Top Shelf talks with Tatanka

Colorado-based and buffalo enthusiast band Tatanka has recently concluded a short winter tour alongside E. N Young, Dubbest and Bumpin Uglies. After 10 days on the road trekking around the continental southwest, the Tatanka boys took a break to chat with Top Shelf Reggae on tour highlights, future plans and weed preferences.

2017 was a giant year for Tatanka, and it's great to hear new music from you guys! Tell us about the motive behind your “Love Is Medicine” single and what's to come.

  • Thanks so much! “Love Is Medicine” is inspired by the concept that love heals all. No matter how hard you have to work or hard you have to try, love conquers all. Be sure to show your love, as you never know who it could affect because “Love Is Medicine”. This year, we plan to release some more music, collaborate with some new artists, play in some new cities and keep pushing the creative boundaries in everything we do.

That's a hefty workload. With a buffalo representing the band, does that have any hidden symbolism besides the obvious connection to North America?

  • We use it often in show/tour flyers to represent the thunderous and rumbling sound a herd of running buffalo, as we emulate that unique theme in our music. One of our members has some Native American heritage, so we try to pay homage in that respect as well.

On that note, it's well known that the Native Americans used every part of the buffalo back in the day. Do you believe you exemplify this same concept when crafting your music?

  • In a similar way, we do follow the same principle during our writing process. We're pretty open to all ideas when songs are brought to the lab and keep that approach to help shape a diverse sound.

Let's talk creative process for a minute… You obviously smoke weed. What's your weed preference and does that differ on the road?

  • The majority of the band prefers to smoke spliffs, but we love concentrate, edibles and everything else as well. It doesn't differ much on the road, except from being a little more cautious when we do, of course.

If you were to match a weed strain to your songs, what would “100 Weight” be?

  • Probably some Purple OG Kush.

For “Love Is Medicine”?

  • Something sweet, like Strawberry Cough.

For “Easy”?

  • Sour Diesel.

For “Give Green”?

  • Our own hybrid of Green Crack.

Speaking of “own hybrid”, your self-titled album was produced by E.N Young in his Imperial Sound Recording Studio. How was touring with E.N?

  • It's always great! We've done some tours/shows with E.N. Young and Imperial Sound before, so it's a treat whenever we get to link up with those guys.

Did you guys swing by Imperial Sound to jam or record while you stopped in San Diego?

  • Unfortunately, we didn't get to lay anything down while we were in SD this time, but we had some help from E.N on our latest single “Love is Medicine”. 

With such a short winter tour, do you have longer excursions on the horizon for 2018?

  • Yes! We're very excited to travel the nation on the Wicked Awesome Spring Tour with our brothers Fortunate Youth & Ballyhoo! kicking off mid-March. We also plan to get back up to the Pacific northwest and west coast late spring/early summertime. 

Busy, busy! Since time is of the essence, do you have any final life wisdom to dispel on our readers? #TatankaTales

  • Never forget to have fun and enjoy life! Our time on this earth is never guaranteed, so let's make the most of what we can control – no matter how hard or tough things can get.

​You heard the band! Pair the weed strains above to Tatanka songs on Spotify:

  1. “100 Weight”
  2. “Love Is Medicine”
  3. “Easy”
  4. “Give Green”

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