The Temper Trap

Lightning 100.1 Presents:

The Temper Trap

The Neighbourhood

Thursday, October 18

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm (event ends at 11:59 pm)

Tickets at the Door

This event is 18 and over

18 & Over with proper photo ID. no re-entry

The Temper Trap
The Temper Trap
Whichever angle it's viewed from, whether a 20,000-strong sing-along throng in Melbourne, through the smoggy haze of West Hollywood or from the window of Dougy Mandagi's flat overlooking the riot zone in Hackney, The Temper Trap's 2009 debut 'Conditions' was a roar away success. Propelled by the omniscience of a song called 'Sweet Disposition', the album sold nearly a million copies worldwide. The Melbourne four-piece made a breakthrough at odds with the flash-in-the-pan nature of rock's revolving door, resulting in a Brit nomination for International Breakthrough Artist and two sell-out UK tours including a trio of shows at London's Shepherds Bush Empire. 'Sweet Disposition' may have been their not-so-secret weapon, but they backed it up with an album of nuanced epic-pop perfection and a work ethic that would mean they wouldn't see their own beds for the best part of three years.

Dougy Mandagi (vocals, guitar), Lorenzo Sillitto (guitar), Jonny Aherne (bass) and Toby Dundas (drums) had barely relocated from Melbourne to London when they made a tour bus their home-from-home. They'd arrived in 2009 as a band wet behind the ears but armed with songs fit to headline festivals and an ambition that was keen on getting them there. Having recorded 'Conditions' with Arctic Monkeys producer Jim Abbiss, their debut was released in August 2009 and what followed was an extensive period of intensive, relentless touring that only ended at the beginning of 2011. If they'd pitched up in the English capital as relative novices, come the end of the year, they'd most definitely found their feet. "My expectations were to play as many shows as possible and see where it went from there," says Sillitto. "The thought of getting into the Top Ten and selling however many records that we did was never really a goal. As high points go, we played a festival in Australia called Splendour In The Grass and at that point it was the biggest crowd we'd ever played to, like 20,000 people, the reaction was just incredible." "When you're onstage and the crowd are singing so loud that you can't hear yourself," adds Mandagi, "that's quite an amazing moment."

And so, it was in these triumphant circumstances that The Temper Trap, now bolstered to a five-piece with the permanent addition of Joseph Greer on keyboards, reconvened after a shorter-than-expected holiday ("I thought to myself, 'I'm gonna disappear for a year', but after a week and a half, I was so bored," laughs Mandagi) to begin work on their second album. With minimal writing having taken place amidst the whirlwind of the Conditions' touring cycle, the band entered sessions for album two with a clean slate and little idea of what would surface. Mandagi, though, was aware he had little control over what the main lyrical themes would entail. "I was in a relationship whilst touring the last album and it went bad. I guess I opened the floodgates – I thought I was over it but I had a lot of things to get off my chest so I started writing all these mopey heartbreak songs."

Situated in their adopted home of Hackney, the band approached the writing sessions much as they did their debut, "sitting there and nutting things out," as Sillitto puts it. By the time they were ready to head to the famous Sound Factory studios in Los Angeles to record with Beck collaborator Tony Hoffer (in Aherne's words: "a great guy with great ideas"), they'd written 35 songs that were whittled down to 17 to record. Of these, says Mandagi, "4 or 5 are heartbreak songs – the rest didn't make the cut."

"Being in LA was the right choice for this album," explains Greer. "Tony has his own studio so we didn't need to spend a lot of time trying get things sounding right. On top of that, the weather was amazing the whole time and I'm sure that did a lot to elevate our moods."

What emerges is their self-titled second album, a record of two distinct personalities, one of melancholic, mesmeric balladry and one of synth-led, anthemic powerhouse pop. "Each time I play my friends these songs they all have a different favorite," says Aherne. "This really feels like a record that could have something for everyone."

Their trick isn't that perfunctory, though; most songs on 'The Temper Trap' see the band's two disparate sides bleed into each other. So, the fuzzy stomp of 'Need Your Love' appears to be a stadium-slaying cocksure sing-along but is in fact underpinned with lost soul yearning, whilst 'Dreams' should be a slow-burning album track but is in fact loaded with one of the record's hookiest choruses. Wonderful contradictions spring up all over the place; 'I'm Gonna Wait', a song recorded after repeated listens to the last Zola Jesus record, is a brooding slow snarl that has a celestial chant at its core, 'Rabbit Hole' is an intimate, solemn vignette that explodes in a frenzied, euphoric climax and 'Trembling Hands' is swirling fire'n'brimstone alt-rock.

