Temper Trap Interview

Rob GarrattFresh from an appearance at Latitude and the release of their debut album Conditions, Australian indie four-piece the Temper Trap are gearing up for their first gig in Norwich.

Rob Garratt

Fresh from an appearance at Latitude and the release of their debut album Conditions, Australian indie four-piece the Temper Trap are gearing up for their first gig in Norwich. Rob Garratt spoke to drummer Toby Dundas.

You must be thrilled to have the album out?

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'It was quite something. It's been a really long process - the band's been going almost five years and indirectly we've been working on it for three years, writing songs, recording, and playing lots of gigs. Making a follow-up will be a daunting thing.'

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You've picked up quite a buzz already…

'We've had a few little hicks that are going to need more work, but for a small band from Australia we've been surprised by the response we've had.'

How did you guys meet?

'Me and Dougy [Mandagi] worked in a clothes shop where we attempted to sell jeans to people and together we wanted to start a band. We had a few jams with some friends. Johnny [Aherne] came in a few weeks later because a guy who was supposed to show up didn't. Dougy taught him a bit of guitar and a bit of bass and then we started writing songs and playing shows. Lorenzo [Sillitto] and me were friends already and when his band broke up he came in. That made us four.'

And how did you go about crafting your sound?

'We never really did covers. Dougy had songs at the start and we started off playing them. It developed and we added things as we got more confident on our instruments, we started using samplers and it got to the stage where we needed another person on stage.'

What about song writing?

'Dougy writes all the lyrics and in the beginning he was the main music writer. It just depends on the song, sometimes people will come in with an idea, other times it's more developed. A couple of times they've come out of jams.'

How is audience here compared to back home?

'The UK audience are very similar to Melbourne, they're very music-savvy and have a bit of a folded-arms attitude, 'come and impress me'.

'There are so many great bands here you've really got to put in the effort to stand out from the crowd. In Europe they're really up for having a good time, you don't have to work as hard.'

You made some of the album over in London too?

'We did 90 per cent of it in Melbourne, but we came in and added a few bits here and did some B-sides, that sort of thing. We worked with Jim Abbiss an English guy, and he came out to Australia for most of it so it made sense for us to come over here the next time.'

Jim is a big name, working with Arctic Monkey, Editors, Kasabian… did you ask for him or did he find you?

'His manager saw us play a show in Australia and thought Jim would want to work with a band like us. Jim and his wife were driving across the country listening to a big pile of CDs and we came on and, so the story goes, they looked and each other and had a moment, and he said to her 'you want me to produce this band, don't you?' It took eight months to get him to Australia before we could hit record.'

A lot of people compare you to bands like Radiohead and Arcade Fire, what do you say to that?

'Radiohead are certainly a band that we've admired for a long time and have been a great influence.'

Any final thoughts?

'The album is happening, the tour is happening, and will be in your city soon.'

Temper Trap play Norwich Arts Centre on September 18, with doors opening at 8pm. Tickets �7.50 in advance and �9 door, from the box office P 01603 660352 www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk

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