AUSTRALIAN INDIE GIANTS THE TEMPER TRAP RETURNED TO ITALY ON FEBRUARY 5TH, 2017: DURING A GREY AND RAINY DAY IN MILAN WE MET THEM AT MAGNOLIA BEFORE THEIR GIG. AFTER A SHORT SHOOTING WITH DOUGY, JONATHON, JOSEPH AND TOBY, WE SAT DOWN WITH TWO OF THEM FOR A NICE CHAT ABOUT THEIR NEW PROJECTS AND LAST GIGS. REDMILK MEETS TOBY DUNDAS (DRUMS AND BACKING VOCALS) AND DOUGY MANDAGI (LEAD VOCALS AND RHYTHM GUITAR).
Hello guys, I bet your are missing Australia with this weather…
Toby: Well, I do, as I was in Melbourne for Xmas. It was not that warm but surely better than here. Anyway, we usually all live in London so it’s pretty the same as today in Milan.
Let’s start our interview speaking about the new album. ‘Think As Thieves’ looks like a photography of your years of activity together. How did it turned out and is there any connection with the past albums?
Toby: I think, sonically speaking, we really wanted to go back to the kind of guitar focus, the energy and the tunes that the first album had, with more production elements and things we used to have. And with this album we feel that is a kind of good marriage, musically speaking. The songs are alive.
Yes, how is it to play the new album live?
Toby: It’s just great to be back on stage and on the road, feeling the crowd with our new songs.
Can you tell us something about the title and the cover picture choosen for ‘Think As Thieves’?
Dougy: Well, the title comes from the opening song of album and we decided for this one because it sounded good to us. It’s an English saying that means ‘brotherhood’. We felt that this word represent us a lot as a band. About the photo of the cover instead, there’s a nice story: it comes from an instagram picture that Johnny (Jonathon Aherne – bass, backing vocals) took years ago of his neighbor’s kids during Halloween. They are gipsy kids (laughs). It was hard to get the rights from their mothers to use it (laughs again).
Toby: Yes, (laughs), it was pretty hard because Johnny took it like in 2013 and in the meantime he moved to New York; so i was living neaby in London and he mentioned a house with a red door and i’ve started knocking to all red doors but eventually i found this house, they open the door and i tried to explain to this lady that we wanted to use the picture of her kids… such a funny situation (laughs). I am pretty sure that she did not exactly understand what we wanted but when we offered some money they clearly said yes (we all laugh).
Since few years you are a collective of 4 artists. How has changed your music since Lorenzo’s departure and how did you reshaped in a way the band?
Toby: Well, we are now a square and before we were a pentagram (we all laugh).
Dougy: Hey Toby, that’s a great answer! (laughs) By the way, musically speaking, since we are a man down, it made us re-evaluate how we were going to approach things and with Lorenzo leaving, we all understand again the DNA of the band.
Which has been the most exciting collaboration in this album?
Toby: When Dougy started working on the album in LA, we had the chance to get linked up with Frank Ocean’s Producer, Malay, as well as Justin Parker (Lana Del Rey, Rihanna, Skrillex, Ellie Goulding) and Pascal Gabriel (Kylie Minogue, Ladyhawke, Dido, Goldfrapp). We wanted to explore what other people could bring on the table and from that point we were open to this possibility and it has been very exciting to have some talents to contribute to the album.
You’ll be touring in Europe and then off to Far East and Africa. Which has been the most incredible place you have been playing and why?
Toby: I think that the best gig of this album happened the other day in Prague! It was our first time there and we played in a little club but the reaction of the crowd was pleasent and unexpected.
Dougy: We ended up the gig with everyone on stage! (laughs)
Toby: Great great night and great that we have been together for 12 years and still have this kind of things happening.
Dougy: Small gigs give us a different energy and this was the case.
Thank you guys, pleasure having you today!
Photography by Fabrizio Consoli for RedMilk.
Special thanks to Nina Astarte www.astarteagency.it