Tank and the Bangas is an iconic music group based out of New Orleans, Louisiana. Led by the soulful powerful singer Tarionna “Tank” Ball, the group consists of a five-person ensemble of phenomenal musicians who have come together to provide a musical sound that will stand the test of time.
The group consists of Joshua Johnson on drums, Merell Burkett, Jr. on the keyboard, Albert Allenback on saxophone and flute, Norman Spence on bass and synth, and last but not least, Tarriona “Tank” Ball on lead vocals.
The members of Tank and the Bangas met at a New Orleans open mic show called Liberation Lounge at Blackstar Cafe and Books and formed the group in 2011. When asked where the name comes from, in an interview Tank says “The band name came out of a pure mistake. My nickname is Tank.
My dad gave me that nickname and it always has been since I was a baby. and the house band at the cafe we started at called themselves the Black Star Bangas. So since I started there with their band, I just shortened it to Tank & the Bangas. I never used to like it at all because I felt like I was kinda stuck with the name. But it’s definitely grown on me.”
After that, it was full steam ahead, they had many appearances on major TV shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Today Show. They have performed around the country with Europe being one of their most loved destinations. The group has played at historic venues such as The Apollo Theater and Carnegie Hall and has gained a solid devoted fan base.
When it comes to describing the amazing talent of the band, they separate themselves from the pack. Their sound is a lively fusion of funk, hip hop, rock, soul, and spoken word.
The group has been rocking together strongly for over eleven years without any rifts which speaks volumes because the stereotype is that all groups break up at some point in their existence. In an interview one of the members, Norman Spence stated “I’m saying this honestly. I wanna be sarcastic, but it’s hard to. We genuinely like each other. We don’t like everything about each other, but we’ve grown as brothers and sisters. It’s my family.”
The group is so riveting and impactful with lyrics that demonstrate social change, I wanted to know if they are activists? In an interview, Tank stated “When I think about the word activist, I think about the word active and being active in whatever you believe in. We don’t have to stand outside with picket signs all the time. We are the picket sign.
The music is the picket sign. The message is it, and we’re going to do it no matter who we’re in front of.”
The group has released three studio albums, Thinktank (2013) and Green Balloon (2019), and their most recent album Red Balloon which was distributed on May 13, 2022.
Make sure to be on the lookout for this monumental group because they are ascending into national stardom right before our eyes.
Listen to “Oak Tree” from Tank and the Bangas’ new album ‘Red Balloon’ out May 13, 2022