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Interview: Temples

“We’ve never been to Hong Kong before and we have no idea what to expect...”

Written by
Graham Turner

In just five years, UK four-piece Temples have established themselves as one of the most exciting prospects in the country’s ever-competitive indie scene. Channeling psychedelic rock as if born out of time, Temples elevate themselves above criticisms of imitiation by punctuating their trippy soundscapes with a hard, contemporary edge – a sound they perfected on their sophomore album, Volanco, released earlier this year. We catch up with guitairst/keyboardist Adam Smith ahead of the band’s Hong Kong debut at this year's Clockenflap...

Volcano has been out for a while now, have you been able to take stock on it as an album and gauge the reception? 
It’s been very enjoyable seeing the album land, especially in the live environment. The songs have grown into their own during our performances, which has been interesting to witness.

It seemed there was a clear effort made to differentiate it from Sun Structures?
We think it’s important to never to repeat ourselves. With Sun Structures, we had no real reference point of where we were going, whereas with Volcano we gained an extra perspective.

When the album came out everyone from Noel Gallagher to Johnny Marr was singing its praises. Did that put some pressure on you guys when you were making Volcano?
There can be pressure in these situations, whether it’s pressure from the outside or pressure
applied by ourselves, but we never tend to let it get the best of us.

It must be quite vindicating for you that the album has been so successful following the huge expectation?
We’re very pleased with the reception of Volcano and we’re enjoying playing the songs to as many people as we possibly can.

The production feels decidedly more lavish on Volcano, do you think the experience you got from creating Sun Structures directly fed into that?
Since recording Sun Structures, we’ve played a lot of shows and this experience has fed into the production style as much as the experience of recording our first album, and as much as acquiring new equipment and listening to different music.

What do you think self-producing gives you guys as opposed to maybe going down a more traditional route for a popular band?
It gives us time. We work quite slowly – writing, recording and producing sometimes happen in synchronicity, but sometimes it takes longer. If we were in a studio with a producer, we simply couldn’t afford it. But who knows, maybe we’ll decide to work with somebody external in the future.

Do you ever tire of endless comparisons to others that have gone before when you guys are clearly cutting your own path?
Yes and no. It sometimes gets old but comparison is inevitable.

How are you feeling about playing Clockenflap?
We’re really excited about coming to Hong Kong and playing for the people at Clockenflap.
We've never been before and we have no idea what to expect.

What have you got up your sleeves for the set?
We’ll be playing songs from both albums and possibly a few others. And possibly some backdrops...

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