Tanya O'Callaghan says that David Coverdale reached out to her directly to ask her if she would like to join WHITESNAKE as the band's new bass player.
In November, Tanya was named the latest member of the long-running hard rock outfit as the replacement for longtime bassist Michael Devin whose departure was revealed a few days earlier.
When asked in a new interview with Mark Dean of Antihero if it has fully sunk in what she is going to be a part of, Tanya said: "Probably not, to be honest. But it's also, it's funny because it feels normal, in a way, already, just because it's such a welcoming camp. And I knew some of those guys already. We toured the same circles. So, there's that feeling of it's just a giant welcome party, which has been wonderful. Now, just now, we're — what? — eight weeks out, or so, from starting. I'm starting to get the music, and I'm trying to, 'Oh, send me the songs. What are we going to do so I can learn everything?' Because I've got to get in the shed bigtime on this stuff because I didn't grow up with it. It wasn't the music that I really listened to. But obviously, there are endless epic hits, so you want to do them all justice. So now, the next few weeks are, getting all my gear back up to scratch, what I need, all my rigs for different continents, and getting all my guitars ready. And yeah, it's going to be a blast, but the songs are unbelievable. The more I listen to stuff… It's one of those bands.
Regarding the actual recruitment process, Tanya said: "David would've known of me, and we played the same festivals. And he called me directly… It was a direct call, and yeah, just a straight ask. But it is a process of putting the years in and being out there in the scene. There is no magic formula."
She continued: "People ask, 'How did you get the gig?' It's just this bizarre unfolding of, I've been working my ass off for years touring, and people are seeing you play, and you must have a presence. And, obviously, your CV speaks for itself. And then it's just — I don't know if the universe aligns, and WHITESNAKE happened to need a bassist. And I'm very honored that David called me immediately. I guess it was in his head from seeing me play. It's a total honor. And it's an amazing band. And just all amazing players."
Coverdale, who turned 70 in September, recently confirmed that he plans to retire from touring after WHITESNAKE's next batch of concerts around the world.
Although Coverdale will no longer perform with WHITESNAKE, he is still planning on writing and recording fresh material once he has retired from the road.
In early 2020, WHITESNAKE was forced to cancel its U.S. tour with SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE and NIGHT RANGER so that Coverdale could undergo surgery for bilateral inguinal hernia. Eventually, all of the shows were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coverdale had both his knees replaced with titanium in 2017 after suffering from degenerative arthritis. He later explained that he was in so much pain with arthritis in his knees that it hampered his ability to perform live.
WHITESNAKE had been touring in support of its latest album, "Flesh & Blood", which was released in May 2019 via Frontiers Music Srl.