INTERVIEW: Temples | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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In a small English town, just down from the local pub and tucked away from the mundane activities of daily life, lies a hidden, mystical world. It’s a world decorated with spiritual imagery and soundtracked by Eastern-tinged psychedelic folk sounds from a forgotten 70s realm. This world belongs to Temples.

The Kettering-based group are fronted by the Bolan-esque James Bagshaw, wield 12-string guitars and are dressed like they’ve been teleported from another dimension. “The important thing is how you feel. Everybody has an interest in fashion and most of the clothing around in shops today is fairly awful. I guess we’re from a very small town, it’s hard to find things that you actually like wearing.” Explains guitarist and co-founding member Tom Warmsley.

It seems as though Temples has always been about distractions from reality – which sits them comfortably alongside trippy hipsters Tame Impala. “I’ve always had a fascination with spirituality, especially in connection with music and it seemed like a good vehicle to have the songs lyrical content based around. It seemed well suited to be something with a little more mystery or something that’s questionable as opposed to something that people can directly relate to. I guess it just instils another level of curiosity to everything.” Says Tom. “In particular we were influenced by a film by director Kenneth Anger called Lucifer Rising. The imagery and the music in that 20 minute film really inspired a general basis to write lyrics to.”

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I’ve always had a fascination with spirituality, especially in connection with music and it seemed like a good vehicle to have the songs lyrical based around

Temples’ music is a strange mixture of sounds, partly down to Tom and lead singer James Bradshaw’s fuzzy guitar exchanges and their ability to create memorable snippets that stick around for days. “We all have a real love for the craft of pop music and especially the particular way it was written in decades past. I think we’ve always been mindful of that in our music. There might be a lot of ideas in a song but it’s all over within about four minutes.”

Now the band’s attentions have turned to the release of Sun Restructured – a remix album of sorts, placed in the hands of meddling duo Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve. But the band aren’t ones to be precious about other people interpreting their music. “More than anything it was just exciting, especially because we’ve been a fan of BTWS since they released a podcast years ago and the mixes they’ve done. They certainly know their history when it comes to music and a certain style of music. So we didn’t really have any apprehensions about them getting to work with the songs really. They suggested ‘why not remix the whole record?’, which was then reduced to selected tracks from the album.”

The album contains nine re-imagined tracks from February’s Sun Structures, adding atmospheric rushes of ambient synth, guitars dipped in sludge and crashing gongs by the heap-load – making for a truly starry eyed experience that takes the band’s music to dimensions that maybe they haven’t even explored yet. Lucky fans in the North East can experience the band in their full glory at the Riverside.

Temples play Riverside, Newcastle on Thursday 11th December.

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