ROCKUNITED.COM QNA WITH TNA...
Kimmo/RockUnited: 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 or whatever!
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 TNA."
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 identity.
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. Atleast 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 whould 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 opionions!! 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 appricate 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 nice. :)
"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 vocal delivery."
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 Rembember" 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 most progressive.
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 song!]
"Unfortunately the other tracks aren't quite as good as these aforementioned highlights, which means that my rating won't be any higher."
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
Kimmo/RockUnited: "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 for us..
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 producers?
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 collection. :)
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! Wha hooo!
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 sex. :)
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 adrenalin!!
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 contemporary act?
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 you?
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....
Sean: 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 whats 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 any nu-metal.
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 interesting stories?
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 now.. hahaha!
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. :)
We don't care if we are called 80's, or contempory, 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...!
by Kimmo Toivonen,