INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Tarah Who? are a rock outfit from California.
Led by French-American vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Tarah G. Carpenter, the band have a sound that is loud, energetic and raw, with grunge, indie and punk influences.
With their EP ‘Federal Circle of Shame’, released earlier this year, and live shows generating much acclaim, they have managed to build up a devoted following in the States.
Now, they hope their forthcoming album ‘Half Middle Child Syndrome’ will help them expand their fan base worldwide.
I spoke to them about their success so far, and what people can expect from their next offering.
How did the band get together?
TARAH G. CARPENTER (VOCALS/GUITAR): I met Paul through a friend and Matt had heard we were looking for a bass player.
PAUL COSTANZA (DRUMS): Hot dog eating contest.
MATT PELTCHER (BASS): They needed a bass player and I needed a band. The rest is history.
How did the name Tarah Who? come about?
TARAH: I am really bad in finding band names..
Obviously, Tarah Who? was the subject of an email I had sent to my band mates at the time, and we decided to keep that so that we could book shows and start playing gigs.
PAUL: People not being able to pronounce Tarah’s last name ( it’s Carpenter).
MATT: I heard it was something of an accident.
To somebody discovering your sound for the first time, how would you describe it to them?
PAUL: Angry, heavy, fast.
TARAH: Fun, energetic, raw.
MATT: Energetic and intense.
What would you say were your musical influences?
MATT: The band has pretty diverse influences which brings a lot to the table, but if I had to choose I’d say The Distillers play a big role in influence.
PAUL: All those shitty inspirational posts people put up on Instagram.
TARAH: Emotions. I get bored playing slow stuff. I don’t listen to much music. I try to stay away so I don’t get too influenced. When I don’t play, I enjoy silence.
What is the band’s approach towards songwriting?
TARAH: I write everything. I record demo tracks of the songs and I then introduce them to Paul and Matt.
Sometimes they learn the songs as they are, other times they propose different arrangements and we discuss them.
Where does the inspiration come from for your lyrics?
TARAH: Life. I am not a lyricist, I just write about how i feel. Emotions I usually keep inside, I let out on paper and scream them in concerts.
What’s the experience for the band playing live?
MATT: Our fans absolutely love our live shows. We try nothing less than to kick ass and have fun on stage.
TARAH: Live shows are the best, they are really fun. We love sharing our music and the audience’s response is always amazing.
We also love to see people enjoying our shows and letting go, dancing and screaming!
PAUL: The best part about being in this band is playing live. The crowd definitely enjoys and gets into it. Just a lot of positive energy.
What have you got lined up in the near future?
PAUL: We’re planning on buying a timeshare in Orlando. Matt insisted.
We are soon to release a new music video. Stay tuned for that one, as i know it is going to be a really cool one!
We are also currently working on our new album. It will come out in early 2017, and we will make sure you hear about it!
MATT: An album is in the works, then definitely gigs, and some other stuff that will be revealed soon. Check out our website tarahwho.com for details!
You mentioned that you have a new album out early next year. How has it been recording it?
TARAH: Our new album, called ‘Half Middle Child Syndrome’, will be twelve songs of really fun, energetic, punky rock, and is a continuation of our last EP ‘Federal Circle of Shame’.
I wrote all the songs about a year ago, and I have self-produced a very low quality demo of the album.
I usually listen to it a few times and make some arrangements on the bass, drums, guitars and re-structure the song.
Over the time, I introduce the songs to Matt and Paul and they either learn the songs as they are or come up with new ideas, and then we re-record a demo album until we are happy with the result and do not want to change anything.
Paul is currently in Boston, so we are sending each other tracks and work over the phone.
Matt and I see each other more often and pre-record together. It is fun to play with Matt, while I play the drums!
We are getting close to the final product. After the last demo album, we will practice the songs over and over again to be ready to record in the studio.
We are also very excited to work with very special people for this next album, soon to be revealed!
How was the reaction to ‘Federal Circle of Shame’, released earlier this year?
TARAH: It was pretty successful!
Our fans were happy, impressed and wanted more! I also found it to be our best recording experience so far, and we recorded the entire EP in just one day!
Our new album will be very similar.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
PAUL: What we’ve been doing the whole time, touring the world, inspire lots of people, and have a great time.
TARAH: Ditto, Paul.
MATT: Nothing but success. By the way, we’re not signed yet.
TARAH WHO’S NEW ALBUM ‘HALF MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME’ WILL BE RELEASED EARLY NEXT YEAR.
YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THEIR EP ‘FEDERAL CIRCLE OF SHAME’ AT: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/tarah-who/id933266830
THE VIDEO FOR ONE OF THE EP’S TRACKS, ‘BITCHCRAFT’, CAN BE VIEWED AT: https://youtu.be/tEijrptM2aU