This past February Richard Seypka and Jon Fitzgerald collaborated together on a new musical project called Temples, resulting their debut RPM 2012 album Passing. Since then they have put together a live, gigging incarnation of the band which features Richard Seypka (lead vocals, guitar), Jon Fitzgerald (guitar, synth, vocals), Paul Brace (guitar, keys, vocals), Georgie Newman (bass) and Nick Coultas-Clarke (drums, percussion). The group has also re-recorded Passing to produce a fuller sounding, polished version of the album. I recently checked in with Temples founders Richard and Jon to ask them about the project.
Did you guys form specifically for the RPM challenge or did Temples exist prior to it?
Richard: Temples was actualized through our RPM collaboration. We initially decided to use the challenge as an outlet to express some musical ideas Jon and I had. Our intentions changed once we realized the potential of the songs on our EP. We received some good feedback on our project so we decided to take it further.
Jon: The addition of Paul Brace, Georgie Newman, and Nick Coultas-Clarke followed as a result of past musical ties and earlier collaborations. Paul and Richard had played together in an indie folk band Ragged Ends a couple of years prior.
The song “Passing” from your RPM album is very atmospheric with not a lot of vocals but the new version has lyrics. In fact there’s a lot more singing and lyrics on the new version of Passing than the RPM version.
Richard: The RPM version of the song “Passing” was initially an instrumental song that I had been working on for a while. It had a very ambient feel, similar to post rock yet blended with other unique influences like, pop, indie, and alternative Rock. This creation was the catalyst that started Temples. After the RPM challenge we wrote the lyrics for passing as well as the rest of the songs on our new album.
Jon: We approached the RPM mainly as a means of developing some of our early musical ideas. Richard’s production techniques, and the combination of our shared pop, folk, post rock and other influences, made for some fairly diverse sounding stuff. Since then, our love of contemporary indie bands that incorporate complex time signatures, syncopation, and interesting melodies has given us inspiration to create some music that largely deviates from what we created in the past. While the production still maintains a sense of atmosphere and ambience, our music now is incorporating some sonic angles that may not have been present on our RPM album.
Richard, you did a solo RPM album a few years ago. What have you been up to musically since then?
Richard: I always keep myself busy writing and recording my music as well as others. I have had the pleasure of recording some great local talent in the city as a producer and engineer over the last couple of years…Steve Hoskins, Steve Maloney, and Dave Whitty…It all started as a hobby for me many years back but after realizing that I had a passion for recording I attended Metalworks Institute in Toronto, obtaining my education in recording engineering and production. I continue to record with artists today as well as write my own material but Temples is my primary focus musically right now. We have recorded the entire album at my residence on Leslie Street and love the convenience of recording whenever we please. We intend on playing a lot of shows this summer so I’m looking forward to getting on stage and sharing our music.
Have you guys written any other new material since the RPM challenge?
Jon: Once the RPM challenge was over it was like we had established a new direction that we wanted to explore. We continued to develop our ideas, writing several more songs and adding vocals to the instrumental tunes. When we started rehearsing as a band each song evolved into more than we could have originally conceived and each musician has put their own touch on their respective parts, making the songs more cohesive. We have recently released our “new” or “reinvented” album online and named it Passing after the song that started it all. We are really looking forward to getting on stage and sharing our music.
Check out Temples live this summer at the following dates and venues.
July 13th @ The Levee
Aug 4th – album release show @ The Ship
Meanwhile you can listen to the new version of Temples Passing at the first link below.