I’m extremely proud to be able to bring you this piece today. It’s an interview with the mercurial Tara Mackey, who lit up this blog on New Years Day wit a fantastic interview about her exquisite modelling, and musical talents. This time, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with Tara about her music once again, in the build up to her band Hindu Doggie’s first live gig, at the acclaimed House of Blues in Hollywood. When I heard Hindu Doggie had been booked at The House of Blues, I had to get in touch with Tara and ask about the performance. From that conversation an idea grew, and to my astonishment, she was kind enough to grant me some time during a hectic practice and preparation period, to talk about the bands live debut, and her feelings towards the show. Anyone able to get to the gig should definitely make the trip, as you’ll be whisked away by Tara’s enthusiasm and soulful dynamism. You’ll also be treated to a night of musical delight, brought to you by a truly fresh and expressive triumvirate of talent. Here’s what Tara had to say about the fast approaching show…
Q: Welcome back to the blog Tara. We’re here to talk about your band Hindu Doggie’s upcoming debut gig at the House of blues in Hollywood. For readers who are not aware of your musicality, could you please tell us about Hindu Doggie? Who comprises the band, and how would you describe the brand of music you guys produce?
Tara: Sure! Thanks for having me back! Hindu Doggie debuted on 11/11/11. It’s me and Josh James Gahris primarily. We’ve written and recorded everything on our own. Kyle Boomer, a dear friend, singer, guitarist, and saxophone player, is going to play with us live as well on April 18th.
Q: As I mentioned, the show on the 18th is at The House of Blues Hollywood. That’s a pretty impressive venue for your first gig. You must be over the moon that they’ve booked you, and proud of the faith they’re showing in your music.
Tara: I was astonished that they booked us without seeing us play! We sent them a link to our YouTube, which I guess is more helpful than we thought in showing what we can do!
Q: The first time we spoke, Hindu Doggie comprised of just yourself and Mr Josh James Gahris. Since then you’ve mentioned the involvement of Kyle Boomer and how the three of you have morphed into a new version of Hindu Doggie. How did Kyle get involved, and what would you say he has brought to the band?
Tara: Me, Josh and Kyle started a band called Ellis Dee together. We’ll be playing some Ellis Dee (now Hindu Doggie, I suppose) songs at the show. Me and Josh wanted to form sort of a more acoustic band that could play shows at a moment’s notice, when Hindu Doggie got booked at the House of Blues, we asked Kyle to join us for the show and he agreed! It’s all been a wonderful journey.
Q: Music is a passion for you I know, and individually you have exhibited an impressive knowledge and range of musical ability as well as genre. What is the motivation behind Hindu Doggie? How and why has the band come together, and progressed so much?
T: I did my own music, solo, for years. I have my own music as well - and had a significant following on MySpace. But I was stiff. I’d go to record with people and really sort of felt like I wasn’t allowing myself to be as good as I knew I was. I knew a band would, I suppose, “help” that in me, and it certainly has! Me and Josh live and breathe music - all day, every day. I can’t believe how much we’ve done in just a few months!
Q: Is there an even grater sense of pride knowing that it’s your own unique and original music that’ll be performed, and it’s your creativity and ideas that people will be soaking up?
T: Yes!! That’s precisely why I think we decided it was best not to do covers at all! I want it to be the debut show it’s truly supposed to be: All us, all the time. It’s so wonderful to be able to explore my own ideas, write my own words, say what I want, have that therapy, and also have people respond to it! I couldn’t ask for more!
Q: Have you visited the House of Blues before? Do you know what to expect from the venue in terms of stage size and audience proximity?
T: The way that I am, pretty much the very first thing I said to Josh was “we have to go next Wednesday” (our show is on a Wed night). I took photos and got a feel for the venue. It’s loungey - the stage overlooks all of LA from the top of the House of Blues and I cried. It’s just so beautiful. Really, a dream come true. It’s adjacent to the restaurant as well, so if people are having dinner they can listen to us too. Just wonderful!
Q: With the show being on the 18th of April, it’s not very far away at all. What do your days consist of as the calendar counts down to the big night?
T: Practice, practice, practice! I am in New York as well until the 15th, which is SO scary because I am a practice-a-holic and that does NOT feel like enough time for me! I’m confident in how we sound, but it’s strange because we haven’t yet performed it so I’m not sure what sort of impression other people will have. I’m very excited for feedback!
Q: With ALL the songs being brand new to the majority of people, are there any in particular that you’re itching to play, or certain songs that you are eager to experience a reaction from? Or is each track special to you for different reasons?
