Tannhauser Orchestra (formerly just Tannhauser) was founded in 2007 by main songwriter Erick de Deyn.
In its early years, the band consisted of Erick, Ine Vlassaks, Joke Duponcheel and Karlien Vermeiren, among others such as The Bear That Wasn’t‘s Nils Verresen. Their initial releases, consisting mainly of pop songs with a shoegazey sound, were well received in the Benelux countries.
In 2012 all original members but Erick were replaced by multi-instrumentalist Geert Janssens and drum powerhouse Brecht Tijskens. The change-up effected a dramatic change in the band’s sound, becoming heavier and more spacious with each subsequent release. Dark beauty ‘The House of Sleep’ was released in 2013, preceded by an EP containing the single ‘Slowburn’. Soon after, the band decided to emphasize the stylistic shift by renaming themselves Tannhauser Orchestra.
‘The House of Sleep’ was considered the first installment in Tannhauser Orchestra’s ‘Venus Trilogy’ (see below) and second part ‘Her Mountain’ followed suit in 2014. The album garnered positive reviews in publications such as Gonzo (circus), Damusic and OOR. Meanwhile, due to Brecht leaving the band and the other members having become young fathers, Tannhauser Orchestra effectively stopped being a live band and concentrated exclusively on studio work.
‘Veneralia’ was released on October 13, 2015. Dark Entries‘ Danny Quetin wrote: “With Veneralia , Tannhauser Orchestra have made the ultimate record that perfectly summarizes their career”.
After a hiatus of four years, Tannhauser Orchestra released a new EP called ‘Songs of Travel and Other Universes’ in 2019. The Blog That Celebrates Itself interviewed the band for the occasion.
The Venus Trilogy
The so-called Venus Trilogy started with the release of ‘The House of Sleep’ in 2013, followed by ‘Her Mountain’ in 2014 and ‘Veneralia’ in 2015, and is loosely based on the German Tannhäuser legend. Thematically, sonically and visually (by way of Loes Besieux’ photographic artwork), the three records form an organic unity that is ideally experienced as a whole.