Adored by BBC and NME.com, Australia’s The Temper Trap are becoming an indie rock sensation that makes Kings Of Leon look like princesses. As guitarist/keyboardist Lorenzo Sillitto told us, the band started out as any other, with numerous name changes and a large collection of influences.
Photos Cred: Sara Collaton
How did you come up with the name The Temper Trap?
Originally the band started out with the name The Harlequins. Anyway as the band was developing it got to a point where we thought a change of name would more suit the direction in which the band was heading. Toby (drummer) and I had been playing together in a project that Toby liked to call Temper Temper. It was a weird mix of people trying to do avant-garde type music with little success so I think Toby bought it to the table and we decided to change it to that. So we where Temper Temper for a few years.
But as we were about to get signed in Australia we decided to see if any other bands shared the same name. There was a punk/emo band from Wisconsin that had the name Temper Temper and our manager told us right before we signed we needed to change our name. We where driving back from Sydney at the time so there were many names thrown around the car and also a few heated conversations. In the end we all just left the responsibility to Toby and we’ve been The Temper Trap ever since.
If The Temper Trap was a physical being, what would it be and what type of personality would it have?
I think it would probably be a four-headed being from the planet nebular. It would be quite strange to look at as there would always be some type of heated discussion and it would have a very bad case of Tourette’s syndrome.
When did you first get involved in music?
I first picked up an instrument when I was about five years old. I started playing the violin, I thought it was a good move at first until I started to play more frequently and I thought that the chin rest was going to give me a premature double chin.
How did the band first come about?
Basically, Dougy (lead vocals/guitarist) wanted to start a band and he happened to work at a retail chain with Toby. He was asking around at work who played instruments and someone mentioned Toby. However, he was already playing in a band which was doing some touring and recording. So after some convincing the two of them and another friend of Dougy’s started to jam. It got to a point where Dougy says that they where lacking in the bass department so he asked a guy to come and have a jam.
That person never showed and that’s when they enlisted Dougy’s long time friend in Jonny (bassist). Dougy had taught Jonny Weezer tunes among some others when they where younger but Jonny had never played the bass so he gave it a crack. After a few guitarists left the band for different reasons, they needed a new guitarist. I had been playing in another band at the time which had played a few shows with The Harlequins. I was also a friend of Toby’s so they asked my to try out and the rest is history.
What artists influence you the most?
I guess as a band the artists that influence us are Radiohead, Arcade Fire, David Bowie, TV On The Radio and others as we all have varying tastes.
Arctic Monkeys or Massive Attack?
How would you describe your music?
I wouldn’t. I would let someone else describe it.
What’s one unique thing you bring to the table that other bands don’t?
I think that Dougy’s voice is pretty unique. I also think that on this record we haven’t stuck to a particular formula and that most of the songs sound different to one another which is a positive.
What’s it been like having your songs featured in video games, television shows and films? How did you get approached for these?
It’s pretty amazing to be asked to have your song in things like movies and television. It’s a great way to get your music out to a wider audience. These things come in different ways, some might come through publishing, some might come through friend of management, it just depends.
What’s been your favourite show that you’ve played and why?
One of my favourite shows this year was in Japan. We played this amazing festival called Summer Sonic and the lineup was amazing. Beyonce, Grizzly Bear, Ne-Yo, the list goes on. We had a good energy on stage and it was the largest crowd that we had ever played in front of.
Do you get intimidated looking at a tour schedule with scant few days off on until the end of January?
It’s only really started to get a little hectic because we have been going solid for the greater part of the year but at the same time I could not think of anything else I would rather be doing. This has been our goal for so long so I just want to ride the wave as long as I can. It feels great, I’m looking forward to going back to Australia at the end of the year to do some shows and then there is our European tour which I’m really looking forward to so it couldn’t really get much better.
Favourite place in Australia to hang out at?
My favourite breakfast spot and place to hang on a hot day is the Galieon in St Kilda. God I miss that place. Otherwise it would have to be at one of my friends’ house playing porch golf and sipping beers.
What does music mean to you?