TesseracT (Credit: Steve Brown)
From ANOHNI to Michael Jackson...

TesseracT are a difficult group to pin down.

The band's expansive songwriting, ambitious studio work, and stellar shows display a progressive edge, but it's one rooted in making an emotional connection.

Cerebral but inviting, TesseracT have gained a huge cult following, enabling them to headline a stage at Download this summer and play support slots with giants such as Megadeth and Meshuggah.

New album 'Sonder' is incoming, so we decided to sit down with vocalist Dan Tompkins, a performer rightly lauded for his supreme technical skills.

A vocal coach in his spare time - you can book lessons HERE, y'know - Dan has always pushed himself to go further and further.

Here's a few of his vocal inspirations...

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ANOHNI - ‘Drone Bomb Me’

When it comes to singers, I’m naturally drawn towards a voice with unique character and ANOHNI (formerly the lead singer for Anthony and the Johnsons) is the perfect example.

I remember hearing this song for the first time feeling elated, intrigued and confused all at the same time. The closer you listen the more you get sucked into her rich, soulful and modern tones, this is an artist at the forefront of contemporary pop progression.

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Active Child - ‘Hanging On’

Patrick James Grossi of Active Child has been a huge influence in my growth as a singer. He moulds traditional and contemporary vocals in a fashion that could not be more impressive. My discovery of his voice coincided with my own vocal studies into falsetto and has since been a constant inspiration in my own development. Hanging On is a masterpiece and has surprisingly become one of my all time favourites, which is seriously saying something.

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David Bowie - ‘Blackstar’

As an artist David Bowie continually renewed himself as an artist for over five decades. He was constantly innovative in his approach to creating music and the use if his voice: ever evolving. Every time I’m lost, struggling, lacking faith in my own ability or in need of inspiration, I turn to this song and from the moment the track starts I feel a great sense of relief.

“Go a little bit out of your depth and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting”. This quote from David inspires me on many levels.

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Michael Jackson - ‘Man In The Mirror’

It’s a blistering summer holiday, I’m eight years old sat with a dodgy stereo on the bedroom window sill, volume cranked (speakers distorting) wanting every person on the street to hear that I was proudly listening to Michael Jackson. He gave me the confidence to sing from a young age, there is no doubt that his singing has influenced the way I sing.

'Man In The Mirror' in the first song that ever drew a tear to my eye and the first time I felt something truly magical and profound in music. Not everyone would understand that but millions do.

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A Perfect Circle - ‘Judith’

I have to mention Maynard James Keenan. I am a Tool fan, which kind of goes without saying, but the first time I ever experienced a visceral show that left a very permanent mark was seeing A Perfect Circle from the front row at Rock City in Nottingham, whilst on their campaign for the debut ‘Mer de noms’. That show changed everything for me, it stoked the fire in me to want, to REALLY want to be a singer.

I have always admired his voice, it’s hard to keep that inspiration at bay sometimes. I don’t believe in idols but if I did, Maynard would be one.

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TesseracT will release new album 'Sonder' on April 20th.

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