Tahrah Cohen is co-founder and drummer for the Pink Floyd cover band, The Machine. The band is celebrating 25 years of performing and spreading the music of Pink Floyd. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Tahrah about the music and what she loves most.
Mike Gencarelli: You and Joe Pascarell founded The Machine back in 1988. What has been the highlight of the past 25 years?
Tahrah Cohen: We have just been having a great time touring all over the world. We have been to so many wonderful places and just love spreading the music to them.
MG: Given that you guys play the entire Pink Floyd back catalog – from well-known classics like “Comfortably Numb” to obscurities like “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”, is it difficult swing back and forth through the songs?
TC: Everyone in the band really knows how to do their part really well. Whether they are playing a David Gilmour part or singing a Roger Waters part it is not a problem. We are really experts for these situations at this point.
MG: Pink Floyd was known for their elaborate stage shows that, over time, evolved into massive-scale light shows and stage sets that were really ideal for large venues like outdoor stadiums. In terms of The Machine’s live performance, how important is the visual part of the
show? Do you feel that if your audience doesn’t get to see the circular-screen film projections, lasers bouncing all over the place and pigs flying that they’ll come away disappointed?
TC: It is very important. We use the visuals as accentuations of the show. Our focus has always been the music. We do not neglect the visuals. We have the video and lasers with an elaborate light show. Our shows do come with the visual aspect but our focus is the music.
MG: Are there any Floyd songs that The Machine will not play and, if so, why?
TC: Some of the earlier music, when Pink Floyd was developing their own sound is a little amateur. It doesn’t really stand the test of time like most of the material will. Just like any musician. We stay away from certain era’s of their development but still play from their first album to their last.
MG: What are your personal favorites? And what is the one song that everybody in the band collectively enjoys playing most?
TC: Personally, I love playing “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, the whole thing – all parts. I love it. We have probably played it 2500 times, easily. Every time it is on the set list, I am still excited to play it. The crowd always goes crazy for “Comfortably Numb” every time. We go crazy for anything on “Animals”. People that love Pink Floyd love it all.
MG: Over the course of the band’s career, how have the audiences that you play to changed?
TC: They have changed as we have changed. We’ve gotten older and they have gotten older. But their are also parts of our audience has have gotten younger, as well. There is a whole new generation of Pink Floyd fans under 20 years old and they are coming now to see us.
MG: What do you (and the other members) do when you’re not out there playing Floyd, both musically and non-musically?
TC: We all have other musical projects. We are all active with other bands and shows.
MG: Finally…which one’s Pink: Roger or David? 😉
TC: Ah…that is up to you to decide [laughs].