Brendan: Hey, everyone, Brendan the blind guy here. Today I'm lucky enough to be speaking with indie rock's up-and-comer star, Timi Temple. How are you, Timi?
Timi Temple: Hey, hey, hey, guys. I'm going great, thanks. It's pretty early for a musician but I'm feeling good.
Brendan: Awesome. So at the moment you're celebrating the release of your catchy as hell new single, Sands of Time, so congratulations on it. It's packed quite a punch.
Timi Temple: Thank you very much. It's a bit of an ear worm. I find myself with family, with friends, or whenever I go out to dinner with them, they're just singing the Sands of Time hook to it, "Lost in the sands of time," which is cool fun. But yeah, it's actually a song that I've been sitting on for ... I wrote it about 10 years ago, actually.
Brendan: Oh, wow.
Timi Temple: So it's been flying around my mind for 10 years, and it's so, so good to finally have it out.
Brendan: Yeah. Wow, 10 years in the making, so no wonder it's so good. Yeah.
Timi Temple: I think sometimes, yeah, with songwriting and stuff like ... I might have a song that I'll write in one day that I think's better than a song that I've written in like, taken three months to write. And in one of these cases, I think Sands of Time was a song that I wrote in one day ten years ago but I just didn't really have a place for it. And so, it's just finally come to fruition.
Brendan: Yeah, nice. So, I know the story behind it, which is quite a funny story. But I can't imagine all my listeners have heard the story behind it. So kind of ...
Timi Temple: Yeah.
Brendan: Take them through the murderous story of the whole song.
Timi Temple: Yes, it's an interesting one actually. It kind of ... I guess it was my first experience, or my first ... sort of conscious experience of being deceitful, being cheeky, or I guess cheeky is not the best way to describe it. But being deceitful and sort of getting away with something that I should have owned up for.
Brendan: Getting away with murder as such.
Timi Temple: Yeah, exactly, getting away with family murder, even. So, we had a little pet fish, called Fishy, and the fish tank, it was on top of the glass cabinet, and underneath, for some reason, someone put a heater there. Someone bright in my family put a heater there. And as, like, a little five year old kid, I just turned on the heater and didn't realise the sort of effect that it would have, obviously. And left the heater on overnight, so when we all woke up, we saw the fish floating on the top of the tank because it obviously had been boiled, which is pretty crazy. And when I was questioned about it, I just feigned ignorance. And then ... yeah, so I just pretty much told them I had no idea who did it. And it wasn't until 10 years after that as a 15 year old, I went to go and buy my first pet. And in the pet store, I was looking over at the fish tanks and I remembered what I had done, so then I came back home that day and then wrote this song, kind of like a confession, but also like a memoir of getting away with something. It's so long ago that no one really remembers the event or even remembers us having fish, or this or that, but, yeah, it's still something that resides within me.
Brendan: Oh, wow. So you really did get away with murder?
Timi Temple: Yeah, I think it would be the only time.
Brendan: Yep Good, good, because it's very easy to call the emergency services from here, just to clarify, if it's not the only time.
Timi Temple: Yes, exactly, and this is recorded, so.
Brendan: Yeah, recorded for quality and coaching purposes.
Timi Temple: Yes, that's right. I'll give you a little rating afterwards just for some fun.
Brendan: Oh, dammit. Normally I'm the one giving the reviews. Okay, moving right along here. So, you said the song you wrote 10 years ago when you were a wee lad, and it was kind of wrote in one day. But when the song actually did find its own purpose and ... you know, kind of ... what's the right word ... came to be in the world, tell me the making and production side of it, how did you go down and explore all the riffs and melodies and all that?
Timi Temple: Yeah, so I mean the thing that has stuck from the very first inception of the song was the, you know, "Lost in the sands of time" ... That kind of hook. That was the first thing that came to my mind when I was writing the song. And that has stuck the whole way. The melody has kind of gone through a couple of different incarnations and stuff, but I think pretty much I settled, it's very very close in terms of melody and chord structure to what I originally had 10 years ago just with the acoustic guitar and me singing. And then, so what has transformed, obviously, is, like the musical requirement as well as my personal taste. When I was a 15 year old, the only bands I was listening to was sort of like ... Hendrix, Zeppelin, you know, Cream, Eric Clapton, et cetera. It was kind of just everything that my dad had given me. It was before I got the curiosity bug to start searching for my own music. So I ate up everything that he gave me.
