Kiwi inspiration


Julian Temple has gravel in his voice, but it seems the blues singer-songwriter also has it in his blood.

For the past 15 years, the rock ‘n’ roller has been hitting the road with his touring band called the Julian Temple Band — and there’s no sign of slowing down.

Like many other singers, taking his music on the road is a labour of love for the Dunedin local.

“I’ll keep doing it because this music thing really has a hold of me,” Temple says.







“Even though it’s hard down here in the deep south with a small population, we love playing together so much so we will always make it happen.”

The group is embarking on a South Island tour this summer. They’ll be playing at several New Zealand festivals, and will hit Sherwood’s stage on December 28.

The Julian Temple Band originally started as a solo project before the front man met his drummer at music school in Dunedin in 2004.

Since then, the band has continued to add more and more instruments, and now they perform as both a four-piece and six-piece group to keep things “interesting” and “fresh”.

“We slowly started adding more textures, so we’ve got the keyboard, electric guitar and violin.”

When asked about the dynamics of the band’s ever-changing line-up, Temple points out the legendary rock pioneer Chuck Berry had a different band in every town.

“He travelled all over alone and then had a session band he would hire for the night in each town he was playing in.

“I always really admired that — we aren’t quite like that, but we like to keep it interesting.”

Nature boys: from left, Alex Vaatstra, Julian Temple and Paul McLennan-Kissel

Californian-born Temple says trying to fit his genre of music in the confines of a box isn’t possible because he draws inspiration from so many styles, including American blues and soul, grunge and British pop.

But it seems moving to NZ when he was a teenager after his father married a “beautiful Kiwi woman” has been the ultimate gift to the imagination.

“I get more inspiration in NZ than anywhere else.

“I just love being in nature, and I’m a life-long surfer, so growing up by the beach and chasing waves inspires me too.”

With album names such as Quiet Earth, Balance Escapes and Ceiling in the Sky, it’s easy to see that certainly rings true. The band’s set to release its seventh album next year.

“I write about the current times, whatever’s going on in the environment, political landscapes — it’s always changing.”

The experienced artist also loves living in NZ because of the “mind-blowing” talent coming out of the music scene.

“I think it’s because the NZ education system embraces music.

“It’s such a small pond, but there are so many amazing musicians — it never ceases to amaze me.”

The Julian Temple Band will rock the stage at the Sherwood, on Saturday December 28, at 8.30pm. Tickets are $10 and can be bought at