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Interview with Temples

Photo courtesy of music.topman.com.

Photo courtesy of music.topman.com.

By Victoria Powell

We had the chance to speak with Thomas Warmsley, the bass player and co-founding member of what has been called the best new band in England. Temples have left their home in Kettering, England to come tour the U.S. and they recently played here at Kung Fu Necktie on November 3rd.

VP: Are you having fun in America? Have you been here before?

TW: Yea, it’s the first time any of us have played music in America. In England it’s quite a landmark thing to come over to the states and play. Yea, it’s been quite a special trip, I guess, to come out here and do that. I think every venue has its own atmosphere and every country has its own kind of way of doing things, and different audiences. It’s really exciting and we’re having a great time; taking it all in.

VP: What do you miss about your home?

TW: I don’t know, I mean when you go on tour you kind of expect to leave all of your home comforts behind. I think we all enjoy the fact that we’re not home in Kettering, where we all live. It’s kind of like a world away from where we’re from. I think we kind of embrace the fact that it’s a little bit alien and different. It’s all part of the trip really.

VP: Who is your all time favorite producer and why?

TW: (laughs) Tricky question, because we have so many… I don’t know, I mean Phil Spector for us is such a big name and his whole style and way of doing things in the studio is kind of a real institution. He has such a signature sound – signature meaning the reverb and other elements. It kind of takes it away from being familiar, in terms of sound.

Jack Nitzsche as well, I guess he falls under the Phil Spector umbrella. I think between the two of them, they had something really special.

He worked with The Rolling Stones, the orchestrations on there and their records. He always worked very closely with the artists he was recording with. He played on the record as well and having that kind of involvement blurs the line between artist and producer. Most of us in Temples think it’s very important to embrace both because we are fans of producers as well as bands and artists.

VP: What artists have you been listening to lately?

TW: Umm, yea well we listen to quite a lot.

VP: Well what about in the past few days?

TW: We’ve been listening to Atom Heart Mother, the Pink Floyd album, if you know that one. And there’s a band that just released a single, they’re called Telegram. We’ve been touring with them in England and they have a song called “Follow,” which is their debut single. Since we’ve toured with them we’ve had the pleasure of getting to listen to them every night. We’re really big fans of what they’re doing. So I guess that’s one old and one new?

VP: What is your musical guilty pleasure?

TW: I guess, film soundtracks are always a strange one that people either love or hate. We really enjoy listening to some kind of more cinematic sounding music. We try to play our music so that it kind of transposes visually. And like, Ennio Morricone, he does soundtracks. Oh and like Goblin, as well, they’re like an Italian prog band that did some soundtracks in the seventies as well. It’s kind of slightly weird and you know that’s a little bit different from your normal rock band.

VP: Who would be your dream collaboration?

TW: Well we’re from the Midlands and not too far away in a place called Rugby is where Sonic Boom from Spacemen 3 is based. And yea, we’re all really big fans of Spacemen 3 and Spectrum. He has his own studio as well. He creates some really interesting sounds in the studio and we’d like to, one day, perhaps, collaborate with him. Peter Kember is his name, but his nickname is Sonic Boom. But yea, really spacey and almost like soundscape and noise. There’s something quite simple and charming about his recordings.

VP: In your song “Shelter Song,” the lyrics mention reading poetry aloud; who are your favorite poets?

TW: James wrote the lyrics… but yea William Blake is great, if you like reading and stuff. I think it is part of your admission into music that deals with consciousness, that you read, “The Doors of Perception” and “Heaven and Hell”.

VP: How do you prepare yourself for a live show? Any weird rituals?

TW: (laughs) Not especially. I’m kind of torn between just saying anything; making something up, and just being honest. We always sing as much possible and do three part harmonies. We like to sing some songs by The Byrds and we usually fight over who sings David Crosby’s harmony. That’s always the best.

VP: I was wondering just now, have you ever tried meditation?

TW: Um, not yet. I think we all kind of meditate in our own way. That’s not meditating explicitly but yea. I think you have to be in the right mindset when you go on stage and stuff, so I think everyone has their own way, perhaps, of meditating.

VP: What’s coming up in the future for Temples?

TW: We just announced that we will be releasing our album, Sun Structures, in February. I think it’s February the 10th. We announced it online yesterday actually, so it’s really excited for us. All this year we’ve been recording in between touring, and it’s great to finally have a record. So that’s in February. And I think we’re coming back over to the states again in like March or April as well, so we’re really looking forward to coming back over here once the album’s been released. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it, since everyone’s only heard the singles and what’s online. It will be great for everyone to hear the full spectrum of music that we play.

Check out Temples on Facebook here.

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Interview with Kevin Devine


Last week we spoke with Kevin Devine about his two latest albums (Bubblegum and Bulldozer), his biggest influences, and  even got to hear an impromptu cover of Elliott Smith’s “The Biggest Lie”. If you missed the on-air interview, you can listen here!

