Recently, I was able to conduct an email interview with the exciting young punk band, Tarah Who? Besides their alluring sound, one thing that really sticks out to me about this band is their approach to creating music. Tarah writes a lot of emotion and passion into her music, which transfers to the listener when the band starts up. Each note, to borrow Tarah’s words, has a purpose. Sometimes this purpose is to create a dark atmosphere, while other times the goal is to get to the listener’s blood flowing. On their Facebook page, the band describes their sound as being similar to the “1990’s alt-rock and grunge’s tradition of balancing integrity with tuneful songcraft”. After spending a lengthy time on their Spotify channel, I can say this is indeed an appropriate description.
Coralie Hervé (CH): Drums, Backing Vocals
Joey Southern (JS): Bass, Backing Vocals
Tarah G. Carpenter (TGC): Vocals, Guitar
1) You just finished up your 64 Women Tour, which spanned both coasts. And, your 64 Women EP drops soon. What is your favorite aspect of the new EP?
CH: It’s my first EP with Tarah Who? so it was really exciting to record it, especially with the master Thomas Lang, such an amazing experience!
The West Coast and East Coast Tour were my first too, so everything was new and so much adventures with those two, Tarah and Joey, it was incredible!
I cannot wait to go back on tour when the EP will be released and just cannot wait for the result!! Hope you guys will like it!!
JS: As Coralie said, I too had the first-time experience touring the East and West coast! We learned so much and are excited to get back on the road when the new EP “64 women” is complete and ready to release. Again, this is also my first time recording with Tarah Who? I recently joined in April of 2018 and two weeks later hit the road! My favorite part of this EP is the fact it is my first recording with Tarah Who? I can finally sit back, absorb the sound as a whole and have the luxury of picking the songs apart listening to every nuance.
TGC: Well…every EP is a new chapter to me, new songs, new sounds, actually even new people!! Coralie and Joey have been a very big support to the project. We are band mates, but really, we are friends and I think that people can see that. Actually, people tell us that at every show “it is nice to see the chemistry between the three of you”. I loved working with Jason Orme again, he has such great ideas and he is SO easy to work with. When he said that he could do this new ep again, I was really excited to introduce the band to him and vice versa.
Like Coralie mentioned above, we recorded the drums this time at Thomas Lang’s studio. It was a big step for Coralie. She was still a few months fresh in the band and then I told her: “Ok you’re cool if we record the drums at Thomas’?” I think she just about Sh*%t her pants, but it didn’t show the day of:). Matt Houdini, from Lujuria also joined us at the end of the recording to add some screaming and backing vocals. It was a really fun and interesting experience. Matt is an amazing artist and it was really nice to have him on board with us.
This EP is musically a little different, we have tried a few things and we hope that you will enjoy them:)
2) What was the highlight of the 64 Women tour?
CH: We had the chance to discover new places, states, and meet new people every night. It’s really amazing to see how people react to the songs and it’s encouraging.
JS: I think Coralie nailed that answer. The people! The people we meet are the highlight anywhere we play. Support on the road is especially crucial. From a place to stay or a meal to eat, support from old and new friends is the backbone of our success.
TGC: I am personally so HAPPY on tour! You wake up every day to do what you do! You meet new people every day from everywhere, new bands, you discover cities. What I loved about those two tours, well the first one, we toured with our friends from Paris, FR DRY CAN, and it was really cool to have a bunch of people helping each other out, setting up, breaking down the stage etc. Joey had just joined the band, so we got to know him. Second tour, we flew to NYC with all of our gear. It was a completely different experience, we had to borrow the amps and drums at every show. Some bands were super cool and nice about it, some others unfortunately were not as supportive. We had less to drive in between, we couch surfed everywhere along the way. This time we knew each other better, we still didn’t get on each other’s nerves, so we realized: “Hey! We just really do like each other! This is working out!” It makes a difference when you spend so much time together. I feel the support from both Coralie and Joey and I know that I can rely on them on and off stage. This was my highlight. Knowing that I have two solid bandmates, and friends.
3) On your Facebook page, there is a quote from Tarah that says she likes to “process personal stories” when she writes music. Is there a real story behind every song?
CH: Tarah will have a better answer for you, but I can say that Yes there is a story behind each song. It’s actually thanks to that, that we can interpret and find the right feeling for each song of Tarah Who?
JS: The story is essential in the overall outcome of a song for me. Without knowing what each song was about I was originally playing them very different. After knowing the story, I found myself playing more anxious and tense instead of happy and loose. Tarah always emphasizes on the intention of what we are playing when teaching Coralie and I. Instead of focusing on the theory or “right way” of playing, Tarah knows the mood and emotion is in the intent of what we are playing.
TGC: Yes, there is a personal story behind every song. I think that’s why people compare us to “Motorhead fronted by Alanis Morissette”! The first time that we have heard this, I thought: “THAT OBVIOUS?” I loved the reference though! I grew up listening to Alanis Morissette, then I discovered, Pantera, Motorhead, RATM, The Distillers etc. I think that you can hear all of those influences in our music. I am very sensitive to what goes on around me and when I have too much, I need to let it out. This is usually what happens when a song is born. I can’t write any other way. I can’t do it on the go, I have to feel it. The emotions are as raw as they can be. I am not trying to hide behind metaphors or pretty words. It is very bold and in your face. It is sadness, anger, or sarcasm. I am hurt, and I need to let it out and I need you to know. It is bold, but it stays open so that anyone can relate, because in the end, no matter where you are from; whatever age, sex or race, we all have feelings and we can relate to each other’s lives. Somehow. Our intention is to connect with people. We are all the same, and it is normal to have emotions. Own them, that is what makes you human! It is very important in my writing too that the music is played as felt when I wrote it. This is why it is VERY important to me that Coralie and Joey play the music with the right intention. Each note has a meaning and a purpose. To make you feel a certain way. It truly does make a difference, trust me. Our performance is then authentic, because we all live through the songs again, and they’re not really happy songs. This is why we are intense I think:)
And don’t forget to check them out on Spotify!