Album adds layers to band's history

The Julian Temple Band (from left) Alex Vaatstra, Paul McLennan-Kissel, Julian Temple and Paul...
The Julian Temple Band (from left) Alex Vaatstra, Paul McLennan-Kissel, Julian Temple and Paul McMillan. Photo supplied.

Julian Temple is following in the Blues Brothers footsteps and ''getting the band back together''.

Temple, who holds dual citizenship, has been splitting his time between New Zealand and the US in a bid to get his music heard and escape Dunedin's winter.

''It's actually been kind of weird actually, I haven't been 'in band' for three months,'' bassist Paul McMillan says, eating sushi overlooking the University of Otago clocktower.

''Julian normally just goes back to miss the Dunedin winter. It'll be scorching summer in California and he'll play a bunch of shows.

''So basically he goes and plays shows while his family has a bunch of American time, and then the whole family comes back and lives here. He did 45 shows while he was there in just three months.

''He has a bunch of American musicians he'll play with as well, a cellist for acoustic stuff, and a whole other bass player and a whole other drummer, and we just try not to get jealous,'' McMillian said, laughing.

The shows were mainly in the San Luis Obispo area, where Cayucos, a small surfing village where Temple grew up, is.

''A lot of our new record is about those last four years of moving between New Zealand and the States,'' McMillian said.

''I think one of the songs is even called Running, Swimming, Flying because it seems like for the last four years, y'know he's just been running, swimming, flying. He's on to it, but all over the place.

''We didn't really plan it that way but looking at the songs, they're all related to this one kinda thing.''

McMillan says the still untitled album is something of a template expansion for the band.

Recorded at the University's Albany St Studios by Mike Holland and mixed by Tex Houston, it sees the group taking Julian's well-travelled foundation of bluesy licks, gravelly vocals, and cafe surf noir slightly further, layering up on parts and instruments.

''The last record we did was just acoustic guitar, violin, bass and drums. With this one, Jules is back on the electric guitar, I played a little bit of electric guitar, and we've had Alex on piano, and a lot of vocal stuff.

"It's definitely the most instruments we've ever had on anything. It's adding on the last record and building on the band that we have, which is nice.

''There's a particular sound that Julian gets when he writes songs and when he plays guitar. It's very funky, with a great sense of rhythm. There's a bit of - I don't want to say expected sound - but there is; this band has a history. None of that's gone away, but we've just added more layers.

''I feel like this is going to be one of the best records we've made.''

The band aims to release the record around December before heading out on a nationwide summer tour of venues large and small.

In the meantime though, the band plays at the Robbie Burns Pub tonight, with jazz funk instrumental trio Kafka Collective and country/folk songwriter Matt Langley in support.


The gig

• Julian Temple Band with Matt Langley and Kafka Collective, tonight at the Robbie Burns Pub, George St, $10 on the door from 9pm, music from 9.30.


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