Tatiana DeMaria started British punk band, TAT at age 15. After years of success, DeMaria is releasing her debut solo album. The sound is a big change from the guitar heavy riffs of TAT but this sound shows how she’s matured as a musician. She was kind enough to answer questions about her solo album and the musical changes she’s made.
Izzi Krombholz: You started playing music at a very young age, what was starting TAT like?
Tatiana DeMaria: I was on a bit of a mission. As a kid, I had tried to put bands together and found what you still find as an adult really. Some people want to go all in, some people want to be half in but still want the security of a real job, personalities and music tastes that match and don’t, etc. I was tired of the process of making music relying on other people so I wrote the first album by myself, and then started looking. I was lucky and got an amazing manager very quickly which helped the project start to pick up. The first lineup was a 4 piece, friends of mine and one of the sweetest periods I’ve experienced in my musical journey. Amazing players, everything was tight, personalities were wonderful, it was great.They were all a few years older than me and life commitments and responsibilities came up for them when I didn’t have them yet. Over the course of the year, we ended up becoming a three piece and then more permanent members joined (Nick and Jake), which became the solid TAT line up as most know it.
IK: I know you all played Warped Tour quite a bit, how do you feel about it coming to an end?
TD: It feels like it is time, but that doesn’t mean we won’t miss it. I feel like there will be a big void for us all next summer but most of the Warped crew and production are around so we know we’ll find each other and a lot of us end up working on other projects together which is great. I will miss the barbecues, the camaraderie of being on tour with 60 bands; that just doesn’t exist anywhere else. I’ll miss the Wild West shit show nature of every show day with people running through those gates and wandering around discovering new music. It was a truly unique tour and though it feels like it is a good time to breathe from it, it will hold many dear memories, including the platform it has provided for me to have the career I have in the US and meet so many of our new fans personally which I’ve loved.
IK: How has the change been from having TAT to moving towards your solo project? What brought on the solo project?
TD: Since day one I’ve written and produced other music behind the scenes. When I started writing the TAT record SoHo Lights in high school, I was also producing underground UK hip hop. I write and produce for other projects including movies soundtracks, commercials and other artists. Ultimately, at the base of it all, I write music and so I’ve always had different sounds and styles I work within. I was writing a new record and the sound didn’t quite fit with the TAT stuff. I didn’t want to disrespect our fans and what we had built by switching the TAT sound up on them and felt the best way to present this new music would also be under my own name. For the sake of the sound and style but also the nature of the music and being myself. I didn’t want to hide behind a new name that wasn’t my own, or a band name.
IK: Musical tastes often change as years pass, how has your songwriting changed from when you started?
TD: I’ve always been honest in my music and always wanted it to feel the way I feel when I make it. That has remained the same, but I started writing at 13/14 so the subject matter, the life experience, the depths I’m willing to go have expanded and given new layers, shades and brushstrokes to what I’m talking about now. The soundscape to create room for the words and not rely on a wall of guitars to create the edge, but still maintain that edge in the feeling of the songs has created a new balance and flavour. I’m more precious and sparing with the guitar parts I use but they are also more deliberately pieced together to maintain that balance.
IK: TAT vs. the solo project definitely have a different musical feel, your solo music (which is great) has a lot more space. What was it like to compose that music?
TD: Thank you :)Space is simplicity, which as we know in life can be a lot harder to achieve that piling things on and complicating. You become more ruthless with your choices and every sound makes a difference. If I have a wall of layered guitars and throw a synth in there you may not notice. Take out the guitars and suddenly with only the synth there, your subconscious goes to hearing ‘electronic’ music. Each instrument has a bigger impact on defining where your subconscious goes when it hears the song. Creating the space for the vocals and the performance then become an intricate balancing act. So what I’m saying is in some sense, writing is the same for me, being honest and pouring it out, but conveying it is certainly more tricky. And that has taken some more patience and thought on my part, but I’ve found where that sits for me now and I’m excited to put more of that out as the next songs go further into what I feel is the solo sound.
IK: Who are some musicians you admire today?
TD: Honestly, I’m finding myself drawn to lyricism and production more than the melodies these days. I say that because we have a lot of great melodies kicking around which is great, and not always the case. There’s a flavour of melody I gravitate towards more; we have more dark pop on radio at the moment, so though things sonically sound the same in general we have some darker melodies. I’m left searching for the lyrics and production I love and digging for that. I admire Kendrick Lamar, for his brutal honesty on every level and impeccable skill. Drake, for the same reasons in a different style and that he has brought us bangers consistently. I love both of their deliveries. As for rock n roll, I’m always rocking the classics, The Clash, Nirvana, Stones, and some more grunge / rock n roll vibes that’s been coming up: SWMRS, Dirty Fences, Culture Abuse.