Tom Kanach Of KANAK Talks About Upcoming Projects and New EP ‘On The Outside’

Hollywood 411
4 min readMay 23, 2024
Photo Credit: Stephanie Kanach

I recently caught up with Tom Kanach of rock band KANAK about what inspired their new EP ‘On The Outside’, some of his favorite musical highlights — and a new album in the works for this year. Here is what he had to share:

Who were some of your influences growing up?

My parents were big Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke fans, so they were the ones who initially exposed me to music. As a young teen, I started exploring outside of their collections and discovered the British Invasion groups, with The Beatles being my favorite. In high school, I was introduced to early punk and fell in love with the emotion of it and bands like The Deadboys and The Damned (the bands I gravitated the most to).

What kind of training have you had, if any?

I’m mostly self-taught. I took three piano lessons in elementary school but hated having to play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” over and over [eye roll]. While my traditional piano teacher insisted that I learn the basics, I instead was impatient to learn how to play rock songs like “Hey Bulldog” by The Beatles.

I had already started writing songs on piano and in my head, but thought that guitar was easier and cooler, so I forced myself to learn guitar by watching other people play. It was only after I started playing pretty well that I realized that they were playing guitar right-handed (I’m left-handed). [laughs] I still play right-handed!

In terms of singing, I took some vocal lessons from Steve Conte’s mom, Rosemary, to learn how to breathe properly.

Tell us about your new EP ‘On The Outside’:

On The Outside is a collection of songs written during a period in my life where I was feeling particularly isolated. The songs are mainly about loneliness, loss and fear… the loss of love and time… the fear of being alone and exposed. It was then filtered through the overall feeling of not fitting in and being an outsider. Yet, the songs on this EP have hope buried within them that things will get better.

Musically, we tried to balance the songs between our pop and punk influences: angry yet beautiful.

You’ve been in the music world for a while. What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?

One of my favorite gigs was my first big show. I was 16 years old and the band I was in at the time opened for The Lords of the New Church at the Brooklyn Zoo. We were probably terrible, but I thought we had hit the big time! Through the years following, I have had the pleasure of playing with or opening for a lot of great bands.

On our current EP, we got to work with the legendary producer, Ed Stasium, which was a huge deal for us. Ed is one-of-a-kind: a great guy, very funny, and knows how to get the best out of musicians.

However, the overall best thing for me is the people that I have met and made music with along the way. There is something magical about playing with other musicians that never gets old.

If you had a chance to work alongside anybody who would that be?

I would love to work with Finneas. I love how he puts songs together. It would be interesting to see the output of his production style and my songwriting style.

What other projects do you have coming up?

KANAK has already begun working on the next record and we will start recording in June. We write a lot of songs, so there are dozens of songs to go through. We hope to have something out in September or October.

I have also been working on some songs with Bobby Kennedy from the band ACID.

What is your best piece of advice for aspiring artists?

Do what you love. Don’t worry about what anybody else is doing. Don’t try to write like somebody else. If you love it, keep doing it. Be your best you and don’t cut corners.

KANAK will also be playing at Matt Pinfield’s annual birthday bash at The Viper Room in West Hollywood on Thursday, May 30th.

For all the latest info on KANAK, check out:

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