I use delay, tremolo, a compressor pedal, overdrive, and a Line 6 delay. I use a harmonica mic for my voice. And when I’m doing fun sound things I use an bass kalimba made of a piece of floorboard, the electric tambourine, and sometimes a pitchfork.
Tara Jane ONeil caught up with us via email after coming back from France, where she was performing at an event called Keep Portland Weird. Her new single, “Sirena” b/w “Rainbow Connection” [IPU136], is now available in the K Mail Order Dept.
What’s your stage setup like these days?
Other countries are great fun. And usually quite delicious. The time in France was super busy and super fun. I got to do TJO band shows, with 4 part harmonies and vibraphone. And the collaboration with Melanie was a group designed to be improvisational. It was me, Brian Mumford (from Dragging An Ox Through Water), Rachel Blumberg, Lisa Schonberg and Melanie. We didn’t have anything prepared and we all approach improvisation really differently. It was a cool experiment, and it worked out, sounded good.
Your scored a movie recently, right? What was that like? How is writing and recording a score different from working on a song for you?
I’ve scored some things for friends over the years. Most recently the 20 minute piece for Vanessa Renwick’s Medusa Smack. For that, I used a gong. It was awesome. I also did some fake riot grrl music with Rachel Carns for chapter 6 of Michelle Tea’s Valencia, the movie. Scoring for film is like having a conversation with a moving image, there are prompts and responses. And I get to make up crazy sounds that could never really happen in a live context, or that are usually buried behind a song on a record.
Can you give some background to the the new “Sirena” single that’s about to be released?
It was recorded a couple of years ago and is my first official “pop” song. It’s from a story I learned in Spain. I love Spain. Spain is pain.