I’m doing good, enjoying my Labor Day. Just got back from playing a festival yesterday so I’m taking it easy today.
Summer Festivals are awesome why don’t you tell us a little about it?
It was Wakefest in Lowry City, MO. We had a good time and met some new fans and got to hear some good music. We had a rain delay but it cleared up and we had a great show.
Do you like playing festivals?
Yes the thing I like most about festivals is getting to hear so many other bands and getting to interact with the fans more. Yesterday we were playing frisbee with some of the fans while another band was on stage. It was fun!
It’s funny how the little things at music festivals are the things you remember most
Yes and it was a great opportunity to promote my album that is actually being released tomorrow!
Why don’t you tell us a little about it?
The album title is “Phantom”. It is being released by Tate Music Group. I have been working on it for about two years and I’ve been playing the music from this album live for the last year and I signed with TMG to promote and distribute the album. I like to think the music from this album is an observation of human behavior.
for people who have never heard Tara Elisha before how would you describe your music?
That’s always such a tough question! I think it is a mix of classic rock, accents of techno, heavily influenced by modern alternative, and some symphonic highlights. The lyrics have been described as kind of dark and contemplative but as I said it is an observation of human behavior and that can be pretty dark.
Are you a solo artist or is it a group effort with the band?
I’m a solo artist and I perform with a band. My band, The Survivors are a really talented group of musicians from the K.C. area. Most are pursuing degrees in music or already have a degree in music. They each have their own largely varied style that creates a great mix for my music.
I earned my bachelor’s in music from Pittburg State University and I earned my master’s in music at Emporia State University. I was a piano major with a minor in voice. I’ve attended classes all over the country for training in world music drumming and think you can hear accents of this in my music. Particularly the title track “Phantom” and “Christmas in Kandahar” from the album.
Did that experience help you when it came to recording your album?
Absolutely! Some of the classes that I took in my master’s program at Emporia state dealt with recording techniques and this really got me interested in writing music more. I have been writing music since I was 15 but putting my music together on a recording pushed me to put together an entire album and I’ve kept going and I am actually almost finished with my second album.
Where did you record “phantom”?
I originally recorded it myself in my home studio but after I got several songs completed and realized I wanted to do an entire album I took my music to Green Jeans Studios where I worked with my sound engineer, Carter Green (who is amazing). And we put the album together over a couple of months. Some of the vocals from that album and keyboard parts on “Phantom” and “Something About a Dream” are actually the original recording from my home studio.
Did you have a lot of input in the production of the album?
All of it! Down to the last detail it was mine, for better or worse I actually have very specific ideas about how I want my music to sound and Carter is just so amazing he knows exactly how to get the sound I am wanting.
Yes, that is definitely a challenge. However, I’ve been very fortunate to find some good people to work with. It takes a lot of searching to find people who not only have the skills and talent but that also believe in the music and want to commit the time and effort to get my music out there.
With the planned success of “Phantom” are you planning to commit to music as a full time job?
Yes, definitely. I have already taken some major steps in that direction. I resigned from my job teaching music to to record “Phantom” and start performing. So far things are going well and I am making forward progress. We have shows lined up in the coming months, we did a CD signing last week, my music has been getting some play on the radio. My record label is putting together a commercial that will be aired on MTV soon to promote “Phantom”. I am continuing to build my fan base. I am offering fans who sign up for my newsletter free music. Right now I am sending out to my fans through the newsletter new songs just recently recorded that are not on the album. This seems to be going over well and so with all of that it looks like I am on my way to fulfilling that goal of making a living from my music.
It looks like you have gone all or nothing
Yep, I’m all in. But I think it takes that kind of commitment to make it in this business.
I don’t think many people have that commitment, but yet feel sour when their projects don’t take off
Yeah, its not easy. But this is the American dream, to work for yourself, to create something artistic that is a part of you. And it is so rewarding to have so many fans that ‘get it’ and understand me and my music. This is especially rewarding on the songs that deal more with social issues where I am trying to raise awareness of needs we have in the world.
My parents have been very supportive. I really have them to thank because they are the ones that provided for the piano lessons when I was younger. At times it was quite a sacrifice for them because they did not have a lot of money. It was those piano lessons that got me interested in music to begin with. They make it to as many shows as possible. The rest of my friends and family have also been supportive, coming to shows and helping me along the way. You really cannot make it on your own without some support from those close to you.
Is your family prepared for endless touring and you being away from home for months at a time?
My mom has already offered to go with me and help me out I actually have a long list of people who have volunteered to come along and help out in some way. My grandpa wants to drive the tour bus.
Sounds like you have a lot of support
Yes, I’m so thankful for everyone who has contributed to my success so far.
I wonder how the guys are going to feel about having Mom and Grandpa on tour with you, lol!
Haha! yeah that might be interesting
Well, it looks like your on your way to your dream. Let people know where they can pick up the album and how they can connect with Tara Elisha
You can buy the album directly from Tate Music Group at this link: http://www.tatemusicgroup.com/epk/?id=24177 It is also available at the usual download sites like I-Tunes, Amazon, etc. And of course they can always pick up a physical CD at a show. They can learn more about upcoming show and other news by going to www.TaraElisha.com or my Facebook page www.facebook.com/taraelishamusic I also encourage everyone to sign up for my newsletter. I have some ideas for some cool contests and prizes coming and I am continuing to record new music and will be giving some of it away through that newsletter.
Thank you for talking to us today, we wish you all the best
Thank you so much! I enjoyed our conversation.
Any last words?
If anyone comes to a show, please see me after the show I would love to meet you. I really enjoy talking to fans!