Here’s our interview with Varna, winner band of our contest „Ladies in Rock – New Generation”. Special thanks to our reader, Laci Koltai, for his help with his great questions!
Who writes the music and the lyrics of the songs?
Tiana: I write the all lyrics and vocal melodies. Our guitarist and Rob write the music.
Eddie: Writing is a collective effort of the whole band, as it should be 🙂
Rob: Lyrics are done all by the one & only Tiana! As for the music, I’m fortunate enough to be in a band I can show all of my ideas to and have members who not only understand, but execute it as well. I have spurts of like 10 song ideas everyday and all I have to do is show Eddie and T and.. Well, that’s how it begins 🙂
What thoughts inspired the songs? What is your message, what’s your Credo?
Tiana: Situations and feelings inspire the songs. Sometimes I set out a write a specific song and sometimes the song writes itself. Our message with this band and our songs is to write about the experience of life. We’re all in this together and we want people to relate to our music and help them in their times of need.
Eddie: I like to make music that’s inspiring, empowering, and just awesome overall!
Rob: For me, I was going for a powerhouse/dark theme. Never really been a fan of cheesy. I just wanted something a little more.
What do you do for a living besides music?
Rob: I work at a SEX SHOP called ‘Romantix’!!! How badass is that?!?
Eddie: I make a living doing music-related stuff (i.e. teaching guitar, gigging, session work). That, coupled with odd jobs here and there.
When will you come to Hungary? (There is only one acceptable answer: very soon :))
Tiana: As soon as a promoter books us a show and 3 plane tickets! Haha! Honestly, we cannot wait to see our Hungarian #VARNAFAMILY. It still amazes us that our music has reached that far!
Rob: Very soon!
Your songs have bass and more guitar tracks as well. Do you have more members on the stage, or do you use sampler for these parts?
Rob: We’re using backing tracks for sound ambience and a fuller tone. If you can do it right, people will dig it 🙂
Eddie: We use them for the bass, some guitar layers, and the electronic stuff. It keeps the full sound for when we play live.
Tiana, you look sporty (and very cute :)). Do you work out or do any sports?
Tiana: Thank you! I wish I could tell you that I do, but I would be lying. My exercise consists of rocking out on stage, at rehearsal and on my stationary bike at home. Working out in a gym is my worst nightmare, I’m too shy/introverted for that!
Tiana, when have you started singing? Did you have any music projects before Varna?
Tiana: I started singing when I was 2 years old. I made my first demo tape when I was 8 years old. I was a solo artist until I was 16, then I finally got the courage to be in a band, which is what I always wanted. I was in a band called ‘Vincent Street’ and a blues/rock band called ‘Burning Wagon’, a couple of other projects that didn’t go anywhere, then the former guitarist and I started ‘Living Eulogy’ which was renamed VARNA in 2012..and the rest is history! 🙂
Tiana, can you play any instruments? (In the music video of My Heart you played the keyboard.)
Tiana: I play piano but I am self- taught. I wouldn’t trust myself to play it on stage while I’m singing. Truthfully, I get too out of control on stage to focus on an instrument.
What are your favorite bands, singers, musicians? Who had the greatest influence on you musically?
Rob: Right now I’m listening to Converge, At the Gates, Motionless in White, and some old Killswitch Engage. Also, MUSE, Alkaline Trio, Greenday, Three Days Grace, and Paramore. The greatest influences for me are actually singers who write ridiculously well written words that just f*ck with your mind and swing-changes the mood you’re in (like “All we Love, We Leave Behind,” from Converge about the death of his beloved pet dog).
Tiana: Mariah Carey and Silverchair are the two big ones for me and still are to this day. I also love Otis Redding and this may surprise people, Hanson.
Eddie: That’s always a tough question! I draw inspiration from everywhere. If it sounds good, it IS good! But if I were to name some bands in the hard rock vein, I’d say bands like Nothing More, Freak Kitchen, Hail The Villain, and Breaking Benjamin are pretty sweet.
Have you ever been to Europe? Maybe in Varna, Bulgaria?
Eddie: I lived in Greece for a bit when I was young, but I haven’t been back since!
Tiana: No! Sadly, we have not. I want to go so bad and especially in VARNA, BULGARIA! We have had a write up in the paper in Bulgaria and they can’t wait for us to play. I have family in Germany on my father’s side and they appreciate rock music more than they do in the US, so I would really love to go anywhere in Europe!
What can you tell us about what happened between you and Rossen?
Tiana: For the sake of remaining professional, he decided to quit the band and it was the best decision for the band.
We know that you are working on a new EP right now. What can you tell us about it? What can we expect? Does the change in your line-up have an effect on your musical style?
Tiana: We can tell you that we are SO EXCITED! Our fans deserve it and have been patiently waiting for it since our last release. We obviously had a huge setback when our former guitarist left (we were actually had 90% of the EP recorded) but we have been able to overcome that and sound better than we ever have! Yes, the music is going to be a more mature version of VARNA but still sticks to our core sound that our fans are expecting from us. We are extremely lucky to have Eddie on board.
Eddie: It takes what you already love about Varna, and kicks it up another notch!
Rob: Oh hell man, I for one am stupidly excited to show you guys our new songs AND the new songs we’re working on right now are siiiiick!!! They are a step up in my opinion from TTIP (This Time, It’s Personal). I really love it and our new hit single which I can’t spill the name just yet.
Are you planning to release a full-length studio album in the near future? Do you feel up to that challenge?
Rob: Yes and Yes!
Tiana: Yes! That was always our plan. Releasing EP’s allows us get the music to our fans faster and is a financially better option for us since we finance this band ourselves.
Where do you record your music? Do you go to a professional studio or you do everything on your own at home?
Tiana: We record all of our music with our producer, Erik Ron, at Grey Area Studios.
Rob: Erik Ron’s lair of righteousness and hard f*cking rock studio!
Do you have a message to your Hungarian fans?
Tiana: We love you, Hungarian #VARNAFAMILY and THANK YOU SO MUCH for voting for us as the ‘New Generation of Ladies in Rock’. It made us so proud that you care and support our music!!
Eddie: Some of my really good friends in high school were Hungarian, including a friend who played keys in my first band ever! We can’t wait to come out and meet all of you!
Rob: I seriously wish I could fly out there tonight to play for you guys. That is my honest truth and we’ll continue working to find a way to be able to come to your home town and have a ridiculous night.
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you all the best.
Tiana, Eddie and Rob: Thank You so much for the interview. We are honored and can’t wait to come to see you all!