Hailing from Los Angeles, California, The Strayngers (yes, I spelt that correctly) are an innovative and engaging dream-pop trio. Inspired by their environment and personal experiences, frontman Shane Tanksley, guitarist Sergio Galindo and bassist Jesse Els pair their dreamy soundscape with dynamic, fluid vocals. We speak with Shane Tanksley about The Strayngers debut EP I Don’t Know, Episode 1, future plans and much more!
Why did you form The Strayngers?
I had just gone through a messy band breakup and I needed to create something that would be able to reflect my own artistic vision. I felt like I needed a significant change in my life so I moved to Los Angeles from San Diego, eventually found some marvellous mates and we were on our way from there.
What can you tell us about I Don’t Know, Episode 1?
It’s the culmination of a musically harrowing journey. Over time, so much had constantly gone wrong with the recording process and even life in general, but with this record things finally went right. Hopefully, when you listen you can hear some of that joy expressed in the songs!
What was the writing and recording process like?
These songs were written during a time in my life when the phrase “I don’t know” was popping up a lot. I was studying business in college and it seemed whenever I asked classmates what they wanted to do in life they would respond with “I don’t know”. During the same time, I was really starting to discover and realise my gift for and obsession with songwriting. “I don’t know” why I’m wasting my time here in college became an internal battle.
Fast forward a few years and the long-time band I’d been in for almost half a decade since I was 19, had broken up. I needed a change in my life, so I picked up and moved from my hometown to good ol’ La La Land where I met some incredibly musically talented friends. We recorded it all ourselves with the help of the unbelievable drum talents of Adam ponce and mixing wizardry of Jorge Elbrecht.
Which is your favourite track and why?
Truly hard to say! Suppose I would go with ‘Small Stars’ for one main reason – its evolution. Over the several years of its existence, it was recorded professionally probably four times. Each time until now, I knew the strength of the song but knew the recording had never met that potential. That feeling each time was pretty miserable, so you can imagine how unbelievably liberating it was to finally get the song sounding like I’d always imagined it could!
Which is your least favourite and why?
Boring answer incoming… I really do love and believe in them all. They are each a special little snowflake that floated down to me from the heavens. Okay, maybe that’s too far, but yeah, all the songs we release hold an equal place in my heart. When we do this again many moons and albums from now, we’ll probably have put out some terrifyingly terrible music like everyone else eventually does. Consider this my apology ahead of time!
If you could give an emerging artist one piece of advice, what would that be?
Make the music you want to make and strive to do it in an original way so you will be creating something the world hasn’t heard before. Never chase trends!
Describe your music in a single word.
What are your future plans?
We want to continue to make enjoyable art and to support/collaborate with other artists who are in the shadows but shouldn’t be.
What do you hope people take from your music?
With so much music constantly being pumped out everywhere, it can make it really hard to be heard. I really just hope to have people listen. Whatever they take away from it is up to them.