Band of the Day Revisited: Tarah Who?

It’s nice playing catch-up with a previously featured Band of the Day. Back in November we featured Tarah Who? who asked to update their article as the new release they were working on at the time has come to fruition! Who are we to argue?

  • Tarah G. Carpenter (TGC): Vocals, Guitar
  • Matt Peltcher (MP): Bass, Backing Vocals
  • Shaina Mikee Keiths (SMK): Drums
Previous EP – new one being recorded right now!

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

MP: I am from Los Angeles – Hollywood specifically.

SMK: I was born in Fort Lauderdale, FL; raised in Pittsburgh, PA and then lived in Boston, MA for a while before moving out here to Los Angeles.

TGC: I was born in Paris, France but I have been living in the US for quite a while now.

How did you meet?

MP: They needed a bass player and I really dug the music.

SMK: I met Tarah during a previous gig and Tarah Who? needed a drummer so I auditioned and that was when I met Matt.

TGC: I met Matt in July 2016 when I was looking for a new bass player. I met Shaina last december I think? She was in another band and I thought… “Hummm,  she would be perfect for Tarah Who?” In February, I asked her if she would be interested in auditioning for Tarah Who? Luckily she said yes, and just like I imagined, she fit the project perfectly! I was really happy to see that Matt and Shaina hit it off as well, so yeah! So far so good!

How long have you been playing as a band?

MP: I’ve been with Tarah Who? since last July but the band had been around for quite a while.

SMK: Our current line-up has been together since this past February.

TGC: Yes, I started Tarah Who? many years ago (about ten years ago) but this current line up is still very fresh.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

MP: Something to do with emails I heard…

SMK: It was in regards to emails me thinks…

TGC: It was the subject of an email I sent to some previous bandmates. We needed to find a new band name because we had a few gigs lined up and no name. One of the guys thought “Tarah Who?” was actually the best out of all the ideas we all came up with. We all agreed!

What are your influences?

MP: I was highly influenced by Joy Divison, The Cure and Nirvana.

SMK: So so many! My top being: The Beatles, David Bowie, The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Taylor Hawkins, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone age, etc.

TGC: I grew up listening to everything 90’s from Alanis Morissette to the Foo Fighters, Distillers, Smashing pumpkins, etc… I still love the 90’s. I don’t really listen to anything new. I actually try to stay away from new music because I don’t want my writing to be too influenced.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

MP: We are really loud. We have really exciting sounds that take you for a ride. I don’t know, just come and check it out for yourself.

SMK: It’s raw, authentic, high energy and quirky! Every show is a different experience and wild ride.

TGC: We don’t follow any standard writing. A lot of people tell me that they first didn’t really understand the music, but after a few listens, they are now hooked and can’t stop listening! I also hear a lot that people have heard the songs online and enjoyed them, came out to the show and totally fell in love with the music at the show. They “understood” it better with the energy and performances.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

TGC: No particular lyrical theme. It’s basically my life, the people I meet, the events that touch me, my perception of certain situations, etc. It’s all very personal.

What’s your live show like?

MP: Again, really loud. Our live shows are what people like most about Tarah Who?

TGC: They are all different. I feed off people’s energy. If the crowd is crazy and knows the songs, I’ll be very inspired to do just about anything (from jumping on the drums to stage diving, or mosh pitting with Matt or just saying silly things in between songs).

How many shows have you played?

MP: Was I supposed to be counting? Erm… many.

SMK: Basically everything I stated above! Our current line-up has only played three shows together but we also have already recorded a new EP. In a short amount of time we’ve made some nice accomplishments!

TGC: Oh… as Tarah Who? I have NO Idea! A LOT! but like Shaina said, with this current line-up only a few, but we’ve been really busy recording, and learning new songs:)

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

MP: I won’t do it but full on theatrics with music is pretty damn cool for a show.

SMK: Oh jeez! So many things… wildest thing was somebody throwing their bra at me. Wildest thing I’ve done? Again so many! Most of it isn’t intentional, for example cymbals flying off of my 6 foot drum riser….

TGC: The wildest thing I’ve seen I think was in London, this girl with a blue mohawk broke her arm falling during a mosh-pit. She didn’t want to leave so the security guy came to escort her and she still insisted on staying. I was touched but I felt really bad!

The wildest thing I have done? Mmm it’s not really wild wild, but basically I got really pissed of at a venue that cut our sound (or at least they tried). They were late on schedule so we had to cut our set. We were doing our last song and they cut off the mics (vocals and amps), but they didn’t actually control the stage. So I told the guys to keep on playing but to play faster. The drummer couldn’t be turned off, and we just cranked all the amps up. I screamed my heart out in the air, and we sped the song up until the end and left.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

MP: Squier 5, Schecter Elite 5, Carvin 600 bi-amp.

SMK: Ludwig! Aquarian heads, Vic Firth sticks (Keith Moon Signature Series), Zildjian cymbals and Pearl Eliminator Demon Drive bass pedal.

TGC: Pretty much what I find! The best guitar I’ve ever played is waiting for me in Paris. My friend Chris builds guitars (Boat’s Rock Guitars) and he knows exactly what I need. So I’m working on getting that!

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

MP: Release that EP. Gig, tour. Play my bass. Wash my car. Hang out with my cats. Etc.

SMK: I just take life one day at a time and enjoy the moment! Who knows where this crazy adventure will take you!

TGC: We are going to shoot a couple of music videos that will help us promote the new EP called Half Middle Child Syndrome and of course release that EP and go on tour.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

TGC: If we could tour with anyone, I would choose to tour with my friends from Under The Skin and Dry Can. Although… I don’t know if the tour would go really far. We would probably need to cancel the tour after the first night, due to intense drinking and celebration.

If we could choose any bigger bands, I think I would choose… let’s see… Juliette Lewis and Brody Dalle.

Tarah Who?: official | facebook | twitter | instagram

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September 13, 2020 11:45 AM

[…] 2016, we featured Tara Who? for the first time. Then they released some new music so we ran an update. Three years hence, and the buggers are […]

January 23, 2021 10:59 PM

[…] featured punk duo Tarah Who? three times in the past as Band of the Day – 2016, 2017 and 2020! The L.A. based grunge-punk powerhouse duo fronted by Tarah Carpenter, writes emotionally […]