The daughter of a catholic priest and a runaway circus contortionist, Hana Piranha borrows freely from religious iconography and partakes liberally in whatever makes your head explode. Her music takes you on a voyeuristic trip in which she is her own experiment in pleasure, regret and shame.
Musicmuso caught up with Hana at an Atomic Kitten reunion concert in Hemel Hempstead, while she was making her mind up whether to buy the pink 'AK' stetson hat or the flashing belt, we asked her some questions, here's how we got on....
Please introduce yourself and your music in one sentence....
Hana Piranha, violin playing rock'n'roll antiheroine
You cover many big tunes, what is your favourite one? (Mine is ‘Closer’)
Mine is also Closer. It was the first cover I did and one I still love to perform live.
Where was your EP Blue Skies recorded and why did you choose that studio?
I recorded Blue Skies with The Animal Farm, who I am still working with. I've worked with quite a few producers over the years, all great in their own ways, but in terms of what I do, I really feel that the guys at The Animal Farm get my sound and share my vision.
What can your fans expect from your debut album and when will this be released?
The album is called Cold Comfort and does what it says on the tin – conceptually it's very dark and at many points pretty jarring. I like to think it has quite a sense of humour about it but it's also borne out of a lot of pain. Musically it's pretty energetic with a real pop sensibility. The album will be released in October 2014.
You are signed with The Animal Farm, how did this come about and why them?
I met Ville Leppanen, who is the managing director of The Animal Farm, a few years ago and really felt I was able to connect with his ethos. He has been a great mentor to me ever since and I feel very comfortable in Ville and his brother Mat's hands as musicians and producers.
How has social media aided your music?
I feel like I'm building a nice little community around Facebook and Twitter of other mad people who get me and dig the music. It's a great way of sharing things I'm doing, especially on a day to day basis.
How and when did you decide that you wanted to be in a band/performer?
I grew up wanting to be a concert violinist but got disillusioned with classical music when I was about 17. Soon after that I discovered sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and it was all downhill from there.
What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?
“If you're going through hell, keep going” - Winston Churchill
What does music mean to you?
Music's what I do all day, every day, but I think if it was as simple as that then I'd be satisfied in forging a career as a session musician. My motives for playing run a lot deeper than that - I have a lot of things to say and I'm best able to communicate through music.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released?
It changes from time to time but I mainly alternate between Nine Inch Nails albums. Right now I'm going for Pretty Hate Machine.
Do you own a record that you wouldn’t like to admit you have, but will on this occasion?
I've got a few embarrassing Ibiza compilations
First gig you ever went to?
Until my late teens, I only attended classical concerts. I think the first actual gig I ever went to was Necrophagist. They were awesome!
You stopped drinking alcohol for some time, are you still partaking or have you stopped once again, what was the experience like and how was life different?
Yes I stopped drinking entirely for a good 6 months. I'm back to the odd glass of wine now and again but it's very rare that I use drinking as a form of entertainment and am now mainly a sober degenerate. I'm a lot more focused as a result.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as dinner party guests?
Two of my ex boyfriends and Michael Myers, who I'd leave waiting hungry outside the door for 15 mins before I let him in
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
I don't understand sign language so the gorilla would be pretty useless to me whereas a dog that sings lullabies sounds lovely. I'd let it sleep in my bed.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
I'm crazy about Meg Myers at the moment (no relation to Michael Myers). Little Barrie are pretty kickass too.
How would you describe London to someone who has never been?
Full of things to experience and very addictive as a place to live
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
If it's the chickens themselves questioning the motive then it's entirely possible. They're pretty damn stupid.
Have you had any ‘Spinal Tap’ Moments? If yes, please share!
Personally, the closest I've gotten to Spinal Tap stupidity is probably spray-painting a gun on my metal violin case, which often slows me down with security...
What are your plans for 2014?
Gigs, gigs and more gigs.
The 'AK' gig was not going well, Liz had forgotten most of her lines, Natasha had fallen over in her 6 inch heels and twisted her ankle and Kerry looked like she was on another planet (mum of the year 2005?), we decamped to the bar to drown our sorrows (and those of the bands), Whilst Hana was selecting a suitable beverage from the extensive wine list, we jumped in with some random quick fire questions....
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Drum machine or the real deal? Real deal
Mac or PC? Mac
Fry up or Sunday roast? Fry up
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)? Ozzy
CD or Vinyl? Vinyl
Car or Motorbike? Motorbike
Acoustic or electric? Electric
Shower or Bath? Shower
Tattoos or Piercings? Piercings
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino? Al Pacino
God or Google? God
Hana Piranha will be playing the following upcoming dates:
June 9th - The Horns, Watford
June 13th - Forty Two, Worthing
June 26th - SOWK, Richmond (acoustic set)
Sept 25th - New Cross Inn, London
Hana Piranha's debut album Cold Comfort will be out on The Animal Farm in October 2014
We'd like to thank Hana for sparing the time to talk to us, we wish her and her band every success in the future and look forward to posting future newsworthy material as and when it is received.
Interview by Mark Wincott