Tarah Who? Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
Tarah G Carpenter: Vocals, Guitar
Coralie Hervé: Drums
Joey Southern: Bass
PD: What type of artist are you?
CH: I’m a drummer.
JS: I am a supporting artist. Being a band member is helping create a foundation of support emotionally, physically and musically. I also play bass.
TGC: I am a musician and singer-songwriter. I play the drums, bass and guitar. I sing because of what i write, not because I wanted to become or see myself as a singer.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
CH: I begun to play drums when I was 10. After I graduated from high school, I moved to Paris to study with Nicolas Bastos (french metal drummer), at the Drumming Lab and Agostini. When I turned 21, I moved to LA to study at the Musicians Institute. I graduated in March.
JS: I can remember strumming guitars my dad had laying around but it wasn’t until I was about 12 that I began to focus solely on bass. I played in various bands throughout my youth and into my early twenties until I decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue music full time. One of my music professors in Community College made me realize that I was on the fence. One leg in my nine-to-five job at a hospital “normal life” and the other leg playing in bands at night and doing what I love “not normal”. I could never be 100% at both so I had to make a choice. I jumped in my car with some clothes my basses and about $3,000 I had saved and I’ve been in Los Angeles ever since. That was seven years ago and the best risk I ever took.
TGC: I started playing the drums when i was 14. My dad did not want me to play the drums because it was not really ladylike, so i started taking lessons behind my parents back. I was 14, so i didn’t have much cash, so this did not last long.. I did not drop the drums, I just started teaching myself. A year later i moved to Murray, KY as an exchange student for a little over a year. I could not play the drums there so i bought myself my first electric guitar and taught myself chords by listening to Alanis Morissette! 🙂
Then I moved back to Paris, finished my High School degree in Paris and played in several bands. I played the drums in one, bass in another and started writing songs on the side, without telling anyone. I moved to LA when i turned 21 and started performing as a solo acoustic act, with a demo I had recorded in my studio in Koreatown. Tarah Who? was born…
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
CH: I’m a big fan of metal and hard rock, my favorite band is Nightwish (symphonic metal band) !!!! So I’ll say that it really influencing me. I’ll say that Jazz is not really my big influence.
JS: My biggest influence musically growing up was the Ross Brothers. Two Brothers I went to school with that were Uber talented and introduced me to so much music and bass players that later influenced me. Bassists like Jaco Pastorius and Ray Brown would have just been another name to me. I went on to play in several bands with Nick the eldest brother and learned what it was to be a performer. As for non musical influences in my life it would definitely be hands down my parents. Both coming from different backgrounds and very little they built themselves their own little Empire. That doesn’t mean they’re loaded and Rich but they have worked very hard for what they have and they deserve nothing but the best. In all the struggles over the past 7 years in Los Angeles, I think back to where I came from and who raised me and that keeps me going every day.
TGC: I grew up listening to Alanis Morissette so she’s def. an influence. Later, I discovered, the Smashing Pumpking, Garbage, The distillers, Foo Fighters, Pantera, Motorhead, Rage Against the Machine etc.. and totally fell in love with anything that was 90s, grunge, fast, screams etc…Non musical influence..I am not sure.. My mom is a really strong headed woman with a HUGE heart. I know this influences me in my choices in life and we are really really close. We call each other every day and I tell her everything. My dad and I are also close, but my dad is not much of a talker. He is a hard working man, with a big heart as well. He is a doctor in a small town an hour away from Paris and he really cares for his patients. When i go see him, I realize that HE is a Rockstar to those patients, and because it is a small town he knows everyone. It is kind of funny to see that everyone knows my dad and sincerely loves him! My mom is just the coolest chick I have ever met. She is a great listener, she still listens to really loud Rock’n Roll, and she is just pure kindness.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
CH: My dream is to be able to play music for the rest of my life !! My goals are to pursue in the way that we are with Tarah Who? and do even better and bigger !!
