Have you ever wondered what the aspects of being a musician are, what the true meaning of talent is and what it’s like to perform in a rock band at a strip club? Well you can find it all out here and much more in my interview with American band Tarah Who?:
Band Name: Tarah Who?
Members: Tarah G. Carpenter (Vocals, Guitar), Joey Southern (Bass, Backing Vocals) & Coralie Hervé (Drums, Backing Vocals)
Genre: Rock, Punk, Grunge
Founded: April 2006
Originated From: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Discography: Tarah Who? (2006), Little Out There (2011), In a Rush (Single, 2013), Federal Circle of Shame (EP, 2015), Half Middle Child Syndrome (EP, 2017) & 64 Women (EP, 2018).
1. How would you describe your music?
Coralie: I would say that Tarah Who?’s sound is a mix between rock/punk/grunge but at the same time is unique. The three of us have different musical influences and I think that we all bring our own style to the sound of Tarah Who?.
Tarah: We are a raw, authentic, fast paced guitars, hard hitting drums with lots of energy. To me, we are just a loud rock band but people tend to categorize us in punk (because we’re loud and fast and energetic), some other people recognize the grunge, garage influence because of the noise and instrumental parts, and sometime people even call us metal! I think that we have our own sound and that we don’t fit in just one category. It’s not that we don’t know, it’s just that one is not enough.
Joey: We play every note like it is our last. To add to what Tarah and Coralie said, I believe we play with purpose. The intention behind every note is specifically planned to bring out the emotion. Each song has an actual meaning or story to tell.
2. How did the band form?
Tarah: I started playing music when I was 14. I was a drummer and a bass player in different bands. I moved to Kentucky when I was 15/16 and I could not play the drums there so I bought myself an electric guitar and started learning chords using an Alanis Morissettesongbook.
As a teenager while finishing my high school studies, I started playing music more seriously; getting involved in bands, playing the drums and bass, but secretly I was also writing songs. I just never dared to tell anyone. For some reason I was ashamed of it, or afraid to be judged for it.
I had a couple of friends who had a nice voice and I tried having them sing my song but I did not like their interpretation. I realized that I was the only one who would be able to tell my own story. I started singing, and playing the guitar.. no one really knew. One day I played in front of some friends and they encouraged me to keep on going. So I did. I moved to Los Angeles in 2006. I was looking for bands to play the drums and bass in, in the meantime I thought that I would make a demo of my songs, and play the drums and bass on them as if it were someone else’s project. I uploaded the demos on MySpace and I got a few gigs in L.A. as a singer/songwriter that way. I was not really serious about my songs then, until people got really into my music and what I did. A few producers and musicians wanted to help me out getting a better sounding demo together… the rest is history! Over the years, I got more confident about my sound and what I wanted. I have worked with a lot of musicians getting this band the sound and life it deserves! I was lucky to meet Coralie a little over a year ago now, and Joey last April 2018. It is fairly recent still but we have already been through so much together while being on the road so much that we can comfortably say that we are a solid band. Coralie and Joey are devoted, professional and mature. They are at the service of music in general, and dedicated to Tarah Who? as their own project. Thanks to their great attitude, we can move forward really quickly and it has proven to work.
3. Who influenced you within the music industry?
Coralie: I’m a big Nightwish fan, a symphonic metal band. I love rock and metal in general.
Tarah: Musically, I was a big Alanis Morissette fan growing up. Then I discovered The Distillers, Pantera, Motorhead, RATM, etc.. I love 90s Rock. I recently heard Linda Perryand Kerry Brown talk and they totally inspired me. Tarah Who? has a very unique, authentic, raw sound that is not commercial, but people really enjoy our music. I am drawn to people like Linda and Kerry who believe in music and the artist still. Artists or people in general, not only music who keep doing their own thing, and create using their personality over doing something that everyone else does, influence and inspire me. I believe in union and helping each other out. We all have talents. Talent does not mean artist. Sharing our talents helps everyone do great things, together.
