Temples’ Samuel Toms: “There will always be a thirst for guitar music'”

With Kettering-quartet Temples currently gearing up to release their highly anticipated debut album Sun Structures, I managed to grab some time to speak with their drummer, Samuel Toms. Read on to find out more!


A lot has happened in the last year or so since Temples started out as a band. How did you meet?
We gravitated towards each other due to lack of kindred spirits really. We live in a small town in which good music is scarce so you get to know all of the people who like the same stuff as you from going out drinking or at parties.

A lot of bands take many years to start up and gain recognition. Why do you think everything has gone so quick for Temples?
A lot of bands also explode out of nowhere. I don’t think there is ever a clear reason for it either. I guess we’ve tried to incorporate cool sounds we like into simple pop songs with melodies which is often a winning combo but it’s never a conscious thing. There is obviously an element of luck and meeting the right people involved too but you still have to capture people’s imaginations. Imagine the amount of incredible bands that have gone unheard over the years though. It’s a scary thought.

If the band was to break up tomorrow, which moments would you cherish the most, and why?
The early memories are always the best, like the glory days when we had to sleep in the van in the freezing cold, or getting lost in the suburbs of Dublin for hours looking for hotels. It’s the little experiences.

When you’re on tour, are there any interesting items on your rider?
We demand a cow at every venue so we can have fresh milk but it never happens, other than that we just have the usual food and booze. I’m planning on asking for a miniature golf set soon.

What are your 5 favourite cities to play in?
Tokyo has to be my favourite. After that it’s hard to choose. Barcelona was fun and Paris is always wild but there are so many good towns. I’m looking forward to playing in Austin TX. I visited a couple of years ago and it was crazy but never played there.

If you could collaborate with one artist (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Arthur Russell would be amazing to work with I think. He just had such an original way of structuring his songs in the same way that Syd Barrett did. It’d be me on congas and kazoo, him on cello through a million pedals and maybe Syd in the background painting himself into a corner.

As a drummer, who are your main influences?
Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson (MC5), Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience), Peter Leopold (Amon Duul II) and Jaki Liebezeit (Can) to name a few. One of my favourite drummers to watch live of recent years has been Dan Allaire (BJM). I’ve never seen a drummer with such looseness yet at the same time be so tight.

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about the decline of ‘guitar bands’. What do you think the future holds for guitar-based music?
For me there is no discussion. There will always be a thirst for guitar music. It’s such an unpredictable instrument and I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface yet. Whether or not guitar based music is in the mainstream eye is irrelevant, it has been an important tool for the youth culture to express themselves for years and I it I think it will remain that way forever.

Sun Structures is one of the finest psychedelic rock albums of the last ten years. When you were recording the album, what was your main aim?
The aim was to convince you that it was one of the finest psychedelic rock albums of the last ten years.

Finally, what song would you have played at your funeral, and why?
The Velvet Underground – I’m Set Free. I always thought of death when I heard this song even though it’s really uplifting- in a good way. It’s quite comforting. Read the lyrics and make up your own mind.

Temples’ debut album Sun Structures is released on Monday, 10 February. Read our review here.