In the Spotlight – Tarah Who?

Band nameTarah Who?
MembersTarah G. Carpenter (TGC): Vocals, Guitar
Joey Southern (JS): Bass, Backing Vocals
Coralie Hervé (CH): Drums, Backing Vocals
LocationLos Angeles
Founded in2006
Sounds likeLike if Motörhead was fronted by Alanis Morissette
Distillers, Foo Fighters
First release“Little Out There” (2014)
The Music Addict’s
Pretty fucking cool band
Tarah Who?
Tarah Who?

How was the band formed?

CH: I joined the band a little bit more than a year ago. I had Tarah as a friend on Facebook; we had some common friends, but we had never met. She sent me a message to ask if I was interested in her band, Tarah Who? to become the drummer.

JS : 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! ”
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!

TGC: I am SO thankful to have met both Joey and Coralie. I can definitely say that we have a solid foundation now and we are ready to move forward. We have been through so much already that it feels like we have known each other for a while. We have a really natural chemistry on and off stage. 

What’s your songwriting process like? 

TGC: I write all the songs, music and lyrics. I must have been around 18 or 19 when I started writing songs, and I was really really shy about my personal, individual musical approach. I moved to LA in 2006, when I was 21 and decided to explore the Los Angeles music scene with my songs. People got really into it and it motivated me to make a demo with me playing all the instruments. I met producers, musicians etc.. over the years who have helped making this project sound cleaner. I am definitely NOT a sound engineer! 😉 Over the years, I have gained confidence in the sound I want to make for my music. Today, when I write a song, I still make the full crappy demo (I am still not a sound engineer 🙂 ) then I send the tracks to Coralie and Joey and we explore. They have the idea of what the song should sound and feel like but they offer new ideas, bring out their own style and this is how we collaborate. 

Tarah Who?
Tarah Who?

What are your influences?

CH: I’m a big Nightwish fan!!! Love them!!! So I’ll say that this style influences me, symphonic metal, but generally I’ll say Rock and Metal.

JS: Rock n Roll has been a major influence of mine with bassist like Lemmy and Geddy Lee, but I have also been influenced by jazz bassists such as Ray Brown and Jaco Pastorius. I listen to all and appreciate something in everything. 

TGC: Well, the funny thing about what Joey mentioned earlier is what people have been describing us like “if Motörhead was fronted by Alanis Morissette” We laugh about it because I grew up listening to A LOT of Alanis Morissette, and then discovered Motörhead, Pantera, The Distillers, Rage Against the Machine, so it totally makes sense! I never intended to sound like any of them but I am sure that my choice in sounds are influenced by them. Also my songwriting (personal, raw, biographical) is definitely Alanis Morissette influenced. 

 How would you describe your music?

CH: Tarah Who?’s sound is like a mix between different genres like rock/punk/grunge but at the same time is unique. Don’t really know how to describe it but one sure thing is that we are loud and heavy. So if you like that check us out 🙂

JS: It’s a touch of this and that, reminding you of the grunge years and the countless sub genres stretching to and beyond rock. Most importantly it is a breath of fresh air, original and meaningful. Every note played with a specific purpose and intention from dynamically soft to chaotically hard and that is evident in Tarah’s fingers. I have had fingers bleed as well over time, however Tarah’s fingers continue to bleed upon constant use and driving strumming. Tarah drives Coralie and I to play harder and louder than ever before. We play hard, we play loud and we play with purpose!!!

TGC: Yes it is difficult to label us. I don’t want to fit in one genre. We are Rock for sure. We are loud. Some people call us punk, probably because of the upbeat songs that we have but it’s mainly the show that makes us more impressive. I don’t think you could listen to our albums and think that we are a punk band. I listen to punk rock and I know that we don’t really fit in that category but live, everyone tells us that. I think that there are some elements of grunge because I like to play with my distorted guitar. We also have instrumental moments during our live shows.

What’s the one thing that makes you/your band stand out from the rest?

JS: We play every show like it is our last…come see for yourself!!!

TGC: Our music is our passion and our emotions translated into notes and whatever genre you are into. I am into Loud, Rock music, with fast paced guitars hard hitting drums and low bass notes. I like a bass that growls and people on stage who sweat, scream and let it all out! We play with passion, we are very dedicated to music and we are not trying to be anyone else but ourselves.

What’s your latest release? 

CH: We actually recorded our next EP ‘’64 Women’’, and we are in the process of releasing it. It will be for the beginning of 2019, we’re really excited about it !! It’s my first one with Tarah Who? so I can’t wait for you guys to hear it.

JS : This will also officially be my first recording with Tarah Who? The most fun I had recording was screaming the backing group vocals for “Numb Killer”.

TGC: We are going to start by releasing “Numb Killer” with the music video. In February 2019, we will release the EP right before going on tour in the Southwest! 🙂 It took longer than I ever took recording … anything! But we finally finished, and we can’t wait to share it with you! Matt Houdini from Lujuria came the last day to add some backing vocals and it adds a lot of “je ne sais quoi” 😉 

Have you ever played in Montreal?

TGC: I have played in Toronto with my other project I play the drums in called Jane Gray Black Orphan. I would LOVE to play in Montreal. I actually am a big fan of Canada and Canadians. Not because of Alanis 😉 Just because I have only encountered very kind people from Canada! Ash (previous bass player in Tarah Who?) and I spent 2 months in Toronto, but we also traveled to Montreal and Chicoutimi in… 2015 I think? Outside of the cold that I am not used to or fond of, I had an amazing time. I can’t wait to take Tarah Who? to Canada. We are actually planning on coming in September 2019. Fingers crossed that everything works out!

What are your touring plans for the next few months?

CH: We’re going to have residencies in January and February, and we will go on tour in March in the South of the USA, Europe in June and July. There’s a lot coming up so stayed tuned for it !!! 🙂

JS : Follow us on the road @tarahwho and www.tarahwho.com!!!

TGC: Yeah, Coralie and Joey have said it all! Bandsintown and Songkick to follow our tour dates! Come out and say hi!

Jean-Frederic Vachon
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