Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Trouble With Templeton


With the very first song he released, Australia's Thomas Calder (aka The Trouble With Templeton) has become one of my favorites and his aforementioned debut "Bleeders", has shot to the top of my favorite songs of 2011. I've since had the chance to hear a few more of his songs and am eagerly awaiting the release of his upcoming debut CD. I recently had the chance to talk to him about "Bleeders", the upcoming CD and his plans for the new year.

MK - Can you give me a little background on yourself?

TTWT - I started writing music as a young teenager and dropped out of school at age 16. I’m also a photographer and actor, and I come from an incredibly creative and supportive family.

MK - Why did you decide to go with a band name as opposed to just using your name?

TTWT - I wanted the project to be about more than just the concept of one person’s expression. I want the music to be like a world you visit when you put your headphones on. I think a moniker gives the project a much larger scope and gives the music much more mystery to get lost in. hope that makes sense! I’m sure it doesn’t.

MK - The Trouble With Templeton was the name of a Twilight Zone episode. I'm assuming that's where the name came from. Why did you choose that?

TTWT - The Twilight Zone is one of my favourite shows of all time.  Rod Serling is a huge Idol of mine.  I've always loved the Episode titles, and in particular "The Trouble With Templeton" was just one I've always thought would make a great band name.  The episode itself has a strong sense of nostalgia and whimsy, which are elements I think are also apparent in the music I write. 

MK - Since most people reading this have most likely not heard you yet, how would you describe The Trouble with Templeton and who would you say are your biggest influences?

TTWT - I find that question very hard to answer because it’s so different from song to song. I try to shy away from putting the music in any “genre. The only way I know how to describe it is to say I try to write honestly about my thoughts and experiences, I love language and the lyrics and melody are the most important aspect of a song to me. I hope the result ends up being something thoughtful and passionate. This record in particular really wears its heart on its sleeve. In terms of influences, there’s so many! The Beatles of course, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Death Cab For Cutie, Elliott Smith, Bonnie Prince Billy (to name a few!) I’m influenced a lot by Film. Buster Keaton, Rod Serling, Woody Allen and Tim Burton are some of my Heroes. Photographers too, Richard Avedon, Elliott Erwitt, argh I’ll stop now.

MK - I want to congratulate you on the song "Bleeders". For me it's a definite frontrunner for best song of the year. I'm also extremely impressed with the video. Can you tell me about that?

TTWT - First of all thank you so much for the kind words. Secondly the video was directed by my brother Josh Calder. We both had some ideas to bring to the table and worked together to create a concept we were both happy with. I couldn’t be happier with the end result and the feedback and support for the video so far has been overwhelming.

MK - What is your typical songwriting process?

TTWT - It differs from song to song really, I usually start on guitar. I find a chord structure or set of notes that interest me, then I start exploring a melody. I improvise and explore words to fill in the melody and then slowly a meaning or direction reveals itself and I start to properly write the lyrics. Some songs are harder to write than others, some just come out and it’s this incredible spontaneous release. Others take weeks, months, sometimes years. It’s usually a very different process for each song.

MK - You're getting ready to release your debut full-length release. What can you tell me about that? Also, are you self-releasing it or is there a label involved? Will it be available everywhere?

TTWT - There’s no label involved, but I’m releasing with the help of a wonderful Distribution company here in Australia called “MGM Distribution”. It will be available physically all around Australia and digitally throughout the world via iTunes, Amazon e.t.c.

MK - You currently have a limited edition EP, Swell, that you are selling at tour dates and through bandcamp. It has 2 tracks from the upcoming disc and 2 that won't be on there. Do you have any plans to make those 2 non-album tracks available as downloads at some point?

TTWT - Not any time in the foreseeable future. Those songs were recorded especially for the EP and I’d like to keep them exclusive for the people who decide to purchase them.

MK - Do you have a band for your live shows or is it all just you?

TTWT - Eventually I’ll be putting together a band but for the time being It’s just myself and female vocalist, Betty Yeowart. The music I write usually involves a lot of additional instrumentation, but when it came time to start touring and playing the songs from this record, it just didn’t feel right with a band. I made every aspect of the album alone so I guess it makes sense that I felt the best way to represent the songs live was by myself. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I love playing acoustically and playing to a room full of people with nothing but a guitar and your voice really kicks you into getting confident in who you are quick smart.

No comments: