Spotify Exclusive – An interview with the The Temper Trap

Hello Temper Trap, how the devil are you?
Lorenzo Sillitto: We’re very good, thank you! In the middle of a three-week press junket…
Dougy Mandagi: We’ve been doing press for the last three weeks and we’re off to Paris tonight.

So you’re due some time off before doing anything else?
Joseph Greer: No! Dougy flies to Cuba to finish a video tomorrow then on Monday we start rehearsing for the tour.

Which I see begins in the UK in Cornwall – is that a surfer thing?
LS: No, it’s just a place we’ve never been.
JG: And we hear there’s some great food down there…

Everyone likes food right?
DM: Oh, well we certainly do!

Your new album, The Temper Trap, was written straight after you came off touring the last one for two years. Can you write on the road?
LS: Only one song was, we actually write a lot better in the studio.
JG: We like to be uninterrupted! We can’t write in sound-checks or when we’re meant to be doing other things.
DM: Touring makes you a better musician as you soak up so many new experiences, but we like to be in the studio when we get to work on those experiences. Basically, we like to be surrounded by our gear.

The first two tracks we’ve heard have been quite different to each other. Rabbit Hole is kind of gentle, while Need Your Love is kind of not at all gentle.
JG: Ha! Well, Rabbit Hole is four years old. It didn’t make the last album, so in a way it’s the old us.
DM: While Need Your Love is definitely the new us.

Why did you release the single to Spotify first?
LS: It felt like great way to get people interested in us again. The single showcases both sides of who we are; it’s a gateway in for people.
JG: People often tell us about hearing our music on Spotify or in films or TV shows. It’s great that there are these new ways for people to hear our music.
DM: All bands need alternative ways to reach people now – it’s not just about selling records now so having our music in a film or on Spotify is a fresh way for people to discover us.

What should Temper Trap fans know about this second album?
LS: They should know we went in with a completely blank slate.
JG: All we really knew is that we wanted to write the best songs we possibly could.

Do you have your own individual favourite songs?
LS: For me it’s Leaving Heartbreak Hotel. Dougy builds up these amazing layered vocals and there are all these intertwining guitar parts. I also really like how it grows from this minimal electro start.
JG: I really like The Sea Is Calling. The lyrics really speak to me. It’s one of those songs that you can take your own thing from, but it could still have an impact on anyone.
DM: My choice is Dreams. It has a lot of different layers of harmonising and drones and monotony – it’s hypnotising. People associate monotony with things that are boring, but it’s a good thing! Dreams is kind of shoe-gazey and I was never a shoe-gazey sort of guy, but this really is!

As professional musicians, do you know what the greatest record ever made is?
LS: I would vote for George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. There’s just so much in there to enjoy.
JG: The one I love right now is Murder Ballads by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The songs and stories are so raw and cool; it’s a very affecting record.
DM: It’s got to be the first Strokes album. I played that for a year and a half when it first came out and I never once got bored of it. It’s an aural orgasm – an eargasm! – over and over again and the songs are short you never get a chance to get bored.