I was driving around the other day, listening to Tara Lynch’s excellent album Evil Enough when I caught myself singing along to “Antidote” on just the second listen. I believe Tara is singing it in the Key of “D”, while I’m singing it in the Key of “Off”. The point is, it’s seriously catchy for a melodic metal tune while still having the hard punch it should have. Upon digging in a little further, I discovered that this album has some serious star power on the roster! While Tara writes and performs everything, icons such as Vinny Appice (drums), Mark Boals (vocals), Bjorn Englen (bass), Tony MacAlpine (keys), Glen Sobel (drums), Phil Soussan (bass), and Brent Woods (Synths, backing vocals) lend their talents to the project.
I caught up with Tara (AKA Guit-TARA) and asked her about some of the processes that made this tour de force album possible. What follows are some great insights for 10 Questions with the Musical Mind…
First things first, you are a multi-instrumentalist. Your guitar playing is impressive to say the least. You have studied with some of the best players around, Steve Vai, Chad Smith, Bjorn Englen, and Derek Sherinian. How did you make those connections?
It was pretty easy, actually! Steve, Bjorn and Derek are personal friends and Chad I met through a charity function.
How long after picking up guitar until you progressed to other instruments?
A few years later… I started with guitar at the age of 11 and I do remember lightly playing drums during high school. I got much more serious about them later on in life. Bass and piano I picked up in my adulthood.
When you first started playing, who were your musical heroes?
Vinnie Moore, Tony MacAlpine, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker, Uli Jon Roth.
Do you tend to come up with ideas for songs when you are alone, or when jamming with others?
Always alone….I write all of my own music myself.
Your guitar leads in instrumental sections often have a vocal like flow. Do you consciously strive for that, or do you view your singing and guitar melodies as separate animals?
I am very impressed with this question… I am always singing, whether it’s with my voice or my guitar. So when I write my instrumentals, I am definitely singing the melodies out loud vocally while I am playing. And I definitely make sure my melodies are indeed “singable,” because I often feel that some guitar instrumental music tends to be overcrowded with shredding and you end up losing the passion and feel in the intended melody. Excellent observation!!!
Was Evil Enough recorded with players in a room, or did you send a rhythm track to Tony (MacAlpine) to add his parts, for example?
Everything with players in a room, except for Tony. He came over to my house, I played him my demo tracks, gave him copies and let him go home and do his thing, because he was extremely busy and fit me in out of friendship. We live near each other.
You have such tremendous veteran players on the album. As the composer, did you communicate what you wanted them to play? Did you give them guide tracks and let them just add their own flavor?
Yes and yes. I absolutely communicated what I wanted played. When the guys hear my songs for the first time, they are pretty much hearing a completed demo, because I play all the instruments and record the demos, along with vocals, myself first. That is how I write… from the instrument directly to the recording. So they get the general idea of what I want and then they put their own vibe on it.
Have you ever taken inspiration for a song or even song title from a movie or television show? A painting or artwork?
Never. Every song I write is only inspired by actual occurrences in my life. My songs are totally autobiographical. They are my truth.
Has a new piece of gear or new instrument ever brought about new ideas that made it into one of your songs?
Absolutely…I was inspired by Brent’s theramin and ended up using it on the album for some sound effects.
Any general ideas for what you want your next album to be like?
Absolutely, and I have already begun writing for it. It’ll definitely still be very heavy and angsty! It will still be a combo of vocal tracks and instrumentals.
Watch the official video for her song “Antidote” here:
Fans of hard rock and metal owe it to themselves to check out Tara’s music. World class playing anchors well crafted songs. To learn even more please visit her website : https://taralynch.com/