Review Fix chats with Tarah G. Carpenter: Vocals, Guitar, Shaina Mikee Keiths: Drums and Matt Peltcher: Bass, B/G Vocals of Tarah Who? who discuss the band’s origin, creative process, and goals.
Review Fix: How did the band get together?
MP: Tarah Who? needed a bass player and I had been looking for a band to perform gigs with. I was looking for a high-energy punk band, basically. I heard TW?’s music and loved it.
SMK: I met Tarah while involved with a different group and when she needed a new drummer she reached out to me for an audition.
TGC: Yeah, pretty much. I was just coming back from traveling Europe and Asia. I met Matt in July 2016, and Shaina in February 2017.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
TGC: I usually have a burst of emotions, (mostly anger or sadness) that I need to let out. I normally carry a pen and a piece of paper or notebook because I never know when it is going to happen! (I don’t like to use my phone. I like feeling the pen on the paper. It goes with the emotions. It’s harder to read when it’s done but It’s part of the process.)It’s a short moment when I just let everything go. I am usually in tears when this happens, and when it’s over… I feel lighter. I set it to the side. I don’t read it, I don’t fix. I let it sit for a while and come back to it later when I am ready to work on it with the guitar.
When I am ready, I pick up my guitar and it is a very simple process as well. I can’t really explain it because I am not even sure what’s going on! I just try to fit the emotions together: melody/rhythm. But I never spend too much time on it.If it doesn’t work within a few minutes I put the guitar down, it’s not ready. I don’t push it, I don’t try to make things work. It’s there or it’s not. (For the most part, it is already there, somehow.) When I play the guitar, if you were next to me, you would only be hearing the guitar, but in my head, the whole song is playing. I am already writing the bass, the guitar, and the drums.
When the songwriting process is finished, I record a demo of what’s in my head. ( I play the drums, guitar, bass and vocals.) I send the tracks to the musicians I will be recording with if any. (This process has been going on for a few years. I am talking generally about it, but in this case, I sent the songs to Matt and Shaina). They learn their parts and tweak them if needed. (If they have different ideas or better technique) and when we are ready, we go in the studio:)
Review Fix: What’s your standout song? How was it written?
TGC: The standout song keeps changing as we write and record more songs!:) It used to be “Rainy Day” and “Worst To Come” for the album “Little Out There”. Then Tarah Who? released “Federal Circle of Shame” and “Cough Drop” was definitely standing out! Now that we finished recording “Half Middle Child Syndrome”, I have a feeling that “Garden of Chloé(s)” is going to be pretty popular! :) Fingers crossed;)
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2017?
SMK: Shows, shows, shows.
MP: EP release, Viper June 21st, tour, promote, rinse, write and record more music…yea, things like that.
TGC: Let’s see… we have 6 Months left.. (I m not counting May because it’s almost over.) We are releasing “Half Middle Child Syndrome” on June 21st and everyone in LA should come out to celebrate with us at the Viper Room:) (we can put you on our guest list so let us know that you are coming!) after this big show, we are going to shoot some music videos, tour the west coast and hopefully the east coast. (NYC we can’t wait to come and see you!). I have a few songs that are ready to be recorded, so we are probably going to be working on those new songs as well. So yeah, we are pretty busy until the end of the year.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
SMK: I hope it allows them to just release whatever heavy and negative emotion they might be feeling. I want them to rock the fuck out until they reach happiness.
MP: It was written to be enjoyed. How you enjoy it is up to you. I hope people who listen to our music have the same feelings I have when I hear music from an artist I enjoy. It’s pretty simple. Enjoy!
TGC: Well, the interesting thing about Tarah Who? is that we sound “angry” and we do deliver a pretty energetic show, but if you just listen to the lyrics and focus on that, I think you could hear the pain or emotions. Of course, those songs are my stories, but I believe anyone can relate. As a matter of fact, some of the best compliments I have had over the years were from fans that came up to me and said “I love your song “Happy” I feel that you have written this song for me.”
What I love the most about writing music is that ability to move people. If they are just listening to the song and they start day dreaming, I feel successful. If we play a show and everyone is having a good time, dancing, jumping, screaming with us and totally let go of their worries or of themselves, I feel successful. And if someone comes up after a show and tells me “I feel your songs” or “this song helped me go through this situation” or “Thanks to your words, I dared to do this!” or whatever it is that inspired them, I feel honored and successful. I write to share. Life inspires me. If TarahWho?’s music and adventures, inspire people, musicians, anyone in any possible way. We have definitely “made it”!
With everything that is going on in the world, I hope that we affect our fans in a positive, loving way.
Review Fix: What’s next?
TGC: I am going to feed my fur babies that won’t stop jumping on the keyboard or tapping around crying!
But please, follow us on facebook, Instagram, twitter, youtube and all those beautiful social media to see what’s next.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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