June 12, 2008
In It For The Long Haul
By Christi Broekemeier
Mad Temple is a band that has been on a steady ride up since they appeared in my Backstage Column a few months ago. As they are about to embark on their first tour of the West Coast, and even a stop in Texas for The South Texas Rock Fest, where they will be on stage 2, July 11, 2008. Though they are young, they have the talent and drive to make it in the rock world. Full of dreams, ambition and a drive to become the next big rock band, they took some time out from rehearsals for a chat with me. Andrew “Stone Hand” the Lead guitarist and one of the founder’s of Mad Temple answered some questions for All Access Magazine, Talking about his musical partners, starting to play music at a young age and discussing what Eli James (lead vocals), Sal Flores (drummer), Mike Brownstone (Bass) and their newest member Bryant Joel (Guitar), have done to get to this point in the music world and talk about how they hope their “High Octane” music style, will be part of music in the 21st Century. Andrew “Stone Hand”, is the main spokesman and excitedly told me about what their fans called “Templeheads”, and the rest of the band pushed and worked to gain a reputation that started when many where still in Jr. High and High School, playing Gigs up and down the Sunset Strip, and other hot clubs in Southern California.
AAM: You have been playing since you were all very young. What were some of your earliest venues, and since so young, how did you get ushered in and out of your venues?
”Stone Hand”: Some of our earliest venues were just local coffee houses and bars around town, our fist Hollywood show was in 2004 at the whiskey that was our introduction to the hollywood scene, usually the bars didn’t know our ages until we got there and they would always tell us to wait outside until it was time to play and then to get the hell out as long as our feet didn’t get offstage and onto the bar floor everything was ok.
AAM: You said this summer is a make or break summer, you have some pretty big gigs coming up, including the South Texas Rock Festival. What do you think will happen, if you don't live up to your own very high standards?
“Stone Hand”: Yes we do believe that this summer can be “Make or Break”, and that’s the only way to grow planning is a huge necessity of our bands success. We can never know or read into the future, we just know, we must put out 150%, and believe that we will just keep increasing our fan base.
AAM: Every young band got their influences someplace, be it an older brother or sister or parents that continued listening to their arena based rock through the 90’s, did any of you have that play out at home?
“Stone Hand”: Yes we all had those influences in our homes, I guess we should thank family members who played and taught us about the classics like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and Bad Company. Like most musicians they get their influences from music they heard at young ages.
AAM: What paths lead you all together, you started so young, some of you started together as early as 11, some joined a bit after, in your mid teens? At some point you had to know magic was there, what was your Ahh!!! Moment?
”Stone Hand”: I started the band at the age of 11, and always knew Eli would be around because he is my cousin. It was always known he could sing, so it was us and Mike and Bryant were past band mates and were neighborhood friends, and in forming the line-up as it is now knew they were the best mix for us. Sal grew up in East Los Angeles and found me through old family friends. the final move we made was bringing our final member after trying several line-ups, and bringing back Bryant when he opened the first chord, That is when we knew this was the line-up and that Bryant was the keeper, and made Mad Temple complete. In all our minds that was the AHH moment.
AAM: Everyone is so talented and works so hard, some of you have varying amounts of formal music training don’t. Regarding your various instruments and voice training, etc… what is all of your training?
“Stone Hand”: I would that all of us are manly self thought with not too much training most of us have learned by ear, Sal the drummer learn his nac in Jr. High where he was in the jazz band. Eli the lead Vox has occasionally taken vocal lessons, mainly to get his voice ready for the vigor’s of live performing. For myself, that about it I would say the most prior and current training would be me I was thought by my uncle at a young age and current college courses.
AAM: Looking back to the beginning of the band and your history, give us a basic history on band and members, group changes and maturing.
“Stone Hand”: Mad Temple has had member changes; it seems we have changed just like the stars in the sky, move and shift all the time. Now all that matters is what you see now is how we have matured greatly over the years into men, and a solid band, we have said it before, and we have to because like we have all said “we are in it to win it”!
AAM: You are all very driven young band, where did the drive come from?
“Stone Hand”: the drive is built within us, we have pushed ourselves to be the best we can be, and by our “Templeheads”, what our largest fans all call themselves. For us, every show inspires us to play even more and more because of the constant positive outcomes we have been experiencing for several years.
AAM: How many shows before you hit the road this summer along the west coast?
“Stone Hand”: so far 3 shows until we say lift off Crash Mansion on the 6th in L.A. Paladino’s Tarzana, Ca. We will be opening for Veins of Jenna on the 13th and on the 18th The Derby in Hollywood. For us this is just the most amazing kickoff we can imagine. We know this will get us pumped for our first major music festival we will be performing in; The South Texas Music Fest which will be on stage 2 July 11, 2008.