T: We’re playing The Orchestra live - which is a super ambient, drum and vocal song, mostly. We’re doing it with guitar, vocals and sax, and I’m really excited for that reaction because it’s not in traditional song form. It’s sort of just a long poem. So we’ll see how people like it!
Q: You’ve talked previously about different tracks having very different themes and styles and ultimately reflecting different moods that were experienced as they were written. Have any of the new songs been born out of an excitement to perform, or stemmed from a particular moment that still resonates with you personally?
T: That’s a great question! I think Kundalini - the newest song we just released and the one we’re doing a video for - was done on the heels of getting booked at The House of Blues, and it was the first time we had something to really WORK for. I’m very excited to play that live!
Q: At this late stage in preparations, has anything surprised you about how you’re setting up for the gig, or the set list etc? Has deciding on the order of songs thrown up any interesting issues or feelings? For instance, has one song jumped out as the ideal track to open the show, or close it etc?
T: Yes! We did a sort of throw together set list to practice, that ended up being played around with a lot. But the first song has always been the same. Me and Josh are going to close the show together - give Boomer a break and get back to our roots.
Q: There is always an energy and soul to a Hindu Doggie performance, even if you’re just sitting in someone’s house performing acoustically. Are you looking forward to bringing that energy and passion to the stage, and feeding of the audience as you perform?
T: It’s very insane to me that we’ve only really “performed” once, on new years eve (the day before our last interview! - ha), in front of a bunch of people who were less than sober ha-ha. But one person literally sat up and said “This is really happening right now!” I mean I laughed, but it was really affirming for us. I think I am most excited about what sort of energy we get out of people. Some of our songs are very personal.
Q: I can’t interview the magnificent Tara Mackey without talking about your beautiful photographs. How has your life been in front and behind the camera of late?
T: I have still been taking self portraits and modelling. Since January I’ve done an immense amount of work - and gotten signed to an agency! But most importantly I’ve been documenting my journey musically and my travels.
Q: Have you got any plans to produce anything in particular with the material you’ve shot documenting your musical journey? Is there a series or a book of photographs that could emerge? Or are you living for the here and now more, making sure to capture moments, rather than plan for them?
T: I think I am doing a bit of both - and really loving it. I’ve been slowly filming for our Kundalini video - taking shots every day here and there with certain themes for a few weeks now. It’s the kind of thing that I think has to happen very organically for me, because I haven’t done video before that’s been so involved.
I take photos at practice and of Josh and myself practically every day. I think I’ve conditioned myself to know that the here and now, while wonderful, is meant to be spent building towards something better and greater. I’m really trying my best to live that.
Q: Whilst talking pictures, will there be a photographer or videographer on hand on the 18th to record your first gig for posterity? I’m sure Hindu Doggie’s European fans would love to witness the historic event, if they are unable to make the trip.
T: Well - thank you! I hope they can! We may video tape the entire thing, but there will definitely be people there taking photos and video. My best friend and designer for Avatar Labs, Cassandra, will be on hand filming and documenting. She’s great so I’m very excited about that!
Q: I’m sure your first performance will be a smash hit and I can’t wait to see the feedback. I want to wish you the very best of luck on the 18th, and gladly give you this opportunity to invite people to the show in your own words…
T: It will be just as exciting for them as it is for us! I can guarantee some BEAUTIFUL tunes. Boomer will be on Sax, as well as myself on shaker and Josh and Boomer on guitar. We have some great harmonies and there’s a wonderful bar and restaurant in the lounge to make a night of! You won’t be disappointed!
Q: Thanks so much for sharing this milestone in Hindu Doggie’s career with my blog. You’ll always have my unflinching support and best wishes.
T: Thank you so much. <3
Once again, it was a thrill to talk with Tara about her work, and I am so looking forward to her band’s debut performance. I know the show is going to be a hit; you only have to check out Hindu Doggie’s videos to witness their innate feel for the music. Listening to a Hindu Doggie track is an experience, and to share that experience with a live audience as well as the artists themselves is something not to be missed. So head on down to The House of Blues on Wednesday the 18th or April, and prepare to be uplifted.
All links and band information will be listed below:
Tara’s tumblr: http://taramackey.tumblr.com/
April 18th gig tickets: http://fla.vor.us/wafform.aspx?_act=eventview&_pky=121901
Images used in this piece came from the above sites and pages. Taken with Tara’s permission.