EQ Interview With Temposhark Part One : "It's Emotional, Dramatic, Sexy, Dark..."
Hello EQs! Well if you live under a rock, you probably don't know that Temposhark are one of THE hottest bands at the moment and they will be releasing their beyond brilliant and highly anticipated electronic album 'The Invisible Line' in March. EQ got to chat with Robert Diament, lead singer of the band to chat about their sound, what it's like to work with Imogen Heap and some of the background of their tracks in Part 1.
EQ: Hello Robert - care to introduce yourselves to the readers?
RD: Hello! I'm Robert, lead singer/song writer of Temposhark. The other members are Luke on keyboards, Mark on bass and Mathis on drums!
So how exactly did you come up with the name 'Temposhark'? I heard the name was born out of subconsciousness - is that true?
Yes I woke up one night in the middle of a dream and calmly said "Temposhark". I have no idea where it came from! It was weird but I just knew it was the right name for the band. We wanted something strong, we were into the idea at the time of music being a weapon…so it kind of suited that whole theme.
So your new album 'The Invisible Line' is finally coming out in March - how would you describe it's sound?
It's emotional, dramatic, sexy, dark, reflective…All different musical elements from big strings to electronic beats and keyboards to rock baselines. We like big riffs and sing-a-long choruses.
You started your own label 'Paper and Glue' for it's release right? What's been the most difficult part of putting out an album on your own label?
I first set up my own little record label using my student loan from studying in London! We put out a number of EPs with remixes done by friends. We just kind of did it as we went along. We'd write 3 or 4 songs then put them out straight away! So those early EPs are quite embryonic and you can hear how much our sound has grown when you listen to the actual album. I love running our own label because we're in control of the music and the artwork and also we can move quickly if we need to, which keeps everything fresh. It's also really rewarding because when you read an email from someone who is listening to your music on the other side of the world, it really means something to us because we've created it and worked hard to make it all happen.
How did you come up with the amazing artwork for the album?
I work a lot with a great UK designer called Tom Lardner. We've done all the EPs together, crazy sleeves like a die cut question mark on gold packaging for the 'Neon Question Mark' EP or the black drip for 'Little White Lie' EP and the black rose for 'It's Better To Have Loved' single. I told him how the album title 'The Invisible Line' sums up how I feel about music – how we are all connected to each other and the amazing way that music can travel around the world uniting people. An artist I love called Tracey Emin wrote about her birth and invisible lines that connect the past, present and future in her book 'Exploration Of The Soul' and it really resonated with me, that idea. Spinoza the philosopher also talks about it. So I had that idea. Tom came up with this image of shapes floating in front of my face as if they were traveling, and it just felt right. It suited the theme and its really simple. I really like simplicity in artwork. Simple and bold.
I have to admit, the first time I heard opening track 'Don't Mess With Me', I thought, "Wow, that's really in your face and egotistical. I love it!" What's the story behind this track? Life experience or are you role-playing a teeny bit?
I wrote that song as a character. It's so funny how people think it's me, like literally me! It's a comment on the ridiculousness of egos, of some people I'd been around in the music industry. I love that track. I love how it divides people. Some people either love it madly or can't stand it. I'm also happy we chose it as the opening track. I think it makes you listen 'cause it's a bit different.
What I like most about the album is that lyrically, you don't hold back - especially on 'Little White Lie'. Do you think that being so upfront lyrically is going to get people to sit up and listen to the music?
I just write what I'm feeling. Sometimes it's playing a character, other times its directly describing good and bad events from my life, but at all times it's deeply personal to me. I think that's important. I think being honest and truthful and channeling your subconscious emotions is very important as an artist.
You actually released 'The Invisible Line' awhile ago on digital download for your fans - why did you do this so far in advance of releasing the physical album? We're you worried that maybe it would leak before it's official release or is that a good thing in your eyes?
We just pre-released the album on iTunes because we could! The record was finished and there were a lot of people who wanted the album straight away. So we just thought, what harm is it going to do? And as it turned out, yes the album did leak way ahead of schedule anyway, so I'd rather there was a high quality version of it up on iTunes or wherever… so at least people can hear it how its meant to sound. I don't mind leaks though, as long as people are listening that's all that matters I guess. But I still buy music. I've always bought music and will always. I think its important to support other artists because otherwise they won't be able to keep supporting themselves to make more…I just bought two albums in Berlin last week by Final Fantasy for example, as I've been meaning to get his CDs for like a year and never got around to it!
I might have to check out Final Fantasy then! How did your collaboration with Imogen Heap come to fruition on 'Not That Big'?
I'd been a fan of hers since her first single 'Getting Scared', when I was 17 or something! I'd got to know her over those following years, asked her to sing with us and she was up for it. I love her band Frou Frou with Guy Sigsworth too. Imogen's one of the great artists of our time. Unlike many other artists, she continually shines brighter and brighter with every album she does.
EQ: Stay bookmarked for Part 2 of our chat with Temposhark very soon where we take some EQ reader questions, Robert talks about the one and only Madonna and his reaction when we compare the band to Nine Inch Nails!
Until then, make sure you check them out on MySpace and run to iTunes and download their digital album if you can't wait for the physical release in March! Check out EQ's album review of 'The Invisible Line' back in August right here too!