One of the biggest acts from Northamptonshire this decade are embarking on their third era. Temples emerged from Kettering in 2012 with earworm single ‘Shelter Song’, and never looked back. Having released a couple of singles recently on the eve of third album Hot Motion it was time for New Boots speaks to bassist/songwriter/lyricist Thomas Walmsley – and ask if the band are on something, or onto something.
It’s been a little over two years since second album Volcano. What have you been up to since then?
After the last record, it was the first time that our existence as Temples came to a dead stop. We’d toured Volcano as much as we were going to, and numerous changes hit us all at once. Things came to a head and we’ve ended up with a new label, booking agents, and more importantly a new drummer, so its really felt like the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
We really had to rebuild and define what we wanted Temples to be, and I think more than anything Hot Motion is our work of doing that.
Volcano was a real triumph, arguably better than Sun Structures, but it didn’t seem to get the traction in the press it deserved. Does that feel like an accurate summation?
I think with any record a large degree of how its received is expectation and momentum. Volcano for us was a reaction to Sun Structures. I think we didn’t want to be one of those bands that repeats their first record, and we wanted to explore more sounds beyond the walls of creating an ‘authentic’ sounding record. I think perhaps that was lost on some people. It’s definitely a more intricate record, where we weren’t too concern with it being lead by its aesthetic.
On the journey between Volcano and now you lost drummer Sam and now have Rens Ottink [from Dutch band Pauw ]onboard. What’s he brought to the table?
Yeah, I think when things are chronically dysfunctional for quite some time, you have to respond to that for the greater good. It was a sign to look forward, and along with everything else that was changing at the time, it was something that had to happen. I think we played a show with Pauw in Utrecht back in 2013, and since we have remained friends and in touch, he was the first person we could think of fitting in with the band. He’s a great musician, and has a really unique playing style. I think how we play with him live is quite different, and he’ll be a great influence on how we go forward.
Tell us all about this latest single. And there’s been a local video shoot, yes?
Our new single is called ‘You’re Either On Something’, and the video is directed by Sam Kinsella. We can’t give too much away, but it’s a local setting in Northampton where surreal happenings start to corrupt your moral sanity. We wanted to celebrate the myths of our home county again with this record, it was recorded here. We’ve featured The Royal Theatre & 78 Derngate on the LP sleeve, and wanted the videos to follow suit.
Is it a good representation of the album? What can we expect?
Yes and no. It’s always been difficult for us to summarise one of our records, with influences being so different with each song. There’s definitely a stronger theme with Hot Motion as a whole record this time around. Its darker, theatrical and holds a stronger atmosphere. It’s probably some of the most energetic music we’ve recorded to date.
Any new and/or surprising influences on the new album you might want to reveal? What’s been on the band stereo this past year?
I think stripping away layers, we were more drawn to guitars on this record, and rather than building on that, we have just pushed them to the forefront and made the bare bones sound as grand as possible. There’s more theatrics in there, more of a darker tone, visually bands like Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music were an influence. More experimental in detail, but first and foremost a guitar heavy sound.
You’re still self-recording, right? With [singer/songwriter/guitarist] James producing from his Rutland hideaway? Does it still offer you the best sanctuary for creativity?
Yes we’ve graduated from bedroom to garage/outhouse now. I think being at the desk ourselves will always be most comfortable. When time or money, or studio time isn’t an issue it allows you to really develop an idea, and follow your own creative process and direction. The three of us manage to steer each other on a fairly solid course.
You keeping an eye on Northamptonshire still? Any new favourite acts?
Yes we’re still back here to rehearse, and keep a close eye on whats happening locally. Slowthai is fabulous, isn’t he?
What can you tell us about your upcoming plans?
We’re soon to be releasing the new album Hot Motion, and then were going to tour as much as humanly, physically and chemically is possible. We will be playing a Northampton show in the extremely near future.
Hot Motion is out September 27th [pre-order here], and the band play in-store at HMV Kettering on Tuesday October 1st