'The Sea Is Calling' is one of the starkest and most soulful things they've done ("lyrically, Dougy just transports me to another place," says Greer) and the forlorn surge of 'This Isn't Happiness' allows the taut interplay of the band's rhythm section to flourish. The pop grandeur of 'Where Do We Go From Here' and the jagged menace of 'Never Again', meanwhile, highlight the shift in dynamics from their debut by revolving around Greer's searing keyboard parts. More new avenues are explored on 'Miracle' and final track 'Leaving The Heartbreak Hotel', the former flickering into life around intricate beats and sparse soundscapes and the latter using a reverb-drenched dubstep groove as a starting point upon which they build an achingly tender atmospheric closer.

Whilst the majority of these songs ingrain themselves upon you with repeated listens, there is one that will stand out from the off. 'London's Burning' was written in the aftermath of last summer's riots as Mandagi struggled to deal with what he'd watched unfold outside his flat on Mare Street. "It was bizarre," he says, "but it was such a significant moment than I just had to write about it." Again, their playful contrariness comes into focus – its subject matter might be dark and devious, but London's Burning's sounds like The Clash soundtracking a glam rock musical.

At the center of everything is the charismatic, enigmatic Mandagi and that voice, a swooping croon that could lift a 747. The Indonesian-born, Melbourne-raised, London-living frontman is the driving force behind 'The Temper Trap's recurring theme of displacement. "I definitely went through phases where the only place I felt like I belonged was on the road, on the stage, in a bus," he says. "Being on the road gave me a sense of purpose. I love it and there's no place I'd rather be, but at the same time it can be lonely. That's all ammo for me as a lyricist."

It's exactly the sort of juxtaposition that makes 'The Temper Trap' such an intriguing listen. It's a snapshot of a band blossoming, their songs matching their own skyscraping expectations. "I'm an ambitious person," says Dougy. "I want this album to be bigger, and I want the record to do well, I don't want just one or two songs to do well, I want people to realise we're capable of making records." Rest assured, the penny is about to drop.
The Neighbourhood
The Neighbourhood
The second album from The Neighbourhood, 'Wiped Out!' came to life in a makeshift living-room studio near the band's Southern California hometown. After spending three months dreaming up riffs and beats and melodies at a live-in studio by the ocean, singer Jesse Rutherford, guitarists Jeremy Freedman and Zach Abels, bassist Mikey Margott, and drummer Brandon Fried took up in Abels's mom's Simi Valley home, set up their equipment on a ping-pong table, and began piecing those otherworldly sounds into songs. Working with producer Jono Dorr -- one half of the production team 4e, who collaborated with The Neighbourhood on their 2014 mixtape '#000000 & #FFFFFF' -- the L.A.-based band built off their hip-hop-meets-alt-pop aesthetic and shaped a whole new sound that's stark but intricately layered, moody but hypnotically melodic.

"Since the last album came out, people have asked us about how we came up with a song like 'Sweater Weather,'" says Rutherford, referring to the double-platinum breakout single from The Neighbourhood's 2013 debut 'I Love You.' "I've thought about that a lot, and I swear it just comes down how we felt on that day and where we were at in our lives. Being at Zach's place really brought us back to that, and put our emotions in exactly the right place."

In making 'Wiped Out!,' The Neighbourhood also reunited with 'I Love You.' co-producer Justyn Pilbrow, who headed up their sessions at Morning View Studios in Malibu. And for lead single "R.I.P. 2 My Youth," the band joined forces with producer Benny Blanco (Marina and the Diamonds, Mikky Ekko, Icona Pop) and created a hazy meditation on getting older and shedding naiveté. With its sleepy beat and piercing lyrics ("Tell my sister don't cry and don't be sad/I'm in paradise with Dad/Close my eyes and then cross my arms/Put me in the dirt, let me dream with the stars"), "R.I.P. 2 My Youth" perfectly embodies the emotional dynamic at the heart of 'Wiped Out!.' "One vision I had in the beginning of making the album was that I wanted it to be happy music for sad people to listen to," Rutherford notes.

