The story of Shiraz Lane began in 2011 (Vantaa, Finland) as a group offive had an ambition to form a new generation rock band, through which it could channel its raging creativity and passion for music. After a couple of years of soul searching, the band started to blossom and reach its anticipated potential when the current desirable line-up was solidified in 2014. Shiraz Lane wreaks of creative variety, which resonates through their double-edged guitar sound (produced by lead guitarist Jani Laine and rhythm guitarist Miki Kalske), groovy-yet-solid ground-pounding (Ana Vilkkumaa, drums & Joel Alex, bass) and the unmistakably high-soaring melodies chanted by lead singer Hannes Kett. Despite their relative youth, they are already veterans of the circuit in their homeland and have developed a reputation for being uncompromising, loud, and most of all the genuine article. Although wearing inspiration and paying homage to their predecessors like Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses, their sound and music is unique.
Shiraz Lane’s debut five-track-EP “Be The Slave Or Be The Change”was released in the spring of 2015. It was extremely well received by both public and the press and the single ”Mental Slavery” could even be described as an underground hit. Following this mini-record, the band released four music videos, toured the biggest national summer festivals and played in Toronto (Canada), Tokyo (Japan) & Wacken Open Air in Germany. In the autumn of 2015 Shiraz Lane embarked on an extensive national tour, playing the biggest clubs in Finland as a supporting act for Santa Cruz. The hype culminated with a worldwide record deal with Frontiers Music Srl, which was signed and sealed in September 2015.
Their debut album “For Crying Out Loud” was released worldwide in April 2016, and was a success story from the beginning, achieving 6/7 stars in Metal Hammer Germany and a lot of praise by the biggest Finnish music magazine Soundi. The young rockers spent the following summer playing festivals and packed their gear for a two months long European tour with Lordi in the fall of 2016, before heading on their first headliner tour in Spain, February 2017. Shiraz Lane stayed extremely busy throughout the year 2017 composing, producing and recording their second album in collaboration with the Swedish producer Per Aldeheim.
The first single ”Harder To Breathe” was released on October 11th 2017, accompanied by a music video. “HTB” turned out to be the first bullseye on radio with a playlist spot and hundreds of prime-time airings on Finland’s biggest rock radio, Radio Rock. Straight after the release Shiraz Lane embarked on yet another European conquest opening for Brother Firetribe. The homecoming party manifested itself as joining the almighty DeepPurple in the sold out Helsinki Ice Hall only days later. The 2nd full length album, ’Carnival Days’’ was released in February 2018. Shiraz Lane continued onto play countless shows in Europe and Finland throughout 2018. In November of2018, the band joined forces H.E.A.T for a month-long European adventure.
2019 started off with another new ground covered as the band was featured on national television. YLE’s “Mullan Alta” challenged the tour-marinated bunch to dig into works of poet Uuno Kailas (1901-1933) and turn his poems into a song. “Paljain Jaloin” was premiered in an hour-long episode and remains Shiraz Lane’s only time performing in Finnish. More shows and writing were the natural continuum and that writing turned into the “Vibration I” EP. During the process, in June 2019, Shiraz Lane announced changing their record label to Ranka Kustannus which is operated by the legendary Riku Pääkkönen (the man behind the uprising of bands such as Nightwish, Children Of Bodom & Blind Channel).
The first Ranka-release was the hip shaking track “Do You”, followed by the arena rock singalong “Revolution”. The new material was received well and loud in Brazil, when Shiraz Lane did their first headline shows in South America. The year of 2019 and a beloved venue, Nosturi (Helsinki) were wished goodbye simultaneously while ending a Finnish tour there. “To the Moon & Back” was just released and started to gain momentum* (* – scientific study – observed by the amount of booty shaking you can see from the stage). The loan from the Australian pop duo Savage Garden went to radio and spiked the band’s streaming numbers.
2020 was received with great joy under the Caribbean sun, playing Monsters of Rock Cruise (Miami-Mexico). “Vibration I” was released and celebrated with Shiraz Lane’s first headlining European tour. The two-week tour with no days off ended at Paunchy Cats, Germany on March 7th, 2020. The fun was put on hold by Covid-19 right after. Shows in Finland and abroad were getting canceled and the world was confused, team Shiraz included. Doing nothing was not an option, so studio time was booked. “Broken Into Pieces” was recorded with Joonas Parkkonen and released as a standalone single in September 2020.
