“Soho Lights,” the power-chord punchy 2008 debut from English punkers TAT, was written and released when the band’s feral frontwoman Tatiana DeMaria was 17. “I got started when I was pretty young, and I had already gotten myself a little home studio setup and was recording a bunch of different U.K. artists,” she says. “Then I ended up on the road nonstop with TAT and that odyssey took a lot of focus away from where my heart and soul was.” Now, she’s back on track with a solo EP and upcoming album and playing the Warped Tour. Also, there are posh moonlighting gigs, like film soundtrack work (“Blue Crush 2”) and penning jingles for soft drinks. And TAT is on hiatus in the meantime.
Now you’re back on Warped Tour, where it all began for TAT with “Soho Lights.”
We toured a lot on that album. We ended up doing over 1,000 shows on it around the world. We were just touring very hard for a few years, and at the end of that, we went back to England and took a little break, basically took a year to just breathe, reconnect with our families, just go home and do things you can never do on the road. I went to the movies a lot, and ate at restaurants, which was fun. When you’re playing a club tour, you’re not going out for dinner at 9 p.m., you’re onstage. And from that point on, I was just working.
But you noticed more eclectic songs coming together?
I’ve always written in a lot of different styles. Even when I was on the road with TAT, I was still writing and making stuff that sounded very different. But after taking meetings and writing more of these songs, I started getting asked to do other stuff. Someone reached out and said, “Hey, we love your songs. Can we put them in our movie?” Which led to me writing more songs for that movie, which led to me writing a theme for 7Up. An these are the things that pay the bills. And it’s a fun little challenge every time, to write these different things.
How do you musically summarize a soft drink?
Well, you get a brief. And that’s the fun part for me — this one-page brief which basically says, “We’re looking for this kind of song, and we want people to think of happiness and lemon and lime effervescence, and we want it to be somewhat uptempo.” Then you read that and go, “Hmm. OK.” But I don’t read the brief until I’m ready to sit down and do the work, because if I read it, I’ll start hearing things and seeing things.
IF YOU GO
Vans Warped Tour
Where: Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View
When: 11 a.m. June 23
Tickets: $45 to $55
Note: Tatiana DeMaria plays the Full Sail Stage. Pop MusicTATTatiana DeMariaWarped