Exclusive: The Temperance Movement

The U.K rock band The Temperance Movement released their self-titled debut album in early 2015 and have been winning over fans across the world. The group has a strong fan base in the U.K and have been gaining momentum in North America playing songs off their new album playing high-profile gigs with The Rolling Stones and Deep Purple.  Three of the members of the band took time out from their tour to talk about their successful year so far:

1)The band has been on tour in North America, just finished opening for Deep Purple in Toronto. How has the crowd’s reaction been?

Nick Fyffe: The reaction has been amazing and very encouraging. We’ve been playing to a lot of people who’ve never seen or heard of us before and by the end of the set it’s felt like we’ve won them over for sure.

Paul Sayer: That’s obviously incredibly flattering.  I think our goal is much broader and simpler – we just want to make the best music we possibly can as a band, whether it be live or in the studio.  We definitely identify with the approach to making music which was possibly much more common 40 or 50 years ago, and I believe there’s an energy to recording and playing totally live which can’t be captured any other way.  I think that energy and honesty is what our fans react to and believe to be ’true’ music.  Even as we explore the different things we want to do musically and creatively as a band, we’ll hold on to that approach to our recording and our live shows.  As far as a movement towards more ‘classic’ rock and roll – I think that people are now more discerning than ever as listeners and I think a lot of people are sick of so called ‘manufactured’ artists and reality tv shows.  The internet means that as soon as you discover a new band you can also learn everything there is to know about where they’ve come from and who they are – and it’s becoming more and more important to people that an artist or band is ‘the real deal’.  They want to see a return to bands paying their dues and growing into great acts in the same way bands did in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s – instead of being created over night and then having a very limited life.

Damon Wilson: The reaction has been fantastic. There’s a deep understanding of rock and roll and the blues in the States. Plus it’s no secret that American and Canadian crowds make a lot of noise. Our fans in Europe are a pretty noisy bunch but there’s definitely a culture of being ‘involved’ in the show amongst fans the other side of the pond.

2)Many critics and fans are saying the band has restored their faith in rock’n’roll. That they are their hope to bring back ‘true’ rock n’ roll to the music world. Do you feel pressure hearing such statements and do you feel like you’re part of a movement towards more ‘classic’ rock and roll?

NF: It’s great to hear that people are feeling that. It doesn’t feel like pressure. We just make music that excites us. If we don’t get excited by it, we couldn’t expect anyone else to. I wouldn’t say we’re in any “classic rock” movement. Not that I’m aware of.

DW: I had no idea they were saying that! I don’t think we’d ever presume to think we can bring back anything let alone rock n roll. That’s for other people to judge. This band isn’t on any kind of great mission apart from making the best music we possibly can. Yeah there’s other bands out there like Blues Pills and Rival Sons making some really good noises. Together are we a movement? I don’t know. I’d like to think that sort of thing can really only be judged years later. Ask me again in 2030.  

3)The album was just released in North America this year, but are you guys working on new music? New projects for the band?

NF: We have album 2 ready to go. It’ll be released at the beginning of next year. There are always ideas being thrown into the pot so just as album 2 is out, we’ll already be writing Album 3

DW: We’ve just finished mixing and mastering the new album. It was a different journey from the first record. We spent a lot more time thinking about music that could fill the larger spaces we’re now playing. Now that we’re at home there’s more music seeping out. The creative process shouldn’t really stop.

PS: We’ve actually been working on a new album for the past few months and finished putting the final touches to it last week.  Obviously, the first album was available in Europe a while ago but we didn’t release it in North America until recently because we wanted to make sure we could commit to being there to tour and promote it when we did.  We’re hoping to release our sophomore album very early in 2016!

4)Is North American success something you are looking for or it’s just a natural progression to play in North America after such success in Europe?

NF: North American success is the holy grail for bands like us. It’s a vast continent steeped in musical history and to be accepted over there is a badge of honour.

DW: Phil says that we started this band so we could play these songs in North America. That makes sense to me. But the challenge isn’t so much as to ‘crack’ America as to be authentic in the way you play and sing. So I guess what we’re looking for in Canada and America is to connect with people who know the roots of the music we’ve written. Once you get that then other good things should hopefully follow….

PS: Since the very beginnings of the band we’ve always believed that the audiences in the US and Canada would ‘get’ our music.  So much of the music that influences us comes from that side of the Atlantic that it’s always been our aim to take what we do over and experience playing in some of those legendary music cities.  Obviously you also get a huge buzz from playing shows in your home town and we’re very fortunate that things have gone so well for us in Europe over the last couple of years.  I guess the dream is to have the best of both worlds, and that’s definitely our plan for 2016!

5) You are being compared to the Stones and many other great rock bands. What was the experience like to play for the Stones for not one but many shows with them over the last year?

NF: It’s an experience none of us will forget. When asked about it, it still doesn’t seem to make sense that it happened but it did and it felt awesome!

DW: Opening for The Rolling Stones was a huge learning curve for us. They’re the masters. So we were like kids on their first day of school. Just trying to avoid after school detention! And for the record The Stones are a very sweet bunch of guys.

PS: I think it goes without saying that opening for The Stones would probably top most bands ‘to do’ list.  It was almost surreal at times.  To be asked back by the guys to play the show with them in Florida this year was, if it’s possible, more special than having been asked to open for them in Europe last year because it felt like we’d ‘earned our stripes’, and we’d impressed them enough for them to want to take us out again.  In contrast to the huge stage and massive crowds, we were also lucky enough to have some quiet moments with Mick, Keith, Ronnie and Charlie backstage, and it only takes a few words from the guys that have seen and done it all to leave a huge impression on you.  At one point Keith said to me – “whatever you do, just keep going” – and that’s exactly what we plan on doing!