ROCKUNITED.COM QNA WITH
First of all, now that you've read my review
of your album...feel free to comment on
that, defend yourself, throw insults at me
Quote from Review: "It is the year
1989, and this is L.A...except that it of
course isn't, but that's the first thing
that comes to mind when you're listening to
Sean: If you were reviewing "Trigger"
I would agree with you, but not "Branded".
It's a hybrid, yes, but 1989? I think it
sounds more current and has It's own
Danny: I would have to agree with
Sean. I can see how "Trigger" could fall
into that mode, however "Branded" ahhhh...
sorry just can't see it. At least not with
the whole album anyway. If we would have
tried to pull off songs like "Kill your
Idol", or "Scream" back in the day, we would
have been completely out of place. So it's
hard to say. If we did it then it wouldn't
have worked and when we do it now, we hear
it is " 89 LA type. so i guess it's all up
to who is listening. As with all opinions!!
As far as we are concerned it could be
compared to 1970's Disco. All we care about
is that you enjoy the Music! After all
that's what it's all about. However, we
still appreciate your review and are
thankful that you took the time to listen!!
"15 years ago this album would have been
released on a major label and the band would
have spent their big advances on sport cars
and high livin'..."
Sean: Oh, wouldn't that have been
"Now, in 2003 things are different, but
what's important, the music's still good.
Actually, to be totally honest, TNA aren't
completely 80'ies oriented, there are traces
of modern rock in some of the songs,
especially in Mike MacManomon's excellent
Sean: Mike did step up to the plate
and delivered a vocal home run on this one.
Danny: First of all, thank you for
the major label comment. As far as the sport
cars and high livin, if I remember correctly
you are right about the "HI" Living, but as
for the big advances, it was more like who
had spare change for those deadly White
castle hamburgers? Mike was always pushing
us to go in a bit of a heavier direction,
going way back before the whole Seattle
scene started. (hmmm we should have listened
more) but the power in his voice was huge
back then, thank god the boy is like wine
and just got better and better!
"The opener "Guns, Lies And Violence" sounds
a lot like something off "Not Fakin' It",
the Michael Monroe solo album from 1989 -
straightforward rocker with a brash
attitude. I'm more impressed by the next few
tracks though: "Do You Remember" with its'
catchy riffs and melodic hooks, Winger meets
Lillian Axe -styled "Walk Before You Crawl"
and "Rain", which is blessed with a killer
hook. Other tracks I want to mention are
"Feel It" and "Kill Your Idols", both nice
combinations of 80'ies styled sleazy hard
rock and some modern touches, without
forgetting the all-important good hook."
Sean: "Feel It" certainly has a late
80's early nineties kind of thing to it but
I think you're off the mark with "Idols". Of
all the songs on the album, that one is the
Danny: ahhhhhhhhh are you kidding me?
Kill your Idols 80's styled?? Wow.. Iím
speechless. LOL. I'm sorry I just don't see
it Kimmo, please listen again. Oh, and it
sounds better with the volume turned on!! [Kimmo:
modern touches, Danny, modern touches! And I
admit that there's plenty of those in this
"Unfortunately the other tracks aren't quite
as good as these aforementioned highlights,
which means that my rating won't be any
Sean: What about "The Sound"? To me
that's one of the best songs on the record!
A 7 rating is really low balling it don't
you think? By that rational you're saying
that "Branded" is no better than "Trigger",
which couldn't be farther from the truth in
my opinion. :) [Kimmo: I haven't heard
"Trigger", so I can't compare. ]
Danny: Well I kind of see it like
this... if you go out to dinner with a few
friends, and all they sell is steak.. Not
everybody will be happy. With Branded, the
style of some songs can contradict others,
but hey, there is something for everyone.
"Still, I have to put TNA to the list of
"bands to watch out for". "
Sean: Much obliged. :)
Danny: hey, it's all-good.. Just
enjoy.. And thanks for the kind words....
Kimmo/RockUnited: The name...what
does it mean? Not "Tits'N Ass"?
Sean: The Noise Addiction
Danny: yea, what he said lol
"Branded" is your second album. Was it
easier the second time around or did you
have a case of "second album syndrome" -
"studio's booked next week and we have no
new songs!" or something similar?
Sean: This time around it wasn't too
difficult. We already had a bunch of tunes
written. It was more a question of which
ones do we use? Every song on "Branded"
belongs there, NO filler. It's a little like
a painting, you could always add a brush
stroke here or there but in the end are you
really adding to it? Or are you "watering it
down" by over doing it? There are no hard
and fast rules when it comes to this stuff.
You just have to go with your gut.
Thankfully, the label believes in us and has
given us a good deal of latitude as far as
the creative decisions regarding the music
on this record.
Danny: I can't really say easier or
harder. We just started rehearsing and let
it flow. It came from within, we didn't try
to stop it or control it. Thank god we were
very pleased with what we heard.. So I would
have to say for us it was similar!
