Australian indie rockers The Temper Trap recently completed a tour of South Africa which saw them play at three festivals around the country. The group played some of their massive hits including new materials off their latest record ‘Thick As Thieves’. During their visit, we sat down with the group as they opened up about their visit to South Africa, their new album and playing at some of our biggest festivals.

Welcome to South Africa. How crazy is the idea still to you guys that your music reaches so many places and people around the world?

It’s crazy! Facebook is a big information source for us. So many people have asked us when we’re coming to perform in South Africa and it’s been on the agenda for ages. We just did an Asia tour as well where we played in places like China and Thailand and people recognized Dougy there. It’s great to come and connect with people from so far away.

You’re playing at Lush festival amongst others here in South Africa. What’s the most exciting thing about playing festivals?

At festivals, people are always in a particular kind of mood and we tailor out our set in order to keep that vibe alive. Also, when you’re a part of a bigger festival line-up, other festival goers might discover you. It’s great because you get an opportunity to win new fans over. It is stressful though because sometimes you are performing to people who aren’t necessarily here to see you which reminds me of one time in Montreal when we played to a whole bunch of Eminem fans…

Touring the world sounds glamorous but it’s not for the faint hearted. How do you prepare for life on the road?

We try to get all our correct visas (which is sometimes easier said than done). We used to all live in the same city but now we are spread out all around the world so before a tour, a day or two of rehearsals are necessary to work out the sets and get familiar with everything. For a long tour, we get into a routine and when you visit a place like South Africa, it keeps the excitement alive.

You’re an incredible act to watch live. What do you think makes for the perfect live show?

Conviction. If the artist on stage believes it and can sell it, everyone else is going to buy into it. We’re a very energetic band but that doesn’t mean that a shoegaze band isn’t going to be just as compelling because they’re just standing there. If you have conviction then everybody in the room will get sucked in.

You worked with other writers for the first time on the album. How did this decision push you creatively and were you surprised with the results?

It started out with me (Dougy) going out to LA and getting involved in writing sessions that our record label set up. He had a session with a guy named Malay and we hit it off on a personal level. I played him some songs and there was one song that caught his ear. It wasn’t finished and we decided to work on that. Everything snowballed from that. One of the most obvious examples of how we pushed ourselves creatively was ‘’ because Malay is more inclined in the urban world. He really left his mark on the last bit of the song.

‘So Much Sky’ was inspired by a trip to Tanzania. Tell us a bit more about that and your involvement with Faces4Hope.

I had a piece of music that I was working on and it was shortly after our trip to Tanzania where we visited the Maasai lands. It was a very eye-opening experience where we learned about the culture and how the people there live. Faces4Hope is a charity there which looks after the basic needs people don’t really have there. We bought a water tank for that Maasai village which helps the people, children and animals stay hydrated. It’s a place we really connected with after visiting so joining forces with them felt like a pretty natural thing to do. It was a brilliant experience.

Besides the shows, what has been the highlight of your trip to South Africa?

We got to go to a game reserve and go on a mini safari which was a good experience. We also got to go into a petting zoo for cats and get up close with some lions and cheetahs. One of them bit me! They play like normal cats but their teeth are really sharp and they’re strong. Johnny threw a lion at me like it was a hot potato. It was a fantastic experience.

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