The Temper Trap - The wizards of Oz

After a million-selling debut album and that hit single, Antipodean indie-rockers The Temper Trap are back with a bigger sound and a slot supporting Coldplay.

For a rising indie-rock band, achieving a hit single is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it sends you soaring from obscurity to having a huge following, but on the other it attracts fickle fans only interested in hearing that one song. With their Top 10 single “Sweet Disposition”, a song that was all over radio and television in 2009, Australian indie-rock band The Temper Trap are all too aware of the “one-hit wonder” tag. Saving the hit for last is a trick they employ at every gig.

Off the back of “Sweet Disposition” and Conditions, their striking million-copy-shifting debut album, they sold out a UK tour in May, including two nights at Koko, north London, while their July Somerset House show sold out in 36 hours, before their new album had even been released. Earlier this month they played the 5,000-capacity Hammersmith Apollo.

We meet at the band's hotel, Sydney's plush five-star, 36-storey, Shangri-La, before their show at the city's prestigious Opera House – a far cry from their early days slumming it on the floors of their friends' places after gigs at tiny venues.

“We used to play dive bars, and you never think that you'll get to play the Opera House,” says keyboardist Joseph Greer, their newest recruit, having graduated from touring member to fully-fledged member of the band. “I feel like I should wear a bow tie or something.” Their self-titled sophomore album is on the shelves, and the band now know that the stakes are high.

“I think we managed to insulate ourselves pretty well from the pressure,” says drummer Toby Dundas. “You're aware of the expectation from the fans as well. But it's early days and we think there are some songs on this record that could definitely connect in the same way.” He suggests their single “Trembling Hands” as the next song to take the mantle of hit single. “I think we're all really proud of that.”

“Are you touching wood?” witty bassist Jonny Aherne asks.

“I'm touching it with my foot,” Dundas replies.

“Let's say we tried to write a 'Sweet Disposition'-type song again,” adds guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto. “It would be rubbish. We're better off not thinking about it and letting it come more naturally.”

It would be impossible to recreate a song like “Sweet Disposition” – with its shimmering guitar riff, singalong melody and the falsetto of their singer Dougy Mandagi – where undoubtedly a little magic came together. How did they go about following their debut album?

“We didn't want to make Conditions 2,” states Greer. “If there was one thing that we thought about before making the album, it was to not repeat ourselves.” This all five members enthusiastically agree on. One thing that shaped the sound of the album was the practical matter of having more money to buy new equipment, which bolstered the overall sound of the guitar-pop of their debut with more keyboards and effects.

The band met in Melbourne and formed in 2005. A gig in Sydney feels like a home away from home: they remember how, in the early days, when they first started touring, they would cram all their gear into a van, drive the 12 hours from Melbourne to Sydney, play a show and drive straight back. Having achieved status as Australia's biggest contemporary band, they moved to London three years ago for a bigger challenge – to do the same on a vaster platform. Their label, Infectious Records, suggested, “come and see how it goes”, and three years later they're still there.

“We were lucky,” says Aherne. “The fact that Australia is quite isolated from the industry in the UK meant we had four years before we came over as a band so we had a little bit of time to develop our sound so it really worked on our behalf.”

They were nominated for a Brit Award as Best International Breakthrough Act last year and have sold out tours ever since. They have also won support from pop stars as notable as Bono, who included The Temper Trap in his recommendations of new bands in a magazine. Mumford and Sons, and Florence and the Machine are also fans and after 2009, when all three bands were included in the BBC's “Sound of” poll, they all toured together.

Their new-found home in London was the inspiration for their song “London's Burning”. Living in Hackney, in east London, they were at the centre of the riots of 2011.

Moving between the two continents and playing gigs everywhere in between (a highlight was playing to 35,000 fans at a festival in Mexico) is a challenge ,especially considering that Aherne, the youngest of the five bandmates, aged 25 to 32, is married with a baby. But for Mandagi, who was born in Indonesia, has lived in America, Australia and now the UK, being on tour is his comfort zone. His lyrics explore loneliness and displacement. “You can probably hear it in the writing, there's definitely a sense of displacement, that's why I get really anxious and uncomfortable if I'm in one place for too long. ”

Another coup for the band is being invited to support Coldplay on tour next month. They will undoubtedly be the biggest shows they've ever played – but they have always had high expectations.

“Getting to that point where we can take it to arenas is the next dream that we all have,” says Greer.

The Temper Trap's single “Miracle” is out on 29 October

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Caral Barat of The Libertines performs on stage at British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park

music
Arts and Entertainment
Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea perform on stage at the Billboard Music Awards 2014

music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport