UK rising stars Temples became known to many after indie icons Noel Gallagher (Oasis, High Flying Birds) and Johnny Marr (The Smiths, Modest Mouse) sang their praises. Since then, the Kettering boys have distinguished themselves as an intelligent and hard-working rock band.
To celebrate the release of their debut album, Sun Structures, one of the more highly anticipated debuts from a British band seen in some time, they announced their first ever Australian tour, which will kick off this May with support from indie-psych Sydneysiders Deep Sea Arcade.
To peer deeper into the lobes of the group and find out what went into making their lush-sounding debut record, Music Feeds caught up with bass player Thomas Warmsley, who explained the band’s reaction to the hype, their upcoming tour, and the transcendentalism of their music.
Music Feeds: Hi! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Your debut album Sun Structures will be released soon. What is it you’re hoping fans and newcomers get out of the album?
Thomas Warmsley: We hope the album introduces people to our world. We always intended for our songs to be heard as a collective, with all the songs working together to create this bigger imagery of the album as a whole. That feeling of being completely immersed in an album; the music, lyrics and imagery is overlooked these days with albums, we hope it revives that experience
MF: Can you describe the process behind creating Sun Structures?
TW: We recorded the album all throughout 2013 in our studio at James’ [Bagshaw, singer] house. It had to be done in segments because we were trying to tour as much as possible. Recording it ourselves made it possible to work on songs, go off on tour, then return to the studio whenever we could to continue. There’s a lot of freedom to it.
The album features songs that existed when Temples began and songs which were finished days before we had to hand the album over. It captures everything we’ve done up until now.
MF: Tom has said that production is a “lost art.” What was done during the Sun Structures recording process to revive it?
TW: It’s always prominent in music, every record has a character, but I think it’s using that as a tool, and a prominent feature in how we not only record but write also. We’re all fans of producers as much as bands and artists, so it’s something we consider as much as music and lyrics.
MF: Your sound is most often described as “psychedelic.” Is there something the press and critics are missing? Are there influences that aren’t as explicit?
TW: We’ve never felt we’re exclusively a psychedelic band. In the most basic form, we write pop music, and it just so happens that we have a strong direction of sound in mind also. We like our music to transcend the idea of a band, and create a strong image with each song. Soundtracks are a great influence on us too.
Watch: Temples – Mesmerise
MF: For a time, Thomas edited a fan zine chronicling the Kettering music scene. Can you describe that scene, how Temples fit in it, and how it influenced the band’s direction?
TW: Kettering is a small town, so when it comes to culture, and music especially, everyone is very familiar with each other. It’s always been a small music scene here, it feels like you have to work a little harder to get out of Kettering and be heard. It’s around an hour away from any city, so although it’s not too far removed, it’s enough sometimes to feel like a world away from city life.
MF: You guys have picked up some noteworthy fans, including Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr. What was the reaction in the band like when you heard their praise?
TW: It [was] kind of them to say they like our music, especially as so many people listen to what they have to say.
MF: Does the band agree with Noel’s stance towards Radio 1 — that it’s a bad idea to seek a sort of populist appeal?
TW: We’re not overly affected whether we get played on Radio 1 or not. It focuses largely on the mainstream music as it should. It’s more a case of what’s popular at the moment, which isn’t guitar bands. People make the choice whether they want to listen to guitar or alternative music, and I think that’s a powerful thing to keep.
MF: You have your Australian live debut coming up. What is the band’s mission statement for this tour?
TW: We are really excited to be coming over to Australia to play some shows, especially now we have our album too. People may be familiar with the record, so we look to reimagine the music live.
MF: What can fans who’ve never seen you before expect from the shows?
TW: We love the unpredictability of live [performance], everything is bigger, louder spontaneous and fluid. Of course there’s always lots of reverb.
MF: Finally, James has said that Sun Structures is representative of the band’s present “creative mind.” How do you see that creative mind evolving and what might that sound like? Are there new influences the band is already interested in incorporating down the line?
TW: We’re quite happy now focusing on other things, which I think is an important part of the process before we start writing again. But we know that we’ll always seek to progress our music and sound. A lot of the music we’re listening to at the moment has no lyrics.
See Temples on their debut Australian tour this May – details below. Their debut album, ‘Sun Structures’, is available now.
Watch: Temples – Shelter Song
Temples May 2014 Tour
w/Deep Sea Arcade
Thursday, May 8th 2014
The Zoo, Brisbane
Tix: Via Oztix
Friday, 9th May 2014
Metro Theatre, Sydney
Tix: Via Ticketek
Saturday, 10th May 2014
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Tix: Via Corner Hotel