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Losing two founding members could prove a fatal wound for lesser bands, but The Temperance Movement have come back stronger than ever. Thea de Gallier talks to guitarists Paul Sayer and Matt White and bassist Nick Fyffe about their chart-bothering revival…


Photography Eleanor Jane

It’s not unusual for bands to find themselves at a creative crossroads as they settle into their careers. The Temperance Movement are no exception; as the buzz around them began to grow after two albums, they found themselves navigating the American rock market, and being pulled in different directions by conflicting musical obligations.

It was January 2017, and the time had come to begin writing their third album. Guitarist Luke Potashnick and drummer Damon Wilson had left the band the year before, but replacements had been found quickly in the form of long-term friends Matt White, a session guitarist, and Simon Lea. The line-up change, though, wasn’t what stalled progress; it was the increasing pressure to write in a way that would appeal to their new US fans.

“The feeling of being unsure of what direction to go in wasn’t so much about the other guys leaving”, explains lead guitarist Paul Sayer. “We were touring in America a lot and we had a lot of options available to us, there was a lot of information going in and it wasn’t helping us make a decision about what to do next. Getting radio play on different types of radio stations in America can lead you down a bit of a rabbit hole of thinking that you have to write songs for that kind of format, which didn’t sit very well with us. But at the time we were surrounded by a lot of people who were telling us that was the sensible thing to do. It wasn’t malicious, it wasn’t a cigar smoking executive, that was their job. It made us stagnate a bit because it didn’t feel natural.”

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About Guitar Magazine

What do we think about the most talked-about guitar of the year? Find out in our May 2018 issue, on sale now. Inside, we sit down with Paul Reed Smith to talk out about the two-year design process that gave birth to the Silver Sky and we put John Mayer’s new PRS signature model through its paces in an in-depth 10-page review. The magazine also comes bundled with a FREE Joy Of FX magazine for every reader that includes reviews of Fender’s new-for-2018 stompbox line, new EarthQuaker Devices pedals, an interview with Way Huge pedal guru Jeorge Tripps and more. Back in the main mag, we get up close and personal with Eric Clapton’s £25,000 writing and recording acoustic, check out The Temperance Movement’s live gear, interview Steve Morse and review even more hot new guitars, amps and effects from Eastman, Blackstar, JHS Pedals, Lowden and plenty more besides. We also salute the genius of Freddie Tavares and you can enter our competition to WIN a drop-dead gorgeous Lake Placid Blue Fender American Original ‘60s Telecaster worth £1,659. The May 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale in print and digital formats now. Essential reading for guitar addicts.