You often see bands introducing new members but what if you are that newbie? What if someone got the chance to introduce themselves and tell the world that they’ve joined this really cool punk band? Tanzy Velayne bravely stepped up to the plate and chatted to Gary Trueman about joining a band for the first time, finding a whole new persona on stage and where her musical inspiration comes from.
What were your first musical experiences, what gave you the music bug?
“It first started with my Dad’s record collection. He was a massive Beatles fan, so I asked him to write down all the lyrics so I could learn all the songs. He would listen to old Motown, David Bowie, everything from his era he was in to and listening to and I was soaking it all up and asking him for the lyrics. I wasn’t listening to the music that kids my age were into I was listening to his record collection. And also my mum was a massive Queen fan, and she likes the Carpenters. One Christmas I asked for a karaoke machine and I learned every Queen song. I was singing non stop, you couldn’t shut me up.”
So who are the bands you follow now? Who are your inspirations today, the ones you sing along to now?
“I’m getting more into new up and coming bands. There are loads of bands out there, so many they’re getting lost in themselves, and they’re all so good, but they’re getting lost because there’s a sea of them.”
Any in particular that stand out for you?
You’ve got Hands Off Gretel and you’ve got Vish (Pretty Addicted)
Getting back to Queen. Have you seen the new film?
“I have. I thought it was really good. I found it touching and really emotional. I felt it was well thought out and well executed. It was very entertaining.”
Obviously a great many people in music have a certain style, they have an image that works for them. Is there anybody whose style you really like?
“Probably Gwen Stefani. I love her style and she has good dress sense. I like grunge so I like stuff that you can just throw on without too much effort each morning. Just thrown on your clothes and go. But yes to Gwen Stefani. What I like about her is she’s into a bit of everything and doesn’t put herself into a box. Every day she’s something different.”
You recently joined a band. Tell us who they are and how that came about?
“I’ve recently joined a band called the Midwich Cuckoos. They formed early last year. My friend Dan that I jam with a lot is their drummer and he’s been friends with Patch the guitarist for a number of years. They recently lost their singer and he said I’d be perfect for the role in the band. I wasn’t too sure I wanted to get into a band. I’m a bit of a shy hermit so I didn’t know if I could do it but he said just learn the songs and see how you go. I turned up to practice and this crazy woman just popped out of me. I had a lot of fun. The band are punk and I like punk but I’ve not listened to it since I was a teenager. It took me back to that time and I really enjoyed it. It’s so energetic, so I don’t need to get down to the gym any more.”
Have you found that with the energy of the band you’ve found a different you?
“Definitely. We played one show with the whole band together and I loved it. There’s a lot of us in the band so we don’t all fit on the stage. I was running around a bit in the crowd and it was so much fun. It’s a great outlet, I love it.”
So are you looking for more booking now?
“Yep, we’re always looking for bookings. You can message the band on the Facebook page. We’ve got a few gigs lined up already. On March 23rd we’re supporting the Vibrators. Then we’re playing again in May and a festival later in the year in Manchester. We would love to do Rebellion festival, it’s so iconic. We are a punk band so we’d fit well for Rebellion. I don’t look particularly punk though. I’d have to get up at 6am to get my hair up Haha. It’s not really about how you look anyway.”
The thing with punk is it kind of embraces the misfits anyway which is why the punk community have taken to Pretty Addicted so well?
“Exactly. It’s about being different and not fitting into a box.”
If you could choose any band to play with Midwich Cuckoos who would it be and why?
“The thing is I really like heavy bands so I’d really want to play with Korn. I know we wouldn’t fit style wise but definitely them. I love Korn. I could listen to them all day every day.”
You say you wouldn’t fit musically but aren’t the lines and boundaries disappearing these days?
“Yes, that’s a good point and I agree. Also with the Midwich Cuckoos we do cross over quite a lot. A lot of our songs sound like they’re more metal than punk but then the punk mixes in. We have been described as a punk metal band. I love it all, I love the energy.”
If you could go back and give a 15 year old Tanzy one piece of advice what would you say to her?
“I would say continue to follow your dreams and don’t let other people’s opinions bother you.”