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Band To Watch: Tempers, Interview And Review

Zumic Staff

by Zumic Staff

Published April 03, 2013

We here at Zumic are all about new and exciting music, and being based in Brooklyn we get to experience quite a few exciting new bands. New York's Tempers is one of those bands: an exciting, darkly upbeat two piece consisting of guitarist Eddie Cooper and vocalist Jasmine Golestaneh. Tempers' sound is dark and manic while still being melodic enough where it's nearly impossible not to move with the music.

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While Tempers currently have very little music available, what is available makes quite an impression. Currently the group has two songs posted ("Eyes Wide Wider" and "Hell Hotline"), but both are attention grabbers.  Working in a music website office all day, I listen to music constantly. "Eyes Wide Wider" was one of the few tracks that made me stop what I was doing and crank my headphones to ear-rattling levels.  The swirling song is dark and omnious, yet instantly danceable and sexy (The fantastic video they made for the song only reinforces the vibe of the tune, check it out here).   Golestaneh's unique delievery seems made for Cooper's darting guitar and distorted soundscapes, a feeling only further reinforced by "Hell Hotline".

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I was lucky enough to catch Tempers when they played The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg with Esteban & The Witch and Heliotropes.  The vibe was somewhat quiet at first, which is strange for the type of music Tempers make, but they soon had people filtering in early once they hit the stage.  It didn't take the band long to hit their stride, and once they did, they seemed perfectly suited for what they are trying to do: Cooper channeled Johnny Marr onstage, and Golestaneh showed off a Nico-esque stage presence that was all dark sensuality. The material that was new to me kept me as intrigued as their previous work, all in all a very cool show.

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Check out our interview with them below:

DF: Jasmine, you've lived all over the world, how would you say your experiences living all over the world shape your writing and your art in general?  What made you settle on New
York?

Jasmine: Growing up, moving countries and having no concept of national identity - I’m half Iranian, half Latvian - means I have no innate sense of belonging anywhere. I think that has served me well as an artist because I’ve learned how to conjure my own worlds, and furnish them with the emotional colors and aesthetics that I want to inhabit. They are like spiritual homelands for me. I think of Tempers as a self-contained realm that people are invited to step into and experience. What is special about New York is that so many people like to connect with each other based on the flavor of their dreams and passions as opposed their background or their past. I love New York ferociously.

DF: Talk a little bit if you could about the different processes each of your project requires.  It seems like you've got quite a few things going on at any time.  I really dug checking out your collages by the way...

Jasmine: When Eddie and I are writing music, it’s as though our songs are already written in the ethers, and our job is to listen as best we can and interpret them into reality. Making collages has a similar process, only it’s visual listening for what images are speaking to each other the loudest, and to recognize when their voices are harmonizing in an interesting way.

DF: The video for "Eyes Wide Wider" is great, could you tell us a bit about that process? (Watch the video here)

Jasmine: The video was shot in the Berkshires. It was a very surreal process, our small crew lugging a free standing pole, 40 pounds of dry ice in a wheelbarrow, and a fog machine, through intense hikes in the forest and down to a waterfall. Then we had a short window of time to shoot, and I did as many pole dancing tricks in extreme conditions as possible. I felt like Werner Herzog on the pole.

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DF: How does Tempers write as a band?  Separately?  Which is written first, the music or the words, and how much to you two collaborate?

Eddie: Our writing process has evolved recently - it's becoming more and more flexible, and that's been really motivating. We've always been studio-based; in the beginning that meant the two of us laboring over every molecule of the music, after which Jasmine would write lyrics and vocal melodies on her own. Then we'd come back and work on it and put it all together. That was a crucial phase, not just because we developed creative trust, but because we watched "Tempers" be unearthed as this set of intuitive, objective principles that live outside of the two of us. I won't try to say what those principles are. It's an unspoken manifesto. But over time we realized that because of that period we can now just channel those principles anytime we want, together or apart. Recently, Jasmine's been writing
lyrics and melodies with a guitar, and we've been amazed at how natural it is to adapt those sketches to a full-on Tempers aesthetic.

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DF: What are Tempers' plans for this year?  Is a record planned?  How about a tour?

Eddie: There's a lot we're looking forward to in the coming months - Pendu Sound is releasing our second single, "Strange Harvest" on April 24th, accompanied by an acoustic version of this very electronic song. Currently, Gang Gang Dance are remixing our song "Hell Hotline," and that will come out in May; we're insanely excited about it. We're going to tour the East Coast this summer, and up until then we'll continue writing and recording.

DF: Thanks so much guys, good luck in the future!
 
 
Keep and eye on Tempers folks, they are certainly smack dab in the middle of my radar and have a lot of exciting material coming very soon.  

For more news on Tempers, check their website for updates.

Show photos: Brooklyn Vegan and Christos Katsiaouni

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