Kimmo/RockUnited: Did you spend a lot
of time in the studio and who was your
producer (promo CD's don't have much info!)?
Sean: TNA produced this record. We
spent about a month recording and a month or
so in pre-production.
Danny: ya know it's funny, the time
spent in Pre-production and recording seemed
to go so fast... it was an incredible time
Kimmo/RockUnited: A related
question...if you had the chance to choose
any producer for the album number three, who
would you go with? Some modern rock guy or
one of the legendary metal/hard rock
Sean: It would have to be an old
school guy, or at least a new guy that knows
old school and could blend the best of the
two worlds. Which is basically what we've
accomplished with "Branded". I just love the
production values of the older recordings.
Recordings used to be warmer, more "live"
sounding, especially the early 80's stuff.
Just listen to the first 4 Van Halen records
for example. I would love to work with Ted
Templeman. Guns and Roses had it going on
with "Appetite", Mike Clink would be great
too. He did UFO "Strangers in the Night" in
79' and it sounds Awesome! Every hard rock
fan should have that one in their
Kimmo/RockUnited: What was the main
inspiration behind the new album 'Branded'?
And how would you describe its' sound?
Sean: We wanted to put out a record
that really reflected the energy of our live
shows. It's not that easy to capture the
rawness and edge of a gig. There's so much
energy being exchanged when you play live
that it pushes you to do things you wouldn't
normally do in the studio. You're also not
as worried about the little mistakes so you
"go for it" more. You've got to push your
boundaries if you want to make some magic.
We tried to do this on "Branded".
Danny: I think we all felt the same,
we wanted to keep the same style that we
have had for years but at the same time we
wanted to move things more in a contempory
Direction. for the most part, we just played
what came from within and didn't really over
think it very much...
Kimmo/RockUnited: Any interesting/funny
stories from the studio?
Sean: I now know what a "wedge" is.
Chillin' in the YO with my honda whip daddy!
Danny: HAHA the same story seem to
always come to mind.. We were working on
vocals, and Sean and I were in the control
room and Mike was in the isolation room
laying down his tracks. Mr Kivel on the
couch and they had these Fake trees in the
corner of the studio. All of a sudden they
started to fall.. John Kivel just saw trees
falling on him and screamed so loud, that
his voice carried through the sound proof
walls and we heard them on the track that
was recorded... maybe ya had to be there,
but it was wayyyyyyyy to funny!!
Kimmo/RockUnited: Also what can we
expect form album three?
Sean: Itís hard to say at this point
with "Branded" just being released but I can
promise you it will be heavy, melodic and
powerful as always. :)
Danny: We have been talking about
that, we are probably going to continue
going in the direction that you have seen
from Trigger to Branded. I guess we like to
raise the bar and see how far we can take
it.. I guess you'll have to wait and see!
Kimmo/RockUnited: Does TNA play live
a lot? And when you do play live, what can
one look forward to?
Sean: We plan to play out quite a
bit. We'll probably start with Tri-state
area shows. We're working on some good stuff
for next year, we'll keep you posted as far
as tour dates are concerned. Our show is a
straightforward loud ass rock n' roll
experience. We throw out as much energy as
we can. We want you walking out of the venue
feeling "drained" and "euphoric", like good
Danny: we are in the planning stages
as far as shows. We want to choose that
direction wisely! As far as what one can
expect.. well, we have always prided
ourselves as being a better "LIVE" band then
a studio band. I guess it's the energy and
Kimmo/RockUnited: The eighties' Hard
Rock bands are doing big tours these days,
like "Rock Never Stops" etc. Would you
accept an offer to join one of these tours
or would you rather tour with some
Sean: I'd like to do both. I don't
see any reason to limit your audience.
People either like you or they don't. I
mean, we're not playing show tunes...it's
all Rock n' Roll. :)
Danny: Sean, what do you mean we
aren't playing show tunes!? Ya mean you are
vetoing that idea?? HAHA. I'm with Sean, why
limit your self? As we said above, I think
we have a touch of something for everybody.
That's why we were able to pull off shows
with Winger & Warrant, and then Skid Row & a
band like Kings X, and we kinda fit in many
places. We would be honored to share the
stage with any of them!
Kimmo/RockUnited: You have a few
lyrics that aren't exactly typical "hair
metal" stuff. Did you spend a lot of time on
the lyrics and how important they are to
Sean: I wouldnít say our material is
"Hair Metal". I get the feeling we're being
compared to Poison or Warrant. Yes, we have
harmonies, yes we have hooky songs but we
are nothing like those bands :) We sure as
hell aren't singing about "cherry pie". As
far as spending time on lyrics, some songs
come quickly and some don't. It's usually
the ones that come quickly that turn out the
best, the ones you think about the least and
come from your heart the most.
