Saturday, November 16, 2019
A Ripple Conversation With Temptress
What have been your musical epiphany moments?
Kelsey: Lamb of God (As The Palaces Burn)
Andi: Depeche Mode
Christian: Jimi Hendrix (Band of Gypsys) “Machine Gun” specifically. My parents were “hippies”. Growing up in a house where music was on more than TV,Mom was playing piano, or Dad was singing Allman Brothers songs had a profound effect. This song epitomized emotion through amplification for me at a likely pre-pubescent age.
Erica: Blink 182 (Enima of the State)
Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
Christian: It varies for me. I find I write productive lyrics following major life changes(moves, losses, tragedy, enlightenment), also I do particularly well on airplanes for some reason. It is also the only time I drink/crave tomato juice. Weird right? Riff wise, sometimes I just hear something in my head and work to get it out. Alternatively, just improv jamming with others can pull off kilter riffs from my soul. Then copy, paste and build. I tend to write both lyrics to riff and riff to lyrics depending on conception and feeling.
Who has influenced you the most?
Erica: Everything I’ve ever heard, I’m like a sponge.
Andi: My Aunt.
Kelsey: My Mom, her musical influence on my early years really stuck with me.
Christian: My Grandfathers. Mom’s side (the music side) he passed when I was a young teen and left me with my first guitar (63’ Strat). He was a gospel/blues musician with a love for vintage country music. Dad’s side, he taught me open mindedness, good morals, educated decision making, as well as how to live responsibly. I still try to follow his lessons and those I have learned along my own life path.
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?
Kelsey: Other people’s new music, I draw ideas from their ideas. If there's something cool, or a cool technique, I want to learn it and take from that.
Christian: I usually listen to my friends’ bands and talk to them about what they’re listening to and go that route, organic type recommendation stuff. At times, I’ll critique bands, look at what they’re doing right and wrong to better my own projects… it might be shit, but that’s what I do. I am by far my own toughest critic in all things life related. I am fairly-well traveled and draw a good deal of inspiration from other cultures,traditional music, beliefs, and ideals as well.
Andi: New music and new bands. I’ll sit and listen to what I really like and try and capture that feeling.
Erica: Anger… that’s why I don’t write slow music. I just go with pure emotion and I’m an angry person.
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?
Erica: The fact that we’re not any one way or another, our sound has a lot of different sounds, if that makes sense… and not being boxed in.
Christian: I honestly don’t feel like living in Dallas pushes me one way or the other in my musical influences. I’m going to play the same type of stuff I’ve always played. Play what I want to play. Living in Dallas makes me NOT want to sound like Pantera and NOT play an 8-string guitar.
Kelsey: I completely agree with that. Living in Dallas, you don’t want to do what’s already been done, It’s already oversaturated with that style of metal. I don’t want to become a clone of Pantera or other Heavy Metal bands. I appreciate them, but they did it the best, it's already out there. I'm going to do my own thing.
Andi: It influences you to go into a different direction.
Andi: We brainstormed for days… weeks even, and finally found one that wasn’t taken by a million different bands already.
Christian: There are a couple other ‘Temptress’ out there, but they’re not close to our genre or were not active at the time we chose the name.
You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?
Andi: That’s like my dream, to write a score in a movie. A 70’s Satanic witch cult… maybe a little Electric Wizzardy.
Kelsey and Erica: Some kind of sexy, horror Grindhouse type movie directed by Quentin Tarantino. “DEATHPROOF 2”.
You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?). You're going to write a 1,000-word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?
Christian: “John Finn’s Wife”-Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He’s the Bob Dylan of my generation. He’s a wordsmith extraordinaire and I have followed him since I was a pup. Poetic.
Erica: Rilo Kiley, “Me, A Man then Jim” – I just relate a lot to it, my very first relationship with a woman.
Andi: Neil Young – “Old Man”.
Kelsey: King Buffalo – “Orion”. Aside from it being a literal interpretation of what the constellation sees as we turn around it. Some of the metaphors are super deep. That song, and that whole album, really got me through some tough times.
Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?
Kelsey: Like when we were in Tulsa and everything went wrong? Pedal board shorted out. I had to play dry- no tuner. My string broke the 2nd song, I restrung it while the band still played and got it done right in time for the solo. Thought the string was in tune, because I tried to tune it by ear, because I didn’t have my tuner pedals. STARTED the next song. It wasn’t in tune. STOPPED the song. Tuned again. STARTED THE SONG AGAIN. Still not in tune. FINALLY grabbed Christians chord, tuned with a tuner, started song in tune, had a good 15 minutes before ANOTHER string broke. I just finished the set with my strings missing, it was the last song, so no big deal. But that was the most disastrous show we’ve had by far.”
Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?
Erica: I feel like we vibe off each other really well on stage.
Kelsey: The more I give to the audience the more I get back, whether it be given back to me or not. I feel like if I perform and put my energy out there, I’ll bounce back to me and I get more energy. I just try to put out everything I can to make it as entertaining and enjoyable as possible.
