The Band: Temtris
Answers by: Genevieve Rodda (vocals)
Temtris is an Australian band with four albums in the streets, the last one just released in this 2016, the great “Enter the Asylum”. If you like heavy metal I strongly recommend you to listen to these guys if you haven’t done it before, they have the skills but, more important for me, they have the touch and the feeling, and they don’t care to cross any boundaries into other styles, what makes their approach really exciting and enjoyable. Nonetheless, their new CD have been chosen album of the month in Metalbrothers.es
Hello Genevieve! You started your project in 1999, how would you summarize all these years?
Our journey with Temtris has been a long and difficult one, but ultimately, when we look back at all the obstacles we have overcome and all that we have been able to achieve, it has been very rewarding and memorable.
From to 2007 to 2014 there was a gap in the recording activty of the band, what happened?
We had some frustrating years from around 2005 with line-up changes and general instability. We do not play the simplest form of heavy metal music (although we don’t pretend to be Symphony X or anything like that!), but we do set high standards for Temtris and it was difficult to find musicians to match what we were trying to achieve, or musicians that could cope with the demands of being a live musician in Australia during that time.
In all those years, you regret about what and you feel very proud about what?
There are no regrets. We have always done our best with whatever we have been given to work with. These were difficult years as the music industry in general in Australia slowly died and we are proud of how we were one of the few bands that endured.
On April this year you released your fantastic album “Enter the Asylum”. What differences are we gonna find between this new album and the first songs of the band many years ago?
A much better overall production than earlier releases and stronger musicianship overall. There is so much more of each member’s ‘personality’ evident in their performances on this latest album.
I think last year you got a new guitarist on board, Anthony Hoffman. How did it happen and how has he contributed to “Enter the Asylum”?
Wayne Campbell (drummer) had worked with ‘Hoff’ in a couple of bands before. He’s an amazing guitarist and prolific songwriter. So when Lew Smith departed at the end of the Shallow Grave tour “Hoff’ was top of the list. Within weeks of Hoff coming into Temtris he and Fox had put together the song ‘Enter the Asylum’ and the album had found its title track. It also had blown out to 12 tracks and over 50 mins. That was Hoff’s fault as well… haha…
Hoff and Fox both have quite distinctive guitar styles and they love to challenge and push each other, but when they lock in together on stage it’s amazing how well their styles compliment each other.
If I had to describe the music you show in this new album I would say pure heavy metal with powerful vocals, addictive riffs and astonishing solos. Do you agree or you would add anything else to the menu?
We would agree, Yes! We would also like people to appreciate the way each song connects musically with its ‘theme’. When we create music, it’s always with a story or an emotion in mind and we try very hard to make sure the musical elements we include support our ideas for the song.
Who is the composition brain inside Temtris?
In the early years Fox did the majority of the compositions and arrangements. He is still a big part of every Temtris song and the musical and artistic concepts, but with the strength of musicians in Temtris now Enter the Asylum was much more of a team effort and everybody had input into all of the compositions.
How long did you need to end up this “Enter the Asylum” and how was the recording process?
We had a bit of a headstart on the songwriting process due to the delays in the release of Shallow Grave, but it was still a very quick turn around once the current line-up was in place which is testament to everyone’s ability - even Pete Wuth (Engineer) survived a very tight timeframe. Songs were done in very few takes in isolated studios, compiled and arranged by Fox, and then Pete worked his magic. We may take a little more time on the next release, but then again, hearing what we have achieved with Enter the Asylum, maybe not.
Sincerely, I like all the songs in the album, no filler in it, you keep the high level from beginning to the end, and that is not easy
I don’t think Fox, or for that matter any member of Temtris, could write a ‘filler’ song if they tried. We certainly wouldn’t put it on a Temtris album. Does make it tough when we’re working out the live shows though...
Well, I think every band would love to have that kind of problems with the set list for the shows J Did you dismiss any song throughout the recording process?
Enter the Asylum was originally going to have 9 or 10 tracks on it. But out of the 13 tracks that were completed to full demo, only one got the chop. We liked all the other tracks so much we quickly gave up trying to decide which ones to put aside, took a deep breath, and went for a 12 track album.
Most of the songs are classic and powerful heavy metal, but you also deliver some faster tempos, in the speed metal vein, as Darkness Falling
Darkness Falling, Nightstalker, Mind Games. The faster tempos support the subject matter. Those songs are about heart racing fear, adrenalin and confusion. We don’t really pay attention to genres when we write music, it’s whatever the music needs to get the emotion across to the audience.
Even we get a emotive ballad with Lament and an instrumental song with Too Deep, and you do it right. One even can think that you could be playing thrash, progressive or death metal if you wish...
One key element that defines Temtris is the fact that we will always create music for the emotion and the story. We have no desire to copy ‘trends’ or genres. Heavy metal is such a diverse artform, why would you limit yourself? We are quite comfortable moving from ‘thrash’ to ‘progressive’, or anywhere else, even during one song, if we think it will get the stories in our music across.
Moreover, to have Wayne Campbell is a plus for any band, he did a fantastic work
Temtris started with Wayne originally and his skills were a great match for what the band was trying to achieve. It was great to have him back on board for Enter the Asylum.
Genevieve, what is your favorite song in the album and which one was harder to finish?
Break the Skin was a very challenging song, but it’s a favourite and is great to perform live. Empty Room is also becoming a bit of a crowd favourite.
What are those bands that have influenced your sound?
Genevieve enjoys Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Tate and Erik A.K., Fox is also a Flotsam and Jetsam fan. Hoff likes his Slayer. Wayne refers to early Metal Church. Spoon loves Dio and Ace Frehley. Listen closely and you might hear the influence of some of those bands and musicians in the music of Temtris.
As an Australian band, how do you see the metal scene in your country?
The Australian metal scene is a small but dedicated underground scene driven by bands such as ourselves that are prepared to do the hard work to promote, record and perform themselves. It’s either that or play ‘hardcore’.
Is it more difficult to be a metal band in Australia than in Europe, US or South America?
South America? Maybe not. Europe or U.S. definitely. Music in general in Australian society is not widely supported. Australian metal ‘fans’ will quite happily turn out in droves for the occasional visit from Iron Maiden or Metallica, but are relatively unaware of quality bands in their own neighbourhood because their is no network to support them. Festival promoters will pay thousands of dollars to fill a bill with overseas acts to give them ‘promotion’ in Australia whilst ignoring Australian artists completely, leaving the small group of quality bands that remain to fight over touring support slots, or head overseas.
A pity, and unfair. What are your plans for the future?
Yes! Our next goal for Temtris is to get out of Australia and play some international shows. We have reached a very pronounced limit in terms of what is possible to achieve with our music in this country. We are in a very good place in that regard compared to many other bands, but we are always looking for the next challenge.
Thank you very much for your time and congratulations for the killer album you have created, we wish you the best!
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to connect with you and your audience. We hope that we will be performing close to you someday soon and we can share our live shows with you. If you like the album or you would like to purchase our cds you can head over www.temtris.com our filmclips and other news is updated on a regular basis (or join the mailing list) to keep up with everything Temtris. Cheers. \m/