Phil Campbell on The Temperance Movement’s Sound, Religious Musical Experiences + More
British blues rockers The Temperance Movement made waves with their 2013 self-titled debut album. Loudwire Nights host Full Metal Jackie recently caught up with frontman Phil Campbell. In the interview the singer talks about the band’s sound, his musical religious experiences + more. Check out the interview below:
Phil, lots of iconic artists are name checked to describe The Temperance Movement. What makes a bunch of young guys aware of that style of music and want to play it?
We’re just like older bands. We like a lot of bands that are older than us, definitely. I think all of us are the same sort of age, we grew up through the '90s. The '90s bands -- a lot of them are American and there are a lot of British bands that came out in the early to mid-90s that put a lot of the '60s and '70s sounds together in a new context and that was while we were all growing up.
The original bands that we went back to initially, it was from when I was young, when I was only 16 or 17 years old they played a series on the TV that was about the Beatles, there were six episodes and it was called The Beatles Anthology and it gave you so much insight into that group and there was so much stuff that spun off from there, from the Rolling Stones to Donovan to Neil Young, Crosby, Stills and Nash, you know, all of these things were brilliant then in the '90s when we were growing up and they still are.
Phil, do you put greater expectations on yourself because you are playing timeless music that younger fans can call their own rather than relying on their parents’ album collections?
I think if you went on stage and you had that thought process, you wouldn’t accomplish very much because it is too much. I think we only expect from ourselves to have a good time and a good show because we have done it and done it and done it. The five of us work well together.
Has live music ever connected to you like a religious experience and what do you do to give that same quality to your own songs?
I mean, as religious as it would get. I don’t have much of a positive experience from religion. I would say that the most positive experience I have had from music is watching The Black Crowes in 1998 at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London and to watch Chris [Robinson] come out with an oversized red hat -- he was just everywhere, all over the stage, all at the same time.
He was kind of dancing over with the two girls that were singing in the group. The band rocked, it was just one of the most entertaining things that I have ever seen in my life. It just made me feel incredibly happy, at peace and free from the bounds of religion and life in general. It was like nothing I have ever experienced. It was complete freedom, which is what rock and roll is to me. It's just that freedom of just cutting loose, completely cutting loose and being free from everything in society and everything that everybody says or thinks about you.
Phil, is there a primary songwriter in this band or are your songs collaborative as a result of jamming them out?
I think that what has happened in our group is that we are lucky enough to have both of those elements. The band started off as three people before we had a rhythm section and the three of us, the guitar players and myself, we wrote the songs and we recorded those songs once we were a complete band.
Then we toured those songs and on the tour we started to jam and started to discover the band that we were. We started to jam at the sound checks, then we started to record the sound checks. Everybody started to put into those songs and then we would take those recordings and then we would write them later. We have both of those elements, we have the crafting element of songwriters and we have the jamming element as well, which keeps it very, very exciting.
It has been a couple of years since your first album was released. Musically, how have you grown and how will that growth manifest in the next album?
I think that we retain in the new recordings, we retain much of the southern rock Americana thing that we do. There are a few changes in there, a few certain things that are a bit more from now in terms of production and the sort of treatment that we have given it. The songs are energy driven and are performance based. We have had a bit more fun with the sounds in the studio is all.
Many thanks to Phil Campbell for the interview. For a list of The Temperance Movement's tour dates click here. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie and Tony LaBrie Monday through Friday at 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.
Watch The Temperance Movement's Video For "Take It Back":