By Carla Contreras
A familiar face onstage with our favorite electro indie pop duo Frenship is now embarking on a creative journey of her own. Celeste Taucher, also known as talker, is set to release new music in the near future. I had the pleasure of getting to chat with her about her new project, upcoming release show, and an ever enthusiastic Dave Grohl.
HEM: Your stage name is talker. Can you explain to me the meaning behind that?
T: So my last name is “Tauchar”, and while it’s a name that means a lot to me and carries a huge part of my identity, it’s notoriously impossible to spell or pronounce. Usually people write out “Taucher” or even “Tawsher”. At my high school graduation, even though I wrote out the pronunciation on a card, they said “Toesher”. You get the idea. Not only do I just like the name talker at face value, I think it’s a nice way to pay homage to my name while avoiding the exhaustion that comes with correcting people.
HEM: You’ve been touring with the band Frenship for a while now, have they influenced your sound in anyway?
T: Definitely! It’s interesting because I don’t think that I sound like them, and vice versa. They have this cool indie electro-guitar pop thing going (they’ll hate that I said that), whereas I think my stuff is a little grittier and guitar-based, while still in that realm of alternative or indie pop. That being said, I started playing with them at a really crucial point in my life where I really had no idea what kind of artist I was. I knew what I liked and didn’t like, but I was having some trouble finding my voice through that. Brett and James have been great examples to me of how to push yourself to the limit creatively and not settle for any sound until you love it. And that the process never stops - I see them constantly evolving and changing both their recorded and live sound, and it’s a good reminder that the only thing that matters is that the music I release is true to who I am in that moment. That will change and evolve over time, but when I surrender to it, I make my best music.
HEM: Speaking of influences, who are your musical influences? Where do you draw inspiration from?
T: This is always such a huge question that I need to narrow down better. The main thing I listen for is lyrics. My favorite music is the stuff that makes me lie on my floor and sob no matter how well my life may be going. I think Ben Gibbard’s lyrical style influenced me a lot in my formative years as a writer. I’m really influenced by the bands I grew up listening to, which is a pretty broad list - Soundgarden and Nirvana are huge for me because they choose a lot of weird chord changes and time signatures that sound so distinctly “grunge” - I live for a major 3. That being said, I write pop music and grew up listening to all kinds of music.
HEM: I know you’re currently working on your solo stuff. Can you tell me about that?
T: There’s so much to tell and also at the same time, nothing to tell cause I’m just letting the music do its thing! Yes. My debut single, “Collateral Damage” is out Thursday, July 19th. I have a whole EP in the works coming down the pipeline, but I’m starting here. This song is super special to me because while writing for this EP, this was the song where I finally felt this cathartic release of what I was going through at the time, and I was just like YES this is the single it’s a done deal, no more questions please. And as a writer and artist those moments are so rare, yet those are the moments that matter and make this whole crazy hustle worth it. Without going into too much detail, this song is about an emotionally abusive fake 2017-style relationship that was so crippling to me, even though it never actually fully became a relationship. I tend to write a lot about my anxiety and relationships with the world around me, so having this super honest “fuck you” song about this guy was extremely rewarding. I hope people can relate to it and find their own catharsis through it.
HEM: You’re having a debut single release show pretty soon! How are you feeling about that? What can we expect at the show?
T: Yes! I am so excited and stressed and can’t stop thinking about it and I feel like I’m gonna fall apart onstage but it’s fine. So the show is Tuesday, July 24th at Madame Siam in Hollywood, and it really feels like a show that’s been needing to happen for a while. This will be the first full band set I’ve played as talker, and I feel like this is how the music is really meant to be heard, and where it’s going to shine to its fullest. It’s also going to be a beautiful night of friends because my super close bandmate/producer/cowriter and incredible artist in his own right, Dan Sadin, is playing a set, and my good friends Dr. Doctor who are incredible multi-faceted artists are playing as well. I’m just as excited to watch them play as I am to perform my own stuff.
HEM: Now for some fun questions! What is your fondest tour memory?
T: This is such a hard question because a) so many jump to mind, and b) I feel like several of them I shouldn’t share in any sort of public forum. A super recent one was when we all got tattoos on the last day of our spring tour in Denver. We had been planning to do it for so long and finally committed, and we all got different tour-related memories and inside jokes. Without going into too much backstory, James got a carton of milk tattooed on his arm and I got a cactus dedicated to Michael Cera, so you know we took it super seriously.
HEM: If you could put on your dream show, who would be playing and at what venue would it take place?
T: Ooh this is a good one. Okay, so it would be at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Not only is it an iconic venue, but I grew up going to a ton of shows there, so it’s super special to me. It would be an all day type thing and the bill would super casually feature The Killers headlining, with Death Cab for Cutie, Florence + The Machine, Julien Baker, Wolf Alice, and myself (duh), with Dave Grohl sitting in for a song in every set and just looking enthusiastic from somewhere on the stage.
HEM: You find yourself in a situation where you need to pump yourself up. What’s your go-to song that gets you in that mood?
T: “In Too Deep” by Sum 41. I don’t know why LOL but I listen to it when I get ready and it’s also the first song on my running playlist.
HEM: We’re all constantly looking to update our music libraries, I know I am. What are you currently listening to?
T: I’ve been crushing through the new Florence + The Machine record. She’s one of my favorite artists and everything she touches turns to gold. I’ve also been on a bit of Bruce Springsteen kick the last couple weeks.
HEM: Lastly, if you had to only eat ONE MEAL for the rest of your life, what would it be? I’m talking entree, side dish, AND beverage! Let’s get the perfect combo!
T: This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever been asked. A spicy tuna poke bowl with a HEFTY amount of ginger, side of fries with ranch and tapatio, and a dr. pepper. I know this sounds like a terrible combo but for some meals I’d eat the poke and for others eat the fries, thereby cracking the system and keeping up the variety.
talker’s new single “Collateral Damage” will be released on Thursday, July 19th. She will also be playing at Madame Siam in Hollywood on Tuesday, July 24th. You can RSVP using this link: https://t.co/1ndPRg8H9M