JS: As Coco, said I think we can all agree, I want to play music for the rest of my life. I’ve played in various jazz ensembles, rock bands, cover bands cumbia/ska bands and I’ve always had one dream, to play in a punk band. Now that that dream has come true with Tara Who, my goal is to work hard and support us getting to the next step. After struggling for a few years in various groups in Los Angeles, one goal I set out was to find musicians with the same amount of drive, passion and heart that it takes to get to the next chapter in our life. I believe we have found each other and the time is now to set the goals for what is to come. We will see you at MSG!!!
TGC: I have a ton of dreams and goals but I can’t write them all down;) . One is that I want us to “make it” just so that I can proof that if you believe in what you do, You CAN make it happen. Music or non music. People don’t dare enough in my opinion to go for what they truly want in their life and it makes them a little bitter. I would like to show that with passion and drive you can make ANYTHING happen. We already have accomplished so much, and amazing things keep happening to Tarah Who? it s very exciting and exhilarating 🙂 Every day, something new!
Another goal of mine is to build a recording studio in Hawaii and when we want to record, Joey, Coralie, Jason ( our co-producer for the last two Ep’s ) and I would fly to Hawaii with our families, girlfriends and babies and what not, record our new songs, and then enjoy some vacay time together before going back to the mainland and tour!
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
CH: Tarah is the one who writes the songs. She gave us the demo and an idea of what the song will be and after we try, with our own style, to make it right.
JS: Not writing the songs myself, I always ask what they’re about. The first time playing the song without hearing a reason or a story behind it is very different than when she (Tarah) tells me what it’s about. When I joined the band I learned some 12 songs within the first week and I really didn’t have time to ask what they were all about. So as weeks went on and I found out what they were about it changed my entire intention of how I was playing the song. The emotion was completely different I might have more anxiety or rage or compassion based on what my newfound knowledge of the lyrics meant. The songs are about life. Life is a wave, it goes up and down and these songs are about riding that wave.
TGC: I write the songs. When I write I hear the whole song, the drums, the bass, the guitars obviously and the vocals. I make demos of what I have in mind, but I send both tracks to Joey and Coralie. One with the instrument they play so that they get an idea of the intention, feeling, and energy, and one without so that they can explore with their ideas, technique and emotions.
Then we work on the songs all together and when we are ready, we call Jason in ( Jason Orme, our co producer) who either tells us, it is good as it is, or I hear something else. If it goes with the feelings of the song, we make the change, if it changes the intensity or anything initially felt, we don’t.
We all work well together. There is no ego that gets in the way, we are truly at the service of the music and Tarah Who? which is very nice.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
CH: We are promoting our shows from Tarah Who? on social media (Facebook, Instagram..), going to venues or shops to put our flyers there. Everything that we do is DIY.
JS: As Coco mention social media 100%. In my experience Word of Mouth is also very powerful. Getting people excited and having a good time performing spreads that word that more friends need to come. Grassroots, low budget, blood and sweat.
TGC: Yeah all of the above. It is really hard to get people out there. I also contact blogs, college radios, We try to post a lot without being too much to our followers. It is hard to get people out to see an unknown band but once they do, they are usually hooked and can’t wait to come to our next show. So that’s always a good sign and motivating:)
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
JS: As a kid the whole Napster thing blew up, LimeWire, BearShare and whatever platform that you could find that will download music for free. Not having any money this was my first source of new music in my teens. I took full advantage of it and was exposed to so much that I would might not have been if I didn’t have access to the internet. With all that being said I have gone out and purchased my favorites who have influenced me and I truly do think they deserve to be paid for their work. I buy their albums, CDs, t-shirts, merchandise and speak highly of them to my peers in order to promote them further.
TGC: I used to think that it was destroying us but then I realized that the only for us to get people out to see us was if they could discover us online. So now, we try to have a presence online for our music to be available to be shared.
