Live from London with Adam Townsend

Thursday, 12 Mar 2015

The Temper Trap – our newest APRA AMCOS Ambassadors

APRA AMCOS is thrilled to announce our newest UK-based APRA AMCOS Ambassadors - Dougy Mandagi, Jonathon Aherne, Toby Dundas and Joseph Greer, better known as The Temper Trap. 

The band relocated to London in 2008 after signing to Infectious Records. Releasing their debut album, Conditions, projected the band on to the world stage and featured the hit single and APRA 2010 Song of the Year, ‘Sweet Disposition’. In 2012, the band followed up with their platinum selling self-titled album that landed them two ARIA awards for Best Group and Best Rock Album. 

2015 is a big year for the band as they celebrate their 10-year anniversary and look to release album number three. Our UK-based representative Adam Townsend caught up with Toby Dundas to talk about life in London, songwriting and how the new record is shaping up.

You guys have been based in London since 2008. What was the initial reason for moving here?

After playing around in Australia for a number of years, we became more interested and excited about moving overseas and touring the world. After playing a showcase slot at MUSEXPO, Korda Marshall who is a legendary A&R guy in London saw us and wanted to sign us to his new label at the time, Infectious. This provided us with the opportunity to come over and set up shop here in London.  

What are the main differences between the music scene here in the UK as opposed to Australia?

It might sound simplistic but the size of London as a city provides a lot more opportunities for up-and-coming bands. There are so many different venues to play for all types of genres, which is essential for people starting out. 

Australian artists back home often have to compete with the large amount of international content that is brought into Australia, and with the listening public only being so big, there is a lot for people to take in. The UK has the population to keep up with the amount of new music out there and people seem to really embrace it.  It’s all over the radio. For emerging bands, having their songs played on a platform like BBC Radio 1, can open up big opportunities to tour the rest of the UK, Europe and the US. 

Was there a particular moment early on when you thought the band could actually pursue a career in music?

Moving to London definitely made it seem like things were really happening for us. Being able to quit our jobs and play music full-time was an important step as it meant the dream of pursuing music as a career could be a reality.

How do you guys measure success at this stage of your career?

In terms of success, the finances don't really matter to me. There are plenty of people out there working other jobs and feel they are successful in their music. I kind of measure it on your creative satisfaction and knowing that what you are doing is what you love.

Has the band’s songwriting process changed over the years?

It’s changed a lot. Obviously when you first start out it’s just you and your instruments in a crappy garage somewhere. But we have always tried to embrace new technology by using new pedals, samplers and now laptops. Experimenting with new toys definitely changes the way you write. 

We also have our own studio space in North London, which has definitely changed our writing process. Having everything set up and ready to go eliminates all of those unnecessary barriers that can ruin your creative flow. For our next record, we have been writing with people outside of the band, which is new for us. It’s been quite an eye opening experience. It’s been cool to see how other people work.  

You are currently recording album number three. How are the recording sessions going so far? 

Things are moving a little slower this time around. I guess the flip side of having your own studio means that you have no deadlines. We are currently in the middle of tracking about eight songs and things are starting to take shape. We are aiming to do another seven or eight songs so we have a good pool to choose from for the album which we are hoping to get our later in the year. 

And the most important question, when are we likely to hear some new songs?

Hopefully we can have a single out before summer kicks off and we start playing live again.

Ask The Experts Panel London

As the festive winter season fades behind us here in London, the music scene kicks back into gear. Everyone is getting ready for their up-and-coming releases and tours for 2015. 

In order for our London-based APRA AMCOS members to be industry ready, we held our first member meeting of the year at The BPI and Brit Awards offices in Westminster.  ‘Ask the Experts’ was the theme of the night where our members got the opportunity to ask any burning question to our panel of UK industry specialists. Our industry experts for the evening were Theo Seffusatti who is the General Manager of Warp Music Publishing, Darren Poole who is the owner of Abandon Music Group, Luke English, the Head of Media and Technology at Eric Robinson Solicitors and Natasha Arico who is an artist manager and represents Australian singer songwriter, Josef Salvat.

The night kicked off with a discussion on how best to approach the industry here in the UK and our expert panel gave their opinions on making those crucial first steps. Our experts highlighted the importance of sending short but effective emails and creating an environment around their music so that people will want to engage with you, the artist. 

Another popular item of discussion was revenue streams within the industry and how they are constantly changing here in the UK. The panel shared some experiences on how they have seen this change come about and how best to make the most out of the content songwriters create, whether it be looking at different avenues of releasing, or using unwanted demos for production music libraries. 

A huge thank you goes to Theo, Darren, Luke and Natasha for giving up their time to come down and share their knowledge and experience. We would also like to thank Chris Tams and everyone at the BPI for letting us use their wonderful boardroom. All eyes now turn to a busy May program with The Great Escape, Aussie BBQ London, Liverpool Sound City and of course, SongHubs London. 

If you are a songwriter and have moved to London recently, please feel free to get in touch with me at atownsend@apra.com.au.


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