Danny: ouch somebody didn't like that
question lol haha Hair metal, hmmmm Sean, I
guess he hasn't seen the new pics lol... I
guess I can't comment on this one since I
really didn't contribute much to the
lyrics... after all, we were in the studio
and mike was singing something out in the
parking lot and I said " wow that's cool
what is it" and he said.. ahhhhh the third
song on the album lol hahaha whoops sorry.
that slipped lol
Kimmo/RockUnited: What do you see in
the future of TNA? Do you think you can live
on playing hard rock one day (or are you
already)? I guess we all know that this kind
of music isn't exactly the easiest route to
fame and fortune these days....
I see TNA continuing to record and play
live for as long as we all want to, and as
long as there are people that want to listen
to us. It would be great if we could all
make a fortune playing music but it's hard
to predict these things. :) It has never
been about the money anyway. I play guitar
because it makes me feel good and playing in
a great band is a hell of a lot of fun! When
it stops being fun I'll quit and take up
golf full time. :)I see TNA continuing to
record and play live for as long as we all
want to. It would be great if we could make
a comfortable living doing so but it's hard
to predict these things. :)
Danny: wait a minute, ya mean we can
get paid for doing this HAHA. On a serious
note, we don't look at the check book! We
play because we are lucky enough to have the
opportunity! If it pays in a huge way,
great. If we have to beg, borrow, or steal.
We will still find a way to get the music
out to those who we are kind enough to want
to listen.. It's all about getting what's
inside of us, out. Giving our fans something
to look forward too!!
Kimmo/RockUnited: What are you
listening to these days yourselves? Old
classics or modern bands? What's your fave
tune right now (own material not accepted)?
Sean: I must admit, the modern metal
doesn't really do it for me. I can dig the
aggression and the attitude but there needs
to be more. Stained is good, I liked the
Fuel stuff that was out a couple of years
ago as well. I just can't get into groups
like Limp Biskit and Slip Knot. I've been
listening to a lot of Van Halen lately. The
early stuff with Roth, the first 4 records
actually. That shit still rocks harder than
Danny: Wow that's a hard one... Iím
such a contradiction.. I love the old stuff,
from the " hair bands" to the classics. The
other day I was in Sony studios in NYC
hangin while Erica Badou was jammin getting
ready for her upcoming tour. A little Eminem
is cool.. i guess anything that can make the
hair on my arms stand up! lol
Kimmo/RockUnited: You guys played
with some pretty popular bands back in the
good ol days. From SKID ROW and WINGER to
TORA TORA and others. Anything you learn
from playing with those bands? Any
Sean: I think the only thing you
learn from playing with bands that are
higher up the ladder is....that they get the
bigger dressing room and a bowl of M&M's
with the green ones taken out! Yes, some
were polished and professional which is a
good thing to emulate...others were fucking
lame and arrogant. Unfortunately, this
business has less to do with talent and a
lot to do with being in the right place at
the right time and sucking on the right
pipe. In the eighties, you also had to throw
in the right look as well. Fortunately this
isn't as important in hard rock today. Kix
was a great, I mean great rock n' roll act.
Pro in every way. They were all nice, down
to earth people who weren't too cool to talk
to the local talent. Those guys rock! Kings
X-totally cool, great fucking band! Even
Winger, who were big back in 89' were nice
guys. Then you have bands like Skid Row and
Sebastian Bach in particular who were too
cool to shake your hand. Give me a break,
they were a local band once too.
Danny: We were very lucky to have
shared the stage with some of the top MTV
bands at the time. I will tell you that it
was a very humbling experience. I don't know
if we have many stories. Off the bat however
one thing I did learn was no matter how big
you get, or how many albums you sell, or
shows you sell out.. it's all about the
music and the fans, NOT about the ego. I
think too many forget why they started this
in the first place! We have met some really
great guys, from Steve Whitmen in his KIX
days, to the guys in Trixter,( very cool
guys ) but we have also met some real
assholes.. hmmm i wonder where they are
Kimmo/RockUnited: Any parting words
for our readers ?
Sean: Keep diggin' the rock. Don't
swallow crap when you know its crap. Just
because you hear something a million times
on the radio doesn't make it good! It just
means someone has a lot of money and
influence to put it there! Trust your ears.
YES.. We don't care if we are called 80's,
or contemporary, or wangy tangy country, it
doesnít matter to us. Just keep listening to
the music. If there is something you like
and it lifts you, or brings a smile to your
face.... then Great we did our job! We can't
thank you enough! If it werenít for all of
you, we wouldn't be here. If it wasn't for
people like you Kimmo and your webzine, we
wouldn't be here. So thank you to all who
give us the chance to play, and for those
who take the time to listen and review it.
Even if we don't agree with everything you
write, it still means the world to us that
you gave us the chance...!
Thanks for keeping the music alive and loud!
Interview by Kimmo Toivonen