LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
CH : My name is Coralie and I’m the drummer of Tarah Who? I joined the band 3 and a half years ago. Tarah and I were friends on Facebook (we had some friends in common) and I messaged her when I was coming to study at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. She contacted me a few months later when she was looking for a drummer for her band.
TGC: Yes, and I started this project in 2006 when I moved to LA. I started as an acoustic act and little by little, after working with different producers and musicians, it became what it is today. 🙂 I recommend watching our docu-series, for those of you who are interested in how we made it all happen!
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
TGC: We had to cancel a tour which really sucked, but all of the promoters were coming up with really cool ideas of performing on instalive. It already sounds so old, but it was actually brand new back in April! It was also a little difficult because LA was completely shut down but not all of the States or cities we were hitting even BELIEVED in covid. Cancelling was really difficult for some of those venues. We were supposed to play in Canada too… what a shame..! Outside of the live performances, I re-focused my attention and used this time, to write, work on other projects, and build more of a social awareness, since people actually had the time, to watch, listen or discover new music.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
CH : We did a lot yes !! We have recorded a new album and made a lot of new videos, it’s really exciting !!
TGC: Yes! I wrote a bunch of new songs, and I was sending demos to Coralie. We were going back on forth over Zoom with our Producer Jason Orme. We actually had never played them together live, it was kind of all based on trust that each one of us was working on their own! Then we met for a week end, with our masks on and kept a social distance the WHOLE time, really weird! Not that we ever are on top of each other recording.. but if someone was coming close to check something out, the other moved away.. and you know the people you work with are like family. We wanted to celebrate the win of Biden, I got a cheap bottle of Champagne at the little grocery store next to the studio and we did that, but there were no hugs when the recording was done! Nothing! WEIRD! So that was the recording aspect, but because we are not about to go back to live shows anytime soon, we already have planned the whole year, so we are shooting music videos so that we have content for our social media and to keep everything going. It is fun!
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
CH : We don’t really fit into a genre I think, our music is a mix between rock/punk/grunge but at the same time is unique and I’ll let people decide.
TGC: Yes it is hard to put us in one category. I am heavily influenced by the 90s. That is undeniable. I love noice, grunge, punk, rock, some metal.. I think you can hear all of that in our sound. Now, writing for me is more like a therapy almost, and it is very personal. I focus more on the emotions I want the song to have rather than making sure that it fits into the musical genre. If the music transcribes what I mean then I am cool with it. I think we were called punk especially because of our live shows because we do have a lot of energy and being Rock is an attitude and a spirit rather than a trend or fashion. It used to bother me actually when I talked about Tarah Who? and the first question people would ask was” Who do you sound like or what is the genre” because there is not one answer to that question. We sound like us. Years have passed and now when we release a new song people say ” That is so you” or ” That is a Tarah Who? ” song, and that.. feels amazing!
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
TGC: It was really natural actually. I am very lucky to be surrounded by amazing people who believe in the project and therefore help out and bring their little touch. It is also based on trust. So we have been working with Jason Orme as our producer for a few years now, and he knows us, he knows what we are capable of so he knows when to push us or if we are going to like an idea or not. Maria Quintana, is our photographer and videographer, she makes us looks purrty. I saw her work and I was so amazed by her talent that anything she does, I am just like “sure! if you see it, I believe you” and lastly, Angie Joseph, is one of my best friends. She does ALL of our graphic design. We listen to the same bands and she plays too. Sometimes I play drums for her band. I talked to her about sounding like the 90s so she thought about that for our logo, and then TARA is actually a goddess is buddhism. I am very much into buddhism and people, psychology etc.. she heard me and came up with those really cool logos that we have on our touring equipment. We also have a color theme that is Black , Red and white, for our live performances. Those three very important people are part of the TARAH WHO? team, and I consider them like band members, just behind their own screens.
LOMM: Are you happy with your product? What aspects of it do you think you guys nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve upon?
