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STAR Views: Lantana

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.

Lantana

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
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
Photo used courtesy of Lantana
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.]

Photo used courtesy of Lantana

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!"

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Photo credit: Melissa Webb

What is the strangest or funniest thing that you've seen or read about yourselves?
Biz: One time, I did an interview, and the article ended up quoting Karol Ann. She wasn't even there! Remember that? You didn't even do the interview!

Karol Ann: Yeah, and I get all the credit!

Being from Canada, Dalene, did you experience any culture shock the first time you came to the states?
Dalene: I was surprised when I first came here that there aren't as many recyclable systems. Everything is recycled there and here, it was like "Where do I put this? Oh, I guess I just throw it in the garbage." It was really weird! [NOTE: In Canada, paper, aluminum, plastic, and glass all have separate waste receptacles.]

Isn't milk sold in plastic pouches instead of gallon jugs there?
Dalene: You can either have it delivered in plastic pouches of milk or regular cartons. Also, they're sold in litres, not gallons.

Biz: That's interesting! You know, she really does get it bad from us! There's hardly a day that goes by that she doesn't say something that Karol Ann and I just laugh at! Dalene: But, I know it will be very entertaining when they go up to Canada. Everyone will be like, "You talk so cool. Your accent's really neat!" Especially her (pointing to Karol Ann, who has a very distinct Texan accent).

Karol Ann: I guess I do!

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A Quick Study on Temperaments!
Dalene gave a crash course in understanding the fundamental ideas of what and how the temperaments came to be. "The temperaments started with the Ancient Greeks. They were also evident in the Middle Ages in King Arthur's legends and the Bible, and then in the Renaissance in Shakespearean plays." She adds, "The most evident time to see the temperaments in their purest form is during ages six and a half to nine and a half, since children act strongly out of temperaments before their personality starts to sculpt them." In other words, you may lose your temper once in a while, but you can't get rid of your temperaments that easily! Below is a summary of each temperament and their most inherent personality traits.

Lantana

CHOLERIC - fire as an element, lion as an animal, infant as a stage of life, Rabbit as a Winnie the Pooh character, red as a color. Cholerics are great leaders- the founders of many great religions and historical events were Cholerics: Moses, Mohammad, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar... Most have little self-knowledge though, since they are less concerned with aspects of self. They are usually forceful and intense. This can sometimes be seen as angry or bossy. They usually do astonishing work very quickly and like to move through things as fast as possible.

SANGUINE - air as an element, butterfly as an animal, adolescence in a stage of life, Tigger as a Winnie the Pooh character, yellow as a color. Sanguines are the social butterflies and love knowing what everyone else is doing. They usually have gorgeous clothing, or make it look like gorgeous clothing. As children they often walk on their toes to get off the earth. Adolescent Sanguines love high heels or skateboards for the same reason. Sanguines have trouble fully taking hold of anything and really focusing. There also can be superficiality around them. They are usually joyful and positive. When they get hurt, they get hurt deeply.

PHLEGMATIC - water as an element, cow as an animal, adult as a stage of life, Winnie the Pooh as a Winnie the Pooh character, green as a color. Comfort is extremely important to Phlegmatics They will usually be prepared with a sweater, an extra pair of shoes and a bottle of water. They like order and schedules and usually will be organized and dependable. The cow's digestive system (many stomachs) is a metaphor for how Phlegies think about things...stage one,...two...rethinking...thinking again... It is sometimes very difficult to get a firm decision out of them. They are very philosophical and not too interested in Pop culture. They can concentrate hard and long on something, as they delve into it deeply and are known as "workhorses."

MELANCHOLIC - earth as an element, wolf as an animal, elderly as a stage of life, Eore as a Winnie the Pooh character, purple as a color. Melancholics feel comforted with the little cloud that is above them. There is always some little problem and that's usually seen in even their posture. They have amazing insights into things and usually see the big picture long before anyone else. They usually have incredible memories and love details. They are very compassionate to others because they live in life's suffering, either theirs or others.



Visit Lantana at http://www.LantanaMusic.com!!

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