I was lucky enough to speak to some emerging talent by the name of The New Tarot recently. Always a fan of lady-fronted acts, this one took me by surprise. There’s a bit of melancholy, a bit of indie, a bit of alternative and a whole lot of rock here. Take a listen, you might be surprised when you see them on the lineup at Gov Ball 2017. If you can’t wait for that, head to Le Poisson Rouge on March 26th to catch them live. )
The New Tarot – Interview by Terry Gotham
1. How is Brooklyn treating you? Are the reports of the death of the borough greatly exaggerated?
Brooklyn is awash with the prickly pine cactus leaves of February’s desert – chewed up pine needles, sticking like burrs to the bottom of bored, lavished tongues lashing out
2. Now that you’ve got a supporting cast of musicians, do you ever mix up performing/production duties, or are your roles pretty fixed from tune to tune?
Our roles are pretty snug, but there’s plenty of room to grow. I hope we’re a great production team one day; right now recording the shit we hear in our heads is our music school and every time we walk in the studio or into a gig, we’re there to grow and to learn. Maybe that’s why we haven’t released a full length yet; we’ve been focused on the quizzes, and, yeah it’s about time to take the test.
3. Is there a cool backstory to how the sisters decided to really make this band happen?
Halfway through her degree in Music Composition at the Hart Conservatory in Hartford, Karen showed up on my doorstep in Brooklyn one day, unable to pay for her next semester at college. I was already getting serious about recording by then, and it seemed obvious to team up and pool talents/resources. We went through a few incarnations as a band, and various auditions and connections led us to the fantastically talented and unbelievably lovely people we play with now. We’re super lucky to be surrounded by serious talents with little to no ego; I think that’s why we all get along surprisingly well.
4. What is it like to be a live act in the era of the superstar DJ?
It’s actually awesome because if you get your live music to sound better than your studio recording, it ends up truly refreshing and revitalizing the audience in front of you. There’s a magic, a splendor in live music; each performance different, every moment deeply personal somehow. Objectively there’s “the song” as you’ve recorded it or as it exists in your head, but subjectively, there’s an infinite possibility in that one song. I think that spark of unpredictability, that feeling of chaos within the system is something that you just can’t get out of a computer; it’s something that people still crave, and that we try and take advantage of in our set.
5. Do you think it’s getting easier to be lady performers/producers, or is the working world you’re experiencing still rife with misogyny & assholes?
I think like most young women of our generation we’re struggling with the veiled reality that we’re just as likely to take advantage of double standards as we are to rage against them, so; yes and no. Our father liked to tell us that the best way to be a good feminist is to be an awesome human being. So, we like to make music and let our work do the talking for us.
6. Your Stella EP had more of an alternative rock feel while Heavy Metal is distinctly more indie and mellow. How did this shift come about?
I don’t know if I’d call it a shift, more like we’re still trying on all the hats in our wardrobe and we might just decide we like ’em all, so keep an ear out for more contradictory sounds.
7. How do you see your mythos progressing in 2016? What can your occult fans look out for? Any stories to go with the music?
We’ve been experimenting with and writing in a lot of different voices from a lot of different plots and subplots; ultimately all our music pulls from the same universe, but now I feel we’re really honing in on an arc within that kosmos of archetypes; on a fleshed out story. Sort of like… an alien, musical guide to a path on the Tree of Life. This is definitely the year of our First Full Length, and it may be ambitious to go straight to concept, but Karen and I have been temporing and tamporing with demos for months, and I’m itchin’ to finally get it into a studio. I don’t want to give away too much, but think Aliens and Metaphysics.
8. Who are your influences and/or people you’d like to open for and play beside one day?
I don’t wanna jinx anything, they keep dying off. Everyone. Everything. Books; Art. Can I say Beethoven? Beethoven.
9. Any festival appearances this summer? Attending or performing?
I guess we’ll see!
10. What’s the best gig you’ve had recently, any FOMO inducing highlights attendees can look forward to?
The future is murky, but I firmly believe our best gig is yet to come. Look forward to this year; make way for cardboard boxes, metallic glitter, spur of the moment rituals and over the top performances.