TGC: I am super happy about our upcoming album. I am a little nervous to be honest because not only I wrote all of those songs in a completely different approach but also because even though the sound is still a Tarah Who? sound 😉 it is less.. chaotic. So as much as i am proud about those new songs, I am also a bit scared that people don’t like it as much. We will see!
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
TGC: We don’t know yet, the album comes out in April. April 9th,2021 to be exact, but we are releasing a single per month with a music video. The January single ‘Swallow That Pill’ which I thought was going to be .. ok.. turned out to be a real success! Not only we have had a lot of media coverings, but we were added on a lot of playlists and radio stations! We are getting a lot of attention, whether the people find the song really catchy or they just love the video! So that is really exciting to see this happening! I really did not expect that!
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
CH : Going on tour is always an adventure and an amazing road trip. It’s actually really hard to not play shows and not be able to go on the road to discover new places and meet new people.
TGC: Yeah I second that. I LOVE going on tour! You meet a ton of new people, see new things, every night is different. It is a lot of work but it is so much fun that it is totally worth it. I can’t wait to get back on the road!
Here is the episode about being on the road and what touring involves as an independent band:
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
CH : Continue making music, videos and going for it !!!
TGC: Yeah so the plan right now, is to reach out to a lot of people, but on a bigger scale location wise. Since we can’t play live and meet people, we are connecting to people still but via social media, and the internet by releasing our music videos. Hopefully when we are able to play live shows again, we will meet the people we have conquered during the pandemic;)
The future.. who knows? good I hope! 🙂
LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
TGC: I write the lyrics and I never know what I am going to write about. It all comes like a burst of emotions that I need to release or I am going to explode. It is usually anger, or sadness but it has to come out. It is like I can’t hear anything else for a few minutes until I am done writing or spilling out what I have to say. I don’t check it, I don’t re-write it. I want to keep the feelings as authentic as possible. I usually have the music in my head already. All of the instruments. I tis hard to explain..I keep telling Coralie and Jason…” I hear this” or “I hear that” but in the context it makes sense. Then I make demos of the songs so that they both get an idea, Jason sometimes has suggestions. Whether to move a part or change a lyric or a way to sing the lyrics so that it grooves better. We work really well all together. I love it when Jason suggests things, because not only he comes up with great ideas, but also it shows that he feels part of it. Jason plays the lead guitars on all of the recordings and it always add so much to the song, but he knows to do just enough so that when we go live, it doesn’t sound weird because it is just the two of us. So they trust my idea for a song.. and the demos are usually pretty bad because I am definitely one of those musicians who can also produce! I hear things, yes! But I am not a good engineer! Then at the studio, the song comes alive, and magic happens and then we all have a stupid smile on our faces because we like the result! To me, it feels like Coralie and Jason trust my vision enough that even if the demos sounds terrible, something will happen! and I trust them too, obviously, for the same reasons.
There are no specific themes. I just write about what I go through, or what hurts me or anything in that vein!
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
TGC: I write the songs, but after all of the instruments have been recorded, then Jason says “hold on I hear something” lol! Then it is usually just Jason and I at the studio going back on forth ” I hear this ” and because Jason has toured all over the world with Alanis Morissette, he has those really fun instruments! So we tried a few things on this last record. We added a theremin, a jew’s harp, harmonium, shakers, tambourine etc..
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
CH : My favorite band is Nightwish, a symphonic metal band, I love this genre. More generally classic rock and metal.
TGC: I more of a Rock, grunge, punk, 90s era… I still listen to the same bands I used to. The Distillers, Motorhead, TOOL, RATM, RHCP, early Foo Fighters, The smashing Pumpkins, L7, Joan Jett, Pantera etc…
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on the road or studio?
CH : Both experiences are different. The studio is more about your sound, being precise and have a good timing. Being on the road is more about the energy and a show for the people. I really really love both.
