Brisbane’s alt indie rock quintet, The Trouble With Templeton, are quickly becoming the most talked about band to hit the music scene this year, with the recent release of their début record, Rookie, it seems like this is the best time to introduce yourselves to this band. The rushes of colour and emotion expressed on Templeton’s début LP is something beautiful to witness from a young band on their first outing. Rookie reveals a sophistication to their sound that has all the panache and dramatics that you’d expect from seasoned greats. The record is emblazoned with a vivid, kaleidoscopic wash of melodies, topped off with a sufficient helping of Aussie sunshine and a vocal from Calder that cuts deep in its evocative torment. Rookie truly is a great introduction to this band.
I caught up with the band’s frontman and songwriter, Thomas Calder, in Manchester. After the band had played a blinding set at Zoo, as part of Dot to Dot festival, we talked about how it feels to finally have their début album out there in the world and how the European tour has been going, plus much more.
Charlotte, Bitter Sweet Symphonies: Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for this interview. What’s one thing that we should all know about The Trouble with Templeton that we might not know about you yet?
Thomas Calder: We like to keep people guessing and hopefully with many records to come, we’ll be changing and evolving, so stick around for the ride.
You’re début record has recently been released in the UK and the US. After such a whirlwind of positive responses in your native Australia, it must be nice to see that the album has been also picking up so many positive reviews from UK and US media outlets?
Yeah it’s great. It’s really, really nice. We’re definitely not focussed to just Australia, so it’s really nice to get support from over here as well. I mean a lot of the bands I love are English, so the UK and Europe especially is really, really lovely.
How does it feel to finally have the record out there and on the shelves all across the world?
Great. It’s fantastic and especially to be partnered with a label like Bella Union, who are like some of our favourite people and they’re an amazing team, and treat us really well so it’s fantastic.
How was the process when working on the album, how far back is it since you recorded the songs in the studio?
We started making the record last January and it got finished around May, so it was like a couple of months on and off. We had a tour of America in between that as well. Some of the songs are like 3 years old though, they’re just demos. I’m always trying to keep writing so there’s demo’s spanning over 3 or 4 years, so from conception to completion it was about 4 or 5 months recording the record.
Seen as tonight’s gig was your first in Manchester, I just want to say welcome. That was a pretty spectacular set. How did you feel the show went tonight?
Thank you. Great, it was really fun. It was a short set so that’s always really nice for us as well. It’s just easy, not much pressure. It was good fun. Hopefully we’ll be able to come back to Manchester soon.
Do UK crowds differ at all to Australian crowds?
Definitely. Surprisingly, I never expected them to because we’re all people in the end but definitely. I think Australians are actually more reserved in a way. Like less likely to come up to you after a show or be really involved, I think the UK crowds are a lot more energetic as a whole.
How are you finding your Dot to Dot festival experience so far? Checked out any bands yet? Any recommendations?
I haven’t had any time to check out any bands but it’s been good so far, we’ve been treated really well. I’m excited to check out some bands but so far it’s been good.
Who are you going to check out?
Yeah it’s Peace.
I’ve gotta check them out because everyone’s talking about them, for sure.
You recently played at The Great Escape in Brighton and you played your first headline show in London this week, how did the shows go? Are you finding the UK crowds receptive to your music?
The shows were great, they’ve all been great this tour. I think we’ve done about 16 shows in the last couple of weeks, they’ve pretty much all been fantastic and the crowds have been amazing. Really, really receptive or it seems like they’re receptive. Yeah it’s really nice to come over here and sort of be welcomed with open arms. There’s always usually a couple of people there, so it’s good at least.
A lot of your music videos are inspired by classic movies, which adds a touch of the cinematic to the songs which sufficiently matches the grandeur of your music. Which has been your favourite video to shoot so far?
The newest one which came out a couple of days ago called Heavy Lifting, was my favourite. My brother and I make them together, we write and direct them together, but the last two of them are the first ones I’ve actually officially been directing with him because I’ve been available to do it time-wise and stuff. Heavy Lifting, the last one, is my favourite so far definitely because it was a great shoot.
I have to admit, you are very convincing as the characters you portray in your videos. You get deep into character. Do you find it hard to commit so wholeheartedly to these characters? Do you have a process that you go through to get into character?
Thank you. I don’t find it hard, I love acting. It’s like what I started doing when I was a kid. Acting and film making was the first thing that I did before getting into music, so any opportunity that I get to do it is great.
In terms of process, not really, it’s all been really natural because I write them as well. Especially for the film clips so I’ve already got an inside into it and a lot of it is a way for me to explore what I want to, like I’m writing it, in order so I can perform it. So yeah through the writing process is really the way I get into it.
What’s next for The Trouble with Templeton?
We’re gonna go back home, I leave on Tuesday next week. Lots more writing, we’ve got a little bit of time off, which will be nice. The first little chunk of time off in a while and a new record. We’ll hopefully be back here in October this year, just follow it up and do many more shows. Hopefully we’ll come back here plenty because it’s been great so far, just keep developing the fanbase and all that jazz.
A special thanks to The Trouble with Templeton for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.