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Surfer Blood talk Halloween costumes, flax crackers, and haunted practice spaces.

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We spoke with Surfer Blood members John Paul Pitts, Thomas Fekte, Tyler Schwarz, and Kevin Williams before their midnight show at the TLA on October 4th. Read below to find out about new obstacles they encountered moving onto a major label, their favorite horror movie, and what they’re thinking of dressing up as for Halloween.

Shannen: How did you guys all meet?

JP: Well, we’re all from the same town; we all grew up there at least. We went to high school there, and we were all playing in bands that were a little bit left of center. We all were sort of aware of each other and what we were doing, and yeah, I mean one day we started recording demos of some of the Surfer Blood songs. It wasn’t really serious and I guess Tom heard it and brought it up to me that he’d like to play guitar.

Shannen: Do you remember what some of those first songs were?

JP: A lot of the songs ended up on Astro Coast, our first record. I don’t think it was ever really supposed to be a proper record or anything, it was just something that we started and I felt really, really compelled to finish. So yeah, some of those songs ended up on the record later.

TF: I think the first song that I had heard was “Fast Jabroni”. That was a really early one that you guys had written.

TS: There are some demos that we’ve never even put out that I have on my computer. Well my laptop was stolen, so I must have lost some of them, but we had some kind of pirate-sounding songs.

Shannen: I think you guys tweeted the other day that you recorded on a Dell. Was that the laptop that got stolen?

TF: Yeah, I tweeted a really ridiculous run-on sentence that was ranting about Macintosh, even though I have nothing against Mac. I was just basically saying you don’t have to have a Mac, and we made a record on a Dell.

JP: There is so much digital noise on that record, though. If you listen closely there are so many parts where it’s just like (makes noise).

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by | October 24, 2013 · 3:00 pm

Interview with Young Pilgrims (September 10, 2013)

Courtesy of The Key

Courtesy of The Key

By Jonathan Plotkin

Young Pilgrims are an indie punk revival band from Philadelphia. Earlier this summer, they released their debut album Kyoko and a Rocket to the Moon on their Bandcamp, have been playing places such as Don’t Tread On Me, Jolly’s, and North Star Bar, and were recently featured as artist of the month by The Deli Magazine. On September 10th, after their last show, I got the chance to sit down with the band and talk it out for a few minutes.

Jonathan: So you guys are Young Pilgrims, what are your names?

Sean: I’m Sean Brown.

Zack: I’m Zack.

Jonathan: And what instruments do you play?

Sean: I play the guitar and I sing.

Zack: I play the bass guitar and I sing sweet harmonies.

Jonathan: And is there a drummer in the band?

Sean: Nick Boonie. We have two drummers, actually.

Jonathan: Who did you record the album with?

Sean: Jesse Appel.

Jonathan: And they’re both not available right now.

Sean: That’s right, they both died in the accident.

Jonathan: Right, the accident. We’ll get back to that totally true and not made up story later. So how did you guys meet in order to form your band?

Zack: High school. A lot of people went away to college and their band broke up and we made a new band.

Sean: Can I… can I tell that better than you did?

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Interview with Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo (July 10, 2013)

Here it is! Matt Scottoline’s (of The New Matt Show) excellent interview with Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo. Hear Ira talk about sports talk, the Sun Ra Arkestra, the late Maxwell’s, and their relationship with the unknown.

Stream the interview above.

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Interview with Smith Westerns (July 26, 2013)

Image courtesy of Fat Possum

Image courtesy of Fat Possum

By Kirsten Becker

I caught up with Cullen Omori, the singer from Smith Westerns before their 7/26 show at
Union Transfer to talk about their latest release, 90′s music, and what’s coming next for the band.

Kirsten Becker: What was the recording process for this record? What comes first, music or lyrics?

Cullen Omori: It kind of happens together. The way that we write our songs varies, [guitarist] Max [Kakacek] will write some parts and I’ll write a full song, or Max write a full song and I’ll write some parts. So, when I go about writing music I try to go about with the chords with the lyrics because I feel like when you have words down, you come up with the melody or the chords a lot quicker. For me, lyrics come with the music. That’s kind of how I write.

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Coming Attractions: Yo La Tengo Interview on WKDU

Image courtesy of Matador Records

Image courtesy of Matador Records

By Nick Stropko

We’re very excited to be interviewing Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo on WKDU tomorrow, July 16. The interview will take place on master radio personality Matt Scottoline’s show, aptly titled The New Matt Show. Tune in at from 4-6pm tomorrow to hear its ON-AIR DEBUT, or if you’re one of them TiVo/Netflix types, stream it right here on Communiqué starting later in the day! We’ll probably put a transcript up at some point whenever I feel up to it.

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