Local C-U Band Takes on Feminism

 Liz Amanieh

Students, friends, musicians, and activists. This Champaign native band aims to do it all. Coming together in 2013, to do one thing: make good music.

The group is comprised of the vocal stylings of Emily Otnes, Joey Buttlar on the drums, Celine Broussard on accompanying vocals, Colin Althaus on the guitar, Nick Soria on bass guitar and Alley Weibel on the violin and vocals.


Tara Terra doing what they do best. Courtesy of Tara Terra.

This group struggles to define their sound, but mike N Molly’s talent buyer Isaac Arms says this a trend the C-U music community has been seeing.

Labeled as “monogenre,” Tara Terra doesn’t confine itself to one genre. Lead vocalist Emily Otnes jokes that the only genre they have yet to dabble with is hip-hop.

Although they don’t have a clearly defined sound, they do have a distinct message within their music – feminism. Emily and Joey both harmonized when describing the groups music.

Otnes says this message may not be so clear through their first album DaughterTheir first album daughter is heavily influenced by Emily herself and her experiences as a daughter. The feminist critique is then constructed within this theme.

Buttlar adds that the music the group makes is a personal exploration of their feelings. Tara Terra’s music is a product of pensive reflection.

The band has picked up momentum within the past year and plans to make a name for itself outside the perimeters of the town they call home. Buttlar says they are currently writing songs and hope to maybe hit the road this summer with a tour.

Although these musicians are students and have aspiring dreams outside of the realm of music, they don’t want this to hold them back. Their primary focus right now is to make good music and they say the rest- they’ll just worry about later.


This assignment was one of my favorites. This band is extremely talented and getting the opportunity to sit down and learn the “behind the scenes” in their success in the C-U community was inspiring.

I loved the process of constructing questions which would allow me to “create the image” for my listeners. I knew that all I had to work with was sound, so I payed particular attention to the quality not only of my questions but my audio.

During my interviews, there were times when I decided to change locations to ensure I would get the best quality audio. Another challenging part of this assignment was the time limit. I had such  a vast amount of great sound bites and details about the band I wanted to share, but had to cut a lot out because of the time restraint. This really forced me to learn the value of limited words. What could be explained in ten words could be shortened to three.This shows the value in less is more. Many of the times, I was repeating the same details in my narrative and this is where I started to cut.  I had to make several edits and revisions after submitting my script to stay within the time restraint. This was a valuable lesson, in that I learned I need to construct interview questions with a purpose. I need to ask questions which will be answered explicitly, but in a limited amount of words. This is definitely a skill I can continue to build.

Here is my Audio Script.

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