Tarah G. Carpenter (TGC) : Vocals, Guitar
Joey Southern: (JS) Bass, Backing Vocals
Coralie Hervé (CH): Drums, Backing Vocals
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you all got your start in the music industry.
TGC: I took 2 drum classes that I paid for out of my 14-year-old pocket. I think I took 2 more classes until they kicked me out because I did not have money. Then I taught myself. I started to play bass in bands at the same time. Guitar came later. I was an exchange student in KY and I could not play the drums. I bought myself an electric guitar (instead of food) and an Alanis Morissette songbook! That’s how I taught myself the guitar!
Then I started writing songs.. and I still play all 3 for Tarah Who? when I write and make demos. I play the bass and drums in different projects. All of the many hats we all wear, we have learned along the way in order to maintain our status in the music industry. I never really thought of this as a career. I just started playing in bands and never stopped.
JS: I started making noise with friends in the middle school years. By high school, I was involved with a band or two and after into college, I began to play bass in various groups and school ensembles. I arrived in Los Angeles with nothing but my basses and three thousand dollars I saved up. I’m still here and more hungry than ever!!!
CH: I started taking drum lessons when I was 10 in the music school in my town. After my high school graduation, I moved to Paris to study with Nicolas Bastos (Dagoba), at the Drumming Lab and Agostini. It has been 2 years that I arrived to Los Angeles to study at the Musicians Institute, I graduated last year, that was an amazing experience!!!
How did you come together to form Tarah Who?
TGC: I started this project in 2006. I made my own demos playing all of the instruments and posted them on myspace. I got a few gigs like that performing as a singer-songwriter. Then I got ‘noticed’ by someone who wanted to help make an album. Started working with musicians.. and here we are. 12 years later, Coralie and Joey join the band… we’re on our 3rd tour in the US and we are about to go to Europe together. .. Fun stuff!
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.
CH: I joined Tarah Who? in the summer of 2017, Tarah messaged me when she was looking for a drummer for her band. Fun fact is that we met here and are both french hahaha.
How would you describe your musical style?
TGC: Rock and all of the sub-genres! We are not trying to fit in and play a particular genre. We play how we feel. It is more important to us to be authentic to the emotions of the song when written. Being true to ourselves and like what we play. We want to have fun! So.. whatever people feel good in the category they want to put us in. That’s fine with me.
JS: Its 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 a purpose!!!
CH: As Tarah and Joey said, we don’t really have a genre, it’s a mix of rock/punk/grunge but at the same time is unique. I’ll let people describe our sound as they want hahaha.
Who are your musical influences?
TGC: I listened to a lot of Alanis Morissette growing up. She probably tainted me a little in my writing. Sound wise, I am a Tool, RATM, Distillers, Motörhead, (early) Foo Fighters (When they were a 4 piece and not an orchestra!), Garbage, Pantera… Fan.
Players like Lemmy, Geddy, Les, and PNut!!! All different styles of bass have influenced me and one example is growing up I listened to 311 non-stop and learned every bass line I could possible. Their music is a collaboration of various styles. I am grateful for being exposed to so many styles in one band at a young age!
CH: I’m a big fan of Nightwish, a symphonic metal band from Finland, I really like this style!! But more generally rock and metal.
You recently released a single called, “Hurt”. What can you tell us about this song?
TGC: ‘Hurt’ is our slow song. It’s about betrayal in a friendship. Someone letting you down and you feel totally used. I wrote this song a few years ago after a friendship had ended. Interestingly enough it was and felt like a break up even though this was never a love relationship in this sense. We were friends. We spent a lot of times on the road sharing stories and opening up as good friends do…
We had a plan. We were going to be a team. Then one day he emailed me saying that he could no longer be friends, thank you for taking me on this journey: “I hope you are not mad”. Never heard from him again.
Your EP called “64 Women” is out March 8th (National Women’s Day). What can audiences expect from this set of songs?
TGC: What I love the most about people coming out to our shows, is opening people’s minds. So for instance, one of our last shows, This guy comes up to us and says: “I don’t listen to your type of music but I was drawn to your passion on stage. I love what you guys do. Now I can say I like Rock music. I want to buy your music and share it”
Also because we don’t fit into one category, I like to believe that anyone can come and enjoy THE SHOW. We really work hard on making a SHOW rather than playing songs after another. People like to recognize a period, or our influences, etc.. to be honest… I don’t listen to much music and most bands people refer us to.. I don’t even know!
So I hope everyone gives us a chance, not only for us but for all the bands who play that night. They are different genres of music playing that night, and we celebrate WOMEN. We actually do it every day.. but we thought that this would be a strategic marketing point! 😉
You have a ton of tour dates for a good portion of the rest of the year. What’s the experience at your live shows like?
TGC: We like to engage and have our fans participate, and coming on stage. Seeing people dance, mosh and just smiles and people getting into it is the best reward for all of the work and energy we put into this 🙂 The way I think of it, is .. after a long day at work or if you have too much in your mind, come to a Tarah Who? show.. you will forget the time of our set! A lot of our friends still talk about our shows until like 3 days after.. It is a great feeling to be a part of someone’s excitement :)You made someone’s day! You know? It is not just about coming to play a show. We learn new material to have variety in our sets. I like to come up with different structures and ideas so that it is special to come to a show. it is not song after song. We entertain you!
JS: We are excited to release our first EP together as a band and share it finally with the world! We are planning for a great evening with great bands and we are going to bring down the house!!!
What’s next for the band?
TGC: Well.. I like keep Joey and Coralie busy..! We wear many hats. We are always on the move, and my brain goes a thousand miles an hour all. the. time. I write a lot on the side, so I work on new material at home. I make demos. I am constantly working on the next step for us to keep the ball rolling and the momentum going. We work on music videos,new sets, acoustic set, more shows, I have a documentary that I am working on with a couple producers who are interested in coming along. A documentary about the music industry today as an independent band and being a woman in that world (Music industry) .. I try to come up with new stuff for consistent news. At this moment, we have the tour (www.tarahwho.com @tarahwho, songkick, and bandsintown for the latest updates). going southwest. Then the European tour and new material coming.:)
What advice would you have for aspiring musicians?
TGC: ‘Don’t think about it’ . Whether it is music or not, if you feel inspired, don’t think twice. Do what you are meant to be doing. You have one life to live with this body, you might as well do it right. You are the only one in control of what you do next. Money flows, if you REALLY want it, you WILL make it happen. If you have too many excuses, you don’t really want it. And don’t think too much because it slows you down. It makes you scared to do anything your gut is telling you to do.
JS: That’s right Tarah!!!! If you are scared about something that might mean you are doing the right thing. Everything is relative but the point is nothing worth your time comes easy. And if it is hard and “scary” you are on the right path!!!
CH: Just do what you love and if you want it, you’ll make it !!!
What are your lives like outside of the studio?
TGC: lol! Writing, rehearsing, recording, playing live, loading, unloading, promoting, booking, managing, web mastering, editing videos, DRIVING… lol… We’re independent… What you see and hear.. we are behind it! Walking my dog, eating….It takes a little bit of time 😉
JS: Practicing!!! Scrolling through gear online I never heard of trying to make our sound and live show as quick to set up but equally effective and powerful as possible!!! I spend a lot of time in music stores hahaha. Asking questions that seem far out but have a purpose. Practicing!!!!! And learning new songs Tarah tosses our way!!!
CH: Everything that I do, music is involved hahahaha!!! I cannot NOT play my instruments, rehearsing, listening to songs, watching documentaries ….. Music is my life hahahaha!!!