Temtris – Run to RaptureFriday, 14th December 2018
Since 1999, Temtris has been parading their brand of melodic heavy metal to the legions of fans worldwide. Incorporating everything from power riffs and thrash to occasional modern nods, they never waver in bringing a thunderous, addictive sound to their audience. Their latest album Rapture contains everything a true metal follower could want – plenty of double kick / killer fill action, catchy riffing and engaging lead breaks, plus to magnificent, potent vocal melodies that reach for the sky. Unafraid to incorporate low-tuned guitars into an exotic prism for “Wings of Death” and add in lower male growls to heighten the extremity, Temtris can easily transition into a more Iron Maiden, off to the races effort for the follow up “Run” and make it work.
After taking in a healthy playback of Rapture, we reached out to vocalist Genevieve Rodda and fired off a series of questions regarding the band. You’ll learn more about the new rhythm section, the band’s long-standing relationship with their label Battlegod Productions, their live performance philosophy and discover the challenges a band from Australia can have securing a worldwide following even in this social media/internet age.
Dead Rhetoric: Rapture is the fifth Temtris studio album, and first with the current rhythm section of bassist Nick Wilks and drummer Youhan AD. How do you believe the recording process went for this set of songs – and outside of the new members, were there any major differences in terms of the songwriting, production, and performances compared to your previous discography?
Genevieve Rodda: Youhan and Nick have been an amazing addition to the Temtris crew. They both stepped up in the studio and took the songs on board like they owned them. We are extremely pleased with their efforts on this latest album. We did record a little differently this time around.
Temtris hired a top of the range electric kit to record Youhan’s drums on in our own studio instead of spending thousands of dollars in a professional venue. My vocals were also recorded first to guitar backing tracks at Mainstreet Studios Wollongong, which is quite unusual for most bands to do but it worked out great. Our guitarist Hoff spent a lot of time working on guitar sounds too for this album but it paid off as the guitars sound awesome.
Dead Rhetoric: Has it always been important for the band to develop a potent true/power sound and add in elements of other sub-genres as you see fit? Do you know as the songs develop from the rehearsal room/demo stage to completion what defines or makes a Temtris track unique or special?
Rodda: Temtris never sets boundaries on what genres to use in a song. We write what we need to match to the theme with the album or song’s emotion. Many bands are just thrash or just death metal. Temtris does not say that or limit our writing. If we need to use it to convey a song we will.
Dead Rhetoric: Who developed the concept for the cover art – and was it a collaborative process between the artist and the band or do you give the artist free reign to develop something based on the music? How important do you believe is cover art to the genre of metal as a whole?
Rodda: I had the idea of the veins and power coming out of a person’s body. I wanted a powerful art piece that was about rising up and overcoming things in life. Which is what our album’s songs are about also. The feedback about the cover has been very popular. We have a painted canvas in our house from the artist Darrell Firth (Not So Fine Art) who we worked with. I love that it is very old school and links the story of the songs and artwork together. I think some bands are forgetting to show or tell the whole story, but metal bands seem to do it well.
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve been a part of the Battlegod Productions label roster since your second album Masquerade in 2007. Discuss the importance of having a great, long-standing relationship with the label – and how you believe it’s helped to elevate Temtris’ standing in the scene?
Rodda: We have a great family relationship with Battlegod. Peter from the label has been there from the start to help with distribution and advertising worldwide. He has helped us reach out to a whole new market of metal family.
Dead Rhetoric: You’ve gone through numerous lineup changes – especially in the rhythm section – over your existence. Were there ever times in the Temtris timeline where you thought about packing it in and breaking up – and what kept the core members motivated to keep going forward?
Rodda: It definitely has been tough for us with the lineup changes. Many people and musicians are all keen to play in a band but when you have goals to achieve results it means going above and beyond for your art. Not everyone has the same goals, so you lose members. There have been times we thought this was getting too hard trying to find the right people for the job but somehow we always have managed to find replacements and each time our sound has gotten bigger and better with it.
Dead Rhetoric: Since you’ve been a part of the Australian metal scene since the late 1990’s, where do you see the development in terms of not just making an impact on a national level – but internationally, as it seems there are multiple bands from various sub-genres reaching global appeal through signing bigger record deals and consistent worldwide touring opportunities?
Rodda: It is very hard to be noticed overseas here by bigger labels and touring companies. Temtris was offered a deal with an American company with this album but we decided to stay with Battlegod and keep ownership of our music. It would be nice to hopefully get on some bigger shows overseas though at some point .
Dead Rhetoric: How would you describe Temtris in terms of a live performance? What do you hope the audience is able to walk away from when taking the band in- and what have been some of the more memorable performances for the band over the years?
Rodda: Temtris does it’s best to put on a show with energy and a great sound that can match what your hear on our CD’s. But it is live and I would prefer we are not so worried about being perfect on stage so that we are succeeding in interacting with the audience and bringing them into the emotion and energy of the music. My most memorable performance would be opening for Accept in 2014 and playing to a sold out crowd in Sydney. That was pretty amazing.
Dead Rhetoric: Are you content with where Temtris is at in terms of popularity and success – or are there bigger and different goals that you would like to achieve?
Rodda: We are doing amazing things as a band but we have really only reached such a small amount of the metal crowd. I think to get to everyone you really need a bigger label such as Nuclear Blast etc. I would really love to be able to play on some festivals overseas. We have the product, it is just hard to get it noticed amongst all the music that is out there. Having people like yourself taking the time to talk to us helps so much to reach new fans.
Dead Rhetoric: What are some things you like to do in your free time as far as activities, hobbies, and interests to recharge so to speak when not playing music or dealing with your work/families? Do you have the consistent support from friends, family, and significant others when it comes to Temtris?
Rodda: I love to keep fit. I train in Krav Maga once a week which is an Israeli self-defense system. I also hit the gym and pool once a week also. I have two black pugs I love to walk and spend time with. But my family is most important, my two children are amazing and love their metal and learning instruments. It is hard balancing the day job (I work at a special-needs school) and touring but we always find a way to make it work.
Dead Rhetoric: What are your thoughts on the world moving at such a fast pace with instant technology and the internet at our fingertips? Do you think it’s created an unrealistic view of what it takes to become successful in the music industry, versus the hard work and years of development to achieve what you desire?
Rodda: Oh definitely it has it’s good and bad points. We can reach so many people now with the internet, but it has killed sales for musicians and bands. The download/ streaming world is a difficult one and has made selling CD’s a lot harder as you can just stream the album now. Bands make nothing off this, yet it still costs tens of thousands to produce and sell an album. Not to mention tour it and it is getting harder to get fans to live shows as they can sit in the comfort of their home and watch it on YouTube. Home studios are a big thing too at the moment so anyone can make an album, whether or not it’s a good product that is up to the fans to decide.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the agenda for Temtris over the next twelve months? Will you be doing another conceptual video for Rapture, any plans for touring/festival action?
Rodda: I would really like to do a couple more clips for Rapture and release a live DVD. We will tour New Zealand in January so we are looking forward that also. Hopefully we can get onto some major festivals also. Thanks for your time and support.