INTERVIEW AND BAEBLE FIRST PLAY: The Temper Trap and Kasbo's Remix of
    • THURSDAY, JULY 07, 2016

    • Posted by: Mandi Dudek



    On June 16th, The Temper Trap released their highly anticipated third studio-album, Thick as Thieves after a four-year hiatus since their last album.

    But they haven't necessarily been kicking their feet up as they watched the years go by. Shortly after their sophomore self-titled album was released, lead guitarist, Lorenzo Sillitto, announced his departure from Temper Trap, which meant keyboardist and guitarist, Joseph Greer, had to step-up to fill his shoes. But the adjustment of going from a five to four-piece band might've been the creative push Temper Trap needed to deliver a raw, high-energy album that manifests passion from start to finish.

    The Temper Trap brought in some help from a couple of different pop-producers for Thick as Thieves such as Pascal Gabriel (Goldfrapp, Kylie Minogue) and Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Prodigy) to pull out every pop-rock trick in the book. By combining catchy singalong choruses, anthemic guitar chords and the hazy falsetto vocals of Dougy Mandagi, Thick as Thieves is a true cohesive repertoire.

    Along with a remix of "Fall Together" from the 19-year-old, genre-bending producer, Kasbo, The Temper Trap is about a week away from starting their tour all over the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America to promote Thick as Thieves. I was able to chat with drummer Toby Dundas about the new album, their new music video for "Fall Together" and which artists Toby's been listening to lately.



    Mandi Dudek: So you were playing some of the songs from Thick as Thieves at your recent shows, even months before the album was released, right? How have the songs translated live so far?

    Toby Dundas: Its good, you know. Obviously, for a lot of the shows we've been doing before the album came out, people hadn't heard them at all but they seem to be connecting good. There's one in particular, "So Much Sky", and by the end of the third chorus, people are already singing along so that's a good sign. We're just excited now that the album has come out and people have had a chance to listen to it for a little while. It's been such a long process writing, recording it and getting it all ready to go for us but it's been a really nice relief to have it out to show people what we've been up to.

    M: That's awesome. I read that it took almost three years to finish Thick as Thieves? What was the biggest struggle making the album?

    T: It was a pretty long process. It was kind of a bunch of little things, really. Shortly after we started writing, Lorenzo, our guitarist, decided to part ways. That was a hurdle but not the biggest one, I guess. It was a nice break-up, if we can put it that way. He was moving on to another stage in his life. We've all been friends for so long; Lorenzo and I have been since we were 12, so we're still really close and we still hang out a lot. He moved back to Australia now and is doing his thing back there, managing a band and he has two kids. So Joseph has stepped up to the plate massively and started practicing guitar for 8 hours a day, every day. He almost got too good actually, we had to rein him in a bit like, "yo dude, stop showin' the rest of us up. You're too talented."

    [both laughs]

    It's just getting used to going back to being a four-piece - which in the live sense, it's actually been really cool. It's definitely something that's more raw and a bit more energetic and stripped-back on stage. We're really enjoying that part.

    M: Whats your songwriting process like?

    T: It was all over the place. We built a studio in London in 2013, which is another thing that held us back because that took a lot longer than we realized it was going to take. But once we had that all setup, we started bringing other writers in and jamming there ourselves. Then we started going off and doing some writing trips where we'd go off in little groups. Some were in LA, South of France, Byron Bay and Melbourne back in Australia... In Montreal, the guy that produced most of the record, Damien Taylor, has a studio there so we probably did two months with him in our studio in London then went back at his place for a couple of weeks. He has a bunch of cool toys there so we went and hung out in Montreal and made some music and ate some awesome food.

    M: That sounds amazing. I've never been to Montreal but its always been up on my list.

    T: Oh you should go, it's really close to New York and its definitely worth the trip.

    M: Did any event inspire the songwriting process for the album?

    T: Dougy writes most of the lyrics and he's always super cryptic with what they're about. Its even hard for us to find out what they're about. [laughs] But there's a song called, "Tombstone" that Johnny wrote about a family he knew back in Melbourne and some friends of (Johnny's) sister. Their son passed away but there was some sort of a family falling out and they wouldn't get a tombstone for him when he was buried and Johnny's sister and some of her friends raised money to get a proper tombstone for him.

    M: Oh wow. That's crazy.

    T: Yeah, that one has a pretty deep story. "So Much Sky," that I mentioned before, came about when Johnny and Dougy took a trip to Tanzania after we raised a bunch of money to build a water well for one of the Maasai tribes. Johnny and Dougy got the chance to go there to check it out and meet the people so that song was inspired by the landscape and the people that are there.

    M: That's amazing! Who thought to call the album Thick as Thieves?

    T: Well, Dougy had the song, ("Thick as Thieves") and when we started picking a title for the album, that one kept jumping out. It perfectly describes where the process of writing this album has brought the four of us. It's brought us so close and it felt like a lot of times it was us against the world while working on this album and the unity bond that strengthened through that process really resonated that title so we thought it was perfect.

    M: The wolf masks on the album cover is fitting for the title as well. Did one of you think of that idea for that?

    T: You know what? Johnny actually took that photo about three years ago of some kids that lived on his street. They were walking down the street on Halloween and he snapped a couple of shots of these kids with his iPhone. When we thinking of the artwork for the cover, we remembered that shot. It's quite a striking image. It was a bit of a task tracking down the kids and their parents to get their permission. Johnny had moved to New York by that stage and he told us, "They lived in a house on this street. It had a red door." So we literally had to go door-knock the places on that street to track down the kids and the families. It was a lot of "to-ing and fro-ing" but we finally got their permission.

    M: Well, it was totally worth it! I love that photo. So the music video for "Fall Together" premiered last month and its such a rad video - I love it.

    T: Ah, thank you.

    M: Where was that filmed?

    T: We went to an island called Milos, which is in Greece. Originally, we planned on shooting it in the states but we couldn't get leaving in time so the director started looked up some strange landscapes. We almost went to Bolivia and then we were going to do Portugal but then he found Milos and it's such an amazing landscape. Those white, tall cliffs made it feel like you were on the moon.

    M: And there was a random body of water that you four did some cliff-jumping into? How fun!

    T: Yeah, we had to do a pretty epic cliff jump, which was really fun.

    M: How long did the filming process take altogether?

    T: We did three days there and we filmed another one while we were there, which is a work in process, at the moment. That's probably going to be the next video.

    M: Where did the idea for the video come from?

    T: We wanted to work with Kris (Moyes) because we really loved a bunch of the videos he's done. We started talking and bouncing a bunch of ideas around from the four of us in the band and him. Everyone pretty much pitched in their ideas and he pulled them all together.

    M: Awesome! Last question. At Baeble, we always like to know what people are listening. Are there any artists that you're really into at the moment?

    T: Yeah, definitely. I went to Massive Attack the other day at Hyde Park in London. Their latest EP is so good and their live show is amazing. If you ever get a chance to see them if they come to New York, you should check it out. Young Fathers, who sang a track on their EP, came and did the Massive Attack track and then did a couple of their own songs in the middle of the set, which I thought was a really cool way to bring that together.

    Now Watch Our Session With The Band From The Archives

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