Music interview: Temples are free-flowing
The trajectory of Kettering’s psychedelic pop sweethearts Temples is surely set cloudward. Having recently played a fine set at Coachella, they’ve also landed opening slots with all manner of heavyweights, from The Rolling Stones to Suede to Kasabian to The Vaccines. And, would you believe it, their debut full-length record was only released a pinstriped pair of months ago.
‘Sun Structures’ is a wonderfully warm voyage down the garden path of decades past, tipping its hat to The Byrds and then stopping to skip stones in the sunshine with the likes of Tame Impala. It’s an intelligent and lilting record that works gentle fingers of euphoria into one’s chest, squeezing at the places where long afternoons, train windows and midnight swims usually reside. Chloe Mayne swapped a handful of words with bassist Thomas Warmsley ahead of their first string of Australian performances next month:
First of all, where are you at the moment?
In Omaha, Nebraska.
How did Temples start out?
As a recording experiment at the end of Summer 2012. We put some songs on YouTube just to share with our friends, and ended up being asked to play some shows, so the four of us got together in Kettering and began figuring out how we’d play our songs live.
How would you describe your creative process as a band; do you have any kind of writing routine, or do the songs tend to come together more organically?
Our creative process almost always begins in the studio. We’ve always recorded everything ourselves, we often write and develop ideas in the studio and record them instantly. It allows our writing process to be completely organic, our ideas develop at their own pace in the studio, and don’t become complete songs until we feel they’ve been realised in the studio.
Like most psych-inspired bands at the moment, people enjoy drawing lines of influence to Temples from all over the place – The Beatles and The Byrds, to name a couple. But who do you think you’re influenced by? What do you enjoy listening to? What about influences outside of music?
We’re influenced by the sound of those bands, the 12-string guitar, the harmonies, but that’s about where it stops. Our greatest influences are those records which create this complete atmosphere around their songs, and invite the listener into the world their songs exist in. Every song explores a different mood or atmosphere but more than anything there’s something that unifies them all.
Were there any particular songs on Sun Structures that were difficult to bring to fruition? Were there many that didn’t make the final cut?
The record documents everything we’ve been working on until now. Some songs were written at the birth of the band, and some were only completed days before we handed the album over to our label. None were particularly difficult to bring to fruition, just some took longer than others. You need time to realise things in the studio, and luckily recording it ourselves allowed us to have plenty of time.
So, you guys self-produced Sun Structures? Why did you decide to do that?
First and foremost it was because we had no money. We couldn’t afford to go into a studio or record with anyone. I think we quickly realised too that there was a lot of power in being in charge of your production. We had a strong idea as to how we wanted Temples to sound, we ended up using it to write songs.
This is your first time playing in Australia. Have you been there before? What are your impressions?
Yes it’s our first time in Australia, it’s incredible to be round the other side of the world and playing music to people. We don’t really know what to expect!
How would you say your live show differs from the record? And what about your festival appearances as opposed to your own gigs?
I think for most bands the two are completely respective arts. On record you have that time and detail to articulate everything, where as live is more free-flowing and spontaneous. Everything is exaggerated live.
You’ve got a huge string of dates lined up for the next few months – Australia, Europe, the US, and a whole bunch of festivals in between. Have you embarked on a trip of this scale before? What do you enjoy about being on the road? How do you maintain a sense of balance (sanity), moving around so much?
I think we’ve more or less been on tour since February, and we are until May. It’s definitely the longest tour any of us have been on. It’s just unbelievable to visit all these places and get to play our music to people. We’ve never enjoyed playing so much together, every show for us we realise something new. Our live show is an ever-changing, ongoing progression.
What are your ambitions for the next year or two?
I think so many bands are at odds with longevity these days, it’s important to always progress as a band, musically and personally. After touring this year we’re looking forward to working on our next record in 2015.
If you’re in Australia, then you can catch Temples at the following venues:
Thursday, May 8, 2014 The Zoo, Brisbane
Friday, May 9, 2014 Metro Theatre, Sydney
Saturday, May 10, 2014 Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Temples interview by Chloe Mayne