Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
With their self-titled debut album entering the UK chart at number 12,and a recently announced show at Classic Rock,s Roll of Honour in London on November 14 the Temperance Movement are definitely the” happening”band.I recently had the opportunity to chat to the bands,singer Phil Campbell to discuss their rising star.
Good afternoon Phil, thinking back to your childhood,what was your first remembered experience of music? Which song do you remember most from that period?
Phil”Wichita Lineman”by Glen Campbell.”
What then was the first song that you ever sung?
Phil”It was love on the rocks by Neil Diamond”
As a child music surrounds us, what type of music did you hear the most? How does that differ from what you listen to now?
Phil” When I was younger, we did a lot of singing around the piano in our house. We were church folks,into music, choruses and things like that. My folks were Mission Hall people which comes with a culture of singing and that’s what got me. Then when I was a little bit older, when Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Black Crowes were around that’s when I really started to get into music. I loved a band called the Hothouse Flowers from the South of Ireland. I went through a phase where I really dug things like Elton John, and anybody that played piano. He was one of the guys who inspired me. I shifted then onto things like Radiohead when they came out. I then picked up the guitar and got into really wild rock music.”
How would you describe the Temperance Movement to somebody not familiar with the band?
Phil”We are a five piece rock and roll outfit that celebrate all forms of Americana rock&roll soul music. We are quite an explosive live band, and at times we can be very sweaty.”
To just ask about your band name. Obviously there are gospel influences apparent on the album, but how did they band devise that moniker? Is it just an obvious follow on from your early musical influences?
Phil”No, obviously we came out of church but we didn’t actually live like that. My mate suggested we should call the band the Temperance Movement, just as a laugh. Both our grandfathers had taken the pledge when they were younger and had been drinking partners as well. I just laughed out loud, I thought it was hilarious.that a rock+roll band would be called such a thing but I loved it all.It sounded a bit like Creedence Clearwater Revival, and that was a band that I was into at the time. It was an old world, travelling band kind of vibe. It really doesn’t have any gospel kind of connection. As I said the band itself is something that we have grown into. I mean refers mainly to alcohol in peoples minds. For us it is more about being a hard working band on the road going about our business and not getting fucked up. That would ruin it.”
How did the band originate, as its made up with individuals from Glasgow, London and even Australia.?
Phil”London is the connection, we all met up there. We all gravitated to London. Three band members are from London, I met Luke in 2009 just before I left to go back to Glasgow. I had met him the year before a couple of times and he had talked about starting a band but it just didn’t happen. I moved back to Glasgow and Luke phoned me, asked if I wanted to do that. It was just then the right time, and I said yes. He brought in Paul and that made it a group, and not just the two of us. Then we found Nick and Damon. I think it was October 2010, or 2011 I cant really remember now. We have been together for about three years, it worked and we just went from there.”
What about the song writing process within the band, who writes them, what are the subject matters and how do you create?
Phil”The song writing happens in different ways. With “Morning Riders”or something like that, I got them upfront. They were written pretty much in verse chorus verse chorus form, but jammed out on the guitar and it was up to me to sing over the top of it. That was the way that it worked for some songs. Other times I would sit in the same room, and jam something out and write together. There also may be a tune that is fully written by somebody, that is a great tune that we all like. There are different ways of doing it.”
The band are only a short way into their musical career, but what has been the biggest break or greatest opportunity for the band to date?
Phil”I think it was early on because, we got a break and got a chance to play the Albert Hall in London. It was called the Sunflower Jam and it was in celebration of Jon Lord from Deep Purple. It was a fund raiser for a cancer charity. We had a connection that enabled us to get onto that set, and we opened the show. We played two songs and it was just a massive gig in and with rock hierarchy. We got this massive break in front of these pure rock guys, the old guard so to speak like Brian May. We came on, blasted a couple of tunes and were loved for it. Then we were played on Planet Rock radio and the views of our videos went up massively. We tried to capitalize, as we had some video presentations of us doing”Only Friend”. It went to over a 100,000 views after that. That to me was the lucky break for us, it felt amazing because we came onto the same stage that Led Zeppelin had played. First thing that I did when I went home is watch Led Zeppelin live at the Albert Hall”. (laughs)
How did the record deal come around with Earache because you are certainly not typical of their acts?
Phil”We worked it out when we were on tour in Sweden earlier this year. We started getting offers from people, one of the guys in the band got us together and we sorted it out. We had a manager as well, who was able to help with it. The business side of this band we take care of that as much as we possibly can.”
If you had to change one thing about your music or band to benefit the group what would that be?
Phil”I wouldn’t change anything man, I wouldn’t change a single day or a single thing about the Temperance Movement.”
There is a huge buzz around the band right now, obviously your album did hugely well in the UK national charts. I’m sure that was a major surprise for the band?
Phil”It fuckin was, yes I know you are hoping for top forty and you end up at twelve. You cant argue with that, its really amazing.”
Ive read some very positive live reviews from the band, do you have any plans to visit this part of the world (N.Ireland)?
Phil”Just unfortunate as the tour was all scheduled and booked a while back that no Irish dates were included. We are going over there in the Spring time or early next year. We are hoping to get out to Ireland if you will have us.?
That wont be a problem, you are already popular with many over here, and I am sure that promoters would be keen to book some dates for the band.
Phil”Yes apparently that is the case, and we have heard about that recently, we are excited about that. I would love to come over to Ireland, because the place is just built on music isn’t it? Its built on music and trouble and strife. It would be a great place to go, some of these places like Dublin and Belfast and play.”
That’s great Phil, thanks for chatting and hopefully we will get to see the Temperance Movement over playing live here.
Phil”If we do, you will have to introduce yourself. Thanks for talking to me today.Cheers , bye!