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With the second round of lineup news imminent, we’re releasing one name early: TEMPLES.
Temples are a psychedelic group from the Midlands, England formed in 2012. The band has released a number of 7″s on Heavenly Recordings. Their first full length LP, Sun Structures, is out February 2014. Our friend Ryan Muldoon at Revolt of the Apes has compiled a list of 10 questions, answered by bassist Thomas Warmsley, for Temples in anticipation of their APF 2014 performance.
What do you find most pleasing about playing live with Temples? Can you think of any bands or artists to whom you would give credit for inspiring you to move forward with performing as well as recording, after having seen them live? What was it about that performance that was so compelling to you? What do you like most about going to gigs not as a performer, but an attendee?
In the studio we have such a concise process of recording, there’s no strict formula, but once a song is recorded down it captured in a period of time. Live is the complete opposite, it’s a totally unknown field, the music turns from iron-cast into a living and breathing being. I think it’s taking our songs from the comfort of the studio into that unknown which makes them so pleasing to play. Our label mates TOY are incredible live. It’s very instinctive and they’re always exhilarating to watch. They really create a wall of sound and they move together as one, which is definitely a divine art of live music, seeing a band working together as one big machine.
Strictly sonically speaking, what do you think you’ve been able to achieve with Temples that may have eluded you in previous musical endeavours? Was this something a sound that you specifically aimed to achieve â€“ or more of a case of being pleasantly surprised by the result of your actions and collaboration?
The group initially started as a recording project, so we’ve always had quite a strong idea as to how what we wanted our music to sound. We’re fans of producers as much as bands, so it’s something we consider as much in our songwriting as the music or lyrics. Because of this, we’ve recorded everything ourselves, which gave us complete freedom to figure a sound for each song, and it also works out well when you have no money. In many ways you could say we’ve approached the whole process backwards; we uploaded some songs that were born and bred in the studio, then tried to figure out how we’d play them live.
The name Temples, of course, naturally conjures thoughts of not only praise and reverence, but also engaging in praise and reverence alongside others. How has your time being a part of Temples impacted your own creative process, either by illuminating something in you that was previously dormant, or by making you reevaluate an attitude you may not have considered otherwise? How has being a part of this band impacted your life in non-musical ways?
For us it’s been about finding that art of experiencing a record. Being taken in by the music, lyrics and artwork and the three working together to bring you to somewhere completely unfamiliar for 50 minutes. I think records are meant to be digested wholly in private, while hearing music live is something better experienced en masse. I think we’ve all learnt a lot in the very short time we’ve been a band, perhaps we’ll only fully realise the effect in years from now.
We’ll resist engaging you in any talk about the technical side of recording, but we’ve found the Temples songs we’ve heard thus far to be very naturally â€œhugeâ€ sounding, in almost a â€œRiver Deep, Mountain Highâ€ type of manner. Was there any expressed desire that you discussed with the others regarding what you wanted your recorded material to sound like? Were there any musical reference points you used as shorthand for describing the overall sound you desired?
Our only precedent when starting Temples was to focus our sound to be as big as possible, to create a vivid image with every song. We’re fans of that technicolour of orchestration that you find in soundtracks, and we wanted our music to touch on a grand scale. Producers like Norman Smith, Jack Nitzsche, John Franz, Joe Boyd create a real cinematic quality to their recordings that make you feel like you’re experiencing something quite alien and unfamiliar.
What can you tell us about the origin of the title of your soon to be released full length album, â€œSun Structuresâ€? What does this title represent to you? Do you think the title is in any way indicative of the album as a whole â€“ either through the way the album is structured or for the potentially bright, even sunny disposition of the songs contained therein?
More than anything the title speaks for the album as a collection of songs that document everything we’ve written up until now. We’ve written and recorded in small segments since we began as a band 18 months ago, between touring we were in our studio any couple of days we had free, so the idea of structure was something quite important to us when figuring them into an album. Structures create both light and shade.
Vintage equipment and instruments seem to play a big part of the sound Temples creates – any recent purchases that have you particularly excited?
We like to use technology both old and new, we collect old tambourines.
How did you originally hear about Austin Psych Fest? Are there any bands in particular that you’re hoping to see perform during your time in Texas?
Our very own Samuel Toms (drummer) went to Austin Psych Fest a few years ago and we always ask him about it, it sounded amazing. The bands, the location, the people, it’s the perfect instance for a music festival. It’s a real honour to be involved, especially alongside so many bands who we look up to. We’re looking forward to The Black Angels, White Hills, Quilt and The Zombies.
What music have you been listening to lately? Are there any bands from the UK or beyond that you are particularly excited about? If push comes to shove, what is your favorite album of all-time by The Byrds and why?
We’ve been listening to a lot of early records on Virgin: Edgar Froese, Tom Newman, Gong, Steve Hillage and Faust. There’s some great new UK bands like Telegram and Dark Bells who you should look out for, the new Morgan Delt record is incredible too.
Our favourite album by The Byrds is Fifth Dimension, because even though Gene Clark had left, the music is still very focused around the harmonies, which are fantastically recorded and they aren’t relying on new fangled effects like later albums. Only three of the songs on the record may be theirs, but they make the folk standards their own and the atmosphere captured is stronger than any other Byrds LP.
Kahil Gibran â€“ a big fan of â€œThe Notorious Byrd Brothers,â€ or so we hear â€“ wrote the following in â€œThe Prophetâ€:
â€œThe teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.â€
â€œFor thought is a byrd of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly” – Kahil Gibran
What’s next for Temples?
We’re very much looking forward to the release of our album Sun Structures, and we can’t wait to play it to as many people as possible.
Catch Temples at APF 2014 May 2 – 4. Tickets and camping passes are available for purchase HERE.