Los Angeles-based power grunge-punk duo Tarah Who? is back at it again, exploding speakers left and right with their new mind-boggling single, "Asian Blood."
Comprising grunge-punk sage Tarah Carpenter and drummer/backing vocalist Coralie Hervé, Tarah Who?'s broad discography hints to acts like Alanis Morissette, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Spinnerette, and more. The two ladies in Tarah Who? continue to tear up the ground with Carpenter's complex psychological songwriting and Hervé's gripping rhythm that carries each song's core.
Showcasing those fiery and dense stylings is Tarah Who?'s latest hit, "Asian Blood," inspired by the underground feminist punk movement, Riot grrrl, that took off in the early 90s. Co-produced with Jason Orme (Alanis Morissette), the track dissects the industry's inequitable treatment of women and how they often feel compelled to look younger to obtain certain roles.
Catapulting ourselves into Tarah Who?'s new single, "Asian Blood," we're submerged into the hellish depths of this two-minute rock escapade through a blistering lead guitar wailing away while Hervé's tight drums begin pounding through our speakers. As Carpenter unleashes the beast and rages through our speakers, she dives into the first verse with her attention-commanding vocals that dissect incredibly relevant concepts.
We're highly impressed with Carpenter's lyrics that demonstrate how executives will degrade young female entertainers by explaining how they don't understand the industry while shaming knowledgeable women for being too old to stay relevant. All while that's going on, both ladies in Tarah Who? smack our speakers with might and ferocity until the very last second.
Although Tarah Who? was blessed with strong and youthful "Asian Blood," there's one thing for sure; beauty fades, but talent is forever. Tarah Who?'s new single is available in the US and UK on all major streaming platforms.
What a conceptual and needed single you've released with "Asian Blood." What inspired you to write about the inequitable treatment of talented and knowledgeable women in the industry?
Hi! Thanks for having us! Actually, my birthday was coming up, and I was just being aware of my emotions of getting older! Lol! I was never really concerned about time passing by, and just like the chorus of the song sings, " I feel good, I feel young," but this time, it kind of just hit me. There are so many things I want to do and accomplish in life. It is really hard to make everything happen! ( and I am not someone who lets go of what she said she would do....) Then I was thinking of the numbers (my age), and it was never a really big concern to me, but I started thinking of how "other people" view us, independent musicians. Most people do not understand our dedication, our tenacity. We chose a really hard industry because looks do matter and, for some reason, passed a certain age (or passed a certain amount of wrinkles) if you still haven't managed to be successful ( if we take the general definition that "success" means being famous AKA a Rockstar) then you are just a "40-year-old something or older still playing in dive bars". So how do we change that point of view?
Considering that "Asian Blood" is a rather short track at just under two minutes, do you feel this straight-to-the-point approach enhanced the sense of urgency and importance?
I feel like I said what I had to say. I didn't feel the need to drag the topic into another verse or chorus, but you have a good point that I didn't think about (thank you!) it "enhances the sense of urgency"! I like that! It was not intentional, but I like that it creates that effect. I knew I wanted a short track because I wanted to keep the attention until the end of the song, so hopefully, this is the case!
Could you take us through what it was like behind the scenes of "Asian Blood"? What was it like working with producer Jason Orme during that process?
Generally speaking, I write songs. I make a full demo with guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. Then I send the tracks to Coralie, who learns the songs, and then we rehearse before we go into the studio with Jason. 'Asian Blood' was the same process. What I love about working with Jason is that he knows us, so he knows what kind of guitar sound I like. We either use his guitars or mine. He has a bunch of pedals and effects. He basically shapes the guitar sound, which is a HUGE relief for me, who really just likes to plug in and play. I don't have the patience for testing 10 000 pedals. I usually do with what I have and try to make it work, but for recording, it matters. Not only does Jason like to do that, but he actually KNOWS how to do all of this! My guitars usually need to be readjusted and tweaked. I wouldn't know! Lol! So my guitars do appreciate some Jason time. Coralie and I play the song a couple of times to Jason, and once we start recording, Jason helps with the drums as well. Since he is a listener while we are playing the song, he suggests drum changes, build-ups, and whatnot. So at this point, we are just arranging on the spot so that the song has an easier flow and groove. That is, in my opinion, crucial because, as artists, we tend to think that things sound good the way they are, but when you have someone like Jason who is able to change little things that make a big difference, it elevates the track.
The vocals were fun! I did a lot of screaming for the intro, and then I asked Jason if he could pretend to be a music industry person talking about a woman's age, and you know basically I called him and said, " Hey Jason, on 'Asian Blood' I was thinking... do you mind being a d%&*k at the end? because those are actually real things that have been said to women." he said " Yeah! Sure! that'll be fun!"
Would you say that women empowerment and equity are integral parts of your duo's music? What does Tarah Who? stand for and believe at its core?
Lol! I see why you would say that! ;) I write because I need to. Some of the things I write become songs because I think that they might inspire or at least trigger something in people's minds, even if it is just reflection or awareness of a situation. Sometimes I think that someone else might relate, and this will prove that we are not that different after all. So, It is not that women's empowerment is a big part of Tarah Who's music, but it is definitely part of our lives. Women in Rock, Women in music, Women in honestly... everything! We are still fighting about what we believe in, how we present ourselves, where we "fit in," etc... Maybe, as I am getting older!
I am just getting less patient with all of that unfairness. I am honestly tired of seeing the same (male) bands and artists getting everything and every opportunity while independent bands work really hard for very little (if nothing) in return. I believe that everyone deserves a chance. It is not a Women vs. Men thing at all. I just believe in fairness. It doesn't matter where you are from, your level of education, your race, sexuality, gender, age. None of this matters. If you have an idea, if you have passion, dedication, or a goal, you should be able to make it happen. Everyone deserves to be given a chance to succeed and to be happy. I think that if people got a chance to be seen and heard and do what they are truly passionate about, they would want to help others. But now we live in a world full of competition. Instead of helping each other, we are fighting, racing, comparing, judging. We don't even know why. Tarah Who? It definitely stands for equity. We believe in kindness towards one another, RESPECT, love, animal rights, climate change, and using your damn turn signals when you drive! ;)
What's next for you?
TGC: First, the official music video for 'Asian Blood' will come out in the next couple of weeks. We have a few songs that are currently being mixed and mastered, so get ready for more Rocking tunes. We are pretty thrilled about them. Some have surprise guests, and new songs are always exciting to release. We are also starting to tour again! Our first shows are coming next week: we are opening for FEA at 502 Bar in San Antonio, we will be around SXSW playing an unofficial show at the OASIS TEXAS BREWERY on March 20 in Austin, and we will be at the Rabbit Hole in Tulsa, OK on March 22. We have a few more shows that we will announce very soon.