If you are looking for some new music or something different, how about a bit of cow-punk mixed with grunge?!...Well, rock trio Tarah Who? are a band you need to check out. The trio consists of Tarah G. Carpenter (TGC) on vocals/guitar, Matthew Peltcher (MP) on bass/backing vocals and Coralie Hervé (CH) on Drums. I caught up with them to discuss their sound, relocating from Paris to America, their current tour along with their plans for the future amongst other things...
How would you describe your sound?
MP: We are a cow-punk, grunge, rock power trio. Tarah Who’s sound is loud, heavy and angry. Tarah belts out lyrics against thrashing guitars, beefy bass lines and wild drums.
TGC: Huummm... Hard to beat that description! Let's see. I can add Raw, energetic, Rock influenced punk. Loud, fast-paced heavy guitars and driving drums.
Can you tell us about how you got into music and how you learnt to play so many instruments?
TGC: I only remember being drawn to music, first by listening to rock music constantly, with my mom (listening to Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Bruce Spingsteen while cleaning the house!) Then I started listening to artists I discovered and my mom and I would meet in my bedroom at night and listen to songs I had discovered really loud. I grew up in a house, we didn't have any neighbors.
I think listening to music unconsciously inspired me to play. I watched a lot of shows, concerts and I loved the atmosphere. The crowd, the entertainment, etc.. I don't remember thinking " I want to be a musician". I remember being attracted to drums. I started playing drums in a rock band at the age of 14, and at the same I picked up the bass. a couple years later, I was a student in Murray, KY, I couldn't play the drums so I bought myself an electric guitar and I started writing songs and playing the guitar.
I taught myself the drums, bass and guitar by playing with other people in different rock bands.
Tarah you were born in Paris but are now are based in LA, what made you decide to move to the states?
TGC: I must have been American in a past life because I have always felt more home in the US than in France. Nothing against France, but I have felt more comfortable here than in Paris. I do love Paris, I miss my friends and family everyday, we keep in touch and talk to each other every single day, we make it a point to see each other every year. For what I play in music, America has just more opportunities. I could have chosen New York, but it seemed like a too similar lifestyle as Paris. I wanted to be somewhere warm:) I chose to move to LA, I have loved being in Los Angeles since the first days I moved here in 2006. It's a tough city but it makes you get up and chase your dreams. So many things have and happen in LA within a few months, I have gone back to France to check out the music scene now that we were more established, and it appears that the music scene is still very limited. Once again, for the kind of music that we play, we want to be able to play big, loud. In Paris, there are so many limitations, you can't play too loud or the sound will shut down because of decibel meters. COME ON! Where is the ROCK'N ROLL in that? The best shows in France, in my opinion, are the ones outside of Paris. You meet great bands, great music lovers. Those shows are really fun:) Paris is my home. I love Paris, I love the Eiffel Tower;) and I am a true proud Parisian who likes her cheese and wine:) No denials here;) for music, I prefer the be here in Los Angeles, where you can make things happen.
There must be quite a difference in the music scene between the two places?
CH: In my opinion, there are more opportunities in LA than in Paris.
TGC: haha:) Coralie you crack me up with your short answers:) Yes, I agree, but again we are a loud cow punk Rock band. I think that if you are a singer-songwriter, or French pop/ Rock artist you can have a lot of opportunities in France. Or I would hope so... I have noticed that there was a very very closed circle of musicians and artists, it's really hard to get into that circle.. I just personally don't like that mentality. It works great for some of my friends, it's just not what I believe in. Now Los Angeles,... LA is great, you can play a lot of shows, but you have to find those cool shows. I don't believe nor support in pay to play gigs and unfortunately, LA is FULL of pay to play gigs. PLEASE ARTISTS: STOP AGREEING TO PAY TO PLAY! YOUR SHOW is what makes history, not other people's shows. A lot of bands agree to pay to play just because some band from the 80s played there or it is somewhat famous. The reality of this is that, you are going to lose a lot of time, energy and MONEY, for a 30 minutes gig at a venue that, okay.. is well-known, BUT it won't make YOU a big rockstar. If you care about your career, you are going to save that cash and your audience, for gigs that matter and that will boost your career a little. Use that cash for equipment or to promote yourself!