4. Have you performed live much and what was your favourite gig to play at?
Tarah: Yes, I like to keep us busy. Our music talks to people when we play live. We are entertainers after all. I love each aspect of being a musician, from writing to recording and then presenting the songs to you, our audience. Each show is different, because we feed off of the energy of each other and our crowd. Just like the amount of time that Joey and Coralie have been in the band, It’s not about the quantity of people watching us, it is about the quality, meaning some nights we have less people, but they are so in the moment, enjoying themselves, mosh pitting, getting loud, and really getting into the show, that we play harder and louder.
One of my favorite shows was in London. It was a punk show with a bunch of punk rock bands from the UK. Now once again , people categorize us as punk, but I don’t really feel that we are a punk band. So we get to the venue, all that we see are mo hawks, piercings, leather jackets and what not… and I glance at the stage and punks are throwing toilet paper on stage! I am not even kidding! I tell my band mates, “We are screwed! We are literally the pop band tonight!” ( Which is usually not the case) We get on stage, people are super excited to hear some loud music from America and I tell my drummer ” Play everything 20 bpm over! Just follow my tempo!” We totally improvised the songs, by playing them faster, louder, I just screamed. I did not sing once! we did not leave anytime in between songs to breath and people went CRAZY! It was so much fun! So many people mosh pitting, everyone got super excited that a woman fell and broke her arm. The security came to take her out and she refused and screamed at them! She was to stay until the end. I looked around and so that people needed that break to breathe! We were doing it..but maybe a little too intense!! When we finished everyone came out to congratulate us, it was amazing!!
Another fun show was playing that big t’s . I had no idea that I had booked a show at a strip club. It was so much fun to play while women were dancing! We got so drunk that night!
5. What is the best thing about being in a band/musician?
Coralie: When you are in a band where everybody is focused and involved in the project, it’s awesome !! I really feel that with Tarah and Joey we have a great connection, and it’s such a pleasure to play with them, it’s always fun!
Tarah: Everything! When you are in a band with people that you like (why do it other wise?) You become a family. It’ s not about being personal. I actually am careful about this because I have made the mistake in the past to get too close to my band mates and this does not work. You can’t work well after, because when it comes to music, and you don’t like what someone plays, they get offended, they take things personally. You can’t work so you have to let them go, and it’s not taken in a professional way. I am very serious about this project and the sound of Tarah Who? Just like any job, you don’t mess around with your co-workers, or you know shit is going to go down. Joey and Coralie are very mature, we know that we have each other’s back without getting too personal and in each other’s business. We like to spend time with each other and it obviously helps when we go on tour! Of course we all have our big personalities, but we also know when to back off from each other and let each other breathe. I think that we all want this to work so well, that we put every pride or ego away to make things last. I know I can be difficult, and demanding, so I am really grateful to have great personalities like Joey and Coralie to make things happen. That is for the human aspect. On a musical aspect, the best thing about being in a band is creating. When you come up with just an idea of a song, and then you make it happen in the studio, you share it with your band mates and all of our talents combined make this song, that we later share and interpret live. The third aspect, sharing, music that people love! Make people dream, inspire with your music, or when people tell you “You music motivates me” or “I can relate” .. Those are the best things in being part of a band.
Joey: The best part of being in a band for me is having a purpose. We all can feel a little lost sometimes and I have always felt music was my calling. Playing in bands since my teens I have learned a lot from the musicians I have had the pleasure of working with. Especially with Tarah Who? I know we play with meaning and it is not just another rock show. It is deeper than that. We have a bond that only friends can have and it’s amazing that we get to play music too!
6. What plans have you got coming up in the coming year?
Tarah & Coralie: The music video for our single “Numb Killer ” is next. Then we are going to release “64 Women” which is going to be really fun.
We will promote it by doing a tour in the South, so we hope to see some of you on the road to rock with us !! And in June we should be headed to Europe to show our faces and rage.
Joey: I’m especially excited because this will officially be my first recording with Tarah Who? The most fun I had recording was screaming the backing group vocals. We all warmed up real quick to each other and produced explosive mob intensity. It was a powerful experience. We even got a bit trilingual with the intro to “Linger” which will be a treat for you!
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