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Interview: Temples

English rock band Temples has earned the recognition of many musical authorities from Noel Gallagher to Robert Wyatt.

Bass guitarist Thomas Walmsley shares his thoughts on Anatolian rock and the band’s forthcoming album with Mehmet Ak before Temples takes the stage at Chill-Out 

How did you guys come together and start making music?
“We’re from a very small town in the middle of England called Kettering, and it’s one of those places with very little to discover when it comes to music. We’d all been in separate bands growing up and had all moved away from our hometown at different points, so it was quite odd that we all happened to be back at the time we formed Temples. We haven’t let go of each other since.”

There are some obvious influences on your music, like The Byrds, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. What are some of your less discernible sources of inspiration?
“We’ve always loved music that takes a melody or style and wraps it up in something weird and wonderful. You’re not sure what you’re picking up on but it’s oddly familiar – buried deep somewhere lies the essence of a pop song. It’s what bands like Gong, Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator do so well.”

Your music evokes a sense of nostalgia – not only through melody but through your lyrics, as well.
“The idea for our first album Sun Structures was to create this world that was inviting for the listener. We wanted the sound of the record itself to be timeless: something with a strange presence that always leaves you with this feeling of déjà vu. Although some songs deal with very real issues, we tend to abstract the lyrics and use them to build a bigger picture. I think with our next record there will be less reliance on imagery.”


Erol Alkan and Richard Norris reworked your Sun Structures album and came up with Sun Restructured. How do you feel about the final product?
“We’ve always been huge fans of their work as Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve. I remember discovering quite a few bands via their podcasts years ago, so I have always greatly admired what they stand for. Our approach to Sun Structures was to be very concise, so it was really eye-opening to hear all the space they brought to the songs.”

There’s a strong psychedelic tradition in Turkish rock music. Ever heard of Turkish artists like Erkin Koray, Moğollar or Kurtalan Ekspres?
“We adore Turkish music. Erkin Koray and Selda Bağcan records have had a huge influence on psychedelic music. I remember hearing them for the first time in clubs and their sound was just hypnotic and alien. Above all their sense of rhythm is incredible, there’s nothing like it. Apaşlar’s track ‘Gılgamış’ is amazing!”

It’s been quite a while since you last recorded. Any new material on the horizon?
“We’ve been in the studio since last October working on our next record. We’ve enjoyed having very few rules to play by on this record. We’ve allowed every song to have its own identity. It’s a very honest record in that sense. We can’t wait to share it with everyone very soon.”

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