And so the music, it kind of had that classic rock feel, but it didn't, in my opinion, have ... a sort of a perfect place in the current music climate and in what I'm listening to, as well. So I've done a lot of electronic performances and production stuff, so I wanted to bring it in to a realm where it was sort of teetering along the lines of both of them. So, what has changed is the drum programming, the synth, sort of supporting synth basses. And yeah, I guess bringing it into this modern world, which is really, really cool because I've tried to keep the song as pure as possible.
Brendan: Yeah. Well, that’s always good, keeping it as pure as possible, yet, it's kind of balancing on that fine line between, you know, natural raw production, and, you know, kind of polishing it off. So, yeah, you did well on that one.
Timi Temple: Thanks very much.
Brendan: No worries. So, the debut video, well, your debut video to go with it is a very psychedelic, colourful, creative, kind of artistic video. So, kind of run through how you stumbled across the making of that?
Timi Temple: Well, yeah, it was pretty interesting, the concept behind it ... the concept behind it sort of developed as I thought of myself in third person, and I was kind of thinking prior to releasing this song, it's me holding on to this dark secret. And then me, and through my confession with this song, it's me releasing that secret. I guess I alluded a little bit to the Wizard of Oz, that film that is black and white, dystopic, when Dorothy is in the real world, and then when she goes to the Land of Oz, it gets all colourful and utopian. So I wanted the video to sort of reflect that. So in the choruses we've got splashes of colour, and in the verses we try to keep it more muted tones, and I think it's quite predominantly black and white, even, throughout the verses. When I was looking for inspiration, this is the creative part. When I was looking for inspiration for videos, someone that's always come to mind is being like Angus and Julia Stone, and Angus Stone has their new project Dope Lemon, and I was just checking out his videos for inspiration and trying to see who directed some of his videos. I came across this one that ... it gave me a really massive amount of nostalgia, and then I checked out the song and I was like oh yeah, cool. Ended up finding who produced it, and it turned out to be a mutual friend of mine, Katie, her artist name is Katie Luna. I found that she had quite a lot of mutual friends of mine who I went to Uni with, so I ended up getting in contact with her and saying I really loved that video, and showed her Sands of Times prior to its release, and she said she loved it and would love to work on it, and then so we kind of moved forward from there, it was really a lucky experience.
Brendan: Yeah, that's fantastic, and it's definitely a lot more creative than a lot of music videos out there, so yeah. Yeah, a lot of kind of new music videos are a lot of just girls in minimal clothing dancing around on a tiny little stage, or whatever. So, yeah.
Timi Temple: Yeah. The video that's best watched on mute.
Brendan: Yeah. You did very well with it, so ...
Timi Temple: No, thank you my idea before was to have me walking along the beach, so ...
Timi Temple: This is a lot better of an idea.
Brendan: So was it a black or red lacy bikini you were going to be wearing?
Timi Temple: Oh, mate, it's definitely gonna be black, red doesn't go with my skin tone.
Brendan: Okay, well so I was close to what the music video was supposed to be like.
Timi Temple: Yeah, no, no. It's really funny actually, watching ... I find that when I'm watching a whole bunch of other music videos, it seems like the story of the song has a massive disconnect to whatever the story in the video is, just for the purpose of marketability and getting click bait and this and that. And it's ... I'm doing alright because I love it, I'm doing music, and it's not easy, obviously, it's a hard sort of creative pursuit. And so I feel like I don't want to take any shortcomings in trading off why I do it, which is my passion, and to tell stories. And so I feel like, yeah, if I was to just come out with a video, I wouldn't really be doing a disservice to the audience, it would be more so a disservice to myself and sort of my pride in my art.
Brendan: Yeah, well ... yeah. You're on the right track, so well done.
Timi Temple: Thank you, yeah.
Brendan: Alright. So, with your songwriting, you know, you touched on before that sometimes it will just be the hook that comes to mind and, you know, everyone has their own kind of formula and techniques to songwriting. So kind of tell, take me through your kind of recipe of how you sit down with, you know, one hook in mind, and develop these songs and kind of the comparison of how your music has evolved from ... compared to Sands of Time from your previous three singles.
