Here We Go Magic's Luke Temple gets his sea legs
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Here We Go Magic's self-titled debut is, like the LPs of yore, split into two distinct sides—one full of hummable, groove-inflected bedroom folk, and the other populated by cascading waves of ambient white noise. That division is perhaps the only calculated aspect of Here We Go Magic, whose creator, singer-songwriter Luke Temple, didn't even set out to create. Following the album's release on Austin's own Western Vinyl, Here We Go Magic grew from a one-piece to a five-piece, which is currently on the road supporting indie darling Grizzly Bear. Ahead of the tour's stop at The Parish tomorrow night, Decider spoke with Temple about his confidence in the band, leaving his listeners with a smile, and watching Grizzly Bear blow the fuck up.
Decider: How's the tour with Grizzly Bear going?
Luke Temple: It took a little bit of adjusting for us, playing the size venues we've been playing at first, but we hit our stride the fourth show in, and now I feel like we're really starting to cook.
D: What kind of adjustments?
LT: It was like getting our sea legs, in terms of how we present ourselves onstage, and dealing with big sound systems and everything. We're used to playing in our teeny, 50-square-foot rehearsal space. We learned fast though.
D: So it's a trial by fire?
LT: Yeah, but you can't look at it that way. You have to take all this stuff with a grain of salt. We all put our best shows on when we're not taking it too seriously. Our first shows on this tour were at [New York City's] Town Hall, and it was really nerve-wracking. And I was going to the first few shows on this tour completely nervous, just shitting my pants. I decided to stop worrying about it, and it's been better.
D: Grizzly Bear's new record, Veckatimest, debuted at No. 8 on Billboard's album sales chart. Is that rise in status something you can see Here We Go Magic going through in a few years?
LT: We're hanging out with these guys every day—meanwhile, they're transforming into huge rock stars. [Laughs.] I have a good feeling about [Here We Go Magic]. We're going to record another record in September, and I think it's going to be strong, and as long as it's treated appropriately, a lot of people will like it. I think we could definitely be in their position within the next two years. Just one foot in front of the other.
D: What is it about the current lineup that inspires that confidence?
LT: We all share a conceptual sensibility, which is important. Everybody's on the same page, and everybody understands the general sound that we're trying to get. Also, everyone in the band loves to play in such a simple, youthful way—even though we're all in our 30s. It feels really joyous. It feels like we're all happy to make something that sounds good, rather than make something really cool and subversive and try to break molds.
D: Is the whole band going to have a hand in recording the next record?
LT: It's going to be with the band, for sure. We're developing a language now, so it just makes sense to capture that on the next record. I've never recorded a record with a band like this. As long as we can treat it the same way we play live, as long as we can feel spontaneous and joyful with each other, I think it's going to be great. I learned while making Here We Go Magic to not be too precious—not to get too mired in minutiae. That's not the shit that registers with people, anyway. It's a feeling, a certain expressiveness that people feel, and whether or not it's played perfectly, there's tons of flubs all over Here We Go Magic, but I think they're sort of ignored because there's a certain spontaneity to it, because I was not being too critical of myself.
D: The two halves of Here We Go Magic are quite different from one another. When you sequenced the record, did you hope people would listen to both halves together in one sitting?
LT: I wanted it to sound like you're on land, and you're facing the ocean, and then you just sort of walk down to the bottom of the ocean. And then at the very end, there's that song "Everything's Big," which is just kind of a goofy little song, and that brings you back out into the light again.
D: Did you also include "Everything's Big" so listeners would draw a connection between this record and the ones you've released under your own name?
LT: I recorded that song with a different band, and it wasn't recorded in the same session as the other songs. It's pretty obvious—it sounds pretty different. I was putting the sequence together, and I tagged that on the end just for shits and giggles. The song is lyrically pessimistic, but I feel like it has sort of an optimistic tone to it. And it was a nice way to leave 'em with a smile.