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Temples Hot Motion

The trio join us for a chat about Hot Motion and what the new era brings.

After calming my inner 16-year-old self – who once reveled in their captivating indie sound and swooned over their over-sized hair – it gave me great pleasure to sit down with the (now) three-piece and discuss embarking on the next generation of Temples.

Since those early days, set in motion by the universally beloved album Shelter Song, Temples have proven their ability to provide a foot-stomping psych-rock sound, selling out shows across the world and most importantly carving themselves a truly unapologetic reputation.

Just as you thought they had nothing more to bring, and there was no way they could top that treasured year of 2014, they smack us around the face with their most experimental and downright surprising album to date. Coming out stronger on the back of some major changes, the quality of this album says it all. Hot Motion froths with 70s psych-rock, awe-inspiring riffs, and a level of confidence that you only see from musicians who have truly honed their craft.

As the trio return for the European leg of their tour, they join me to have a chat about Hot Motion and what the new era brings.

Temples band sunflowers

Temples amongst the sunflowers

You described the new album as the beginning of a new journey. What feels different now?

Well, I guess in many ways a new album is always going to feel like a new beginning. Certainly, for us, we immerse ourselves in each record. We spent the best part of a year creating it and then you take the songs with you and spend another year or so playing them live. So, you really get to live with the music for quite a long time. But it’s hard to say why this music was more significant than any other. There have been quite a few changes recently, like with the record label, a few other industry things and our drummer leaving, which have all made this feel a lot like the start of something new.

Do you think these changes have had an impact on the new music itself, or was it just the experience that was different?

It’s kind of hard to tell… We don’t have any other option, so it’s difficult to have that other perspective of what our music would have been like on the album without these changes going on.

We have been waiting patiently for over two years for Hot Motion. Did you intentionally take your time with it?

Well, we write and record at the same time, so would be three weeks solid recording spread out over the course of eight months. The creation of the album was probably less than a year, all in all. But yeah, we certainly don’t spend a lot of time writing and then figure out how to record it all at the end of the process. It’s more just a part of the whole journey. We weren’t constantly working on it either, we’d be going off and doing gigs, then come back to it in a week or two. The amount of time we were actually in the studio wasn’t very long – it’s just how it worked out with everything else going on at the same time.

A part of your ‘new era’ has been moving from recording in your bedroom and living room into a new separate space. Why did you decide on this change of scenery?

I mean, we’ve always recorded ourselves, and as we’ve grown as a band so has the space that we record in. It was a bedroom at first, then a living room and now were in a self-contained space, which is basically a converted garage. James (Bagshaw)’s actually, so it was up to him to get it all up and running for us.

Has the move changed the recording process at all for you?

Yeah, because everything is all a lot tidier. Like, if you want to record a guitar track, it’s already all patched in and ready. So, to record something we would’ve come up with, you didn’t have to all wait around to plug something in. It’s great with the drums, we wouldn’t have to spend an hour or two setting them up – you can just get stuck in straight away. It definitely changed the way we record for the better.

On this topic, it’s unusual to not go to a separate recording studio. Where did the choice to record in your bedroom come from?

Well, aside from being happy to be very much in control of the creative side and the recording side, it’s a very inexpensive option. Also, it’s an option where you can record whenever you want – you don’t have to book it in. You can just turn up and record at any time of the day. It’s the easy option in that sense. We write and record at the same time, so you couldn’t really do that in an expensive studio with an engineer there. I don’t think we’d feel comfortable. I think we work better in this kind of space as a band.

You have said that this album is a return to why you started music in the first place. Why or how do you think you went full circle?

We’re always very much set on progressing forwards. But in this case, I think we just reminded ourselves of certain parts of who we are as a band. I think perhaps it leans on our older music whilst also moving forward. We are constantly refining what we do and hoping to progress at the same time. I think ‘Hot Motion’ has reinstated an important part of our sound, that maybe people doubted was present in our second album. This feels like a good balance. Everything we’ve learnt to date.

It definitely sounds like Hot Motion is designed to play and experience live. Can people expect to hear all new songs on the tour, or will some old material be making an appearance?

Yeah, there’s quite a lot of new songs being played, but also still a lot of songs from Sun Structures. Even a few from Volcano. Those songs have all developed as we’ve played them live. When we were writing Hot Motion, we had a live environment in mind, also with the other albums too, so this means they fit together well at shows.

How do you decide what songs you’ll play on the tour? Do you switch it up night to night?

We change the set occasionally, but we generally choose to play our best or most popular songs. Of course, it’s complicated when you’ve got three albums to choose from. Certain songs just rise to the top and we end up playing them most often. It’s sort of an unsaid thing.

You’ve just finished touring in America and Canada. What kind of reception do you get out there?

Generally great, yeah. We’re lucky enough to do quite a bit out there. It depends from state-to-state and city-to-city, but across the board it’s great. We really enjoy touring over there, the crowd reaction is always amazing.

You’re back on the European leg of the tour now, do you prefer playing on home soil?

It really depends, again, where you are and what city you’re in. Also, a lot of the time it depends on what mood you’re in. There are some cities we prefer playing in England and some in America. But it generally all comes down to the crowd, you never know what you’re gonna get in each place you play. You can’t expect anything.

You played in Manchester at Academy 2 this month. Are you guys fans of the city?

Of course we are! Manchester has always been very kind to us. We’re always so happy to visit and play here. We’ve spent many years playing all over the place – Academy 2, Gorilla, Ritz, Deaf Institute. The city is just full of amazing venues, and the crowds are always so kind and welcoming. Playing in a place bursting with musical history and legendary venues is always a pleasure. We love coming back.

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