Tanner Mackey


Tanner Mackey

about: music

22 year old Tanner Mackey is an Indie musician currently functioning in Arkansas while working as a server at Outback Steakhouse. He is a multi-instrumentalist as well as a singer/songwriter and producer. Tanner considers himself an Avant-Garde musician, in the sense that he tries to avoid creating music in order to achieve a certain genre. The large umbrella of sounds Tanner has already created have been described as ArtPunk, lo-fi Indie Rock, Beach Goth, Folk Punk, Post-Grunge, Synth-Pop, and Psychedelic.

Tanner Mackey started learning music in seventh grade. He made a perfect score on his musical aptitude test and chose to become a percussionist. He had always shown an affinity for music, when visiting his grandma he could be heard tapping away on her piano long before he knew what a chord or note was. They were always coupled with narratives of good battling evil or video game characters travelling to space. He began writing poetry and lyrics around the age of 12.

Band in Northwest Arkansas, particularly at Har-Ber High school, was extremely competitive and led to Tanner developing high-level rhythmic technical ability, the ability to read sheet music, and various other skills associated with marching, concert, and jazz band. Tanner started taking drum set lessons when he was 16 and started receiving guitar instruction a year later, after participating as a student at School Of Rock located in Bentonville. He was forced to leave after participating in 4 separate cover bands, due to a major health complication. Tanner eventually went on to teach at a School of Rock in Fayetteville, where he taught every instrument School of Rock teachers are able to teach. After hosting a myriad of Guitar, Bass, Drum, Vocal, and Piano lessons, Tanner decided to leave to save his musical energies for his own original music.

Tanner proved to be an efficient learner as he grew, and sorted through many talented musical teachers throughout his life, including the legendary R&B drummer Zoro, whose instruction he received while attending Belmont University. Tanner considers himself an extremely advanced drummer, a creative guitarist and bassist, and a versatile singer. He is also able to play harmonica, piano, timpani, marimba, xylophone, any auxiliary percussion instrument, and a mean tambourine. This list is sure to only grow, as Tanner’s thirst for musical knowledge and prowess is insatiable to say the least.

Tanner's musical career “officially” began when he self-released his first album The Mentor Or The Charlatan, after leaving his school of 2 years, Belmont University, to pursue music full time. This album was released on February 2nd, 2017. It took 6 months to write, record, and produce, and took place mostly in Tanner's bedroom at his parent's house in Springdale, Arkansas using an audio technica cardioid microphone and an SM57.

During this time, he was also performing FolkPunk music in Springdale with Justin Collier, in a band called TarFarm. This band saw lots of practice, but very few shows. Eventually, Josh Larson was added to the group and Tanner changed the group’s name to Surfers Of The Omniverse. This band was also short lived and only performed once at a country Battle of the Bands in Springdale. Surfers took the audience by storm, becoming an immediate crowd favorite and won second place by a very close margin, regardless of their outwardly proclaimed status as an Avant-garde band. 

Tanner created his second creative musical work, an EP entitled Summer EP (It's Not What You Think) at the end of Summer 2017. This EP was intended to encompass the ideas of both a breakup album with a girl named Summer and an apocalyptic alien invasion during the summer. Summer EP was also intended to define a conceptual genre Tanner entitles "Surf Wave". Surf Wave or SurfWave is a musical genre meant to combine Surf music with New Wave music. So far, Summer EP (It's Not What You Think) is the only definitively SurfWave music. It can be found on Spotify or purchased in digital format here; https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/tannermackey3

Right before the end of 2017 Tanner also released the album Be Gentle. The album starts with an indie surf aesthetic with the songs Worry and Sandy Peach, but soon wanders into unnamed territory with Petunia, before delving into electro and 80s inspired sounds with the songs Japanese Cyber-Punk Dystopia and Digital Paradise. The album closes with Christmas Vegan and Beatintomybones, which do not sound like any particular existing genre, but have elements of folk and rap respectively. Overall, this album is a trip that you have to hear to understand.  Be Gentle can be found on Spotify and can be purchased digitally here 

Throughout 2018 Tanner released a sprinkling of singles including Reflecting, Cruiser (which was the first Surfers Of The Omniverse song), and The True King Of Pain, while working quietly on many other side projects.