Q & A With Tarah Who?

Q & A With Tarah Who?
XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?

CH : We have a new single coming up soon called “Pantomath”, we will do some live video sessions too !!TGC: Lots happening! We are releasing a new single called ‘Pantomath’on on November 22, 2019! Our self made docu-series about the band is out on youtube. It is called ‘How it all began’ you should check it out. ūüôā¬†https://youtu.be/dQ9NKu6ta0E

We just got back from a European tour and South tour in the US, playing in cities like Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, etc..
This winter, we will be working on a music video for the new release and a new EP, March we are touring the West Coast… and many more to come!
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?

CH: I joined Tarah Who? a little bit more than two years ago, it has been an amazing adventure so far !!

TGC: I started the project in 2006 when I moved to LA. It was a solo project that turned into a band and we did that for a few years. As of today, we are a duo and it makes everything easier;)
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
TGC: I started playing music at the age of 14, I was playing the drums and the bass in rock bands. At around the age of 18 or 19, I started writing my own songs. I was not sure what I was doing, but I was writing and playing acoustic shows. Over the years, I have met producers and musicians who wanted to either help or be part of the project. Slowly it all became a band thing.

With the technology and progress today, we can be a duo and still sound pretty hard, it is easier for us to tour, organize and schedule our next move!


XS ROCK: What is your music background?

CH: I began drums when I was 10 taking lessons at the music school of my town, I moved to Paris after high school to study with Nicolas Bastos (Dagoba),  at the Drumming Lab and at Agostini. At the age of 21, I moved to Los Angeles to continue my education at the Musicians Institute, I graduated in 2018.

TGC: I am a self-taught musician with a passion for drumming and playing the bass. I taught myself the guitar because I started writing songs.

As far as influences, my mom would play the discography of the Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, etc.. while cleaning the house! and I personally was a big Alanis Morrissette fan, then I discovered The Distillers, Pantera, Motorhead, RATM, etc…

XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?TGC: Humm that is a tough one. I don’t really know. Obviously I know what I sing about, but my influences are rather… loud Rock … Most people who see us play feel like our music is more like a combination of rage, heartbreak, and aggression. On our last tour, we have heard a lot that people were very impressed, being a duo, of how loud we were. I write about what I feel and what inspires me is usually not happy moments, but it is always liberating to spill it out and scream it out. So.. for me, it is soothing but for someone who does not know us or the lyrics, it can seem like aggressive punk rock.


XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?

TGC: I would like to take us to bigger shows and bigger festivals. We have been very lucky this past year to tour successfully internationally, I would like our next step to be more dates, and to play with bands like L7, or Bala. I would really love to also organize some tours with either Roller Derby teams around the country or Motorcycle shops. Maybe both! who knows ūüėČWe have been pre-selected to the grammys2020. So it is not the official selection but it was already a pretty cool accomplishment to see TARAH WHO? in competition with like TOOL for instance. Mind-blowing..!
Q & A With Tarah Who?XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
CH: The recording process and playing live are two different things in my opinion. I really like both because for the recording, you need to be precise and have a good sound. For the live is more about giving a good show, good energy and having fun.TGC: I don’t have a preference. One doesn’t go without the other. I love writing and recording. The magic happens in the studio. When I write, I hear the song in a certain way. I make a demo, then coco and I rehearse, we think it is going to sound a certain way but when we go into the studio, accidents happen, and I like to keep those moments. Things you didn’t hear. Jason Orme, our producer also plays the lead guitar on the songs and we always improvise. I have ideas that I bring to the table but when he plays them, we look for sounds and he brings those ideas to life. When we listen to the song for the first time, without playing, we hear everything and it is the best part of writing. In my opinion…The next part is to bring the sound we just created into life for our audience and sometimes re-structure and play around to make our live shows more fun. I don’t want to play song by song exactly like the recording. I think it’s boring and I want people to remember a show and for each show to be different. Seeing the response on people’s faces and how people enjoy our creation is priceless. So to me… one cannot go without the other. I want to do both. Always! I write for people so I want to deliver that message myself. 

XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

TGC: All the songs are very personal. Mostly my life events, either from people I have met in my life or stories I have heard about that inspired me. For instance “14 Months” is about my mom and I arguing to the fact that my mom had heard on the news that a woman had just gone to the beach my mom and I used to go to and drowned her 14 months old baby. Very tragic. I don’t watch the news for that reason. I get too emotionally involved with everything that is going on in the world. My mom loves to watch the news and needed to tell someone and that argument is about that. “Sirens” is about the Paris attacks, “Numb Killer” about the Manchester attack where I was trying to imagine from the assailant’s point of view… I love psychology and the human brain fascinates me a little. I write about emotions and how people react to life and events in our lives. Our music is hard but the lyrics are actually not that aggressive. I don’t think…!


XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
CH: Have fun and play what you love !!

TGC: Be true to yourself.
Don’t go out there and imitate people you love who already exist. it s a waste of time. Just get out there, dare to be yourself and be original.

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? 

TGC: I guess that one time I booked us in a strip club and I did not know it was. When we arrived we saw the “naked” signs and I made the joke ” this is where we are playing” and my bandmates at the time were like ” oh yeah? cool! like jokingly as well.

2 minutes later, we are meeting with the owner and he gives us a set of rules before getting in! “Can’t take pictures of the girls etc.. etc… “
It turned out to be one of our best shows! It was SO much fun!!

XS ROCK: What's the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?

TGC: I feel like I have received one recently but I can’t think of it now…

I have received a few gifts from fans that were really cute. I don’t think I have had anything too crazy yet. Being two women on the road, we are very cautious and I think people respect that as well.


XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?

CH: I am really lucky with my family and especially my parents, they are really supportive and love to follow my musical adventures hahaha.

TGC: My dad’s side of the family has never been too supportive that I chose to be a musician. I think they just gave up on me! My mom was abandoned when she was young, my mom has always said, do what makes you happy. As long as you are happy, I don’t care what you choose to do. She was a bit scared at first bring around so much drugs and alcohol but she trusts me and I know my limits :p


Q & A With Tarah Who?XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
CH: Stick to your guts and don’t ever stop.

TGC: Yeah pretty much. If you feel it in you, do it. Don’t overthink it but do it all the way. It is going to be a long road but if you truly are committed, you will accept every challenge along the way.


XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
CH: All songs are fun to play but I’ll say that “Ache” and “Rainy Day” are really liked.TGC: Yeah I agree with “Ache” and “Rainy Day”. I also like to play “copycat” it is a breather to me. ūüôāXS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
CH: I am a big fan of Nightwish, a symphonic metal band from Finland, I saw them live a few times and they are amazing !! It’s always inspiring to see them or even listen to them.

TGC: Hmmm. I am not sure… I used to go to see bands play 3-4 times a week when I was in high school. Then I thought, ” No, I want to be up there”

I went to every Rock band from the 90s. I loved everyone Foo Fighters, Garbage, The Distillers, RATM, Pantera, Motorhead, TOOL, etc…
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
CH: I would love to play with Nightwish of course, Ghost and Beast in Black, even if it’s not the same genre hahaha.TGC: I would like to tour with YUR MUM ( even if we have already, they are good friends of ours and I love their music and it’s cool to go on tour with your friends) Bala and The Distillers.
Geez, that would be one intense female screaming tour.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
CH: Playing and evolving with Tarah Who?, we did a lot in two years, it’s awesome !!TGC: We have had a lot along the way, but one that sticks out to me because in the eyes of my family for instance who does not understand how the music industry works, the GRAMMY selection.XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
CH: I might have been an archeologist but music is really what I love.

TGC:¬† Here is the thing.. I was a teenager when I started playing music in bands. I do the exact same thing. I have never stopped. I haven’t chosen a path or anything it kind of just happened.

I could not do anything else because I would not stick to it. I would do it for a month maybe 12, then I would get bored and move to sthg else. Music is the only thing that keeps me focused. Plus, it is not like we play music and that is it. We do everything. I write I play, I record, We perform, promote, manage, book, answer interviews, radio shows, etc… We are not just a performer in a band. We do it all.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
 CH: I have a PDP concept maple, axis pedal, Los Cabos drumsticks, Soultones cymbals, DW hardware.

TGC: I have a Combo Club40 Markii amp from Blackstar and a Unity Bass amp for the Bass. A friend of mine from Paris, Chris Lai build a guitar specifically for Tarah Who? sounds but I also have a g&L ASAT. I use the overdrives from the amp and I have reverbs, delays and a whammy for the FX on my pedalboard.



XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?

TGC: Ha! Watch the documentary I am making! You will get the full answer;)

You have a lot of tools to help you accomplish things thanks to social media, youtube, and whatnot, but it also means that ANYONE can be a musician and promote themselves.



XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn't know you, what would they be surprised to know
about you?
CH: I love Coca Cola, bacon and like listening to Celine Dion.

TGC: She does! I love martial arts, surfing, I LOVE animals and I like listening to country music.


XS ROCK: Is there anything that you'd like to promote or say to your fans out there?

CH: I hope to see some of you on the road !! Rock on !!
TGC: thank you for having us, thank you for reading, please come out to our shows and introduce yourself.

We cannot wait to release our new single! We hope to see you on the road!


XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!


TARAH G. CARPENTER (TGC): Vocals, guitar
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