10 Questions With The Trouble With Templeton’s, Thomas Calder
Today at A.T.W.N., I have have “10 Questions With…’ Thomas Calder, the singer/ guitarist/ songwriter of Australian indie-rock quintet, The Trouble With Templeton. I chatted with Thomas about inspiration, writing on the road, and “The Call.”
Your sophomore record, “Rookie”, has received high praise from those in your home country of Australia. Now that it’s getting its worldwide release, does it feel like “déjà vu”?
Not really actually. Releasing a record in your home country is very different to having the opportunity to release it worldwide, and have the support to give it a proper go. So we’re just incredibly excited to see where it goes!
Your LP “Rookie” is full of daring tracks that don’t follow a cookie cutter pattern sound for an alternative rock album. Is this something you set out to do, or was this something that happened while recording?
It’s never something that comes up while writing or recording, it’s just something that’s built in to us and a type of ideal we all share as a band. There would be no point for us if we weren’t surprising and pushing ourselves to create something honest and unique to us.
Books. Movies. Music. Art. Travel. These are all things that can inspire a songwriter. Which one would you say has helped you most?
Movies and Music are the two biggest parts of my life, and they both have influenced me equally, and continue to influence each other more and more as time goes on.
The band has gone through some major changes since your critically acclaimed independent debut album, “Bleeders”. As a writer, did the fact you are now a five-piece impact your songwriting for “Rookie”?
The only real impact it had was to give me more freedom and assurance while writing. Having a band creates a lot more space for contribution in terms of instrumentation and sometimes structure, there’s not so much necessity to fill out the sound with just the vocals and the guitar. and having such amazing musicians as members has me excited to see what they want to contribute to the songs.
What was that moment like when Bella Union, the same record label as Fleet Foxes and The Flaming Lips, gave you “the call”?
It’s an incredible thing to be supported by someone or a team of people you respect and admire so much. Bella Union is pretty much a dream label for us, and the people that work there are some of the most driven and inspiring people I’ve ever met. It’s a true Honour to be involved with a label with so much musical and industry integrity. And easily one of the most rewarding and biggest things that have ever happened to us.
Each continent, province, state, and sometimes city has their own distinctive music sound and scene. What is the indie-music scene like in Australia, and is there a band you can’t wait for the rest of the world to hear?
It’s hard for me to speak on this point. To be honest there’s not a huge percentage of the music I listen to that’s Australian so I’m not the most qualified person in that arena. and I think if we have a “sound”, like anything it’s more based on what kind of music the light is shining on at the time, than a particular type of music that gets made here. I love Big Scary a hell of a lot and just hope they keep getting bigger and bigger!
The inspiration for a story can drop at any moment. Some record their ideas, some type them onto their iPad, while others always have pen and paper always nearby. What is your method of choice, and does being on the road impact your method for writing?
The practicality and accessibility of the iPhone is pretty hard to beat, I use the voice memo’s the most while I’m writing, just filling it up with ideas or demo’s and lyrics for songs. I use pen and paper too but it’s less intuitive to me in this modern climate. I often put my songs to paper once their fully finished, but rarely while I’m writing them.
Favorite 1990’s band?
Death Cab For Cutie!
One Book, One Band…
New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, and Death Cab For Cutie!
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Thanks to Thomas for stopping by A.T.W.N. If you’d like to hear more from their critically acclaimed album, “Rookie”, it’s now available worldwide on Bella Union. “Rookie” can be purchased on iTunes in the UK, at Bella Union, and at Amazon.