Words & Photos by: Erik De’Viking
Before their electrifying debut at London’s Borderline. I got the opportunity to sit down with Colin Parkinson and Drew Low of Temple of One to discuss the new band, their upcoming album, and their influences. You can read more about the gig here.
ED: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. It is much appreciated.
CP: Absolutely mate
ED: I haven’t heard the whole album yet…
ED: I’ve only heard ‘Song of Hope’, and ‘The Cards’. Both great songs…
CP: Ah, wicked, thank you
DL: Thank you
ED: Listening to them, it was clear to me that you are carving their own path through the current British rock scene. What would you say defines Temple of One as a band, as part of the rock or perhaps specifically the NWoCR (which I was pronounced new-core) scene that you are considered part of
CP: I’m not aware of what we’re actually put into actually.. I really don’t know
ED: Well I would call you hard rock
CP & DL: Yeah
DL: But what’s NWoCR?
ED: New Wave of Classic Rock
DL: Oh OK, yeah
CP: Of course, yeah yeah
DL: Yeah it’s like the latest coming of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The new WoBHM is what Dave calls it
DL: Yeah, actually do you want to say something first?
CP: Yeah, so that’s the thing that is about at the moment. The way we like to write, especially at the moment, is to definitely have a more punkier edge to it. You know, like punk mentality.
ED: Yeah you can certainly hear that, especially during the sound check..
CP: It’s not like punk music…
ED: No, but then Guns N’ Roses was very punk
CP: Yeah it’s that punk attitude. And that’s why we like being a three-piece as well, with that straight-forward energy. Hence why we’re playing the Police tonight. Cause they had a definite influence on me and our song writing.
DL: Yeah, yeah, definitely
CP: But yeah, they’ve been very supportive. It’s Jeremy who runs that right?
CP: It’s been good
DL: The thing about the New Wave of Classic rock is that it brings bands together no matter what. It’s just a label isn’t it, and it really helps out
ED: yeah and it’s a social media thing, with hashtags etc, and it helps promote all the new music we have coming up here in the UK
CP: yeah it’s great
ED: So you mentioned your influences, how much of an impact would you say that has had on the development of your sound?
CP: Well we actually wrote this stuff about eight to ten years ago…
ED: oh wow…
CP: And I’m a massive, massive King’s X fan. I absolutely love them, and I think that it’s a crime that they didn’t get bigger than they did
ED: Yeah they are an extremely underrated band
CP: Yeah… yeah… It’s like they’ve influenced so many bands that we love, like Extreme to Stone Temple Pilots…
ED: Yeah can year a bit of STP in there
CP: Yeah love em, yeah… So for me King’s X has been a real influence on writing, even when I was doing Inglorious stuff – even though that was more geared towards Whitesnake… but you know the King’s X thing is heavy sonics with melody, ya know? But they used to say it was like heavy Beatles…
DL: Heavy metal Beatles, yeah
ED: Yeah I can get that. And of course you guys have actually worked for it.
CP: Yes. Really. Worked. Hard.
ED: I mean it didn’t just fall into your lap, and that’s one of the things that actually appealed to me. You guys have been there, you’d done the graft, you’d done the covers bands, you’ve been in a Bon Jovi tribute band…
CP: Yeah, Bon Jovi, I’ve done Michael Jackson…
DL: Yeah you have, and don’t forget Adel!
CP: Yeah, Adel… [laughing] Adel!
DL: Sorry should I’ve said that?
ED: So Adel eh? Is that with the beard or without? And the dress?
DL: “Hello.. it’s me…”
ED: So with the upcoming album, you’ve said that that sort of punk rock element is a big influence, would you say that was one of the main drivers for the development of it…
CP: Like I said, it’s not the punk, because Iron Maiden wasn’t punk…
ED: No, no, the punk attitude…
ED: so behind the lyrics, behind the music, the vocal phasing, the structure…
CP: yeah but then we have ‘Song of Hope’ which is a bit more introvert, and I can be very introverted at times… uh, it’s a bit more heartfelt and about mental illness, stress, all that kind of things. Which is great, which has finally started being talked about now… which is fucking brilliant. But yeah going forward, I guess I want to deal with subjects that are real, not… you know… like shit lyrics that are about girls, and stories about their lives. You know what I mean?
ED: Yeah, you’re not depicting a character…
ED: You’d rather present something that the listener can connect with
CP: Yeah, exactly
ED: So that when you’re performing it, you fans also see and feel the sincerity behind it all. And I can understand that. That is a big problem with a lot of the music that is out there now. It’s just too…
[knock at the door] in walks most of Collateral
Ben Atkinson (Collateral): I’m sorry are we disturbing anything?
