By: Estella Pan
Since their debut album dropped into stores nationwide,
those Lantana ladies have kept quite the busy schedule! (Unbridled was released September, 2006, and includes
their Top 10 single "Country As a City Girl Can Be," "Let Somebody Love You," and eleven other great tunes!) Biz Haddock,
Karol Ann DeLong, and Dalene Richelle took a quick breather from their hectic CMA Music Festival week to update
me on the latest happenings with their career.
First task at hand is introductions. These ladies
know the ins and outs of the temperaments, and since they discovered that several characters in the Winnie the Pooh
franchise exhibit the dominant traits apparent in each of the temperaments, I asked them to introduce themselves in accordance
to their respective animated characters. Dalene begins, "I'm Winnie the Pooh." Karol Ann adds, "I'm Tigger. Whoo, hoo, hoo,
hoo!" Biz finishes, "And, I'm Rabbit." Dalene explains in further detail, "I'm the phlegmatic, Karol Ann's the sanguine, and
Biz is the choleric." She fills me in how they came to acquire their nicknames. "All three of us had studied the Greek temperaments
separately. It comes through in other philosophies too, but [Greece] is the origin of the temperaments. If you understand
the temperaments, then you can understand how to relate to different people and personalities with a level of tolerance. There
are four temperaments and they're innate in everybody, but you're concentrated in one." Biz explains the cartoon connection.
"In Winnie the Pooh, those character traits are exaggerated. We watched it together once, and we were just rolling!
'That's Dalene! That's Karol Ann! That's Biz! Oh my gosh!" Dalene picks up again, "It helps to understand how different people
might act in different situations." Karol Ann agrees, "It helps a lot!"
|Lantana plays Nashville's Hard Rock Café!
On the career front, Lantana has been in full bloom
and popping up everywhere as of late! Earlier this year, during CRS (Country Radio Seminar) week, the ladies made their
debut Nashville performance in the "Live From CRS-38" At The Wildhorse show, sharing the stage with Bucky Covington,
Emerson Drive, and others. In May, they performed at Country Thunder USA. Then, at the CMA Music Festival, they helped welcome
fans to Nashville in the 3rd Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade and later in the week, they performed
in the After Hours concert held at the Hard Rock Café. In addition to doing interviews with the media, Lantana invested in
their own booth and spent lots of quality time meeting their fans!
|Lantana enjoys throwing beads in the
|3rd Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade!
Among the many exciting opportunities Lantana’s
career has allowed them to partake in, I asked the gals what has been the most fulfilling experience of their career. Biz
reflects, "That we're doing it at all." Karol Ann takes a second to ponder the question, then replies, "Ok, this is my shallow
answer. The most fun thing we've done so far was the parade because we got to throw beads! Biz marvels, "Of our career?!"
Equally amused, Dalene adds, "Wow!" Without missing a beat, Karol Ann retorts, "I said it was a shallow answer!" At
that, all three burst into laughter! After composing herself, Karol Ann offers a more serious response. "Being with country
music fans and part of the opening festivities for the CMA Music Festival." She adds, "We had no expectations going in at
all. Like what Biz said, doing what we love to do and being able to continue growing and getting bigger, better, and funner…"
Biz interjects, "Is that a word?" (referring to "funner"). Karol Ann's comeback? "Well, I just made it one!" After
another mountain of giggles subsided, Karol Ann finishes her initial train of thought: "That, and the whole process of doing
the album and having our music come to life – that was fun. But, this has really been a fun week for us! We have
laughed and enjoyed the fruit of all of our work that we've put in." Biz agrees, "We've had our heads down, working so hard
in the past year, that we never really looked up. Because we don't have that to see if what we're doing is working. So, every
time we come out and have to face outside, it's almost like working really hard toward a test and getting the results back
with 100% - you're just like "Yeah! That affirmation and fan feedback has been so valuable! Coming here and hearing fans tells
us, "We love your music!" For us, it's like You’ve heard of us? You know our music? That's very exciting for
us!" Lantana keeps their fans in the know via their innovative fan club website at http://www.lantanafanclub.com, on which you'll find no shortage of music, videos, and photos. In addition, each gal contributes her personal written musings
in the Blogs section of their site!
Speaking of fans, Biz and Dalene experienced a touching fan moment as they were
en route to Nashville for the CMA Music Festival. Biz shares, "The gentleman sitting next to us was asking us where we were
going. We told him, 'We're going to Nashville.' He asked, 'What for?' I just said, 'For work.' Then, he asked, 'Well, what
do you do?' So, I said, 'We're in a band together, and we have a third girl who's not with us.' Well, the lady in front of
us had two small two children." Dalene picks up the story. "When she was coming on plane, we could see her taking double looks
at us. I think if Karol Ann would have been there, she would have put it together. So, she asked us what band we were in.
I told her we were Lantana. She asked, 'What's your song?' Soon as I told her, 'Well, we sing 'Country As a City Girl Can
Be,' she went, Oh, my gosh! That's the song my little girl really loves!" We were really taken aback by that! Biz adds,
"Then, she went, Wow, so you fly on a plane?!" Dalene pitches in, "Yeah, she went, What are you doing on this plane?!
[We explained to her:] 'You don't understand, this is a luxury for us!'" Karol Ann sums up her thoughts on the subject: "I
think everybody loves the opportunity to be able to do what you love to do. But, for other people to affirm that and love
what you do, it's something all together different. And we're not used to that. But, with the album being out, we're now starting
to get comments from people like, 'I connected with this song' or 'I know you; I've been following your career!' It's great,
and we love it!" [NOTE: For more about Lantana's music, please refer to my interview with Biz
from last year. You can read that article here.]
Biz has a unique take on their respective experiences
as rising stars in the business. "As a new artist coming into this business, it's the best backstage pass, because you're
still in that mode of being a fan. And, Karol Ann here, she knows everyone! There's not an artist she doesn't know
what their name is and what songs they've sung. She's got the facts on everyone! So, we were in the Artist Lounge and this
artist (who, by the way, shall remain nameless) came up to us and was asking about our music. He was being very gracious and
since I didn't know him... I was just chatting about nothing particular. After we left, I turned to Karol Ann and asked, Who
was that?! And she got so mad at me!" Karol Ann "I just about lost it and wouldn't tell her." Biz sheepishly confesses,
"Finally she told and I was so embarrassed. How could I not know?!"
One thing the gals are looking forward to taking
their music abroad. In fact, a planned tour in France was in the works until the band received word that it would be postponed.
Biz divulges, "The e-mail that they sent us said there were security issues." Karol Ann adds, "They didn't want to put anybody
at risk, so they said they were going to wait. We appreciate that." This provided a segway into a discussion about the differences
between American and Canadian cultures. (Biz and Karol Ann are native Texans, while Dalene is originally from Canada, but
has since also made her home in Texas.) I asked Dalene if she was fluent in French. "No, not at all fluent. But, I can understand
better listening [to two people talk in French] than if I had to converse with them." She adds, "I'm from the west side of
the country – like above Montana – versus Quebec, which is in the east. Canada's such a huge country, so it's
a bilingual country." Biz takes a turn throwing in a question. "It's very Americanized where you grew up, right?" Dalene says,
"It's very Americanized in some respects, like with the Hollywood culture you see on TV. The French language is more concentrated
on the east. But, we do have French in the school systems and on all the cereal boxes."
Behind the shared music, friendly banter, and giggles,
it must not go unsaid that having familiarity with the temperaments have played a large role in what promotes their healthy
professional relationship and strengthens the solid friendship between these three women. Biz says it best, "We accept each
other's weaknesses and rely on each other's strength. That's a group bonus!"