An Interview with Tarah Who?
“…If Motorhead was fronted by Alanis Morissette!”
Tarah Who? is an LA-based, female-fronted punk-rock band from Los Angeles, California, consisting of Tarah G. Carpenter on vocals and guitar, Joey Southern on bass and Coralie Hervé on the drums. Tarah started this project as a solo artist in Los Angeles. Today, Tarah Who? is a power trio with a unique sound, ready to take on the rest of the world.
I caught up with the three member of Tarah Who? to talk about their music, their upcoming EP and their future plans.
Tell me about the first few weeks of the year?
CH: We actually began the year with a residency at the Redwood Bar in Downtown LA and we were preparing for the year 2019. A lot of things are happening for Tarah Who? it’s really exciting!
TGC: The first few weeks have been exhilarating! So much is happening really fast! As Coralie said, we just finished a residency, but we also booked a tour with a band from the UK called YUR MUM, we are going to be headed to Texas during SXSW! We also have released the music video for “Numb Killer” that was a success and showed 5K views after two weeks! We were offered to play at El Cid this Sunday for this really cool Brunch event with tattoo artists, tarot card readers, art shows, etc. Those events are the best! You meet a ton of people! We have secured our European tour in September, and we are working on some Canada dates. I also just finished our documentary! Stay tuned for its release, and a couple more exciting things happening that I can’t talk about right now… So yeah, exciting year in perspective!
JS: Yes! The residency was amazing and we met so many new friends and fans!!! Really cool to see the musical community side of LA. People came out and came back with friends the next week! We couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to 2019! Special thank you to @infuzzwetrust @theredwoodbar and our month-long partners in rock @dotr_official.
Exciting! Any standout shows you’ve performed at or upcoming gigs you’re excited about?
TGC: I think that we can all agree that our Satellite show at the end of the year 2018 was THE best way to end the year. Everything went well from sound to promotion.
Thanks to this gig, we were offered that show at El Cid, I mentioned above. I am so going to try to get a tattoo!
JS: Totally agree with Tarah! And personally, I am very excited about the Europe tour.
Give me a bit of background about the band: When and how did you form?
CH: I joined Tarah Who? in the summer of 2017. I was friends with Tarah on Facebook but we never met, and I sent her some questions when I knew that I was coming to LA to study at the Musicians Institute. She messaged me when she was looking for a drummer in her band Tarah Who? and the rest is history! Haha!
TGC: I started playing music when I was 14 as a drummer and bass player in Rock bands. On the side, I wrote my own songs but I never really told anyone. I moved to LA when I turned 21 and decided to work on those songs I wrote.
I made a demo, playing all of the instruments and posted on myspace. A sound engineer came across my profile and messaged me “Hey, I like your songs! Can I help you make them sound good!” LOL!, we met, hit it off. With those songs, I started looking for musicians, and over the years, life happened and now I am supported by the best people and musicians one can ever wish for. I am very lucky to have Coralie as the drummer of the band and Joey as our Badass ass player.
JS: I am the newest member of the band coming up on almost a year now. We met back in April 2018 via Facebook messenger…
“Hi Joe, I am contacting you because I am looking for a bass player for my band Tarah Who? If you like what you hear hit me back. Have a good day! ” Tarah…
Random, it seemed strange and went unanswered for six whole days. The idea rolled around in my head enough and I decided I needed to listen to the songs. Two weeks later we left on a west coast tour and we have been constantly working ever since! Each experience seems better than the last.
Interesting! What a journey. So, do you feel like you’ve found your sound now or are you still experimenting?
CH: I really think that we have our own sound, but we are always experimenting and always find new things to add to old and new Tarah Who?’s songs. That’s what is amazing with music and people you are playing with, if you have great chemistry with your bandmates, everything can be done.
TGC: It is exactly what Coralie said. We have our sound for sure, but because Coralie and Joey are so open-minded, creative and have great technique, I am able to come up and explore things I have always wanted to try but could not do in the past for diverse reasons. Today, when you come to see Tarah Who? play, it is not songs after songs, you come to see a full show. You will recognize our songs, but we constantly work on a live show to entertain and.. just have fun and play MUSIC!
JS: Yes!! Tarah has an encouraging approach to changing and evolving songs. We have our sound and we may experiment with the live shows but the essence is there.
Please tell me a bit about the process of creating new music. How does it all come together?
CH: Tarah is the one writing music and lyrics, making the demo of the songs all by herself. After that, she sends us the songs, telling us what it’s about so we add the good feeling to it. What is really great, is that we can add our own playing to the songs.
TGC: Yeah, that’s a good way to sum it up. I write it all on my own because when I write, the whole song is playing in my head. I don’t want to interfere with the feelings and emotions I felt during the writing, so I make a demo, to remember it. I also found out over the years, that it is easier to come up with something specific and have your band mates learn the structure and a base basically so that we have something to work on. I don’t read or write music so this has been the easiest, fastest way to communicate what I have in mind. The most important part is the intention of the song and this is another reason why I want to demo it. There are so many beats and notes that can be played but this is about the song not about technique or showing off. I am lucky that Joey and Coralie are mature to understand this too. They also have their own personality, technique and sound with their instrument so if I can’t play something I can just tell Coralie for instance, “so you hear this, but actually, This is what I have in mind” and because she is a killer, she just does it!
JS: When learning the songs I tend to listen to them a lot and try to paint the picture. The emotion, the intention and the overall meaning of the song. Sometimes I don’t have the lyrics in front of me and when reading them after learning the bass lines I change my approach and playing accordingly.
Will you be releasing any new music this year?
CH: We actually released the one single of our new EP ”64 Women” called Numb Killer, you can find it on Spotify and on Youtube.
Our new EP will be released on March 8th, with a new single coming out at the end of February so stay tuned!
TGC: Our single “Hurt” came out on the 22st of February, and our new EP is finally coming out on the 8th of March!
I am also writing and working on new material, so that we can record some time during the year and release something in 2020!
JS: We are always posting on Instagram too, if you are not following us already @tarahwho
Awesome! So, who or what besides other artists inspire you guys to make music?
TGC: life, events, people, psychology, interaction between humans…! That is for writing in Tarah Who? but when I play the drums or the bass in other projects, I just want to create and experience a different side of the job. I find it really fun and relaxing to play in other projects, different instruments.
JS: Life is right! Making music is therapeutic all in itself and I would be lost without it.
Finally, what are you guys planning for the rest of the year? Any tour coming up, big shows, EP, album releases, etc.
CH: We will be touring in March to promote our upcoming EP ”64 Women” in the South West of the USA and we’ll go to France and UK in September. Really excited about it ! Can’t wait to hopefully see some of you guys on the road!
TGC: Yes! All of what Coralie said and mentioned above! Definitely follow us on Instagram for the latest info, and www.tarahwho.com that is where we are the most current on everything and you can reach out to us directly if you need or want to!
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