AAM: You are full of events this summer, including a festival, you are now leaving LA, your home turf to hit other parts of the country, how are you traveling? What are your expectations?
“Stone Hand”: Yes we think it’s time to move on, take over the rest of California and America. This is something we have been planning and dreaming about since we have been about 13. We will be traveling by van and are ready for anything and our expectations of each other are held very high the plan is to kill every show this summer like it is our last; whether we are playing for 3 or 30,000 people. We give it all at our shows.
AAM: Talk about fact they will be seen on a world stage, and the feeling?
“Stone Hand”: it’s an honor and privilege we have worked hard for our minor success.
AAM: How far are you willing to go to be the next great rock band? You already tagged your music High Octane and High Energy, is part of that game plan?
“Stone Hand”: the game plan is to play and play until we are seen. Part of music is talent, but it doesn’t hurt to be at the right place at the right time. From all this hard work we hope to mass produce the next Cd, the follow up to our self produced debut Mad Temple “California”. Though we know the chances of being signed on the spot may be a slight chance. We will do what we have to; send out our follow up to all major record companies, and pounding the streets of Los Angeles. We are reaching for the stars and are in it to win it, “High Octane” is a locomotive fueled by jet fuel with Jeff Gordon in the driver’s seat, that is how we came up with what our unique brand of music and our sound is basically named after.
AAM: You all live the Rock N’ Roll lifestyle to the fullest, like you where in the 80’s, but with a new millennium energy and attitude, what does that experience of living like the greats do for your energy in this rock genre, and since your still so young, living it up like that is simple. You have boundless energy? Who is the main driver of your energy car?
“Stone Hand”: It is our management who help us drive the bus, and keep us hungry and drive this energy train, we have our times when we live a little on the edge but we as band mates keep each other in line. We know our limits, but are not a major party band. We know it is a new time and we don’t live like it is the 80’s, when everything was a big Glam Rock party. We want to be in this for the long haul, have staying power.
AAM: For your age, you show amazing business sense, what is the maturity factor that you use, to fully understand that music is and can be fun, but is also a business?
“Stone Hand”: with the help from our management team our business approach is simple to be punctual and professional to well market ourselves like a product now a day without good business deals no one would here you.
AAM: The mainstream radio stations are not fully embracing this re-birth, where do you belong, and do you think FM stations will start changing their tune?
“Stone Hand”: I have a funny feeling that FM radio station will be changing their tune very soon we hold our heads high the rest is in prayers.
AAM: This style of rock seemed dead just a few years ago, now it is reemerging, where does the credit in the rebirth belong, and for a band like yours, it can mean endless opportunities. Do you think it is a fad, or the yearning by fans and musicians to see the 80’s high voltage Glam and Arena Rock comes back?
“Stone Hand”: We don’t think most people don’t want that they no comebacks they want a fresh start for our own generation and we are in it the proof of rock n roll coming back. Bands like Buck Cherry, Velvet Revolver are proof. It is great that all the reunion tours are happening, most are giving new bands a chance to show their stuff as opening acts or in festival situations and, putting the older bands that we listened to, learned from, are opening the doors for bands like us. We want mainstream rock radio stations to take notice of all the untapped talent, and say hey there is a whole market for the new generation of young rockers coming up. We want radio stations to see us, play us, and know we can have number one charts hits. Then it will be hard for them to ignore all of us.
AAM: Tell us about the summer tour, and where most of it will be based?
“Stone Hand”: summer tour begins in Las Vegas and ends in Reno manly all west coast it starts June 28th, It will end August 4th of 2008. We are really pumped that we get to play for new fans, and bring our music outside of LA!
AAM: You have your own special fan base called the Templeheads, and many of the famous groupie girls called ''The Plastics". How do you feel about those fans, and other fans you have now, and hoe to have in the future?
“Stone Hand”: its quit simple rally without them we suck, they are the fuel that lights the fire!!! The Templeheads started in the clubs of LA, and have been growing in numbers for a few years, it is amazing to us. One of “The Plastics” had told someone from the press we were their favorite band, and that also gave us a boost, not only with females but with all rock lovers.
AAM: If you can categorize yourselves into silly stereotypical musician categories, who would the Casanova be, the Brains, Quiet one etc?
“Stone Hand”: Well the quietist one would definitely be Mike the bass play, Eli and Bryant are the Casanovas of the group they are the ones on the front line yelling out the name Mad Temple and getting people to the shows, and I’m the brains of the vision and the sound, Sal is the backbone of the band a true believer of the band.