I am very old school, i like to hold CD’s and read the covers. I also know what it means to bands and for the music industry so I still buy form Artists that I like and respect. In this digital world, If you want to help out a band or an artist in general, MERCH and going to their shows is what truly helps a band survive.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
CH: I really wish to have written Ghost Love Score by Nightwish because it’s a masterpiece !!! I just love that song !!
JS: No Class – Motorhead… It just feels good.
TGC: I don’t have that type of feeling… I like to listen to good songs written by other people. I don’t wish to be someone or to have done something myself. I f i do want to do something I will. And if it’s already done, I am happy it’s there and happy for them. I ‘ll just think of something different.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
CH: People who ask you ‘’so what are you doing?’’ and you respond ‘’I’m a musician’’, and say ‘’ But really what are you doing as a real job?’’ . I just can’t.
JS: Honestly when someone just has nothing nice to say. On the road we play with a lot of bands and I always find something I like about what I see. I might not like everything but I will definitely not talk about that first. I know through my own experiences that I can find something I truly do like in anything.
TGC: People who don’t think, Lazy people, or mean people. I just can’t. If you are unhappy with your life, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! but don’t pick on the world around you because YOU are feeling miserable. So irresponsible!
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
CH: I’m really happy to have moved here in LA. It’s the best thing that happened to me.
JS: I would have to agree with Coco. Los Angeles has changed my life indefinitely. After the first few years, once I was really settled in and knew I didn’t have to go home with my tail between my legs. That was the proudest moment for me. But moving forward my next proudest moment will be when we arrive in New York City Monday morning to play our first East Coast tour.
TGC: I started with nothing and I think we have made it to a pretty good point. I have two proudest moments I guess, one was when I first started recording with Jason Orme (Jason plays with Alanis and as I mentioned before, I grew up listening to her. When we recorded “Half Middle Child Syndrome” I had the opportunity to record my guitar parts with Jason’s guitars: VINTAGE, gibson, fenders etc… that he uses on stage with Alanis!waaaaaaa!!!) My other proudest moment was recording with Thomas Lang. I mean THOMAS LANG! if you are a drum nerd like Coralie and I are.. You understand why this is a big deal!!
And lastly, playing with Coralie and Joey is the best thing that has ever happened to Tarah Who? I am super proud of what has Tarah Who? become thanks to these amazing creatures!
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
CH: We are working on our East Coast Tour which begins next week !! So excited !!! Just try to make the best show that we can for you guys !! haha
JS: That’s right Coco will be on our East Coast tour starting July 1st. We have been rehearsing relentlessly to give our best performance possible.
TGC: We are working on a few things, this east coast tour, a couple music videos. Our new EP “64 Women” will be coming out soon. Then we will be going back on tour to promote this EP. I am also working on new songs so that we can record again beginning of next year. 2019 will be very exciting because we are going to take Joey to Europe for the his first time. I just can’t WAIT to see his face;)
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
CH: Our next show will be in Pittsburg, Buffalo, New York … If you looking for a loud, energetic, entertaining rock band, just come to see us !!!
JS: If you want to let loose and move come to see us on the East Coast tour. You will not be disappointed. We work 23 hours a day to give you a 1 hour show.
TGC: You should come out to say Hi 🙂 We love to meet our new fans or local people in general. It s nice to get out of LA. Our best shows are out of the city to be honest. LA is so uptight. No one dares to move, no one dares to enjoy themselves. We love to get out and meet new bands, new crowds, new cities, new energy! No expectations, we can just play and have a great time!
Give us listen, give us a chance. We are entertainers, and we love to get you guys out of your comfort Zone:) In a good way! If you have had a long day and you are ready to release, Tarah Who? is for you. Give us a listen online, see if you like it but also our live shows are completely different.
You have GOT to come out and See Coralie plays and perform on the drums! she is CRAZY! you have GOT to come out see Joey sweat and play his bass;) and I just play fast and scream.. so come out and scream with me! It is a great stress reliever 🙂
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Band location – Paris France/Los Angeles California
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