The Temper Trap's kicking goals locally and overseas
Nov 19, 2009. By Jordana Borensztajn.
Despite holding sold-out gigs across Europe and the UK, being in the midst of a flourishing international record deal, and being nominated for an impressive four ARIA awards this year, The Temper Trap’s guitarist is surprisingly humble.
On the phone from London, where the band’s been based for close to nine months, Lorenzo Sillitto tells Nova that being in the running for the ARIA’s premier picks alongside the country’s most talented musicians is a huge privilege.
“It’s out of control. I feel really, really honored. Personally, I didn’t think we were going to get nominated for anything and then to come out with four – especially Best Album and Best Rock Album, up against bands like AC/DC – it’s come completely out of the blue for us,” he explains.
“I’d watch the ARIAs years gone by, and deep down inside I thought ‘It would be nice, hopefully one day, to be nominated and maybe even pick one up.’ To get four nominations for our first album is awesome. AC/DC have never won one, and Powderfinger – it took them four albums to get there. It’s pretty special to get nominated for that many.”
As all Temper Trap fans know, the Melbourne quartet's debut album Conditions was an emotive, atmospheric and immaculately produced delivery. Boasting stadium-sized anthems and charming melodies, the Melbourne-reared group very quickly emerged as one of 2009's most promising young acts.
With an international record deal hooked up on top of their local arrangement with Liberation, the band moved to the UK in March to broaden their scope and their success. The foursome's played at major festivals like Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds and Summer Sonic, have a European headlining tour on the cards, UK and Irish shows scheduled with Florence and the Machine, and a string of Aussie gigs and festival appearances through summer.
But despite their list of accolades and achievement, Sillitto is humble and down-to-earth and doesn’t sound too confident when asked about whether he thinks his crew will take home the trophies they’ve been nominated for.
“I look at it realistically… Single of the Year single is definitely going to be ‘Walking on a Dream.’ If it’s not, it’s corrupt. Best Rock Album has to be AC/DC. They’ve never won one, and it’s AC/DC – they have to win it. Best Album, you know, we’re up against Eskimo Joe and Empire of the Sun. Again, you can’t really go up against them. Breakthrough Artist… I think we’re a chance but Jessica Mauboy and Lisa Mitchell have been doing really good things in Australia.”
Sillitto clearly holds a very modest view of the band's music profile. If you look at The Temper Trap’s timeline, they’ve managed to jump through the hoops much faster than most of the artists they’re going up against. They released their first single "Sweet Disposition" last year and their debut record this year, and the whole process has been a whirlwind journey. Nova’s been a big supporter of the band from the beginning and Sillitto says this has gone a long way in helping them reach this point.
“Nova got on board pretty early on and just ran with us. The effects were almost instant in terms of people that were coming to our shows when we were in Australia. The fact that they picked up on us from the very beginning was really great for us and definitely helped with the amount of records that we’ve been able to sell," he explains.
“We still feel like we’ve got a really long way to go. There’s still lots of things we can improve in terms of our live shows and making it more of an entertaining experience. It’s completely amazing to think that nine months ago we were a little-known band from Australia and nine months on, here we are, and we’re able to sell out gigs around the world.
"It’s the stuff dreams are made of. And it’s even more sweet for us because there were times when the chips were down and we were, maybe, losing interest or whatever, but we just stuck to our guns and it’s paid off.”
Pegged to play at Falls Festival, Big Day Out, Sunset Sounds and smaller club shows this summer, Sillitto says he’s pumped to return home but is feeling some nerves.
"It’s exciting to come back but we don’t really know exactly what’s going to happen. Our shows haven’t sold out yet in Australia and that’s a little bit scary. Because we haven’t been in Australia for so long, it’ll be really interesting to see if we can actually pull a crowd. We didn’t come out and do a tour for our record or anything. Maybe people will be like ‘Oh The Temper Trap, whatever. We’re onto much bigger things.’ But it’s going to be fun," he says.
"I’m really looking forward to it. We’re way more confident and much better with our instruments now which gives us more freedom to put more energy into our shows and be more expressive with our playing. There will be an amazing energy at the shows and everyone will be excited to be playing. We’re going to do some pretty special things.”
In addition to appearances at Sunset Sounds, Falls Festival and Big Day Out, The Temper Trap also plays:
Fri Jan 8 at the Enmore Theatre, Sydney with Bridezilla Tues Jan 12 at the Forum Theatre, Melbourne with The Boxer Rebellion (UK)