Timi Temple: Yeah, okay, so I think ... yeah, it's interesting actually, looking back in hindsight how I used to write songs. I have been writing, for over a decade now, I've been writing songs. I guess as soon as I learned how to pick up a guitar, I've been writing songs on guitar and then I kind of dabbled in singing as well. I never really thought of myself as a vocalist, but I've been getting lessons in this and that as a kind of confidence coming in over time. So, it's been one of those sort of processes. But with the songwriting, it’s like generally I'll come up with a riff, and then I'll call that riff kind of like home base, and then I'll think, well, how did I get to that riff? So then, I guess I'll write a section that will go into it and then a section that will go out to it, and then I'll start to work from either direction from the riff, which will generally be the chorus, so ... I guess in What Are We Waiting For, my single that was just before Sands of Time, I wrote this guitar riff which was kind of uplifting, it's like da-da-da-da-da-na-na. Like that, it felt really uplifting, and I was like ... to make the uplifting moment feel more righteous, I guess, would be to have something a little bit more devastating, a little bit more sombre right before. And then obviously the juxtaposition is going to make that uplifting moment a lot more worth it. If the song was happy the whole time, and then you got to this uplifting chorus, well guess what, it's just going to sound like a continuation of it. So, in that regard, I kind of used ... I guess it was just a tactic. You talked about technique, and things, and I like to think about, you know, when I'm reading novels or when I'm watching film, I use the techniques they use to engage the audience, and I try and think about ways I could do that musically. So, in this case, yeah, it was obviously the content with the lyrics but then also the chord structure, and the fact that its result revolving more around like a minor sound, and then evolving into an uplifting major sound in terms of the most simple way of describing it. Whereas with Sands of Time, yeah, I guess my writing style was a little bit more ... a little bit more fluid, I never really tried to get deep on my own songs because I was still learning the instrument, I only knew I had four chords. So I think, at the time, I really only had like three chords, maybe four chords. I think, yeah, three chords in the chorus, anyway, you know what I mean? And those chords are just ... I guess for the nerds out there it's just a five, four, and a one chord, which is exactly the same chords in a blues progression but flipped on reverse. So, a blues progression will go one, four, and five, and this was just five, four, one. And so, it was me just using sort of rudimental techniques on guitar and then coming up with a chord over the top. Whereas these days, I've kind of ... I've studied, you know, music. I did the Bachelor of Music, and I kind of filled my brain with all these things, so now what I'm trying to do, not to dilute it, but I think like imagine if you were a painter, and you've got your three primary colours and you just painted with that to start off with, and then eventually you start getting your greens, your oranges, and colours that are just outside of the wheel. But then as you keep progressing, you get all these colours like indigo, you get colours like turquoise. So, I'm at this point where in music, I feel like my expression isn't limited by what I know, so I've got a very expanded colour palette musically, and it's just a matter of choosing what colours are appropriate for the song these days, and I try and make sure they're really targeting ideas or emotions within the story.
Brendan: Yeah, cool. You, sounds like you put a lot of thought and creativity into your songwriting, so ... yeah. No, so, I noticed you've been a session performer with artists like Kilter, so, yeah, kind of tell me about that and how was performing with Kilter, among others, and what do you bring to the performance as well, and the experiences that you've had performing with those artists?
