When you get the chance to interviewÂ The Temper Trap, you don't say no. And you don't reschedule. Even if it means you'll be interviewing them via phone in the close confines of a rental car...with your entire family...roadtripping down the California coastline...while your mom and brother playYahtzee in the back seat...and your Uncle Gary decides to call your dad--whose ringer is on loud--in the middle of the interview.
Whatever. You make that shit WORK.
And so I did. It's been circa one year since I was introduced to Australian band The Temper Trap via what is still one of my favorite songs liiiiike ever, "Fader." (Also--SO GOOD--"Love Lost."I fell in love with the album ConditionsÂ which--even if you follow a music diet that's strictly Lil' Wayne--includes songs you know even if you don't know why you know them, like "Sweet Disposition." So I was naturally STOKED to get the bassist, Jonny Aherne, on the phone from London--where they had a big show that night--to chat about their new self-titled album called...well, obviously,Â The Temper Trap.Â
Note: Imagine him saying all of this in an Australian accent with "mate" sprinkledÂ intermittentlyÂ throughout. It was delightful. And probably the reason I was so distracted I only managed to scribble down half of what we talked about. My interview skills are epic.
So as a band, how do you think your sound has evolved since ConditionsÂ came out in 2009?Â
"I think we've all matured as songwriters and we've all brought some more instruments and synthesizing ...you try and do what you do and do it better. It has evolved. How it's evolved is hard to describe."
What is the theme of this album then? Heartbreak, perhaps?
"Dougy makes our lyrics and it seems pretty 50/50--half of it's heartbreak and half is more general. There's one called 'Miracle' and it's about the first time hearing the baby's heartbeat."
Is there a song on this album that will be what "Sweet Disposition" was for your last?
"I don't think there's going to be a song like 'Sweet Disposition'--that song took on a life of its own--but I think that the album as a whole is better than Conditions.Â There's something for everyone. It's a step in the right direction for us."
What bands does the group count as influences?
"It's different for each [of us], but what we all sort of agree on is TV On The Radio, early U2 stuff. [For] our singer--David Bowie. Radiohead is a big one for our drummer. There are moments from different songs that you get inspired by...For this album I looked up on YouTube the 100 best bass lines of all time--it's just one of those things..."
Is there anything you want fans to know about this album?
"I would say to the fans, my hope is that people will give the album a listen and not just judge by the singles. My hope is that in a world driven by singles, people will get their hands on the album."
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
"I really like the music to London's Burning--that's a favorite for me."
And, yes, this is a question I could probably Google but what, exactly, does your band name mean?
"It doesn't actually mean anything; it's kind of a disappointing story. We were called Temper Temper and we weren't allowed to use that name so...Temper Trap. Sorry to disappoint you."
BUT GUESS WHAT ISN'T DISAPPOINTING!: Their new album, The Temper Trap, which I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of (ballin'), that you can get JUNE 5thÂ here in 'Merica. I'm currently OBSESSING over the song "Where do we go from here"--we're talking as-soon-as-it's-over-I-hit-replay obsessing. And I'm also all about the first single from that album, "Need Your Love." (Which you can listen to--and buy--now.) So, fer rel, DL the album homies. You have my 100% satisfaction guarantee...
So you know it's good.
(And PS: If you're in ATX, catch them LIVE at Stubb's June 11th. I'll be there--singing along...poorly, unashamed, like a total tool and hopefully pulling off another interview...if I can make myself immune to that accent, that is.)