TGC: I always find it interesting when I hear other musicians say ” I prefer touring than recording” or vice versa. I can’t do one without the other. I write the song, I record it.. then I just want to perform it! To each their own! I absolutely love every step of being a musician and a performer. It makes you feel so alive to be LIVE, but making music, from the minute I write it and I feel all of those emotions, and then we make it into a shareable song, that maybe will touch other people the way songs have influenced me. It is pretty big. When fans tell me, they relate to a song, I feel like we have accomplished something.
LOMM: What first got you into music?
TGC: I don’t really know.. all I remember was that my mom was blasting the Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones etc.. while cleaning the house, and at the age of 14 i said ” I want to play the drums” . My dad didn’t want me to because it wasn’t ladylike so I did it anyway behind his back. He saw that I really loved the drums so he actually got me my first drums and I never stopped playing. I taught myself the drums, the bass and later the guitar because I started writing songs. I just never stopped playing really and when I don’t I feel really … angry inside.I feel anxious.
LOMM: What do you like the best about being a musician? And what is it that you do not like much?
TGC: I don’t know.. playing music? I like being able to get lost into an instrument and feel in the moment. I like to hear sounds and feel a song. You know what is funny? the movie ‘Soul” that just came out. That is exactly how I feel! lol! I was watching it and thought ” Yeah! that is exactly how it feels” Now I am going to totally butcher it.. but basically, you can play a song or notes, with no intention and no emotion right? you are not in tune with the instrument.. that is going to sound bland. However, when you feel it, when you are connected and in the moment, you are almost somewhere else. I am not high! but it is almost a high to feel this way.. I think it s like being ” in the zone” when you are inspired.
What I don’t like much… hummm.. The instruments I like are very expensive and being a musician costs a lot of money! lol jk! no but actually,, one thing that sort of bugs me but it also depends on the context… is when people ask you to play because they see a guitar or drums or bass or whatever you play. Some musicians are comfortable doing it on the spot, and just play or show off (depending on how you see it;). ) For me… playing my songs is still something really personal so when I do it, I need to be in the right state of mind otherwise it loses its meaning. I don’t mind jamming in a different context but…that’s different.
LOMM: If you weren’t musicians, what would you be doing?
CH : I think I would be an archaeologist, I love history. But I don’t see myself being anything else other than musician.
TGC: Yeah that’s the thing… If I wanted to do anything else , I would be doing that.. There are a lot of things I like doing, like cooking, animals, traveling, martial arts.. but I would get so bored doing any of my other interests as a career. I think that artists brains are wired differently and we can’t do anything else that doing our art or we would feel totally miserable. I prefer to play, and have a dream, rather than follow a path and let my soul die little by little. Not everyone is made for what we do either. We need each other to make this world work!
LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
TGC: only one thing? That’s tough! I think it depends on where you stand too. So for instance as an independent band you think it is unfair to not be able to reach out to certain festivals and what not because you don’t belong to a label. Then you see bands you used to play with get all the gigs that you know you can play too but you can’t! When you are on the side of the label, of course you don’t want to lose your artist’s spot because a bunch of independent bands also have access to those gigs! I think what is wrong, is to make believe independent bands that they have a chance in the big picture. I know a lot of people who spend a LOT of money thinking they can get to where they want to be by buying tickets, Pay to play shows or pay to play festivals, just so that they can write it down.. but then they realize that it didn’t change anything for their success.
I was also going to say that it has been more difficult as a woman in Rock music to make ourselves knows, but things are clearly evolving and that is amazing!
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
TGC: Well.. that is tough because without our audience, we don’t really go far.. However, I believe that if you are true to yourself, and your music. Authenticity, originality, is attractive and therefore, the audience will follow. If you believe in what you are creating, people will see it. I think it also depends on the musical project. For Tarah Who? , I need the music too be true to what I have in mind. Otherwise I won’t be able to sing it. For other projects, I can be more flexible, especially if I didn’t write the song and I just came up with my part.
LOMM: What is the most memorable gig that you have played to date?