Christian: Yeah, I’m with you, to transfer energy between us and the audience and our own energy on stage.
Kelsey: A good hook, a nice groove, something you can dance to- sway to- head bang to.
Andi: Something that we put everything into and actually believe in. As opposed to something just thrown together.
Erica: A cool riff. Beautiful lyrics don’t hurt.
Christian: Atmosphere, solid riffs, good lyrics with a meaning instead of synthetic rubbish. Sonic dissonance to send me off into space at times- sometimes ambient, sometimes aggressive. Music that portrays different emotions.
Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?
Christian: Mine was surely a 3- chord punk rock song… not for this band.
Kelsey: I think the first one I ever wrote was just melody, no lyrics. I used to pluck around on my classical guitar, making things that were just really pretty sounding. Then later came along more teen angst, acoustic emo/rock emo music with lyrics.
Erica: It was about my friend who tried to kill himself. I was listening to a lot of Dashboard (Confessional) at the time, so it was acoustic emo stuff.”
Andi: I’ve been writing lyrics for as long as I can remember. But I don’t remember one specific one that started it.
What piece of your music are particularly proud of?
Erica: I’m proud of the newest song, the one about Medusa.
Kelsey: You know what? I’m proud of that one, too. The little break we have in the pre chorus- the way Andi’s drums move throughout that part and really the whole song. It completely changed it from how I originally wrote it and I absolutely love it. When I originally wrote it years ago, I wasn’t really sure what or where it was going. As soon as Andi and I started jamming on it, it clicked and became somewhat of a masterpiece to me.
Andi: It’s a fine line, I have to be slow and also keep up, it has a certain swing to it. If I just played it normally, it would seem like it was going too fast. So, it was a goal to not make the stereotypical beats, to keep the groove moving.
Christian: For me that particular song is a favorite, as well. It changes directions about five different times and it brings the atmosphere and emotion I was talking about earlier. We’re covering multiple genres in onesong and capture different energies and emotions all in one piece. It’s a little bit of a lot of things and it’s cool.
Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?
Andi: Windhand and Chelsea Wolfe.
Kelsey: Stonecutters. Those dudes just tear ass all over the galaxy. I wish I could play like them sometimes. With practice, of course, all things are possible.
Erica: Electro-pop. Synthy stuff. That’s what I’m diggin’ on.
Christian: Amenra and the recent live performances of them I have witnessed. And a post rock band out of Sydney, Australia called We Lost The Sea, they just put out a new release “Triumph and Disaster,”and I can’t stop listening to it. These are just a couple; I could go on for days and days.”
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
Christian: Vinyl at home, CD in the car, Digital at work.
Whiskey or beer? And defend your choice.
Andi: Neither, I don’t drink.
Erica: Whiskey, it’s less I have to drink to get to the end game there. It’s 40% versus 5%, so that’s an easy choice for me.
Kelsey: Whiskey, I just don’t like beer that much. I'm a cider girl now… and even if I had a choice between that, I’d choose Tequila.
Christian: Beer, because I tend to be a binge drinker. I tend to lose control if I have hard liquor. Therefore, I can’t have hard liquor because I drink it like beer. This leads to horrible decision making for myself. I generally only drink on tour or in select social settings. “Excess in moderation” is what I call it.
We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your hometown, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?
Kelsey: Tyler, Texas. Sunshine Records downtown is a great place to get lost in some old vinyl and get in some fun stories from the owner and the “good ole days.” As far as new records go, go for El Guapo Records, also downtown on Broadway. They have new and old records and are super welcoming to local bands bringing their own recordings into to display for purchase. I’m happy they came to town and support local music.
Erica: I was born in Dallas, but I’m gonna rep Denton here for a second, Recycled Books Opera House on the Square in Denton. It’s across from the venue I bartend at, which is Andy’s. It’s a college town immersed in amazing musicians, because you have UNT there, which is one of the best music schools in the world right there. So, basically you have tons of local music in there, tons of classic music, a lot of obscure shit, and it's also a bookstore so it has a neat little vibe to it.
Christian: I am from Birmingham, Alabama, I left there 18 years ago, so all the record shops I used to go to have either closed or changed ownership or names. I live in Dallas, Texas now and Good Records is my jam.
What's next for the band?
Kelsey: A full length album is up next. We’re gonna finish that up in 2019. In 2020, we’re aiming for a longer tour, at least a few weeks and having a couple shows in between here and there. And continue writing new music.
Christian: Record new music. Shop it selectively to a few labels for distribution purposes. If we don’t get a deal, we want to do a DIY release. Follow that up with a couple decent length national tours, one in late Spring and one in early Fall. Keep pounding our local and regional markets.
Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?
Andi: Stay tuned, there’s big things ahead.
Kelsey: We’re gonna keep on truckin’. We’re not gonna stop. That’s what I’ve been told by other touring bands and some that have found success in this. Don’t Stop. Keep moving forward, so that’s what we’re going to do.
Christian: If you hear a band you like, go to their show, support them, share with others, buy their merch. That’s what keeps them alive and moving down the road.