Saturday 10 November 2018

***TASHARAH exclusive interview***

GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsA Days Refrain, Takaru, Burial Year, Instil, You And I, The Assistant, This Ship Will Sink, In First Person, Wrong Day To Quit, Black Kites, Scavengers, Hell Mary, Less Life, Capacities, NY In 64, Hundreds Of AU, Metastic and What Of Us.
CountryNew Jersey U.S.A.
Years Active2001-2002
Song: "What Is The Primary Function Of P"
Album: "Tasharah"
For fans of: Rats Into Robots, In First Person, Hundreds Of AU, This Ship Will Sink, Capacities, What Of Us, Takaru, Tempano, Never Better, You And I, Trainwreck and The Assistant aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Alone Records
This post's artist is from the November 2018 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download: the November 2018 Mix#11 right here or get the new December 2018 Mix#12 here.

I thought I was pretty good at following some of my favourite musicans' paths. I mean, c'mon, I've been obsessed with any music Schlatter related since I first heard You And I, The Assistant and This Ship Will Sink in the early 2000s. Then how, may I ask, did I miss TASHARAH for almost 15 years? Damn, obscure for a Tom Schlatter related project was something unknown to me. So when I delved into the band's only release I couldn't for the life of me understand why it was so buried in time, as it is vintage Schlatter kicking ass with Sean from A Days Refrain, Takaru and Burial Year back in 2002.

Most necessary information for anyone wanting to know about TASHARAH is located in an exclusive interview I did with Tom under this review. But I'll quickly run through the tracks on their one and only demo 'Tasharah' cdEP. It opens with "The Arrangement", a dual-vocal screamfest with many-a-nod to metallic hardcore, and sounding very much like The Assistant on speed, so you know it's ace. This song, as with all of the songs recorded, include movie samples which really help accentuate the music...cinemaskramz? Nah. The blown-out, chaotic and extremely dense made by just two people is astounding, and shows no sign of slowing down on the second track "What Is The Primary Function Of P", which includes a zany amount of stop/starts, sick riffs and mathy timing. "Sleeping With The Enemy" is the lengthiest TASHARAH song, which seems surprising after the first 30 seconds because it's such a blistering, unrelenting slap in the face. But around the one-minute mark everything slows down and slowly picks up in emo/screamo fashion with some warbly, clean singing (which is very You And I) layered over screaming that lasts until the song's midsection when the song goes all out for the remainder of its tenure. "Where To Begin" is a dense, violent and almost danceable track, as the band somehow manages to weave melodies into the chaos, "Where To Live" is similar in that it is incredibly savage and heavy, but this one also begins with some singing instead of vicious screaming. Strangely enough, "If You Were A Pentium, You'd Be A" begins with a Jar Jar Binks sample before ripping shit up This Ship Will Sink style, with the section from 1:45 onward being utterly devastating. Closer "Doing Favors For Criminals" might just be my favourite TASHARAH song, as it boasts the thickest of screams, prodigious guitars and rides a wave of intensity all the way through, imploding before the two-minute mark with a deathly breakdown.

Alrighty, on to the interview! Many thanks to Tom for taking time once again to recount his days in past bands playing amazing music. You can catch him currently in NY In 64, Capacities, Hundreds Of AU and What Of Us...and probably some more. 💗

An Interview with
regarding his time in

When and how did Tasharah form?
Around 2001 or so I was living in an apartment with my roommate, Sean. At the time, Sean was playing guitar for a band called A Days Refrain and I was playing guitar in a band called The Assistant. Our bands would play shows together on a regular basis, though we would routinely talk about how we wished both of our bands were playing more shows or doing more.

We started to write some songs in the apartment and decided to try them out. Rob (who later would play guitar for Capacities) played bass and did most of the vocals at first. I played drums and Sean played guitar while doing some supplemental vocals. Rob ended up joining The Assistant as our bass player later that year and stopped showing up for Tasharah practice. At that point Sean and I started mapping out a scheme to use effects pedals to make up for the lack of a bass player (I would later adapt this to three other bands in the future).

As a 2 piece band we were able to write music a lot faster and the songs started really coming together the way we initially pictured them.

Do you remember the first song you wrote together?
We wrote some of the songs with a bass player and then later re-worked them to accommodate the 2 piece configuration. If I remember correctly "The Arrangement" was the first full to write from scratch as a 2 piece.

What was your first recording session?
Our first and only recording session was with Steve Roche some time in the winter of 2002.

What was the experience like? Were you happy with how the songs turned out? And where did they end up, release-wise?
We recorded the whole thing in 14 hours without stopping. Sean did a second track of guitar to thicken it up, but besides that the rest was done live. We were pretty delirious by the end of the session. Despite the overnight session, we were both very happy with how the songs came out. Steve did a great job with the mix. This would be the first time of many that I would ask him to record a guitar being played through a bass amp. That week Sean took the songs and the samples to a studio in NJ called Clearcut Recording to have it mastered and have the samples put into place. By the time we recorded, Sean was already planning on moving to San Francisco. As a result, Tasharah would not last much longer. We burned a bunch of cds and did some quick color layouts on a friend's office copier for free. Alone Records took some to distro through their website, so we slapped the Alone logo on it. I don't know the exact figures, but I'd say there's probably 100 or so of them that were made.

What were your lyrics usually about?
Tasharah lyrics were all over the place. Personal, political, social observations, etc, we pretty much didn't adhere to a specific theme or plan.

In retrospect, what did Tasharah do well?
As a band, Tasharah worked efficiently since there were only 2 of us and we lived in the same apartment. At the time we were both playing in other bands that had multiple members. Juggling work schedules, getting people to learn/remember songs was very frustrating sometimes.

Is there anything you look/listen back to now that makes you smile or excited?
When I look back on it, and listen to it, I really think Steve Roche did a great job recording this. He'd probably disagree with me, but I really think the blown out/over the top sound is really fitting for the music.

What do you wish the band could have done differently?
The only thing I wish we could have done was play some more shows and really get more experience doing these songs live. The band came together about a year before Sean moved to California, so our window was pretty short.

Closing thoughts; I still like this material a lot. It's an angry representation of an unstable time of my life.



2002 - Tasharah cdEP (download here)


(2002) TASHARAH - "The Arrangement" (from 'Tasharah')

(2002) TASHARAH - "If You Were A Pentium, You'd Be A" (from 'Tasharah')

(2002) TASHARAH - "Doing Favors For Criminals" (from 'Tasharah')


TASHARAH out of print mp3 discography download


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