TGC: There are a few, but first two that come to mind are the one in London, where this punk rocker broker her arm during a moshpit and insisted on staying until the end of the song before being escorted by the security. The other was my bad.. I booked us a show at a strip club without knowing but it turned out to be one of the best shows not only that I have played but also where we made the most money! We didn’t strip.
LOMM: When you look back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
CH : I’m really happy with what I have accomplished but I think that my greatest one has not come yet.
TGC: I was really happy to be selected in the first round of the Grammy’s in 2019? I think it was. Now I want to be nominated! hahah!
LOMM: Who would you like to collaborate with?
TGC: I am not big on collaborating to be honest, because the song are so personal but I am kind of changing my ways and I would love to write a song with our friends YUR MUM for instance, and then I have another idea in mind but I can’t talk about it just yet.:)
LOMM: Who would you like to go on a tour with?
CH : My ultimate bands to tour with will be Nightwish, Cyhra and Ghost.
TGC: I would love to go back on tour with YUR MUM and BALA. YUR MUM is a punk band from the UK, we have toured twice together and they are amazing. We are on the same page and it is just fun to be around them. Bala is a band from Spain. I effin’ adore their music. Love their sound and I would love to tour with those two bands. It would be mind blowing. imagine 3 duo bands only one man (Fabio from YUR MUM) and 3 different types of Rock. I don’t know how to write the sound of an explosion but that is how I am thinking the end of that sentence.
LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.
TGC: All of them! I mean.. why not? Whatever big Rock festival, we want in! Why pick one? (no but really I can’t think of any names right now 🙂 )
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
TGC: JLP Alanis Morissette, Coral Fang The Distillers. Backstreet Boys. The last one is not true but it just to make sure that you are still reading. I cant even name one of their albums.
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
CH : I love having CDs and Vinyls from bands that I love. I love to have the product in my hands.
TGC: Answer E. A total Mess! my whole studio is a total mess! I have a few vinyls, had a few cassettes, a bunch of CDs because that was my generation, and digital because it is pretty practical ain’t it?
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
CH : I’m from Brittany France. There is a pretty good scene for metal in France. We have Gojira, Dagoba and the Hellfest.
TGC: I am originally from Paris, France. The metal, scene is big… hence the Hellfest and a lot of bands that I am not familiar with but Coralie knows about. As far as Rock.. we have this horrible thing called French Rock and it really is not my cup of tea. lol. I mean no offense, it is just different.. but I have not been up to date to anything that is current in France so .. there might be some awesome bands that deserve to be listened to. As far as my experience in France.. well in Paris.. they have the decibel meter that powers down everything if you play over that limit. To me that is just asking a painter to paint, but please don’t use the paint. Rock is meant to be loud, especially if you want to give out a good show. I m not talking about so loud, that it makes your ears bleed and you leave with tinnitus but loud enough so that you can get into it. Playing the UK is always my favourite part of our European tours. Probably because so many good bands just play there constantly and the audience is genuine. Like i said earlier, the woman who broker her arm!!! I mean come on!! People are not scared to mosh-pit in Europe and I miss that sometimes here. When we have a bit of moshing at our shows, oh man that really gets me going!
LOMM: You can invite 5 people to a dinner party, from the future, the past, rock stars, a movie characters, you name it. Who are you having dinner with?
TGC: The backstreet Boys! lol! aren’t they five?
Okay for reals..Tiffany Haddish, Wanda Sykes, Kristen Wiig, Anika Nilles, Joan Jett.
LOMM: What is your weirdest memory in your music career?
TGC: Producer(s) who fall in love. IT is not weird.. It is just very uncomfortable and unnecessary!
LOMM: What is the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
TGC: No weird things just yet!I did have a fan look me up and find my address once. It was a bit alarming.. nut nothing ever happened.
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
CH : Do what you love no matter what !!
TGC: Thank you for your support! See you sooner rather than later, stay safe!
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
TGC: Thank YOU for having us!!
Yes please, connect with us on instagram @ tarahwho and we have a few tour merch still available on our website. www.tarahwho.com if you want to support further more!
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time!