ED: Just an interview… [laughing]
CP & DL: Yeah… [laughing]
CP: Is that alright? [laughing]
Ben: Oh shit, sorry….
Jack: shit, shit… sorry man
ED: That’s alright [laughing]
CP: So.. where were we? [laughing]
ED: Yeah, so with this having been written for that long, have you gone back and reworked it?
CP: Yeah, so we rearranged some songs, kind of changed them around, re-record our parts and stuff…
DL: Yeah so what it was, we must have had about 30 songs or so, and we just went “what are our favourite songs.”
ED: Yeah fair enough
DL: So we were like, “should we just make a best of that?”
CP & DL: [laughing]
DL: You know and produce something that no one has heard.
CP: Yeah so that’s why we think that when the album comes out, it’s the best that it can be. You know song-wise and all that.
ED: Yeah that’s important as well, because you have to believe it to be able to properly sell it. What’s the album going to be called if you decided?
CP: We don’t know. We’re literally just taking it a step at a time. We’re saving up to get the album mixed at the minute…
DL: Yeah it’s all off our own back
ED: Proper old school
DL: Well you say that…
ED: Well I realise now-a-days it’s not quite the same as it was maybe twenty years ago…
CP: Well it’s old school in the way that I’m not going to Pledge Music, not that I could any more, but I’m not doing anything like that. People ask me why I don’t go to a Fund Me type thing, and it all feels a bit cap in hand to me.
ED: But it’s also knowing what’s going to be the best way to package it and release it
ED: Because that seems to change on an almost…
ED: Yeah, daily basis
CP: We actually have a great guy named Paul Tippett who has been doing our artwork, and he’s done stuff for It Bites, and he’s done the Inglorious stuff as well – at least the first two albums. And he’s brilliant. So we’re going to go to him for the cover art and all that kind of stuff. But the Temple of One stuff, we’ve kind of gone to the elephant god Ginesh, which is the god of new beginnings and all that kind of stuff and the symbolism behind it. So I think we’re going to work around something like that. So with Temple of One, it’ll be more… well not esoteric, but that kind of thing
ED: But that’s alright as well though, because so much out there is generic, and it’s always good to have something that’s a little bit out there…
CP: a bit different
ED: Yeah different, can’t be automatically put into a box, that’s your own, that you connect with and identify with as well…
CP: Yeah definitely
ED: How did you approach the creative process for writing the album, and how much of it was a collaborative effort? Is it like, “I’ve got this riff”, or “I’ve got this lyric”, and is it a full team effort?
CP: Yeah so ‘The Cards’ for example, we were rehearsing at The Joint in King’s Cross, and literally we just feed off each other. I came up with the first part of the riff, and Drew came up with the twiddly bit…
DL: I’m glad you remember all this…
ED: Yeah because there will be far more questions like this in your future…
CP: But we know each other’s playing off by hand…
DL: yeah yeah…
CP: We used to jam in the bedroom together…
DL: You know, nine times out of ten, Colin is going to come in with the backend of a chorus or maybe even the whole song. You know, whatever it is, or sometimes he’ll come up with a riff and I’ll take it away and it’s good like that, because I know we’ll always get it right.
ED: Do you have any rituals to help you get into the zone for writing, or can you literally write on the go, jotting things down as they come to you, so you can develop them later?
CP: I actually find for me, that I’ve written loads of songs when I’ve turned the TV on, put it on mute, and then I’m watching something like it’s a distraction, and then become aware of what you’re doing, and think “actually that’s pretty cool”. So that works for me…
ED: Are you sure it’s not actually the visuals influencing you? Like a John Williams sort of thing. Because the visual can have a strong subconscious impact on the creative process
CP: Yeah, maybe, I hadn’t thought of it like that before. That’s a really good point. And so that, and then listening to albums that I love. It will trigger something. Maybe not then, but you know, I’ve got a Dictaphone on my phone, so I’ll be driving along, and then bang, something comes up and I pull over make a note.
ED: So moving onto generating a fanbase, how do you attract (and keep) fans of your music in this era?
CP: I don’t know. I think being genuine helps. Keeping it honest and you attract what you give out.
ED: OK guys, I just noticed the time and you are on stage soon, so thank you for your time. I’m looking forward to seeing you guys on stage later.
DL: No thank you
CP: Yeah thanks man, and please be gentle, it’s my first time performing live in quite a while and I’m positively bricking it.
ED: Don’t worry about that, if your sound check is anything to go by, you guys are going to kill it on stage.
Colin Parkinson (vocals, bass), Drew Low (guitar), ‘Greenie’ (drums)
Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – UK Editor
Erik De’Viking is a London based freelance music journalist. His musical interests include music in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.