Interview - Timi Temple

2017 is an important year for musicians and mental health. Accompanied by an ongoing openness, endless support and positive outlook, I chatted with Timothy Lockwood about his own experiences, observations and the launch of his solo project Timi Temple, as well his recent single What Are We Waiting For.

Having grown up immersed in a world of jazz music, Lockwood toured internationally during his early 20s with a bunch of middle-aged men. It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, however, leaving Lockwood a bit worse for wear.

“The other members brought their families on tour so as soon as we finished playing they’d go off with them, which is 100% fair, but made the weeks away super lonely.”

On reflection he wishes he had used this opportunity to explore, meet people, and make friends. “I think that’s kinda the biggest thing with the industry… we’re all too afraid of the failure so we don’t even start to attempt it and nothing ever happens.”

With his powerful connection to the jazz world, Lockwood expands on his views surrounding the genre. “Jazz allows you to explore the furthest reaches of your instrument… Jazz is introverted; playing for yourself to an audience. To be honest, I couldn’t notice if there were five or 5000 people in the crowd. Coming to view virtuosic talents, it’s not until someone claps and my eyes open that we interact.”

It’s never easy for humans to find their way. It can take time to get to where some of the most successful and happy people are. Going from this lifestyle, to playing with pop stars and feeling like his progress was halted, he adds, “When I’ve played for pop star-type people it’s a pretty basic gig; not as exhilarating or challenging.”

Touring with his mate Kilter, the two going way back to primary school days, the world of electronic music opened up for Lockwood. He muses “I wasn’t vibing the whole electronic scene at the time but when I joined the Listen Out tour with Kilter I thought, ‘Yeah, this is sweet’ and since then it’s been the most fun of a ride!”

Venturing out on his own, kick-starting Timi Temple back in April this year and combining what he grew up listening to with what he’s learnt, expect a fusion of psychedelia, electronica, and a hint of jazz.

What Are We Waiting For is a bright tune with a serious message, leaving an impression on the hearts and minds of listeners, including myself. The piece focuses on anxiety and depression with an aim to reach out to those dealing with mental health and show that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Anxiety can stop you from really doing anything,” he muses. “It pertains to this project especially; for so long I was too scared to share my own music. So this is literally about me not even wanting to get out of bed to attempt to do my own stuff because the fear of failure can halt you before you even get there.”

An incredible example of someone who has conquered his fears and using his own voice as a chance to support those who feel voiceless, he furthers “If I can write a song about making a mistake then hopefully someone else doesn’t have to!

“I’m not invincible,” Lockwood exclaims, “I’ve been crippled by the thought of ‘That can never happen to me, I’ll get through this easy-peasy’ but then is comes in like a train.”

Using writing as a way to escape from being stuck inside his head, he has turned this into a creative process for his music, delving into how his lyrics or thematic devices for songs always start out as a story. “I put my emotions onto paper but not all will develop into a song. For example, whenever I’m feeling angry or sad I find if I write down why I’m feeling that way, not just describing but going into a fantasy land – I could write a whole story about it. I will then go revisit these stories when looking for themes to fit with the instrumental, turning them into lyrics.”

Going into a flow state, Lockwood has been known to sit in front of his computer for 12 to 16 hours at a time, as he reflects, “My girlfriend came down and was like ‘Have you even left the house?’

“I was like ‘No…’

“‘Have you eaten?’

“I was like ‘No…’

“‘Have you had anything to drink?’

“and I was like ‘No, ha ha, but I’ve got a perfect song and then that’s that!’

“I love doing it. It’s kind of the same as when you’re playing an hour set but it feels like three minutes.”

Lockwood will continue to use this method into the future, as well as keeping a journal to assist the body and mind. For those struggling with stress, depression or anxiety, the release of feelings, emotions, fears and thoughts can help you understand them more clearly by gaining control and establishing an order when you feel your world is chaos.

An electronic music gig focuses on the audience and ensuring they have a sick time, one reason Timi has gone down this path. “You feed the energy off them, everything that’s planned is for the benefit and enjoyment of the crowd forming a connection with the entire room like one big family appreciating the sounds. It is super important to curate that experience, with the audience putting trust in the act to fulfil a great show and make sure it isn’t cooked by egotism.”

On the music scene becoming more supportive of positive mental health Lockwood confirms, “The electronic music scene is pretty supportive on looking after one another.”

