What The Sound had the opportunity to chat with Jasmine and Eddie about their roots, background, collaboration dreams, and more. The NYC-based duo, TEMPERS will be releasing their new album titled Services on October 23rd. Check out our interview below while sinking into their heavy synths featuring Jasmine's deep voice, Eddie's buzzing guitar and spooky reverb.
What The Sound: Jasmine & Eddie, where are you two from? Where did you meet? And, how did Tempers form?
Eddie: I’m from New York originally, and Jasmine grew up in England and France, after being born in Florida. We met in New York, and formed Tempers after an earlier project dissolved; the process was kind of an experiment for us, writing and recording simultaneously in the studio, and it clicked instantly.
WTS: From my understanding, Jasmine- you’re half-Iranian and half-Latvian, and you’ve lived all around the world. In any overarching way, does your music symbolize anything specific of your background?
Jasmine: I have never been to Iran or Latvia, but I think my family’s heritage and history has had an impact on my creative imagination. I write songs about love, pain, dreams and longing with a kind of sorrowful romanticism, which is very Persian of me. The Latvian side of my family escaped Stalin’s invasion and came to America on a ship to Ellis Island in the 40’s, escaping and running away are also themes in my lyrics. I grew up in London, so British music history has had a huge influence on my aesthetics - the gloomy beauty of bands like Joy Division, The Smiths or Radiohead have a tension of warm and cold that I think inspired me stylistically for Tempers.
WTS: Does the music that Tempers make encompass any empowering message that your general listeners may not catch?
Jasmine: Tempers is often categorized as “dark” music, but I don’t see it that way. I think of it in terms of healing. As music that is willing to explore deeper shadowy emotions in order to feel them more fully and transcend them - which is an optimistic and life-affirming end. I want to create an empathetic space for complicated feelings.
WTS: Eddie, you’re from Manhattan, is their anything specific about your hometown that your music embodies?
Eddie: Growing up in New York allowed me to be very independent from a young age, and I think that independence made it natural to participate in different subcultures without contradiction. Having that kind of fluid musical identity definitely influenced the way I think about production and songwriting.
WTS: Have you two been in previous bands in the past?
Jasmine: I had a band called Seasick. Eddie joined the band right before we broke up, and that’s how we started playing music together, and noticed we had a creative connection that could go further.
Eddie: Yeah, I joined Seasick when Jasmine's keyboard player left to become a philosophy professor. So I had to promise not to become a philosophy professor, but I've kept that promise so far.
WTS: Jasmine, where did your deep voice and strong reverb come into play when making Tempers? When did you know you had the ability to sing so well like that and use it?
Jasmine: I have been writing songs since I was 14, I never really thought about what I was doing - I was just compelled to spend many hours playing guitar and singing. I was inspired by people who were more interested in emoting feeling than having a "typically" good voice - like Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen. That approach gave me a lot of freedom to express myself without thinking of myself as a singer, more like a messenger of melodies and words.
WTS: You just released a new single titled, will this be a part of an upcoming EP or LP?
Eddie: Yes, "Undoing" is the single from our LP, "Services", which is coming out on October 23rd.
WTS: How’s preparing for the upcoming album going?
Eddie: The album is finished and is being pressed on vinyl as we speak - we're releasing it with Aufnahme+Wiedergabe, a Berlin label, and we're very excited for it.
WTS: If Tempers could collaborate with anyone on a track, who would it be and why?
Eddie: Imagine what it would be like to collaborate with Leonard Cohen - his voice and his poetry are obviously big influences for us, but also the evolution of his sound over the decades, sometimes in bizarre directions, is really inspiring. And I think Jasmine's voice would complement his beautifully. That would be some serious dark healing.
WTS: What can we expect from you in the future? More music? Hitting the road?
Eddie: Yes both! More music, and hitting the road. We're writing new songs at the moment, which feels great after having our album out the door, and we'll be touring Europe in November.