What are your main musical influences?
CH: For me, it’s Nightwish, a symphonic metal band.
MP: My main musical influences are The Cure, Depeche Mode and Joy Division. They are the bands that made me want to play music. Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins would later become influences of mine as well.
TGC: I was a big Alanis fan. Then I listened to everything 90s...Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Pantera, Motorhead, Tool, Foo Fighters (early days), Distillers, Hole etc....
So you are currently on a small tour in the US, how is it going so far?
CH: Great, it’s really fun.
MP: So far good! We opened with Tokyo Taboo at the Viper Room and we are headed to Vegas next. So many great venues to play at and some really cool bands to play with. Come check us out if you are in Vegas, Santa Ana, Long Beach, West Hollywood or DTLA: more details at tarahwho.com
TGC: Yes, tiny tour:) It was really unexpected actually it's kind of fun! I was just booking gigs here and there, then we got offered to play for a Halloween show in Santa Ana so that is going to be fun! Then we got this gig in Vegas, and now a friend just added us on her evening on November 13 at the Hotel Cafe! Shows keep adding up to this poster and we are really excited!
We really get along with Matt and Coralie. Coralie has joined us last June 2017 and it already feels like we've been playing altogether for ages. It's exactly the kind of harmony I was looking for in a band. It's very easy going and fun. Going on tour with these guys is like going on a short trip with your friends but you get to play music and meet a bunch of people! it's cool:)
Do you have any other tour plans lined up?
CH: Yeah we gonna go on tour in Europe next summer.
MP: Yea, next year we are planning a West Coast tour in April. Working on more Europe tour dates later in the year. More to come….
TGC: Yes we are going to tour in April 2018 with our good friends from France DRY CAN. ( check them out!! they are a 90s grunge rock alternative band) We have known each other for a while now and we are really excited to go on tour with them. I predict a lot of fun and alcohol! Get ready west coast, stack up in beers and Jameson, these guys can drink!
Right after this tour, We are planning to tour in Europe, we have a few gigs in France, the UK, and some festivals everywhere actually! More to come really soon about those dates! (we are hoping to hit the east coast as well)
I believe you are working on your next EP, how is it coming together so far and what can we expect from it?
TGC: We are working on a new EP, I actually have 10 songs ready, but we are going to pick 5 of them for this next EP. We are going to work with Jason Orme again (Alanis Morissette). We worked so well, for this past EP ( "Half Middle Child Syndrome") that we would like to do it again. What to expect? More or less, the same amount of crazy, loud, fast-paced, weird songs! We will see which ones we end up putting on this next EP, but it will make you bang your head for sure.
How would you compare it to your previous material?
MP: The songs have the angry sound Tarah Who? is known for but they also sound really fun. There will definitely be more songs to mosh to at our live shows.
TGC: We have a song called "Numb Killer". It is pretty angry... I think we will put it on there, but I am still arranging a few things. If not on this next EP, the very next one:)
This next EP, will probably sound more whole. Matt, Coralie and I have been working for a longer period of time now. We have gone shopping for our new sound together, we play together better, we are tighter, and the harmony of the band ( as people) is stronger. I think the EP will sound like Tarah Who? but as a whole, we might sound better. If that makes sense.
What do you have planned for 2018?
CH: Working on the new EP and promote it on tour.
MP: A lot of touring, as I said earlier. New music as well and some Los Angeles show dates throughout the year also. Expect some videos too.
TGC: I think we will be touring a lot, promoting the new EP, recording. I would like to make more music videos, and start playing at colleges and maybe an unplugged tour or something...
Is there anything else you would like to add?
TGC: Thank you for reading, and for having us. Your support is very well appreciated.
Come out and see us, we love to meet new people, everywhere we go!
To find out more about Tarah Who? visit: