A Q&A with Tarah Who?
Modern punk French duo – here’s Tarah and Coralie from Tarah Who?…
How did you get the title of your latest release, ‘Swallow That Pill’, and what does it mean to you?
T: We have all been told at least once in our lives that we have to “face the music” or that we don’t have a choice. However, every decision that we make is a choice. You may not like the outcome, but whatever experience you go through in your life, it is your decision to make to keep doing it or to quit. ‘Swallow That Pill’ is about routine life and accepting everything as it is, even if we are not happy.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
C: I think it has been the same for a lot of musicians during 2020, but it was actually weird to not practice together and play the songs before recording it at the studio.
T: Yeah, exactly. It was really different for me because I usually write all the songs, then we meet at rehearsal after they have learned them so we can play them and arrange things or what not. This time, I wrote the music and the lyrics separately. We were sending each other tracks and we did not rehearse once together. We met at the studio. We had two days because we didn’t want to risk it by going back and forth. Coralie came for one day to track the drums, and I just worked on everything else on my own with Jason. Usually, Coralie does some backing vocals, but this time Jason did them. I was a little stressed out about the time and recording the guitar, bass, vocals, backing vocals, percussions etc… But we did it! And we are still Covid free! Phewww! Recording with a mask is no fun!
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
T: The album was produced by Jason Orme and me. This is our fourth recording with Mr. Orme! We really enjoy working with him. It is very easy. He knows what he is doing; I trust him all the way so I can focus on my part. There is no ego from any one of us. If he suggests something to Coralie or me and it makes sense, we just change on the spot. If it doesn’t work out, we don’t waste our time to see who is right or wrong. We all do what is best for the song. That is how it should be. Jason has a lot of experience so we can rely on his music taste and decisions in sounds. I love it towards the end when he hears where the song is going, and he gets really involved and wants to add fun stuff. (Shakers, vocals, instruments he bought on tour with Alanis in India etc.) I hear the song as a whole from the beginning, and Coralie and Jason trust me enough to follow the direction it is going until the magic of the studio happens. What I love about recording is the accidents that you keep. Say, for instance, we are tracking guitars and there was a note that was not meant to be there or played but it really adds colour to the song. That’s a keeper!
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
C: I hope they will like the songs and have a good time listening to them, make them feel emotions.
T: Yeah, before anything, our listeners should have a good time! Music takes you on a journey, so whether you are driving and you like fast-paced music in your ears going to work or working out, either way, it comes to you. I hope you enjoy the three minutes! Then, if you get into it and the lyrics, well… each song has its story and I hope that listeners can relate.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
C: We actually recorded the guitar and drums together, so we have a good rhythm section.
T: Yeah, when we record at the studio, we play live. As far as writing, I usually write the lyrics and music together but for this recording, I did things differently. I would come to the studio and write all the music first, then add the vocals at the end.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
T: That’s interesting… so I grew up listening to Alanis Morissette until I discovered grunge, rock, punk etc. After that, it was Pantera, Motorhead, The Distillers, Foo Fighters, Tool etc… When I write, I stay away from listening to the music I like because I don’t want to be influenced (even if it is already in my veins!) or sound too much like bands I like.
When the world is back to normal where would you like to tour, and why?
C: Everywhere hahahaha!!! I’m really excited to go back to Europe.
T: Yeah, everywhere for sure! Most definitely excited to go back to Europe, UK especially (I love the UK) but I would be happy to play anywhere!
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
C: I think ‘Pantomath’ because there is a lot of energy!
T: Yeah, I agree, “Pantomath”.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
C: I really hope to be able to play music for a long time and I would love to tour everywhere!
T: Tour for sure, and festivals; I would not be against a Grammy as well. Not necessarily for us, but for the team who works with us. Maria Quintana who does our videos and believes in the band, for instance, or Jason, for producing our music. It would be an accomplishment to the eyes of people who don’t really understand the music industry. Like for my family, it would finally mean “Ok I am a musician”! Until then I am just crazy for choosing this lifestyle!
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
C: Have a good night guys and see you next time on the road!
T: Gosh, I don’t know! It depends! “Thank you!” for sure! Yeah, I would probably thank the venue and staff, and the people who came to see us and who support us. And then, “Feel free to come talk after the show!”
For more info visit: facebook.com/Tarahwho