Rave It Up recently had a chat to Alternative Pop Rock Band Tempus Sun about their new single Owls.
Hey Andrew, Rya, Grant, Ed, Sean and Liam! Since this is your first time on Rave It Up, we’d love to get to know you guys a little bit better. Firstly we’d all love to know, how did you all originally get started in the industry?
Well we all actually come from really different backgrounds. Andrew is from Tumut in NSW, Sean is from Griffith in NSW, Grant is from Seymour in Victoria, Liam from Launceston, Rya grew up in Singapore and I’ve grown up in the suburbs of Melbourne. Everyone has had their own separate musical journey and development within the music industry. As a collective we are quite fresh to the scene, having only been together for just under a year.
Ed, you knew Andrew and Grant before the band, but how did you find the others?
We all go to uni with each other at The Australian Institute of Music. I was in the same classes as Andrew and Grant and that’s when we become mates and decided to start on a project together. Liam soon joined the group after that. We entered a songwriting competition called Listen Up Australia and it turned out it was the same day as Andrew’s 21st back home in NSW. I nervously approached Rya at the cafe at our uni and asked her if she would fill in for the competition. A couple of weeks later, there was a bit of a miscommunication with another jam for the band and both Andrew and Rya came and she hasn’t left the group since.
We’d all love to know too, where did the name Tempus Sun come from?
Ed was enjoying a bottle of red one night with the name Tempus Two and he was struck with some inspiration. From there it formed into Tempus Sun, which is quite apt as within music, Tempus relates to tempo in Latin. We’ve since been told it means a few things in a few languages and apparently it is the name of a super hero, so we’ll take that!
You guys won Bank of Melbourne’s Melbourne Music Bank last year. How was that experience for you all?
Yes! Pretty amazing. We didn’t expect anything out of it. We just simply applied without thinking too much into it. Then when we got to the Top 4, we had to pinch ourselves that we’d really made it! Winning it was incredible and the support from our team since has been awesome. It has really given us so much insight into the industry and knowledge of things we didn’t even realise we needed to consider. I think you glamorise it a little from the outside but when you are amongst it, it is so multi-faceted with so many things to be done in a launch campaign alone. Our team have been unbelievable, always there for a call when we need to wrap our heads around things and always giving us unreal advice. It has really fast-tracked us in a way we couldn’t have imagined.
After winning the competition, you have really made a mark on the music industry and therefore have spread the word about Tempus Sun even more. So many people view you guys as ‘overnight sensations,’ but how long were you guys perfecting your craft before entering the Melbourne Music Bank?
Separately we have all been perfecting our crafts for a really, really long time. Music is our lives, which is a comforting thing to know; that we all have the same motivations, desires and priorities. But I guess because we only formed a few months before the competition, our success as a band has come quite quickly and taken us by surprise. We’ve stumbled across an eclectic mix that just clicks, but it comes also as the result of a lot of hard work. We firmly believe you make your own luck. Spending so much time together I think really translates in the cohesion of our music and contributes to bettering our craft inadvertently.
Tempus Sun has six members which is quite a large band. How do you guys cope, in terms of creating new songs and ideas? Do you butt heads a lot?
We do tend to butt heads a lot but I think that’s what keeps us coming up with the strongest material. We contest each other on ideas constantly but we are pretty good at listening to each other as well. Without this process I think it would become a pretty safe and un-challenging environment. Often we break off into pairs to write as well, and then bring them back to the full band setting. From here, we expand the ideas and then undergo the refinement process where we have to make the agonising choices of choosing the best bits.
And Rya, you are also the only girl in the group. How is that? Do you sometimes feel like the mother of the group, keeping the boys in line? Haha
Honestly not at all. It’s quite the opposite really. I feel like I have five dads.
Throughout your career, what have you guys found the hardest thing about the industry?
The hardest thing would definitely be the unknown of how our music will be received! When working on something for so long, it’s really scary not knowing what the response is going to be from people. But I guess we love what we’ve created and are more excited than anything to get our music out there!
