The Temperance Movement are back with a bang. The group recently released their highest charting album to date in the shape of A Deeper Cut.
The five piece’s now third studio album debuted in the official UK charts at an impressive Number 6. Who said that rock music is dead? National Rock Review recently caught up with The Temperance Movement’s lead guitarist Paul Sayer before the band’s show at Newcastle University to get the lowdown on their new album A Deeper Cut, the band’s revised lineup and their plans for the rest of the year.
NRR: You are currently out on the road across the UK, you are about halfway through the tour. How have the shows been going so far?
Paul: Awesome. I think when you’ve got a new record out and you’ve released it so close to the start of the tour you are kind of asking quite a lot of the audience really, because for the first couple of shows people have only had the record for a couple of days and you are throwing a lot of new music at them. Our audiences have always been really great in that respect anyway and I think they like to hear the new music even if it’s not out yet.
So it’s been awesome, and slowly as the shows have been going along its kind of like they are singing more and more of the words back to us, do you know what I mean. The first couple of nights the crowd was just kind of listening to the new stuff, but now people have started to sing. Its kind of like one night they get as far as the first verse and then they stop and then the next day they get a bit further, it’s good.
NRR: Obviously like you just mentioned you recently released your new album A Deeper Cut. This album is your highest charting album to date, it went into the official UK charts at Number 6 in its first week of release. Have you been overwhelmed by the response to the record?
Paul: I’m really glad that people like the record, or that our fans like the record. I hope this doesn’t come across as arrogant because I don’t mean it too, but I’m not surprised by the chart position really because we kind of know where we are at in the scheme of things. So we were hoping for something like that. It’s more that obviously when you make an album you are self-editing it, or however you want to put it as much as possible, you don’t really know what people are going to think of it until they hear it. So I suppose its kind of like we knew that it would be possible for us to get a chart position like that if we released a good record and we thought we had a good record but you don’t really know until you get it out there. So I’m mainly just really glad that people like it.
NRR: It seems that with A Deeper Cut the sound on the record is a bit mellower and soulful than White Bear. Was the intention when you first started out working on this record?
Paul: I think to be honest it’s more that White Bear was kind of heavier and darker than the band naturally is. I think A Deeper Cut is more us at our most honest. White Bear, we kind of wanted to make a very different sounding record to the first one and so we were kind of actively pursuing a sound where we were kind of stretching a bit to reach that, whereas this one is more comfortably us.
NRR: This album is the first record with the current lineup of the band with Matt White on guitar and Simon Lea on drums. How much of a difference has it made having those guys on board this time around?
Paul: Yeah well obviously they are very different musicians to the guys that they replaced. So it’s had an effect on the sound of the band in a positive way. Also, I think its kind of healthy to have people in the band or it has been for us – for those guys it was their first record and they kind of had the energy and the excitement of the making of their first one, which is a good energy to have when you are doing it.
I think as well, between us all and the new guys we are not kind of die-hard rock fans, we like lots of music and this band is kind of our common ground. I think the best way that I can describe what I like is kind of honest music, I can tell when a song has been written honestly or when it been written by a writing team and that’s what I like, almost regardless of the genre really. I think the other guys are the same, so our musical influences span a lot of different things. I would say the new guys joining it almost makes that even wider and you give it in hints on the albums I think. It’s still a rock and roll band, but we always kind of want to show some way that it’s a bit wider than that as well.
NRR: We just mentioned about Luke and Damon they left the band, and there’s a track on the album which touches on that which is “Higher Than The Sun”. I know Luke walked out on the band following your US tour and the recording of White Bear. I was just wondering what was your initial reaction to his departure?
Paul: When Luke left Phil was really shocked and didn’t see it coming. I kind of saw it coming, to be honest with you. I knew that he was about to have kids. Touring is awesome if you enjoy it, it sounds so simple to say it, do you know what I mean. If it’s not for you it’s almost torture really and it just wasn’t really for him. We’ve all toured in the past with different things and Luke had kind of decided at one point that he didn’t want to tour anymore, where I’ve never got to that point. Then the band kind of took off and he started touring again, but I knew that he didn’t really love touring. If that’s what you’ve decided then it’s really intense. So I wasn’t too shocked by it, to be honest.
NRR: In terms of your own personal tastes what’s the one album in your record collection that you couldn’t live without?
Paul: Maybe an album by Bonnie Raitt called Sweet Forgiveness, that’s the first one that jumps to mind.
NRR: I love Bonnie Raitt.
Paul: I mean that’s probably my first love is kind of that sort early 70’s West Coast/Laurel Canyon sound – Jackson Browne and Little Feet, Crosby Stills and Nash. That stuff is what I sort of fell in love with.
NRR: It’s the start of the new year, how much of this year have you got mapped out. What’re the plans for the band?
Paul: At the moment we’ve been really focussed on getting the album out and this tour and we move out into Europe next month (March). We’ve got a few festivals. We are doing Download and possibly something else in the UK that we can’t say anything about. We’ve got some support slots with a band that I can’t say anything about yet I don’t think. But beyond the summer we aren’t really sure yet, I think the plan was to get this on the road and then we’ve got a week off coming up and then we will work out what we are doing.
A Deeper Cut by The Temperance Movement is out now via Earache Records.
The Temperance Movement
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