Northside Festival just announced Temples for #NS14 – Jenna Buckle from our Boston crew met them back in November in Boston before their gig at Great Scott!
It’s been quite a year for Temples. Although the English psych-rock band has only released a handful of songs since they formed in 2012, their ’60s-inspired, mind-warping tunes have already earned them opening slots on tour with The Vaccines and The Rolling Stones. Now, Temples is signed to London’s Heavenly Records with their highly anticipated debut record, Sun Structures, due out on February 10, 2014.
The band just kicked off its first headlining North American tour this week and will be playing a show at the Great Scott in Boston on Friday. I talked to singer-guitarist James Bagshaw about their recent success, the new album, and what they’re looking forward to on their U.S. tour.
Jenna: So, Temples has absolutely blown up in the past year. Tell me about what it’s like to have such a quick rise into the public eye.
James: Yeah, so it’s really happened very quickly for us… It’s always a bit of a shock, really, but in a beautiful way. We try not to think about it. I guess we just try to keep writing and keep playing shows, but not really think about the speed at which it’s happening and just kind of try and deal with it, really.
Jenna: Yeah, it often takes new bands years to get noticed. Why do you think people caught on to your music almost immediately?
James: I think the music comes across in quite an honest way. There’s no fancy production and it’s really about the thought. I guess, really, it’s a statement, and not many bands make a statement with their music anymore. So we’re very much making songs in a different way. We really try and push the limits of what we love about old music, but also new music. I don’t know what people like yet, but I mean, good on them.
Jenna: There’s been a lot of buzz about your debut album, which you guys just announced is coming out in February. Do you think fans are going to be surprised about anything on it? Has your songwriting or your sound evolved since you originally released the EP?
James: Yeah, definitely. We’re always evolving and our live show as well. But with the record we’re not trying to do anything that’s previously been done with singles or whatever. It very much takes you on a journey, the record. It’s got every facet of what we want to do. Then we decided on the tracks that would work together, you know, as one whole thing. There’s definitely surprises in that, and I think people will get a few shocks, but I think they’ll be good shocks.
Jenna: Your new single, “Mesmerise,” was just released. Can you talk about why you chose it as the single?
James: Obviously that song, it’s very melodic, so I guess melody is something that assigns a single because that’s the thing that people listen to. But for us, we always found it very hard to choose singles… it might not be commercially viable, but that one sounds more catchy.
Jenna: Was the recording process any different now that you’re signed to a label?
James: Nothing changed, everything stayed exactly the same. We signed a deal and had some chats with people at Heavenly [Records]. At no point did they say, you know, go into the studio. If they did, we probably wouldn’t have signed to them because we liked the idea of what we were doing. The whole thing we did at home, and it’s a great achievement in that sort of way. We didn’t really want to change anything. I guess we’ll change things when we do a second record.
Jenna: I know that this week starts your first North American tour after playing in the UK and around Europe for a while. What are you most excited about for these shows?
James: Well some of us have never been to America, so generally, that’s really exciting. And then you sit there and think that the reason we’re in America is because of the music that we’re making. We’ve just been hanging out in Chicago today, and that’s been really nice. And we’re just on our way to a gig at the Empty Bottle tonight. I guess it’ll be nice to see what the crowds are like because everywhere you go, the crowd’s different. In Europe, it’s definitely so different between the crowds in like, Germany, the Netherlands. So I presume there’ll be quite a difference. I hope people know who we are; I know we’ve got a record coming out in America at the same time.
Jenna: Are there any bands that you’re really into right now?
James: A band called Telegram that we’ve been doing all these [tour] dates with, they’re really good. I won’t even say what they’re like, I think people can listen to them and figure it out. They’re our label-mates, and we’re not biased, they’re just a really great band.