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A Dirty Dozen with TARAH CARPENTER and CORALIE HERVÉ from TARAH WHO? – April 2021

| 2 April 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Tarah Who? well, “she” equals “they,” and “they’re” a power duo masterminded by grunge-punk front-woman Tarah Carpenter, who channels explosive emotionality into rousing anthems alongside drummer/backing vocalist Coralie Hervé. Tarah Who? are set to release their new single “Illusion of Freedom” co- produced by Jason Orme(guitarist for Alanis Morissette) and Tarah, following the success of their 2020 EP “64 Women.” This EP was dedicated to 64 women who were detained in an immigration detention center in downtown LA on November 19, 2014 alongside Tarah herself. This powerful theme of immigration is something that crosses over into Tarah Who?’s new single as she examines her relationship with immigration having grown up in France, and now living in Los Angeles.” We get the duo of Tarah and Coralie to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Tarah: This album is a little different for two reasons. One, I usually send in demos and we go over them at rehearsal. By the time we know them really well, we go in to the studio to record and everything goes really fast. This time, because of Covid, I sent the demos in, and we were doing zoom meetings with Coralie and Jason Orme, our producer. I would explain what I had in mind etc. We would send each other tracks and ideas. We finally met for a weekend to record everything with our masks on. It was our first time playing the songs together with Coralie. Jason had a few suggestions and ideas on the spot, now that he could really feel the songs and get into them. There was a lot of improvisation involved. Then I came back home and we had to learn the songs! ha! The other different thing, was that I wanted to try something different sound-wise and in my writing. I usually work on the songs a lot before tracking the first demo. This time, I had a few riff ideas and recorded them as they came up.  My time in the studio was limited so my writing approach was impacted, but I think it worked! We have a less “angry” raw, fast sound, we are trying something slightly different, but nonetheless Rock’n Roll.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Coralie: I don’t really remember but my mum started taking guitar lessons at the music of my town and I just followed. I started thinking of becoming a professional drummer in high school.

Tarah: Yeah I don’t know either. All I remember is that before the age of 10, I kept asking my parents to play the drums or the guitar but my dad didn’t think the drums were ladylike and the only instruments I could learn was the piano or the classical guitar. Instead, I just taught myself the drums and the bass guitar. I joined rock bands and learned by playing with other people. A few years later, I started writing my own songs and taught myself the guitar. I never thought of it as a career. I t was just something that I did and that I still do. It is more than just a passion, I t is a way of expression and not playing really affects me in a negative way! Playing music is healing to me and it is what keeps me balanced in life.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Coralie: For sure Nightwish!!! Any songs and albums hahaha!!!

Tarah: I think Alanis Morissette had a big influence in my early writing but sound-wise, I would say anything from the 90’s or late 80’s. Motorhead, Tool, Pantera, L7, RATM, The Distillers, early Foo Fighters , Smashing Pumpkins, Joan Jett, etc.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Coralie: Nightwish, Bon Jovi, ACDC, Within Temptation and Sonata Artica.

Tarah: Alanis, Distillers, Foo Fighters, Tool, and Rage Against The Machine.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Tarah: Well until now, I was not into collaborating because our songs are so personal (lyrics) that I did not see how we could write a song with anybody else. We are actually working on a song with our friends from the UK called YUR MUM and we are super excited about how it is turning out. we are hoping to release it some time this year. I am definitely more open to collaborating now.  I am used to work with other people on other projects for which I play the drums or the bass, for Tarah Who? I think that a song with the Foo Fighters could be fun to explore.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Coralie: I’ll say that the Tarah Who?’s sound is a mix between different genres like rock/punk/grunge but at the same time we have our own sound.

Tarah: Yes we are kind of a mix of a lot of subgenres. How we tell our song and keeping the emotions are more important than fitting in one category. So it has been difficult to try to explain to people what or who we sound like. We want to say: “We sound like Tarah Who?”  but this only works when you are so popular. 🙂 Well, actually a few people have said that I sound or sing like Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam. I don’t hear it, personally but I don’t mind it. I love Pearl Jam! We have had the best description on one of our tours. We actually have heard this several times from the West Coast to the East Coast ” You guys sound like if Motorhead was fronted by Alanis Morissette” ! It made me laugh how on point this was, but then hearing it over and over again, we just started using it for our sound description!

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Coralie: Well Tarah loves to get the acoustic guitar in for some ballads hahahahahaha.

Tarah: So that is a total joke! Coralie knows how much I hate it when people do that or I am asked to play at a party. I would say I definitely do the cooking and the drinking. None of the playing. I think that between the rehearsals and the tours (pre-Covid) we played so much, that if we didn’t have to play, we were just happy to do anything else. The whole acoustic guitar for a singalong is just not my thing. 😉

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Coralie: I think that mine is coming, I’m supposed to do a meet and greet with Nightwish when Covid is done, I really can’t wait!!!

TGC: No way!? You must be sh8&%tting your pants! Nice Coralie! I have not been starstruck in such a long time! lol! I think that I have met so many artists and living in LA you just run into everyone from actors to musicians etc. Oh maybe when I ran into Dave Navarro. I was leaving my dentist and he was right there! hahah that was fun! Also Linda Perry, but it was around a work thing so that is different.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Coralie: Playing music that you love, traveling to different cities, and meeting people is awesome, I love being a musician!! I don’t see me doing anything else than music, but I’ll say archeologist because I love history.

Tarah: Oh there are so many amazing parts. Creating a song that people can relate to, and you can share something very special with the world. Maybe you can even influence people the way you have been influenced as a listener. Traveling, meeting other artists and musicians. Having experiences that you can’t even describe. That rush that you get when you are happy with a song that is mastered and you have good feedback from listeners. Just everything. I don’t think that i could be doing anything else. Here is why.. if I wanted to do something else, I would be doing that. My family actually doesn’t really support this whole musician’s career and lifestyle. They have tried and keep trying to this day, to get me to become a doctor or a lawyer, anything but music. I have done other jobs to support my music career but nothing makes me feel alive more than music. It gives me a purpose and I will always find a way to make music.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Tarah: I like your questions! We did an interview recently for the French Tattoo Magazine and it was really nice and refreshing to be talking about tattoos and what they mean to me. I like it when people have done their research about the band and ask about specific things about the band or our music. Not start from the beginning. I am tired of answering the question “Where does the name come from?”

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Coralie: There is always a moment where you are not sure of what the result is gonna be but if you never try, nothing will happen.

Tarah: In a way yes, there are a few of those moments that I wish I had not taken that long to make my move or decisions. You just never know… but I would not change anything no, because I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason but also without the experience I have been through, I would not have become who I am now. I am more confident in my decision making and I can see some things coming. I take things differently and everyone and everything has brought me to who I work with today.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Coralie: It would be the 80’s because I love classic rock!!!

Tarah: I am a move forward kinda gal! I don’t think I have anyone or any session in mind… Being in the studio is to me, very personal. You get in your world and you try to put everything you have in your head in a recording. If I could go back in time, I would go back to a recording session I had and change a few things. The sound engineer who fell in love with me and didn’t want to work anymore when I told him I was not interested, I would have changed that drum kick that was really uncomfortable but I didn’t want to bother that same engineer. Basically, There was a lot that was not said out loud because I didn’t want to bother or be rude etc…

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

Coralie: It will be playing shows, I really miss it.

Tarah: Yeah I miss playing live too but I have to say that no being able to go on tour made me focus on the music videos and internet growth which has been really helpful. Now I am hoping that when we go back to playing live, we will be able to meet the new fans we have made through the pandemic.





Category: Interviews

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ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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