The Julian Temple Band are back in the van.
The Dunedin-based six-piece rock group have just released their latest album, Tunnels, and are in the midst of a nationwide tour, which includes a show in Queenstown this coming Saturday.
Singer Julian Temple says both the album and the tour have been a long time coming.
“We have played at the Sherwood in Queenstown before, and that was an awesome experience,” Temple says.
“But we love touring, it’s great getting back in the van.”
Temple says the latest album had a very protracted birth.
“I started writing songs for this one not too long after our previous album, which was about five years ago now.
“Covid-19 put the brakes on everything, and slowed things down.
“It also took a little more time because we were keen to have this album pressed on vinyl, and that meant a lot more work on the sound of this thing.
“But the end results were really worth it.”
Temple describes Tunnels, the band’s seventh album, as a “sort of but not really” concept album, with “lots of recurring themes”.
“Some of the songs are upbeat, but there are also some really good ballads there too.
“There’s more texture to this record than our previous ones, there are some big orchestral arrangements on some tracks.”
Temple says he was particularly proud of the title track, which he says took only “minutes to write”.
“It’s about trying to communicate with my mother, who was in the early stages of dementia at the time.
“I thought of the song on my way to visiting her, so it really hits close to home for me.
“The last track is like that too, it’s about a really bad car accident.
“So, there’s some pretty heavy material there.”
Despite this, Temple says recording the album was an enjoyable experience.
He spent much of it listening to “all sorts of music” for inspiration, including singer-songwriters Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt and Fiona Apple.
“We tried to keep the actual album as short and sweet as possible so the vinyl experience would be best.
“It means there were a few tracks we had to leave out, but I’m really proud of the final result.”
A highlight of the recording for Temple was the appearance of New Zealand music icon Don McGlashan on euphonium for some of the tracks.
“He did his bits remotely, but we already new him from supporting him at the Revitalise festival in Southland.
“He was such a nice guy; it was a really cool experience.”
Temple acknowledges the touring life can be tough.
“There’s no real money in it, and you have to sleep on a lot of couches, but there’s something amazing when an audience connects with you,” he says.
“Expect a lot of energy at our gigs.”
The Julian Temple Band, Sherwood, October 14, 7pm with Killergrams. Tickets $25 plus BF, via undertheradar.co.nz