT SOME TOUGH TIMES, AND HARD SHOWS.
I REALLY FEEL NO REASON FOR THAT, IN MY EYES THE BAND NEVER STOPPED, PEOPLE JUST QUIT AND BANG TANGO MOVED ON WITH OUT THEM.
IF THEY WANT TO COME TO SHOWS AND EVEN GET UP AND PLAY A COUPLE SONGS THEY HELPED WRITE, I AM LL FOR THAT, BUT THERE CAN NOT BE A RE-UNION IF THE BAND NEVER OFFICIALLY BROKE UP.
– As I said, you’ve been around for several years now, and throughout these years everything has changed a lot, and music is not an exception. Is now easier for a band to be alive thanks to the Internet or, due to the amount of bands were things easier back in the 80’s/90’s?
MONEY WAS EASIER BACK THEN, BUT IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS TODAY, IT IS EASIER TO GET YOUR MUSIC OUT THERE,
ITS EASIER AND A LOT MORE AFFORDABLE TO RECORD IT.
BUT THERE ARE UPS AND DOWNS TO BOTH.
TODAY YOU DONT HAVE THE MACHINE (RECORD LABELS MONEY) LIKE YOU DID BACK THEN, EVEN WITH A LABEL TODAY THE MONEY IS NOT THERE.
BUT BACK THEN YOU COULDNT SEND OUT A TWITTER, FACEBOOK, OR INTERNET MESSAGE AND HIT A MILLION PEOPLE IN ONE DAY.
SO ITS KIND OF A DOUBLE HIT.
– In fact now, some people that even weren’t born when «Psycho Café» hit the streets now considere the album a cult record. Have you noticed a bigger interest for the band from younger generations thanks to technology?
OH YES, THE YOUNGER GENERATION IS COOL, THEY FELL BACKIN LOVE WITH GUITAR SOLO’S.
WE DID SOME SHOWS IN TOWNS AND “:THE SCHOOL OF ROCK” OPENED UP. THESE KIDS HAVE ACDC SHIRTS ON, AND ARE RIPPING LED ZEP.
WE EVEN GOT THEM ON STAGE WITH USTO JAM.
I LOVE THE INTERNET FOR THIS, IT HELPS OLD GUYS LIKE US THAT DID NOT SELL AS MANY CDS AS “KISS” OR “AEROSMITH” GET OUR NAME OUT THERE. THAT IS ONE UP SIDE IN TODAYS MUSIC BUSINESS.
– And what do you now feel when you listen to albums like those?
I REALLY DONT LISTEN TO THE OLD ALBUMS, I STILL LOVE THEM THOUGH.
– Though pieces as the aforementioned «Psycho Cafe» or «Dancin’ on Coals» were simply amazing, and the band was formed on a great time and place for this kind of music, you didn’t get the recognition other bands into the style got. Considering you had the quality to be something bigger, what do you think was the main reason of not being a more valued band?
THATS A TOUGH QUESTION, DO WE BLAME THE BAND, THE RECORD LABEL, THE MANAGER, OR JUST STRANGE LUCK.
ITS PROBABLY A COMBINATION OF ALL OF THE MENTIONED, WE AS A BAND PROBABLY COULD HAVE DONE A FEW THINGS DIFFERENT, THE LABEL PROBABLY COULD’VE DONE MORE, AND IT WAS CLOSER TO THE END OF AN ERA THEN THE START OF ONE.
IM JUST THANKFUL FOR THE THINGS THAT BANG TANGO HAS HAD.
LETS FACE IT, THERE ARE A FEW GREAT BANDS OUT THERE THAT DID NOT EVEN GET THE SHOT WE HAVE HAD.
– Finally, what are the near-future plans for BANG TANGO?
TOUR TOUR AND MORE TOURING.
– That has been everything from my side, thank you once more for your time. If you want to add some final words; it is your time.
I WANT TO THANK YOU, AND ANYONE ELSE THAT TAKES THE TIME TO CARE ENOUGH, ABOUT WRITING SOMETHING ABOUT THE BANDS FROM THAT ERA, EVEN IF YOU DONT LIKE OR MUSIC, OR YOU LOVE IT, IT’S BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOURSELF THAT HELP KEEP IT ALIVE. PLEASE CONTINUE WRITING AND DOING INTERVIEWS WITH BANDS LIKE BANG TANGO.
THANKS AND HOPE TO SEE YA AT A SHOW.