When I think of Temper Trap and their album Conditions it brings me to a dream like state of poetic bliss. I can’t compare this band to anyone else and when you think you might catch a glimpse of something familiar they bring you back to there sound. Dougie’s voice is graceful and compelling, an unexpected composure of thoughtfulness. They have written each track with gentle finesse that can appeal to the masses without sounding complicated. I had the chance to talk to the drummer of Temper Trap, Toby Dundas, who made me feel at ease from the beginning of our conversation.
KB: Where are you right now?
Toby: We’re in Toronto.
KB: Is it your first time there?
Toby: No it’s our 2nd time, we were here last year in October.
KB: Are you tired?
Toby: Luckily we’ve had a couple days off. I’ve Been able to have a nice relaxing time around Toronto.
KB: Describe your surroundings?
Toby: (Laughs) Yeah I’m standing off the bus to get away from everyone in an alleyway looking at a big asterisks kind of graffiti piece. Are you outside, its quite nice actually.
KB: Its beautiful here as well.
Toby: Your calling from Vancouver right?
KB: No, Killahbeez is based in Vancouver but I live in DC.
Toby: We’re coming to DC soon, I’m looking forward to coming down there.
KB: Yes, you’re playing at the 9:30 club, which is already sold out. Congratulations!
Toby: Really? Wow, cool. Thank you.
KB: How did you decide on the name Temper Trap?
Toby: Yeah fortunately I’m wholly responsible for that (jokingly laughs). We use to be called Temper Temper. And then when we came out with the first EP it came to our attention that there was already a band from the states that had that name. So, we were kind of forced to compromise and Temper Trap is what emerged out of that.
There’s no hidden meaning. Yeah we stuck with Temper and the alliteration seems to work quite well.
KB: What is your favorite part about being a musician?
Toby: I never thought I could be a musician. Even when the band was going I would still kind of think that it was unreal and that it could all collapse and that I would be back selling coffee. I feel like it’s a dream that I’m going to have to wake up from at some point.
Fingers crossed that we don’t wake up anytime soon.
KB: Do you guys have any ideas for the next album?
Toby: It’s been kind of tricky with the touring schedule. We haven’t come up with formula yet with writing on the road. There are lots of little ideas floating around.
KB: What’s the best part about being on tour and do you like it?
Toby: For the longest time I was a studio kid and I hated going on tour. But more and more I’m starting to enjoy it. Getting the opportunity to go to so many places. When I look back over all those countries that we traveled to over the past year, places I’ve never thought I would see, I think that’s the best part of it.
KB: You’re touring on a bus at the moment, right?
Toby: Yes we are.
KB: I think I read somewhere where you had to cancel a show because of your bus breaking down?
Toby: Milwaukee. The bus broke down and we had to cancel the show. Which was a shame but we did get to go go-karting. The bus broke down near a go-karting track. Sorry to the people of Milwaukee.
KB: Do you and the band have a ritual before you perform?
Toby: We tend to hang out together. There’s a lot of stretching. And the boys do there vocal warm ups. Just before we walk on stage we all get together in a huddle and have a moment before we walk out there and make sure everyone’s head is in the right place.
KB: Who writes most of the music or is it more of a collaboration? And how does it begin?
Toby: It always starts with the music. All of us write. Someone will come in with an idea into rehearsal and it will expand from there. Sometimes we jam and some ideas will come out of that. But yeah once we come up with the music, we take that and the lyrics, go from there.
KB: Was there a song that was more challenging to work on then the others?
Toby: Actually you know the very first song we did “Rest” off the album Conditions. It has kind of a tricky little drum part. That one took a bit of getting right. That was definitely the hardest one.
KB: You recently moved to the UK from Australia, right? How has it been?
Toby: It’s almost been a year. We were all excited about the move. Everyone was so excited for us. So there wasn’t much time to be sitting around and having a cry because we’re not in Australia anymore.
KB: What kind of advice would you give someone that’s just starting out in the industry?
Toby: Work hard is the number one thing. But probably believe in yourself. Didn’t really think that any of this stuff could happen. But it actually can happen and if you work hard and keep at it, the opportunity can present itself.
Interview by April