TemperTemper
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TemperTemper

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Pop

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His jaw dropped in awe.
The first time Thomas Hoy, the lead singer of Halifax’s TemperTemper, saw the Dirty Projectors in concert he was instantly overtaken with amazement by the group’s intricate harmonies.
“They are an extraordinarily virtuosic band,” he says. “(Lead vocalist) David Longstreth’s musical ideas are very interesting and difficult, and there they were pulling them off.”
Remnants of those complicated but gorgeous harmonies he so admired are present on TemperTemper’s newly released self-titled debut album.
“They’re doing a similar thing to what I want to do. It’s extremely interesting music that doesn’t stop being fun when it starts being interesting,” says Hoy.
TemperTemper is definitely interesting. The track “Magnets in Love” is catchy, electric, kind of minor and has a quickening tempo. “Boyzngurlz” is youthful and cartoon-ish, while “Fail” is almost futuristic. With contrasting male and female voices, all the vocal layers, shifts in rhythms within songs and a variety of mellow and upbeat tracks, Hoy has achieved his goal of releasing a fun album that still reveals the group’s ability to create elaborate compositions.
Rehearsals have helped the detail-oriented band perfect their own harmonies. Their techniques include slowing the songs down to a quarter of the usual tempo or playing in the dark, which allows the band to listen and stay in tune with one another.
“I almost think of us as an organ,” says Hoy. “I really want it to function as though it’s one person playing an instrument.”
The band, which formed in early 2011, is made up of Leah Collins Lipsett, Jeremy Dutcher, Thomas Hoy and Ben Shaw—all current music students at Dalhousie.
But aside from Hoy’s classes over the last two years at Dal, he was never formally trained in music.
Always a fan, Hoy grew up listening to The Beatles and loving pop. The first CD he purchased was the soundtrack for The Night at the Roxbury. But one day, he realized music meant something more to him.
“I had this moment one night when I was lying in bed and I put the Bloc Party record Silent Alarm on, and I was listening to it like I’d never heard music before. I was like ‘Oh my God, there is a band, in my bedroom with me, playing amazing songs to me, this is so awesome,’ ” says Hoy with a smile.
During his high school years, he experimented with the guitar for hours in his basement. Then, his time at the University of King’s College cemented his choice to apply to the music program at Dal. And the classical training is paying off.
“Coming to music school and formalizing that training has made me able to hear more quickly what I want and come up with more inventive things. As I continue to write for TemperTemper, I’m really seeing the music take the shape that I’ve always imagined for it as my musical understanding grows.”
As TemperTemper celebrates its new album at the Bus Stop Theatre on March 31, they are sure to leave listeners in a state of pleasant awe.
TemperTemper’s debut album is free online through Facebook and at TemperTemperBand.com - The Dalhousie Gazette


It’s possible that TemperTemper may be Halifax’s proggiest band. On the group’s self-titled debut, the classically trained Dal students deliver a pomp-charged array of spritely electro-pop and ornate songwriting. Lead by Thomas Hoy’s powerful timbre the band’s symphonic elements shine through their rock instrumentation on the album’s seven tracks. “Boyzngurlz” is a shredding power-pop rocker of synthed arpeggios, Iron Maiden riffage and Spencer Krug growls, while “Magnets In Love” comes across as Talking Heads being channeled through Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. An impressive first effort by a relatively young band, TemperTemper have chops bands twice its age can’t muster. - The Coast


Grab a handful of TemperTemper’s unconventional electro-pop compositions at their release show.

Singer-songwriter Thomas Hoy didn't always picture himself being a full-time musician. After graduating high school, he spent a year travelling abroad in southeast Asia, before finally ending up at King's College to pursue a philosophy degree. "I was halfway through my degree and realized I really wanted to start studying music," he says.

He took a year off from school, playing in a band and studying musical theory full-time to gain entrance into the Dalhousie music department's voice and composition programs. Upon being accepted, he realized he wanted to start a new project that was more experimental than his current band and began looking for musicians.

"I knew the ideas I had in my mind were pretty technically demanding and I knew I needed musicians who were virtuosic enough to play and sing what I wanted at the same time," says Hoy.

He began looking around his program and auditioning musicians. He asked keyboardist Leah CL to join onto the project after being "blown away" watching her perform a Beethoven concerto. He met drummer Jeremy Dutcher at a friend's party.

Guitarist Ben Shaw came about in a less classy way. "I was kind of drunk and walked up to him and was like, 'You look like a guitar player. You have long hair. You should come audition for this band,'" says Hoy, laughing. "And luckily he turned out to be really good at guitar."

The band became TemperTemper, an electro-pop four-piece with art school leanings. Inspired by the songwriting of Dirty Projectors' David Longstreth, Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes and a bunch of Soviet composers, Hoy and his merry foursome deliver bombastic rock with classical flourishes.

The band had been gigging around for some time before deciding to put its songs to tape in May 2011. "Spending a lot of time working on these songs, the thing I found with them is that a lot of them have some unconventional things going on, so it can be really hard for them to translate well live," says Hoy. "We thought it would be interesting to have a recording people could listen to so they could fill in the gaps from the show if it wasn't all clicking."

Recorded in Hoy's living room---"and other living rooms across the city"---the band sat on the album for almost a year while playing around with the mixes and getting it professionally mastered. The band launched tempertemperband.com on March 25 with its self-titled debut as a free download. "Despite the work we're putting in, I still think there are a lot of people that don't know about us, so primarily we just want people to hear the music and get into it and hopefully we can get out of debt later."

But at only 30 minutes in length, Hoy isn't content to ride the coattails of TemperTemper's newly released debut. He continues to study at Dalhousie and experimenting with the theory he is learning in the classroom, writing new songs and working on the old to enhance the band's live performances.

"I think what guides my songwriting mostly is trying to integrate complex compositional ideas into a pop format," he says. "I can never allow myself to do something simple. I can't be satisfied writing a song that doesn't have something bizarre in it."

TemperTemper w/Hind Legs, Special Costello, and a piano quintet playing Shostakovich op.57 in G minor

Saturday, March 31 at The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street $6 - The Coast


Discography

TemperTemper (2012)

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Bio

From the imaginations of four musical beings came TemperTemper. The visionary dream-collector/composer Thomas Hoy tore the fabric of pop, rock, and classical and sewed them back together to create a magnificent abomination. Out of the ensuing blaze of colour and glory came Ben Shaw, a sprite-like guitarist plucked from an 80's hair metal band; Leah CL, classical pianist turned electro-pop goddess; and Jeremy Dutcher, 195 pounds of primal heat and rhythmic prowess. Together, they form a power-pop piñata, aching to be burst by hordes of candy-starved music fans everywhere.