TEMTRIS interview. New album, ‘Ritual Warfare’, out April 30th.

I spoke to GEN and FOX from TEMTRIS about the line-up change, the recording of the new album, ‘Ritual Warfare, due for release April 30, and the tour to promote the album. Always great to chat to them.

temtris interview MAL-
Chatting to Gen and Fox from TEMTRIS. Thanks for joining us guys.
GEN-
Thanks for having us, Mal, once again.
MAL-
It's always a pleasure. Haven't seen you over here for a while. Tell us what's been going on in the TEMTRIS camp.
GEN-
Where do we start? We've had lineup changes. We've had covid to deal with like every other musician. We've been recording singles and yeah got offered record deals and started recording albums, and so there's been an awful lot happening in the TEMTRIS camp and crew. That's for sure.
MAL-
All right, we'll start off with the member changes. Had recording started already when band members changed? Tell us.., go through the timeline for us.
FOX-
Well, we'd done forever. We'd gone into the studio just to record a single because we weren't actually looking at an album under the conditions that we were working under. There just didn't seem to be the time nor the ability to have it distributed as far as we wanted to reach it with a full album. So we went for a single instead. So we decided to throw all the energy into just producing the 'Forever' track, which Jen and Hoff put together and that turned into the video which then became the thing that attracted the interest of Wormhole Death, who then came on board and said, 'Well, you know 'Forever' is really good, but it's a single, how about an album?' and at that stage with their support are able to see that yes that would be a viable option for us, so then we went back in and went, 'Okay well, let's put an album together', but that also unfortunately didn't line up with Hoff who had been just managing some health issues and touring side of things and the weight of carrying a full studio album production was going to be a bit much for him and it's something that we've had in the pipeline for a while and we've discussed a few times but at that stage Hoff made the big call to say 'Well guys, look I can't do the full album. I can't do the full tour. My health's not going to support that but I do want to still be involved'. So he sort of stepped sideways into a production role for us, which is his absolute talent, the man can pull a guitar tone like no one's business. So it was really sad to see him have to step to the side like that. He certainly has provided a lot of valuable contributions to TEMTRIS and he's been part of a big growth period for the band so for a lot of people I know he's going to be the other guitarist of TEMTRIS for a while, but it was good that he was still able to be heavily involved with this album,
MAL-
Okay, so who did we get in his place?
GEN-
Well, I had made my decision as soon as Hoff said 'I'm going' and it actually broke my heart to actually type that on the internet that Hoff was leaving. I was like, yeah brought tears to my eyes because he's been such a good bloke to us and really been the backbone, another backbone of TEMTRIS. So to lose him was really devastating but we'd worked with Nadi before and Nadi had actually filled in for TEMTRIS on the 'Shallow Grave' tour on bass and when we actually replaced bass players previously we'd asked Nodi to do the job and he said he would not play bass for TEMTRIS , but if we ever need a guitarist, he would consider it, so when the chance came up, I was the first person, I contacted him. We knew, he has learned so fast, he's a great guy. His personality's awesome. He steps up and does the job, you know when you ask him to do something and he's just...I mean the poor guy got thrown in the deep end he had to learn a whole set to play shows plus write and learn an album. So for him, he really got given a huge workload but stepped up to the part and has actually even written,  Nadi and I wrote a song that is the last track on the album as well. So he's managed to get one of his own songs on there. So he's super happy about that. So yeah, the choice has been pretty much perfect for us because he's really I mean fits in with Fox guitar wise, it sounds awesome. So we're super happy.
MAL-
Excellent. So where did this recording take place? How long did it take you to get together? Did you have stuff written before you went into the studio or did you write it in the studio as a band? How did it happen?
GEN-
We had done 'Forever'. We already had some songs that we were writing with Hoff and riff ideas, Anthony and I'd put together a couple of songs that we were sort of working with and we had a bit of a theme in ahead, if we did release just singles what we'd do but once Wormhole Death sort of gave us a deadline, it was like 'Shit. We've got six months to write a whole album, record it and get it sent off'. So the pressure was on which surprisingly seemed like we work actually well under for some reason. I don't know why but we pulled out a really good album. So yeah Fox did have quite a few ideas down. And yeah, once we pretty much knew we had a timeline to work to and get everything ready it all just sort of fell together. And once we had a theme for the album of what we wanted to do and write about, which is what normally is a TEMTRIS thing. We do seem to have themes with albums anyway, it does make writing a lot easier. But yeah, it all just flowed together, but there was the usual, you know, there's always stress and people's arguments about songs and who likes what where and I mean that's normal in a band and even with us too. It's never...
FOX-
We're getting better.
MAL-
Okay, so we've seen one video that's 'Ritual Warfare', which is excellent. Tell us about that one and the plans going forward for the for the album release.
FOX-
Yeah with 'Ritual Warfare' actually, I had the lyric idea first which is not usually the way I put things together, but it just happened that way with that song. It's quite a strong idea. The lyrics are fairly pointed and abrupt but that was that was the driving point behind the song. It's probably one of the songs that spent the longest just growing and developing which is why it's got a few extra elements in it. There's the piece at the start, there's the piano at the end so there are a few parts to it and there are a few pieces in there. So the drive of the song obviously being around all religion and wars and that sort of religious justification for atrocities. It lent a lot of weight to how I was able to structure the song musically and we do like to put a bit of musical value into what we're doing, try and get the music to match up with the lyrics and so that it's all telling the same story and the message comes across well is the aim, not always successfully but that's what we're trying to achieve. So we've got deliberate elements like the chorus where the guitars are deliberately playing a chime effect, which is designed to mimic church bells in amongst all the heavy metal sort of rhythmic brutality that's going on and and Gen's powerful singing, little subtle elements in there that we were able to get in were very pleasing and there's a bit of that throughout the whole thread of the album really.
