Russ Tippins: Guitar, Vocals
Cindy Maynard: Bass, Vocals
Charles Newton: Guitar
Keith Robinson: Drums
Taking their name from a character in the classic Hammer Horror The Devil Rides Out, NYC's Tanith play vintage hard rock that harks back to the glory days of Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy and Uriah Heep. However, while such influences resonate through their music, they are never derivative, having a strong musical identity and forging their own sound. "We wanted to recreate the time when bands had multiple singers, and while it is essentially riff driven, melody and harmony will always trump speed and heaviness in this band," states vocalist/guitarist Russ Tippins (also of classic metal band Satan). "We make music as a living thing. Our intent is to try to capture the sound of a real band playing together, all members making it work, mistakes and all," adds vocalist/bassist Cindy Maynard, both statements borne out in the band's recorded content and live shows. There is also something inarguably organic and natural about everything that they do, no posing or trying to be anything that they are not, and the pleasure they take in the music they create is palpable.
The origin of the band lies in Maynard and Tippins playing covers in clubs and pubs in Tippins' native UK, but it soon became obvious that they wanted to create content of their own, and form a full band. Deciding to locate the act in New York, they recruited close friend Charles Newton on guitar and drummer Keith Robinson to realize this. "Let me just say upfront that this is no solo project, but a four-piece band where each member has an equal say," Tippins says. "If I even wanted to call the shots these guys wouldn't let me! Collectively, we have a dynamic that really works. Not only are we friends who hang out as a matter of course, but musically the pieces all fit to make a picture. It's a rare thing and I appreciate it more than most, having played in so many bands previously." The manner in which the four musicians combine is indeed a special thing, and every contribution is essential. "Russ brings most of the substance, spirit and lyrics to the band," Maynard enthuses. "He's a visionary, so easy to work with creatively, and just loves getting together and playing with his friends. Charlie is a natural complement to Russ on the guitar, I would say technically and creatively, and he has a way of explaining things with a clarity that makes technically tricky things somehow simpler to execute. Then we have Keith, who is a great, flexible and tasteful drummer, and his grounded nature and playing really anchors everything we do." Tippins likewise enthuses about Maynard's contributions, heralding her as "an inspirational person who leads by example in every way. There is no one else I'd rather have beside me on stage, while off stage she is an orchestrator with the vision to keep things on point."
A home demo of the song "Citadel" made by just Maynard and Tippins marked the official birth of the band, and the subsequent 7" recorded with the whole unit demonstrated what happens when the four of them work together. "Something I think is pretty cool about "Citadel" is the drum take is the very first time I had ever played with any of them," Robinson states. "Very first. No rehearsal, no 'let's see how things go for a bit while we get sounds'. You're hearing the birth of the band in that recording, and I think that's part of what makes that tune special." Selling out of physical copies of the two-track 7" in ten weeks, the songs continue to sell on Bandcamp and have been purchased by fans in Thailand, Russia, Greece, Japan, Australia and numerous other territories, the band feeding on the enthusiasm garnered from around the world. Now, they're following it up with their debut full-length, In Another Time, which Maynard aptly describes as "Great riffs, lots of melody, interwoven parts, and twin fucking guitars! I think the record is refreshingly different from so many other records being put out now, and the analog warmth of the recording definitely adds to the feel and experience." Lyrically, they eschew the angry, cocksure, nihilistic, or occult-based subjects common to a vast amount of contemporary rock and metal bands and instead come from a more positive place, Tippins asserting "With Tanith we wanted to offer more of a message of hope, and an escape to the realms of fantasy. Broadly speaking, it's optimism over pessimism." All the tracking of the record was handled at Excello Studios in Brooklyn, NY, and owner Hugh Pool engineered and mixed the entire collection. "The analog equipment we tracked with affected not only the mood but also the creative process. Real analog equipment from the 60s and 70s has a distinct sound, feel and even smell," says Newton, and this only adds to the organic, old school feel of the record. Likewise, while much of the music was plotted out and demoed ahead of time they left room to make changes and additions while in the studio. "Also one thing we learned in the studio through trial and error is that it's way easier for Russ and I to record our vocals at the same time, with two mics in the vocal booth standing face to face," adds Maynard. "It also adds to the energy of the songs and is way more fun."
Openly admitting that their live shows are "nerve-wracking" since they don't get to play together that often, this adds an element of excitement and even danger to their sets, but there is no denying the energy and chemistry when the four of them are on stage together. They will have the opportunity to hone their craft in 2019, with ten-day tours booked in mainland Europe and the States and a slot at Sweden's Muskelrock Festival. In keeping with their grounded outlook, their aspirations remain modest, hoping that in a year's time they'll be making more new music and drawing in new fans, though Tippins has hopes for something slightly more: "It would feel like a real achievement to me if we could make some kind of impact outside of the metal scene. Our music certainly has the potential to do that."