Interview: TEMPEL

by Jorge Patacas

Six years after their self-titled debut album, the Norwegian four-piece Tempel return with “Sagn”. We did an interview with guitarist Espen Gjermundrød to discuss the new material, as well as their influences, having brothers in the same band, their best gig so far and plans for the future!


RISE!: – You’ve just released your long awaited new album “Sagn”, congratulations! Why did it take you so long to release it?

Espen Gjermundrød: We were about to go on tour just when “corona” hit us. This took away a lot of motivation partly because we are mainly a live band. The band also lives very spread out and we just rehearse occasionally before gigs etc. All this together with me and Inge (Gjermundrød, bass/vocals) having to sort out some brother issues, resulted in me having to put the whole project on hold. I also had to focus on my off-grid project out in the woods, which included restoring a few houses, and building a big garden etc.
After a few years with that, Inge and I had sorted out most of what had to be sorted out and he luckily managed to persuade me into start focusing on the band again and the rest is history.

R!: – What would you say are the main differences between “Sagn” and the debut album in terms of music and production?

EG: First of all, the debut album was recorded “live”. Not with an audience, but the whole band stood in the same room with full stacks and drums etc. Full bleed from every instrument in all microphones. That gives a unique sound to the album it is hard to drastically change the sound of it.
“Sagn” is recorded with layers. First drums, then guitars, the bass, the vocals, etc. This gives us more possibilities to produce just the sound we want on all songs.
Other than that, the songs are more sophisticated on “Sagn”, while the debut album was more raw and feral in a way.

R!: – This album has some songs in English and others in Norwegian, how did you choose which songs were going to be in your native language?

EG: Inge wanted to experiment with singing in our mother tongue on a few songs and I think it was pretty random which of the songs we chose.

R!: – Let’s talk about the artwork made by Tonni Thon Brekke. What was the idea for the cover?

EG: We wanted to keep the stave church from the debut album as a symbol and tell another story with it, and just added some cool stuff, really.

R!: – Has the songwriting process been different this time compared to the previous album? What came first? Music or lyrics?

EG: Always music first. Then Inge writes the lyrics. I think he gets some words and pictures in his head when he hears the music and then just riff on that.
We often make a sketch of the song that everyone can listen to and learn before rehearsal. Then we jam on that and start to arrange from the point. Sometimes we have to experiment a lot and sometimes the sketch is close to perfect. Lately we have started just jamming without any sketch or riffs and we will probably be doing more of that on the next album.

R!: – What’s the story behind the name of the band?

EG: It’s actually Bjarte from Kvelertak who came up with Tempel. He wanted to use it for a side project, but generously handed it over to us.

R!: – I guess Kvelertak was one of your main influences when you started, but your music is a mix of different styles. What other bands/genres had an influence on you?

EG: Kvelertak sure was, and is a big inspiration. In addition, we are very inspired by things like two-part harmony guitars from Thin Lizzy, and really just the sound from early Metallica. And of course numerous other bands.

R!: – What are the advantages and disadvantages of having brothers in the band?

EG: The communication is very honest, direct and instantaneous. This makes room for quick decisions which comes in handy, but can also be a bit annoying and too honest at times.
It’s like having 10000 horse power under the hood. It requires exceptional control, if not, the results can be devastating.

R!: – Do you feel more comfortable in the studio or playing live?

EG: We are definitely a live band, but I must say recording “Sagn” was a rather pleasant experience. We had time to experiment which was really fun!

R!: – What in your opinion has been the best concert of your career so far and why?

EG: Kjetil told us that the release gig which we played April the 5th was the best he ever saw, and I humbly believe him. But the most fun was maybe when we played in Gildehallen (vikinghouse replica) at Midgardsblot festival. That was just sick…

R!: – What venue/country would it be a dream come true to play?

EG: I would love to play at Hellfest once. Inge and the former Tempel guitarist Andreas have been there ten times.
Except for that we want to go back to Germany and Poland. Nice audience and venues!

R!: – What are the next steps for the band? Plans for the near future?

EG: Just play a lot live. Which ever gigs we can get our hands on. Going to places like Germany and/or Poland some time soon would be splendid.



Tempel – 2018
Sagn – 2024

Related posts

Leave a Comment

Blue Captcha Image