In these dark times of ever-insular indie trends, it seems we need a bold, brash sound to waken the nation’s guitar pickers. Hailing from Australia, surrounded by dramatic landscapes and the ever-piercing sunlight, The Temper Trap widescreen rock vision may be just the epic-sized alarm call we need.
Formed around American ex-pat Dougy Mandagi, The Temper Trap have had a long gestation period, gigging around Australia for four years. Honing their craft, the band played countless shows building their reputation from the ground up. Admittedly, the group can’t write on the road: “I personally find it very hard to focus when I’m running around carrying my little suitcase from one hotel to the other,” claims Mandagi. Nonetheless, the band ended up with a clutch of songs that stand apart through their sheer ambition.
The Temper Trap stood apart from the beginning due to Mandagi’s striking voice. Asserting he is no musical snob, the frontman says: “I listen to anything really. I can sit down and listen to Beyonce or the most obscure indie band. Anything that sounds good I’ll listen to - I don’t discriminate when it comes to music.” A love of black music shines through, however, with the singer claiming: “my vocals are very different from other groups’. I try to keep an element of soul in my voice.”
Attracting the attention of legendary producer Jim Abiss (knob-twiddler for Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian and many more) led to some dream recording sessions for the band. Mandagi remains in awe, saying that “it was an honour to have someone of that calibre even wanting to work with us to begin with. We’re just some no-name band all the way out here in Australia, so why would he want to come all the way out here?”
Why, indeed. Perhaps it was the band’s love of the epic, or as Mandagi puts it “the big choruses, the sweeping string sections.” Driven by pounding drums, The Temper Trap convey a sonic euphoria sadly missing from the navel-gazing UK indie scene. In fact, the band is so eager to let people hear their music that they are moving to London!
Despite the distance, the Australian group is desperate for people to hear their music. The Temper Trap know things will be tough, but their confidence is clear to see. “I don’t think it will be easy, but I don’t think anything good is gonna come easy,” claims the singer. “It’ll be tough. There’ll be seven of us living under the same roof and that alone will be tough. But we welcome it with open arms. Bring it on.”