Timi Temple: Yeah, I've been sort of, I've sort of followed a career in music for all of my adult life, and as well as like ... I was getting ready to drop out of school when my dad made me be a plumber for a month, for my first month of dropping out of school. And I was like oh, no, I better go back to school, because it was just like a punishment type thing. So, yeah, I've done music all my life, and had made friends through it, so actually, Kilter was ... we went to school together, we went to high school together, and then he recorded a couple of his first singles, actually, in my basement because we had no idea. We were both kind of learning, you know, as late teens, learning how to record this and that, we never had any formal training on recording and producing, so he came down there and we'd just try and figure it all out. And I was pursuing a career in jazz at the time, because it was pushing my musical ability to its limits, whereas Ned, that's Kilter, sort of focused on production, and he started to take off a little bit. And then obviously because we recorded quite a lot of his stuff together, he asked me to come along and tour with him, which I was ... I obliged and it ended up being probably the most fun that I've had. So, I still continue to do that with him to this day. And through him I've met a bunch of other artists, and I guess ... the thing that I bring to the electronic music scene climate is this kind of live, changing, morphing aspect. Which I guess if you were just doing a DJ set, well the songs, you can mix the songs in different ways, you can be creative with them, but the songs are always going to sound the same. Whereas when you throw me into the mix, or with me and Kilter it's kind of ... we improvise off each other, and the songs in each performance is gonna be unique and sort of a snapshot in time, and something a little bit more special. So I found, yeah, when I've been jamming along with other electronic artists, for instance, I've toured with GRMM, supporting Rudimental, and it was really interesting to see how the dynamic between him and I worked because he was mainly working off an (Angus) and live set, but obviously once we brought in the guitar, it really changed how the set was gonna develop, so we kind of programmed a little bit more around ... not so much giving him the spotlight, just allowing it to have points of climax. So, you've got your ebbs and flows, you've got your peaks and troughs. And it kind of made the set a little bit more lively as opposed to one that was just a continuous, like, 125 or 128 BPM mix out for 40 minutes.
Brendan: Oh, nice. So ...
Timi Temple: Yeah, definitely a good, fun thing.
Brendan: Yeah, definitely. I really like that you said that each show is a little bit unique and special, so, yeah. Fun. Might have to come along and check you guys out.
Timi Temple: Definitely.
Brendan: Nice, so, okay, so you've been performing with Kilter, among others, and even though you're still quite young in your own career, you know, I love asking artists, have you got any memories that come to mind straight away if I say kind of hilarious WTF? C’mon what's the first memory that comes to mind that makes you go "Oh, my god," you know?
Timi Temple: It's actually when I was super, super young. I remember playing a gig. We were actually playing at this thing called Shorefest as a 15 year old, which is kind of in the North Shore, they had this big festival that was for under 18. And we were, my band at the time, we were lucky enough to play on the bill. And anyway, I was doing a guitar solo, it came after this sort of huge moment in our whole show where the whole band stopped and I put my guitar my head and do a massive solo in the middle of the stage at the front. And I put my guitar behind my head, went up to the front, and didn't realise that in doing so, I had unplugged the guitar because it was caught around my foot, so when it went up above my head it pulled out the plug. And I was standing in the middle there with my guitar behind my head, not making any noise at all. And it was pretty embarrassing. I don't think I've soloed behind my head since, actually.
Brendan: Nice. Okay, and finally, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, but unfortunately we've come to the end of the ride here. So, what's kind of happening behind the scenes and what can we look forward to in the near future coming from the Timi Temple project?
Timi Temple: Thank you very much, the pleasure has been mine. I'll give you a little insight on what the next glimpse of Timi Temple is looking like for me. I'm sitting on a massive bank of songs at the moment, and I won't give a number, but it's definitely more than an album's worth. But I feel like what I want to do is put out a couple of little two-side type tracks, so I guess a single with a B-side, I'm going to put out a couple of them in quick succession, and then follow that up with the next ready single. So, I think if we think about that as being a four month release scene, it's looking like it's going to be sort of five or six songs within the next four months.
Brendan: Wow. And so is there going to be any kind of headlining performances coming up in the near future?
Timi Temple: I'm actually in the middle of organising a headline gig of my own in Sydney, it's to support the two-side ... I don't even know what to call them. Two two-sides, I guess. And the penciled-in date at the moment is either January 18th or January 19th. And I'm just trying to lock in the support for that, as well. And yeah, so that's going to be in Sydney, and obviously the ones keeping in touch with Timi Temple on Facebook or wherever, they'll obviously get blasted by that.
Brendan: Awesome. Well, there you go folks, keep an eye out for Timi Temple's upcoming headline tour, because I know if I can make it I'll be there. So, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, Timi, thank you so much, and I'll-
Timi Temple: Brendan you're a legend, mate, thank you.
Brendan: Thank you, I know I'll be keeping a close eye on your music and yep, look forward to hearing all the new stuff coming in the near future.
Timi Temple: Thanks so much, Brendan, let's keep in touch.
Brendan: Will do. Cheers, mate.
Timi Temple: See ya later. See ya.