With no end in sight for the pandemic, the band saw the time in hand as anopportunity to seize. “Vibration II” – a follow-up EP in plans got discarded and the decision to do a full-length album was born. ‘’Forgotten Shades Of Life’’ was recorded in the idyllic countryside scenery of Lammaskallion Audio, Tuusula, Autumn 2021. After the countless hours spent at the rehearsal place and on the road, it was only natural to approach this record live. The whole band played at the same time, just like at the Shiraz HQ and on stage. Raw, organic and honest is what producer Juho Salaterä captured during the month-long lock-in. “Fake Perfection” was the first song released from the sesessions and introduced the crowd to a less polished and traditional hard-rocking approach.
As restrictions finally started to dismantle in the Spring of 2022, the band could finally get back on the road. Shiraz Lane completed a successful month-long European tour with the Swedish sleaze rockers in Crashdiet. While on tour, the singles ‘’Scream’’ and ‘’Disconnect from the Matrix’’ were released and played live, for further tease of the upcoming album – needless to say the reception was enthusiastic. Homecoming was yet again magnificent, since the band had the absolute honor to warm up the stage for KISS on their Farewell Tour at Helsinki Ice Hall, Finland in June.
Forgotten Shades Of Life was in its entirety on the 12th of August 2022. This resulted in touring all over Finland, and plans to conquer the world are underway. Blast out the album and stay alert, Shiraz Lane will be rocking in your neighborhood soon!
In the words of my Grandmother: “Hannes is a painter of the horizon, an eternal dreamer”. I sometimes find myself in the world of thoughts, in a world where anything is possible, where all the notes collide in a sometimes chaotic, yet wonderful harmony. Our beautiful world needs a healthy dose of good ol’ peace, love and respect. We tend to live in a constant state of stress and panic. Living in the past and fearing the future, feeling insufficient. Why we feel like there’s always something to aquire or have to feel worth something? These are the kinds of things I’m thinking about and these thoughts turn themselves into songs. That usually results in a lesson hidden within the words – not as a way to teach others, but to remind myself of what I’ve learnt on my adventures so far.
Everyone has limitless potential, it’s a matter of finding where your passion lies, to find out what your dream is and follow it no matter what.
Starting with the basics of blues guitar and later affected by the classic rock guitar heroes I’ve always found sound of electric guitar ”the thing” for me. If the song needs a soulful solo, extra moody guitar parts or arranging I’m ready to give my best. Serve the song. Play from the heart. Improvise. Let the guitar do the talk! Also fan of the big melodies – no matter what the genre is. I always try to come up with a different point of view when i sit down with my instrument. I believe that learning something new is what keeps you moving forward.
”Life is a game, the purpose ain’t to win, but to play.”
A creative mind constantly contemplating the underlying meaning of things. My preference in musical taste and style leans more to the past decades, but value all good music – unrestricted by genre. Guitar is my weapon of choice, since it gives me the freedom to re-construct & channel my ideas, thoughts & feelings into a comprehensible form. The idea that something generated from your stream of consciousness, grows, travels and potentially touches the soul of another being, makes the whole process magical. I take pride in all artistic foundational design, brainstorming and content – although my primary focus is on composing, lyrics and guitar gimmicks.
There’s nothing like feeling the bass thunder through your body. That primal power is why I’ve fallen in love with it and live for dropping those Thor’s hammers in live shows. Big and powerful is also how I like my music, no matter the genre. Raised by Finnish rock/metal greats of early 2000’s, redirected by rockstar aesthetics and the music of decades further, refined by film music and everything that sparks the childlike wow-factor of discovering something like KISS for the first time. Modern or vintage, from Behemoth to Adele and lots in between. If it feels dramatic, theatric and larger than life, it’s probably right up my alley.
Visual arts are also my jam which in this band results in everything you see.
Everything in our world contains rhythm. Our hearts pump blood with a rhythm, our body moves with a rhythm and the nature around us cycles with a rhythm. In music, rhythm is essential – There is no music without it. I have always been fascinated with this primal element. Nothing beats the feeling of beating the drums with all you got, making the shells sing and cymbals ring. Musically my job is to lay the foundation for others to create a musical landscape. My drumming influences come from variety of styles, but old-school, hard-hitting, ground-breaking, butt-shaking rock n’ roll is with what I grew up with.
I see myself as a happy, adventurous extrovert who tries not to judge other people. Live & let live.