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Lana Lane

Interview with Lana Lane from Lana Lane
by Yiannis Zervos at 02 January 2008, 5:30 PM

Lana Lane is the voice of Symphonic Rock for over ten years now, with a large catalog of personal albums that prove her magnificent vocal abilities. Red Planet Boulevard is Lana's newest release, that verifies her songwritting talents as weel. Our beloved Lana talks to Metal Temple for the recording pocess of this production.

Lana, first of all congratulations on Red Planet Boulevard and thank you for taking the time to answer to Metal Temple’s questions!

It’s truly my pleasure - thank you for your support!

I can see you have the role of the main composer in the new album. What is the process you followed for the composition of the songs for Red Planet Boulevard? Is it easier for you to have the lyrics first  or the music?

It depends on the song. Sometimes a melody comes to me and I will write the music around the melody, and other times the music (chord progression) comes first and I write the melody for the chords.

I noticed that the main ideas, melodies and riffs  are simple enough but it sounds good on the listener’s ear, easy to  stick in your head and remember. For example, Save The World stuck in my head for weeks from the first audition of the album. Your purpose for this album was to create straightforward music for more people?

I enjoy writing and singing, and I write songs that I like. If fans like the songs as well, then that’s a bonus. I never write a body of work with hopes of gaining more fans - to me that would be a false expression of myself and insincere.

Lyrically, you touch several themes and subjects, from love, sci-fi  and medieval stories like Angels And Magicians. What are your influences as far as lyrics go?

I’m very drawn to  fantasy, surrealism and medieval subjects. I love the imagination, passion and desperation I find in all these influences.

I know it takes hard work to record and mix albums. How much time did it take for you and Erik Norlander to record and mix Red Planet Boulevard?

From start to finish I would say the album took us about 4 months. I know that 4 months probably doesn’t sound like a very long time to accomplish this.  Erik and I make music for a living and have been doing it for over 15 years now, so I guess we’ve gotten quite proficient at it!

How did you choose the musicians that handled the guitars and drums on Red Planet Boulevard? You thought of bringing  on a professional session bass player to record for you or Erik handled the bass-lines without second thought?

Peer Verschuren (guitar) and Ernst Van Ee (drums) have played on several Lana Lane albums and have joined us on many tours in recent years. As a band you become a well-oiled machine the more you play together. I also feel that the recording process unifies musicians with like minds. So having Peer and Ernst playing on this album was a natural choice.

Many people don’t know that when I first met Erik he played bass AND keyboards. Over the years we’ve met and had the honor of recording and touring with many fantastic bass players. So Erik was able to concentrate on his first love: keyboards. However, his reference tracks for Red Planet Boulevard were so great that there was no reason to bring someone else on board. The trio of Erik, Peer and Ernst was just perfect for this album.

Everybody brands you music style as Symphonic Rock. What is your opinion on that and how would you describe your  music style? You  think that with Red Planet Boulevard you music style becomes mainly (more) hard rock?

I think the Symphonic Rock label is quite accurate. Even though Red Planet Boulevard feels like melodic hard rock, it’s the symphonic arrangement of the music that gives it a unique sound.

Your previous work, Gemini, was an album with covers from 70’s artists. In a way you think you paid a tribute on the people that influenced you musically and vocally?

Yes I do.  When I was a little girl, I remember hearing HEART’s Dream Boat Annie record playing in my brother’s room. I stole the record from him because I fell in love with Ann’s voice and knew that I wanted to be a singer like her. So I’m really glad I got to cover a few HEART songs on the Gemini album.  

What is your opinion on music today? You listen to new artists or new  releases, what do you listen at home or in your car?

I don’t really listen to the radio much. When I do, it’s usually to a Hard Rock station that plays hits from the 70s, 80’s and 90’s. I find that I listen to CDs more - even my own!

You have any free time or hobbies? You surf around the Internet at all?

In my free time I love to cook and try new wines. I do surf the Internet…for new recipes!

How do you feel about people that download your music instead of  buying your CDs? You think internet and downloading is a way to increase your popularity by making your music accessible to more people? Or you think that your work is been stolen in a way?

I do think musician’s work gets stolen, but it’s impossible to fight the progress of the Internet without a major cultural change in the way people value art. It is a fact that many people like to listen to music over the Internet and on their iPod, but I think the true fans of music will always want the actual CD or some kind of physical product (CD, DVD, BluRay, etc.). The CD booklet has so much to offer in the way of photos and musical information that you just don’t get over the Internet or in electronic form.

Do you have any tour plans for Red Planet  Boulevard? Any fixed  dates yet?

Not yet, but I know there is talk of a possible tour. We have offers coming in almost constantly, but it’s hard to do too many one-off shows, especially with this kind of more complicated music. It takes a lot of rehearsal and preparation.

Obviously, your work is well known in Japan and Japanese fans love you. From where do you think that this success came up?

I think that the stars just happened to be aligned perfectly back in 1995 when we started working with our Japanese record label - we’ve been together ever since, which I think speaks volumes! The Japanese fans truly connected with my music from the very beginning and have been very loyal fans.

Female performers on hard rock and metal music survive really hard on  the scene as the time takes away their beauty. What  is your opinion on that? You are in touch with other women rockers like  Lita Ford, Doro Pesch or even (reunited) VIXEN?

I believe in any business it’s harder for women to age. Men can be bald and fat (like Tony Soprano) and still be a viable commodity and taken seriously, but women don’t have that luxury. I think the key is to know your age and age gracefully. It is possible to be older AND sexy. I think when older women try to act and dress too young, they make themselves look even older. No one stays 21 forever.

Lana, thank you very much for your time! You have  anything that you  want to add or say to your fans and to our readers?

Just a big thank you and kiss for all the fans as well as for you, Yiannis. I’m really grateful to journalists like yourself that really spread the word about my music. Because of your efforts, I get to continue to have the best job in the world! I would love to play in Greece someday so please put in a good word in with the Gods.

I sure will Lana.


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