MAL-
Were the church bells done on the guitar, Michael Schenker style?
FOX-
Well, it just meant to emulate how many they're a harmonised guitar line. So both Nadi and I are playing a notated guitar line, which is harmonized and it's just meant to sound a little bit like, they're not church bells in your face bash your ears off sort of stuff. But we've got one of that at the start of the song obviously you can hear one of those in the intro, but it was just trying to get that musical theme in amongst it so that if you're going to write a song about churches and religion the bells are kind of a big part of that.
MAL-
When is the album available? Where is the best place for people to get it?
GEN-
'Ritual Warfare' is released on the 30th of April and TEMTRIS has currently got pre-sales up available now, where you can buy just the album or if you want to buy an album and a t-shirt or I've got a special pack I've put together which has got bumper sticker and pick and poster and the TEMTRIS CD and the t-shirt and Patch so that's $70 for everyone that likes to have those special little collector pieces, but the actual album itself, you can just buy from us or from myself, message one of the band members. It's also available on our website we'll have that set up and then we're hoping at the moment Wormhole Death has said there will also be supplying Utopia Records and Metal Merchants in Perth. So it'll be available locally through them and then overseas of course we've got Orchid Music who is distributing it, which is part of Sony so they'll have it in a lot of stores around the country and overseas. So it's going to be pretty much everywhere. It's also going to be able to be streamed on Spotify if you just like to do streaming, and iTunes as well, but we're also currently looking into vinyl because a lot of people have been asking me about that. It just depends on dollars in the end.
MAL-
Right tell us about you're taking the to everywhere and you come in here on the 29th of May. Tell us about what we've got in store.
GEN-
Well, the tour was one thing I was really umming and ahhing for a while whether to book with covid and the lockdowns, borders just being closed to states. I was umming and ahhing whether to book a tour, and do I take the risk and in the end I just thought you know, what if I don't book this I'm going to regret it if things open back up and we can't go and play because that's let's face it people want to see the songs played live and that's where you sell most of your albums. So, yeah. The first show we do actually got 'Steel Assassins' playing in a couple of weeks, we've been asked to headline that so we're putting the show the actual 'Ritual Warfare' show to test at 'Steel Assassins' so the lovely Sydney people get to hear some of that first and then we're going to play Dapto and then heading off to you guys in Adelaide which will be very exciting because Adelaide crowds are always awesome and always seem to get a great reception there, so I'm looking forward to going back and catching up with all the crew over there. After Adelaide booked we have got Canberra, great crew over there and then we've also got Melbourne where we're playing the Metal United Down Under Festival and headlining that (excellent) that will be very cool. We've got Newcastle and Sydney locked in and then we're also in August heading to Queensland. And the reason I sort of left Queensland late is they are the first people to shut their borders and go 'you're not coming in' so I actually was most concerned about booking there out of all the areas and that's why I've sort of left that to play the festival for us to release the tour on that one and hopefully by August things will be all good to get to Brisbane. So yeah, it's all, should be good.
MAL-
Excellent.
FOX-
I mean, we're covering six albums with the content now so we now stage where we argue about what goes in and what gets left sort of out, fans have a bit of a say in that of course they are quite quick to jump online and let us know what songs they're expecting to hear which is great because it certainly helps us with our decision making process. But yeah overall though you can expect it to show a lot of the 'Ritual Warfare' album. It's quite a powerful album. There's a lot of good songs on there and they're fun to play. Although I will admit it's pretty full-on. It's it's a it's a bit of a workout as far as the guitar playing and I mean even the drumming goes and I mean Gen's always pushing the power on stage with it as it is, but it's over an hour. It goes well a bit past the hour with fitting all the songs in and it's certainly a good workout. It's pretty tiring by the time you've finished.
MAL-
Album will be available at the shows I would imagine.
GEN-
The album will be available shows for $25.
MAL-
Excellent. So that's coming to Adelaide May 29th at good old Enigma with the perfect bands to play with you SHADOW REALM and PLAGUE 9. Well done on those.
GEN-
Yeah happy with those boys coming back and playing shows you us because they're great crews and I think they'll match as well. So it will be awesome night.
MAL-
It will, it will be a great night, TEMTRIS / SHADOW REALM / PLAGUE 9 at Enigma, 29th of May.
GEN-
Awesome. Look forward to getting over there. I'm holding off booking my flights to the last minute.
MAL-
That just about wraps it up guys, anything else you wanted to touch on?
GEN-
If people are keen to get the album, and they're unsure how to grab the album, please just shoot me a message or shoot a message to the TEMTRIS page and we will sort something out, if you don't have PayPal, I'm happy to organize a transfer or something. So you guys can get the album, because I know it's hard for people, not everyone has things set up to work with exactly one system. So just shoot us a message and we'll sort something out, shirts are selling really fast. So if you want one of those get in fast, otherwise, I'm going to have to hit Doug Dalton up to make me some more, but I look forward to seeing you all at a show sometime soon. And yeah if the Adelaide crew can get there make sure you come and say hi after the show and grab a drink with the TEMTRIS crew afterwards.
MAL-
Hey, Gen and Fox from TEMTRIS, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Good luck on your new album and good luck on the tour, going all over the shop, and we'll see you late May at Enigma.
GEN-
Cheers Mal. Talk to you later.
FOX-
Thanks Mal. Looking forward to it.
Click to visit TEMTRIS.COM
Click to buy tickets to the Adelaide show.