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Interview: The Temper Trap

The Temper Trap

Photo by David Black

Photo by David Black

Thanks to a little song called “Sweet Disposition,” The Temper Trap shot to fame not too long after the song was featured in 500 Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. People took notice of the Australian band and their debut album, Conditions, went platinum in Australia and gold in the UK. Pretty awesome, if you ask me.

After touring all over the world for two and a half years, the band relocated from Melbourne to London and began to work on their second album. Said second album was released earlier this month in North America and I got to chat about the album with The Temper Trap’s bassist, Jonny Aherne, before the band wrapped up their North American tour this past Tuesday at Vancouver’s Malkin Bowl.

Speaking on the topic of the band’s direction for the new album, Jonny told me of the influence that the album’s producer, Tony Hoffer (M83, Beck, The Kooks), had on the new sound.  “We would say to Tony, ‘Oh, we’d love a string section here or horn section’ and he’s say ‘No, let’s just what we could do with some old synths.”

Jonny explained that although the band does love using strings and horns, “we decided to lay some synthesizers and mix up what we normally do.” The new addition of synths definitely comes through on some of the album as another layer to the already-established sound of The Temper Trap.

Artists and groups like David Bowie and Radiohead still influenced the new record, but it was also clear that some other inspirations for the new album were found in the dissolution of a relationship, as well as the London riots of last year (“London’s Burning”). New influences in hand, the band began writing the new album in their newfound home of London, England.

The band had moved from Melbourne to London after getting signed to Infectious Records. “It was always a dream to live internationally,” says Jonny. “The opportunity to get out and see what the rest of the world thinks about music was definitely a no-brainer for us.  The UK just made the most sense for us.”

Unfortunately for the guys of The Temper Trap, they probably won’t get to see much of their Hackney flats because their touring schedule is pretty packed up till November of this year.  The quintet have got dates aplenty all over the world including a slew of Australian dates with Coldplay. Jonny hopes that they’ll be playing some Asian countries and other places that they didn’t get to play during the time they toured for Conditions.

But before we ended our chat, I had to ask Jonny what he thought of Vegemite (an Australian spread made from yeast extract) to which he responded with “brutal” and asked if I had tried it (I haven’t but thinking of the smell makes me gag a little).

Originally published on June 25, 2012 on killahbeez.com