Another element of The Neighbourhood's initial vision for 'Wiped Out!': the crashing ocean waves and assorted other beachy sounds heard all throughout the album. "Atmospherics have always been really important to us," says Rutherford. "I like the idea of putting people in a certain place visually -- like picturing us in California, the ocean being part of us." Along with adding to 'Wiped Out!''s swirling textures, those atmospherics also subtly reflect the album's theme of growing up and getting on. "For me it's got to do with becoming whole, making a complete circle and getting a clean start," says Rutherford. "The ocean takes you up and spits you out, and you feel new but aware."

From the spacey guitar tones and chaotic sprawl of its title track to the slinky groove and delicate vocals of "Daddy Issues" ("I know that you've got daddy issues/And I do too"), 'Wiped Out!' endlessly warps genre but maintains a fragile beauty from beginning to end. "It's like in Malibu we were building a scrapbook of ideas, and at Zach's we pulled out the best ones and brought them together all into one package," says Fried of the album-making process. Evident in everything from the psychedelic guitar work on "Baby Come Home Pt. 2" to the bass-heavy groove of "Cry Baby," that process involved what Fried describes as "taking what we were doing as a live band and bringing it to the studio and creating a sound that's more like what we vibe off of when we're touring." And as a result, The Neighbourhood achieves a more frenetic energy and looser feel than ever before. "With the last album, we started in a studio and then translated the songs live and became a band through things we wrote all on computers," says Rutherford. "These songs were written as a full fucking band, so you sit there and play them and it's like, 'Oh, this feels really good.'"

Along with expanding their sound on 'Wiped Out!,' The Neighbourhood also sharpened their lyrical sensibility. "I used to write in a more stream-of-consciousness kind of way, just writing whatever was happening in my life at the time," says Rutherford. "But for this one I wanted to really get to how I was actually feeling." Though he notes that getting more raw and revealing in his lyrics had its painful moments, Rutherford hopes the end result will strengthen the songs' power of connection. "If people were able to relate to the old stuff, I feel like this could be even more relatable because it goes past just the boo-hoo problems of the day and gets to something deeper," he says.

Formed in summer 2011, The Neighbourhood grew up together in the Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks, California. After self-releasing two EPs in 2012 ('I'm Sorry...' and 'Thank You,'), the band made their full-length debut with 'I Love You.' in April 2013. With their first Columbia Records release hailed by Billboard as a "darkly moody album [that] aptly culls together indie rock and R&B," lead single "Sweater Weather" emerged as one of the biggest singles of 2013, shooting to the top 10 on the pop charts and holding at #1 on the alternative charts for eight weeks total. As second single "Afraid" climbed to #3 at alternative radio, The Neighbourhood followed up the album with extensive touring, selling out venues throughout the U.S., Europe, and Russia and taking the stage with artists like The 1975 and a then-little-known Travis Scott. Digging further into their hip-hop roots, the band next put out the Don Cannon and DJ Drama-hosted '#000000 & #FFFFFF,' with the groundbreaking mixtape featuring the likes of Danny Brown and French Montana.

Since their earliest days, The Neighbourhood have embraced a black-and-white color scheme that extends to their clothing, artwork, and every other visual element of the band. According to Rutherford, holding true to that imagery allows for some guiding limitation as they explore so many textures and tones and rhythms within their music-making. "When we start working on a song, the one thing I know is that it's in black and white," he says. "Having that one rule really keeps our heads in a certain space."

If there's another rule that steered the band through the making of 'Wiped Out!' and continues to guide them now, it's a commitment to staying inventive in their artistry. So while The Neighbourhood have a shared passion for pop music ("I love hooks of all sorts, I love catchy things, I love candy," says Rutherford), they're also uncompromising about their belief in pushing pop forward. "There's a lot of artists making music that takes an old idea and just updates it for 2015," says Rutherford. "And sometimes it's really good music, but it's not really new. For us, if we're working on a song and it reminds us of some other song, we're automatically like, 'Okay, so we can change everything, or just get rid of it altogether.' We don't ever want to sound like anything else or stay in the same place. We've progressed with every new thing we've done, and we're just going to keep on progressing."