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INTERVIEW: Tara Lee

Hi Tara, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks! Yeah I’ve been good. Busy as hell, just the way I like it.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Boyz”?

To me, Boyz is like that scene in every rom-com where the protagonist is laughing hysterically and then starts crying. It’s an interrogation with myself. Questioning my choices and disposition. Pointing my finger at myself and laughing in my own face. It’s pretty much sarcasm. Like, “oh well I guess I love assholes now. I guess that’s just my thing.”

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

It was an accumulation of a lot of people I’d dated. I saw a pattern in their behavior, and I felt like their getaway car. Someone fun and odd who’d read their fucking poetry and care, but the poems were about their exes. Literally.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

The lyric video and official video are out now.

How was the recording and writing process?

Very natural. I was on my way to a session with Justin Broad and Paul Herman, and I was kind of early. So I sat on a bench, took out my notebook and wrote the first line, “do you smoke a lot? Do you think about shit like death and stuff?” Kind of making fun of these “super cool and mysterious” boys I was ending up with. Then the rest just rolled out in the studio. It was fast.

What role does London play in your music?

I owe all of the mental experiences, bad dates and head fucks to London. I owe it big time. I remember when I use to come here for writing sessions when I was still living in Ireland, it felt like a whole new musical world that I’d just discovered. I need to be living to write. I need to have active emotions and interesting interactions. And London provided the uncomfortable change I needed to access those things. For the first year that I lived here, I was engulfed by the techno world. That massively influenced my writing style. I met my boyfriend here, and that’s given me a lot to say.

How Blondie and Massive Attack has influence your writing?

Blondie, for me, are the embodiment of girl power and original, 70’s punk music. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein are the ultimate writing duo, and I watched a lot of their live footage growing up. I think I got some of my stage stuff from her. Above all, I admire the guts Debbie had to stand on stage at CBGB’s when all the other bands judged her for being “just a pretty face.” She proved them wrong.

Massive Attack were a big thing for me when I first started writing more heavily produced tracks. Their music puts me in a trance. And the whole Mezzanine album inspired me to be braver about letting my music take its time and have its own structure. That slow, atmospheric synth sound is it for me.

How does acting influences your music and the other way around?

Sometimes characters I play – particularly Caitlin in Moon Dogs – inspire me as a person. And in turn, my music reflects that. My love for film in general inspires my music. Sometimes – as with my new single ‘Drive’ – a scene in a film will stand out. Whether it be the lighting, the dialogue…if it sparks an emotion, I’ll write about it. Drive was inspired heavily by The Guest (Adam Wingard). I’ve written tracks solely about my favorite movies, but they’re not out yet 😉

I can’t really allow my music to influence my acting, as I have to become a completely different person. But I’ll make playlists for my characters, and it’s all I’ll listen to whilst filming. When I played Shona in Schemers (out in 2019), it was set in 1979. So I only listened to music from that year. It helps me a lot.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yes. It’s good, I’ve got a lot ready to go. I’m excited.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Drive just came out and there’ll be a third real soon.

Any plans to hit the road?

I plan on gigging a lot more and really honing in on my live performance. I’m used to performing acoustically, but these new tracks are gonna be so exciting to bring to life. Maybe I’ll do a mini tour in 2019!

What else is happening next in Tara Lee’s world?

I’ve got 4 movies coming out; Justice.net, Schemers, Alright Now and Love Spreads. Apart from that; sex, love, rock and roll. x

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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