However, in terms of gigs and socials, “It can feel like people aren’t really friends outside of the gigs… It would be cool if people actually made an effort to check up on each other outside of the industry. Especially as there is so much more going on behind the scenes that isn’t exposed online. For instance, instead of just liking a post, we should actually be calling up our friends.”

With heaps of goodies accumulating up his sleeves including his collaboration with Kilter, expect to hear and see some rad creations from Timi Temple.

 

Interview - Jesse Porsches

Coming in hot! We caught up with Sydney DJ and producer Jesse Porsches before the drop of his new single The Weekend (ft. Xavier Dunn, out today) we delved into the past and future projects of this thriving human – including the launch of his second duo Super Cruel – and the announcement of going solo.

“I started in high school playing guitar and drums but not taking it seriously. I was coming last in the class and eventually just dropped out of music altogether. The teacher hated me and I couldn’t even tune a guitar!” Jesse Sewell laughs. “I still feel like I’m not that good at music, some of my friends are freaks and just play the piano like Mozart!”

Kick-starting his career about two years ago with Carl Fox, his first duo – known simply as Porsches – saw the act collaborate with some incredible artists, including Flume, he wrote Sleepless for. Taking things to the next level, opening up opportunities and exploring new avenues and sounds, Sewell recently launched Super Cruel, his second duo with Adelaide’s Tigerilla (aka Matthew Khabbaz). “Matt and I put out our first song November [featuring Lisa Mitchell] which has been getting beaten up on the j’s, so that’s pretty cool. And then we’ve got our second single that’s getting mixed at the moment,” adds Sewell, referencing The Weekend which was unleashed this morning. 

Sewell shares “I am a huge fan of Lisa’s, so I was so nervous and then she brought Isabella Lucas with her to the studio! It was crazy and semi-stressful ’cause we did a photo shoot and I was so unprepared, but a really great time!”

Stepping into the spotlight by rebranding Porsches to Jesse Porsches as a solo project, he explains “I’ve stopped doing Porsches and am now just focusing on myself. I’ve got my first single out really soon which I am super excited about! It’s not even out here yet but has been picked up across the globe including the States, UK, Sweden, Netherlands and South Africa – places I’ve never even been to so I can’t wait to see the reactions.”

Recently signing to Dew Processes/UMA at home and Astral Works in the US, Sewell enthuses “Astral Works kind of had the final say and it was the very original demo they liked the most… I think it’s best not to copy the sound that’s popular at the moment, but try and make it your own and in your own way!” With a total of 40 versions (give or take) Sewell is pretty proud of his final piece and with nothing holding him back he is still keeping things spicy solo by collaborating with numerous artists such as featured vocalist Xavier Dunn. “Illy came down to write and we had a rapper at one point from New York, which we have since taken off, but it’s been a long process and the song has gone in numerous directions.”

Putting his time to good use as, at the time of the interview, “The release keeps moving back meaning a lot of waiting around so I can’t wait to share it with the world,” Sewell has been keeping busy working on some new remixes for your ear drums (Hint: anyone a fan of Major Laser?) “I’m still writing every day but you’ll have to be patient too as I want to release these first [singles] and wait for the response and evolve from that.”

With regards to The Weekend, he shares “It’s really easy to listen to with a catchy chorus, so I think various people will get into it, which is probably why it’s doing so well overseas.” Plus, there’s a rad cinema-worthy video clip to feast your eyes on too. Produced by the Jaen Collective video team and shot at Burleigh Heads in Queensland, Sewell exclaims “It looks like something out of transformers, the lead actually looks like Megan Fox!”

Don’t freak out, but Super Cruel will be playing at Splendour In The Grass this year, so there’s a chance for everyone to hear their second single that is actually being released a week afterSplendour. “They are both my babies… I don’t see it as the songs competing but people will either like one or the other so we’ll see what happens.” Comparing his sound to pizza – preferably margarita or Hawaiian – he laughs “As long as someone likes one of them I’m going to be happy.”

And on that note, be patient, eat some pizza and go for a board at Thredbo Village where you can catch Jesse Porsches with KLP, Moza, Elizabeth Rose and Commandeur having a good time for G.H Mumm Poolside Apres Party. Don’t forget to hit them up at Splendour, Spilt Milk and stay tuned for future Super Cruel national tour dates.


21 – 23 July, Splendour In The Grass, North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay
11 – 12 Aug, G.H Mumm Poolside Apres Party, Thredbo Alpine Hotel, Thredbo