Grant has studied Classical Piano, Liam has a Metal background and Sean has a Jazz Fusion background. Do you find having all of these different genre backgrounds an advantage or sometimes a disadvantage, cause you obviously want to stick to your Indie/Pop/Rock sound?
Definitely an advantage! We think it’s awesome to have so many influences and to bring these elements to the table when we are creating. It’s crazy that we can all have such different musical interests and come together in a room and all be completely satisfied in what we are creating. Having these multiple influences helps us to create our unique musical fingerprint.
Your debut single Owls is now out for everyone to check out and it’s all about mental health and encouraging people to discuss their struggles with others. Is this a struggle you’ve experienced yourselves?
It has definitely been a struggle for some of us within the band and so the song comes from a place of passion. However it is about struggles in general and how something as simple as speaking up about these things can make such a difference. We all have our daily stresses and so we think the song can resonate with a lot of people.
When suffering from mental illness, talking to someone can seem very daunting and even unimportant. What would you say to someone who may be thinking like this?
It is so easy to procrastinate over something as simple as talking to someone as often we don’t think it can have value. But bottling things up can just compound the issue. Sometimes we start to wrap our heads around things a little better when we vocalise them ourselves and stop internalising everything. So chat to someone, there is nothing to lose.
You guys are now ambassadors of The Official Top Ten Night, which is an incredible cause that raises awareness for mental health and the importance of speaking out in the time of struggle. You must be so proud. How do you plan to keep raising awareness? Can we expect more songs about mental illness?
We are honoured to be official ambassadors for this wonderful charity run by Alistair Taylor who are doing incredible things in partnership with Suicide Prevention Australia. In conjunction with the charity, we will be spreading the word and representing some of the many events hosted every year. Our songs definitely intend to have depth of lyric and our fifth track from our upcoming EP Dragon definitely has some similar positive messages. We would love to record an album next year so keep an ear out to find out.
This track is not only titled Owls but also mentions Owls and has a recurring theme of Owls. Why did you decide to go with Owls in particular?
We just love the imagery of the Owl and the lyric specifically references some colours which really paint both the external and internal faces of mental struggles. It can be something that no one can see from the outside but is always there with you on the inside, ‘with eyes a deep, dark red’, that ‘tend to taunt and stare’. It is an animal of flight too, just like mental battles that can seemingly disappear but then rear their heads again.
Your self-titled debut EP will be released next month in August. We are so excited for it! What is your favourite song off the EP? Which track should we be checking out first?
We are so excited too! We always change our minds on what our favourite is but you’ll definitely need to check out our second single Gold. It is a tune that just makes you feel sublime. It is all about those timeless, euphoric moments in life and trying to capture those moments you never want to let go of. We are so excited to release this one and the accompanying film clip is looking unreal! Our other favourite would probably have to be Crash which definitely has those summer, upbeat, feel good vibes – we hope to hear it as a bit of a summer getaway anthem.
Even though you guys have already achieved so much in your career, what else can we expect from you in the future? What’s up next after your EP release?
After our EP release, we will be focusing heavily on writing and performing. We have already started on some new material and can’t wait to spend some more time in the studio to build on these ideas and work towards our next release. Performing is the part we enjoy the most – and the reward – so we are very excited to play a string of shows in Sydney and Brisbane in late August, before ending in Melbourne on Friday, September 1st for our EP launch show.
What advice would you give to the readers who want to follow their dreams of becoming a singer?
Never compare yourself or your craft to anyone else because no two people are the same. Everyone is different and it’s so important to embrace your uniqueness and use it as a powerful tool. If it’s what you really want to do, don’t have a plan B. You’ve got to put all your energy, time and passion into it.
If the listeners would like to contact you guys or find out what you are up to, where should they go?
You can chat to us or look us up on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! We love getting feedback from fans and are always so humbled by the support.
Thank you so much for having a chat to us today guys. We’d love to get you on our radio show to have another chat when your EP comes out in August.
Thank you so much. Talk soon!
– Interviewed by Lauren Yeates