Recognised as one of the finest debut albums in recent years, â€˜Conditionsâ€™ propelled Melbourneâ€™s The Temper Trap from virtual obscurity to major stages across the globe. Now, more than a year after the release, â€˜Conditions Remixedâ€™ sees the band exploring new musical horizons and breathing life into its much-loved body of work.
Since forming in 2005, The Temper Trap has garnered attention and respect from a diverse range of audiences, possibly the most unexpected being the host of dance producers scrambling to remix the bandâ€™s predominantly rock-based tracks. Following in the colossal footsteps of Bloc Party and Phoenix, The Temper Trap made the decision to release a remix album after hearing reinterpretations of the singles from â€˜Conditionsâ€™.
As the industry becomes more dance oriented, drummer Toby Dundas maintains that â€˜Conditions Remixedâ€™ was more of a natural progression than a calculated effort to keep pace.
â€œWe had already heard some great mixes of the singles and thought it would be really interesting to see how some of the more subtle album tracks came up remixed,â€ Dundas says. â€œWe were very impressed with the quality and decided to release it as a remix album. We also just liked the idea of mixing a few tracks to give the songs a different bend.â€
Opening with Sister Bliss and Rolloâ€™s adaptation of 'Love Lost', â€˜Conditions Remixedâ€™ takes on a number of musical styles. While presented as one offering, Dundas says the album was never intended to play as a set of ten cohesive tracks.
â€œWe certainly did not want the same feel through the whole body of mixes,â€ he explains. â€œWe made a list of artists whose mixes we liked and approached them. Others approached us because they felt like particular tracks connected with them. There are some pretty big names on there, but the songs that came up the most for me were by the more unknown artists â€“ namely, BretonLabsâ€™ mix and rapping on â€˜Drum Songâ€™,â€ he says.
â€œAs a band, we all have very eclectic tastes in music, so in many ways â€˜Conditions Remixedâ€™ is a reflection of that. Even when we were writing â€˜Conditionsâ€™, there was no main writer. All four of us contributed so that the songs didn't end up sounding exactly the same. There's always a lot of different influences coming to the table, which has kind of worked out well for us so far.â€
At the point where most bands would be winding down from promo and touring duties, The Temper Trap â€“ also consisting of Dougy Mandagi, Lorenzo Sillitto and Jonathon Aherne â€“ is bracing for a second wave. Dundas says his band mates are equally surprised by the extended shelf life of â€˜Conditionsâ€™.
â€œSome of the songs on there were written up to three years ago, so itâ€™s weird to think that people may be hearing them for the first time. Itâ€™s not easy to stay relevant in music these days, so if people are still discovering our music, then thatâ€™s fantastic,â€ he says.
While bringing clout to the tracks on â€˜Conditions Remixedâ€™, dance music heavyweights like Peter, Bjorn & John, The Count and Fool's Gold effectively endorse The Temper Trapâ€™s music to a new market of potential fans. â€œItâ€™s probably too early to say, but there has been loads of interest in the remix album from around the world. It is a good sign to see that people are interested to hear what Rusko or Peter, Bjorn & John have done to one of our songs.
â€œWith that said though, there may be some music purists out there who might hate these new versions. For now, we are just hoping that people will see another side to what we have created.â€
Determined to build an international following, The Temper Trap has unashamedly gained exposure through a range of mainstream media â€“ from placement in the film â€˜500 Days Of Summerâ€™ to commercials for Chrysler and Coke. â€œWeâ€™re open to most stuff,â€ Dundas says. â€œTV and film have really come on board as great supporters of new music, so itâ€™s cool that we have been able to be a part of that shift in the way that people are exposed to music.â€
But not all of the changes associated with increased exposure have been positive.
â€œThere's definitely a stigma that comes with using music in advertisements and mainstream culture. Itâ€™s a bit of a double-edged sword on some levels. I mean we started as a little unknown act out of Melbourne, just cutting our teeth at the smaller venues around town. Like most bands, we hoped that we might get a break or two and most of us never imagined the break would be this big. We've rolled with the punches and done our best to keep up,â€ he says.
â€œMoving to London was an adventure for us and we felt that we would have a greater opportunity to take our music further by moving to the northern hemisphere. I think that mainstream promotion is more accepted in the UK actually. Itâ€™s becoming more and more common and allows people to discover new music through different forms. So yeah, I know there are a lot of people who still have a negative attitude towards that approach, but I think that it is something that is gradually changing to be a positive thing.â€
For those waiting to hear The Temper Trapâ€™s new material, Dundas says the band plans to release the follow-up to â€˜Conditionsâ€™ late next year. â€œWeâ€™re excited about the prospect of writing a new album,â€ he says. â€œWeâ€™ve worked on a few songs already that are showing some promise and it will be great to get back into a more creative headspace after concentrating on performance for so long.â€
Following the bandâ€™s recent success at the ARIA Awards, Dundas says the last year has been a complete whirlwind for all involved. â€œTo even play at Glastonbury or Lollapalooza was a dream, but to pull big audiences was pretty special. Splendour was also a highlight. We've seen loads of the world and met people from all walks of life and that has been quite amazing. We've all had a pretty awesome time overall - loads of laughs and moments that will 'stay on tour', as they say.â€
â€˜CONDITIONS REMIXEDâ€™ IS OUT NOW ON LIBERATION MUSIC.