Temper Temper Interview
Ulsan has some amazing talent and the local band “Temper Temper” is one of them. They pour themselves out on stages around the city and even the country. Here is a little more about them and their big announcement.
Tell us a little bit about your band. When you all get together and who is in the band?
Clear back in 2009, Brian, Andy, and I were living in Namchang, which was a small town in Onyang on the outskirts of Ulsan. The foreigner community there was small, but close, and since we were the only hagwon teachers in the group, we spent a lot of time together. Andy and I had both played music and in bands before we arrived in Korea so after a few beers on Friday or Saturday Night us three would all go back to his place for a jam session. Brian didn’t have a bass at the time so we used to joke that if he would have just buckled down and buy one, we’d be big news. Even still, it wasn’t until after smashing a few clubs learning to play golf together and a near drunken weekend trip to Cambodia that we decided that playing music might be the safest and most productive way to spend our free time.
Brian finally got a bass and we were off. We spent a couple of months practicing and we convinced Troy, the owner of Benchwarmers and Hazel, the owner of Bar Somewhere to lets us play shows at their respective establishments. Those shows were rough though. We mostly just played sappy covers that appealed to us rather than a room full of people who were trying to have a good time. We had fun though. After a few months of doing that, Andy and I decided to buy Benchwarmers with a mutual friend so the band was on hiatus. We would occasionally play at a local festival if a spot needed to be filled but aside from drunkenly fumbling over chords 3am at Benchwarmers, we rarely played much music.
Fast-forward to 2013. Benchwarmers was now JJ’s Bar and I was the sole owner. The one-year anniversary was coming up and I wanted throw a big party. I was lucky enough to convince the Free Range Coffee Weasels to come up from Busan to play that night but I was struggling to find a band to warm them up. It seemed like every other band I knew had a something else going on that night. That’s when I remembered my friend Aaron casually mentioning one night that he played drums. By that time Aaron, Brian, Andy, and I were all kind of friends through our interactions at Benchwarmers. Anyway, I sent Andy and Brian a message to see what they thought about the idea. We decided to give it a shot. Worst case scenario we’d embarrass ourselves and our friends would throw back in our faces later. After a month of heavy practicing and an embarrassing showing at an Open Mic Night at Sticky Fingers, we nervously played a set at the anniversary party. And to our surprise, we didn’t suck. We’ve been playing ever since.
After countless gigs and festivals, fast forward to 2016. We’ve added Sam Heibel, a talented vocalist and keys player to the band. We’ve also just recorded and cut our first album with 8 original tracks.
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe our sound as alternative. The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Incubus are some of our influences. We like to form our songs around catchy guitar riffs and vocal hooks. If it gets stuck in your head, we’re happy.
What is the indie music scene like in Ulsan and how does it compare to the rest of Korea?
Unfortunately, the independent music scene in Ulsan has taken a big hit over the past year. Members from extremely talented bands such as The Elsewheres and The Cardboard Collective have dispersed around the globe and they are no longer playing together. At the moment, we’re the only foreign band playing in Ulsan. Fortunately though, with the help of Digit, Angle Magazine, and local bar owners, bands from Seoul and Busan occasionally make their way to Ulsan. It’s always great to have the opportunity to hear and play with those bands.
What is it like to play live in Ulsan?
Playing live in Ulsan is great. The Ulsan community loves to go where the party is so rarely do we play for an empty venue. On top of that, they are really supportive. Starting off, it is so easy to take yourself too seriously as a band, especially when you play original material. It’s as if you play or sing a wrong note you’re going to ruin someone’s night. Our friends and followers do a very good job of reminding us that it’s a Saturday Night at a bar in Ulsan, not a crowd of 20,000 at Madison Square Garden, so, just have fun.
What are some challenges that you face in Ulsan as an indie band?
I guess the only problem with playing music in Ulsan is gauging a live performance. Like we said, Ulsan is a tight-knit community and a lot of the people who come to see us play are friends or acquaintances so for the most part they’ll tell us we did a good job regardless of how badly we think we might have played. That’s not to say that we don’t have people who come up and say, “Next time you guys should play the song tuning,” or, “You guys played great, but next time you should all play the same song.” “Play one the drummer knows.” That’s my favorite.
Who are your fans?
Mel (Flight of the Concords )
What was it like making your first album?
A long, at times stressful, but in the end very rewarding experience. We are very happy with how everything turned out. We decided to do a lot of the recording ourselves, which had it’s good points and it’s bad. We were also lucky enough to be working with an excellent producer (shout out to Cheyne Kohl at underground tracks) He was really patient with us and we worked well together, despite being on different continents for most of the process.
When will it come out?
On September 30th It will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, Youtube and a bunch of other online music sites. We will also be selling digital download cards at our album release show on October 1st.
Is there anything that you want to tell the Ulsan Online community about?
Please follow us at www.facebook.com/tempertemper69 to keep up with our upcoming shows and other news.