Interviewed by David Felix
Date: October, 2005
Shortly after my review of TNT’s “ALL THE WAY TO THE SUN” went up a few weeks ago, ROCKEYEZ received the following email…
“I just read the review of our new album,
and I got extremely happy reading it.
Seldom has a review portrayed the band's feeling so precise 8)
Thank you very much!!
Reviews like this keep the band going strong....
See you in America...
All the best
Ronni le Tekro
Needless to say, I was very flattered that Ronni not only READ the review, but actually took the time out to drop us a line personally and thank us for it. So I dropped him an email in appreciation for his kind words about the review.
Then I came up with a BRILLIANT idea! Since I was going to be speaking with Tony Harnell very shortly, I thought I might ask Ronni if he might be interested in getting involved as well… kind of a “dual-interview” kinda thing. Ronni graciously accepted. So I was EXTREMELY excited to not only be speaking with not only Tony but the founding member of TNT (AND one of my favorite guitarists) as well.
Obviously, I never did go through with the dual-interview because after I thought about it, it became more and more apparent that BOTH of these guys deserved to be in the spotlight. So without further ado, here’s what the GREAT Ronni le Tekro had to say…
So Lets Start By Talking about the new album “ALL THE WAY TO THE SUN.” Was the recording
process any different on this album as appose to your last releases with TNT?
The vocals were done in the USA. Other than that, same procedure.
Who does most of the writing for the band?
50/50 I would say between myself and Tony.
When you guys get together, is the writing and recording process as easy as it has been after all these years?
I think so… It’s natural!
Do you ever have difficulty coming up with ideas for songs?
Do you have a favorite song off the album and why?
“The Letter”… I don’t know why
You decided to do a cover of the Louis Armstrong classic “What A Wonderful World.” What made you decide to cover that?
It’s gotta be one of the most covered songs... So we thought it would be hard to do to impress 8)
How challenging was it to compose your arrangement or how did you go about approaching it?
It was a long journey. We wanted it dynamic…with a 50`s BEATLES/QUEEN touch as well as a touch of the 50`s jazz chords.
What do you think “Louis” would think?
He must be wanking! 8)
I have been a huge fan of Mark Knopfler for many years… as well as yourself. That being said, I was astonished when I first heard “Mastic Pines” off the new CD because I heard “hints” of that Knopfler style in there mixed in with your own. How do you feel about that or am I just crazy?
You’re right! I sound a little Knopfler/ John Williams on that one.
Was he one of your influences?
Who are your influences as a guitarist?
Steve Hillage, Bill Nelson, John Williams, Joe Walsh, John McLaughlin, etc…
Who did you study under?
No one! 8)
Was there anyone in particular who supported or encouraged your gift?
My parents and grandparents were very supportive.
You have developed one of the most unique guitar sounds & styles in music. When you play, there is NO mistaking it’s Ronni LeTekro… and that’s not an easy accomplishment. How did you go about developing your sound?
It just happened! I think I approach music differently than the other guys 8)
As I said, I have spoken with Tony already and he told me a bit about how you two guys first met and how you came to get a demo tape of his which made you decide on him as the singer for TNT. Can you tell me your version of the story and how did you get his demo in the first place?
We answered an ad in Kerrang magazine and then Joel Peskin (our US manager) forwarded us the tape from Tony.
Was there an immediate chemistry?
After all this time, what is your relationship with him both personally and professionally?
Personally and professionally… EXCELLENT 8)
As far as TNT is concerned, what album did you enjoy writing and recording most and why?
This one because it was a big challenge production-wise… MAJOR guitar production.
Which did you find most challenging?
"ALL THE WAY TO THE SUN"
Of all the songs in the TNT library, is there any which still holds a special meaning to you personally or maybe hits a little closer to home with you? Why?
I think "Under My Pillow" because it’s stranger than most of our stuff. Also, “Perfectly,” “Song For Diane” and “The Letter.” …all very cool artistic tunes.
What is your live show like?
We deliver the goods like no other 80`s band… Hi-Octane! Crazy!! Pounding! We kick!
Of all the shows you’ve performed, is there any that sticks out in your mind for any reason… maybe because of a particular event or just an incredible performance?
The Palace in Hollywood, 1989… It was just a GREAT show.
What are the chances of seeing TNT in the States this time around?
Now I asked Tony this as well… I heard “rumors” in an older interview that you have been pretty adamant about not returning to tour in the United States ever again. Is there any truth to that and if so, why?
Yes, I had political reasons for many years... now I see things differently.
You guys have spent a lot of time on the road together over the years. Any road stories that spring to mind?
When Diesel stopped the “night-train” with a red flag while wearing a train worker costume! (LOL) He got arrested! 8)
What inspires you?
Nature, friends, kids, lovers.
What are you most proud of?
My girlfriend and my kids.
You’ve worked with countless artists over the years. If you could work with anyone you haven’t worked with already, who would it be and why?
Joe Walsh! He rolls bigger ones than me! 8)
What would you most like to be remembered for?
That I was reflected in a good light and a nice person.
So what can we expect to see from Ronnie LeTekro and TNT in the future?
Lots of crazy music and a new solo album in March/April . 8)
“ALL THE WAY TO THE SUN” has already been released in Japan and will soon be available here in the States Tuesday November 8th and shortly afterwards, all through out Europe. DO NOT forget to pick this up! It is an absolute MUST HAVE for any TNT or hard rock/ heavy metal fans alike.
Thanks again Ronni! We can’t wait to see you guys here in the States soon. We’ve missed ya!
Rock Eyez Review of 'All The Way To The Sun' by TNT.